Something New

Isaiah 43:19 "See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?"

Something New
Behold, I am doing something new,
the Lord tells us in His Word. 
What new thing is He doing in you? 
What in your heart is being stirred? 

Is He showing you a place to serve
or a new gift you can give? 
Is there something He wants to teach you
as He shows you how to live? 

Is there someone you need to forgive
to start the New Year off right? 
Is there a way He wants you to shine
as you live as salt and light? 

Is there a new task He has for you, 
something only you can do? 
Is there a new challenge in your path
that He will see you through..? 

Whatever new thing He has in store, 
it will be for your best... 
This New Year holds such promise
and with God, you will be blest! 

Cindy J. Evans, Duluth, GA

The Song Of The Meadowlard

Read 1 Kings 19:11 & 12
And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. v 12b TLB

Perhaps you have to be at least 40 something to know what I'm talking about. But some of you will remember the sweet experience of driving down a country road with car windows rolled down. Yes, for you younger readers, there was a time when the only air conditioning in cars came from outside the car. While dusty roads, pollen, and hot, dry winds did not make for a totally pleasurable experience, there was one very delightful aspect to countryside drives in days of yore - and that was the song of the meadowlark.

Meadowlarks were plentiful back then in our area. The miniature black and yellow bird preferred roadside fence posts to trees and would sing his little heart out. His cheerful warble gave you the impression that there was no greater pleasure in life than sitting on a fence post.

I have become as partial to my sterile, comfortable air conditioned environment as the next person. Taking advantage of the speed and convenience of our nation's tangle of interstate highways, thus avoiding the quiet countryside, I will, however, miss out on the meadowlark moments. 

As I hear the tinkling trill of the tiny bird (now only in my memory) I have to ask myself how many spiritual meadowlark momentsI have missed in my busy existence. A quotation from Francois de Salignac Ferelon goes as follows: "How rare it is to find a soul quiet enough to hear God speak." That quotation brings to mind a thought that someone shared with me recently. Multitasking is the opposite of experiencing the moment. We drive and talk on cell phones or blast music on the car radio. We walk with headphones blasting music into our ears. We often conduct ourselves as if silence were a dangerous thing -- to avoided at all cost.

The meadowlark is not likely to miraculously find its way to my office desk or my front porch. Chances are he would not be at all happy either place. Nor am I likely to hear God's booming voice breaking into a radio station or television program. That was not God's style when Elijah sought his voice, and it is not now.

It is an awesome thought that the Creator of the universe chooses to use a gentle whisper -- that He refuses to force Himself upon us. But, then neither does the meadowlark. Neither do most of the truly valued things in life.

God of peace, quiet our restless hearts that we may hear your gentle whisper. Amen

Madeline, Nebraska, USA

Spiritual Blindness

In whom the god of this world 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 shine unto them. (2 Corinthians 4:4 KJV)

Paul, the writer of this passage wasn’t overstating matters by referring to the devil as “the god of this world”, considering the sway he has over the mind of the unbeliever. When we come to know Jesus his influence reaches into the darkened recesses of our lives and floods them with the light of truth which is our salvation. In a sense up until that point we suffer from a sort of spiritual blindness, our true nature shrouded in stubbornness and denial. Once saved, we can no longer hide our sins in those unlit corners which, to our way of thinking, no one knows about but ourselves. 

My father was plagued with poor eyesight his entire life, yet when he was a child his family was so poor they couldn’t provide him with the prescription glasses he so badly needed. When he became a teenager and was allowed to work like his older brothers and sisters, his first major purchase was a pair of the highly coveted glasses he so badly needed. He immediately valued them for the transformation they made in his life.

Likewise, when Christ came into His own suddenly it was as if God had provided a nearly blind world with corrective lenses, but as with any new discipline total commitment is required if we are to make a go of it. But oh the rewards if we will just make the effort of getting our eyes adjusted to this new way of seeing. The beauty of God’s grace is that, if we are willing to change, He is more than willing to meet us halfway. Surrender is the key. The choice is yours—to step into Christ’s glorious light and know the freedom of release that comes with it or squander your life on selfish pursuits that are always a dead end.

Dear Lord, Please open our eyes to your great light and guide us in the path to true freedom. Amen.

Carol (NC)


Ending Prayer:

Simple is As Simple Does

"I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ." II Corinthians 11:3 NKJV

A young mother brought her infant to my counseling office because she was worried. Her baby seldom would cry, even when hurt. It was as if she didn't feel pain. All the little one would do is grimace and smile. Her mother was afraid she wasn't normal.

After testing, observation and evaluation, I had good news. The results revealed that the mother had been given an alert, brave and happy little warrior. I urged that she stop trying to change the little one into a more serious, less confident child. She had been trying to change her child into an image of herself. Her little one reduced life down to "life is simply fun", even if it is painful at times.

I thought of Einstein's' opinion: "Any intelligent fool can make things more complicated. It takes the touch of genius to move in the opposite direction." Then, I remembered that the Scriptures state that the devil tries to seduce God's children from the simplicity that is found in Christ.

Jesus is all we need. He is our Savior, Shepherd and Friend who says: Come to Me, Follow Me, Love Me, Ask Me, Abide in Me. This is the simplicity that is in Christ.

Eve's serpent is the master deceiver; walk carefully through the rocky path of life.

Prayer: " Heavenly Father we know You created completeness in Your Son and gave from Your heart of love. Please help us to walk daily realizing all we need is the simplicity found in the Lord Jesus Christ. Thank You, in His name we pray." 

Dr. Bob, AZ

Please Pass The Salt

You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored. v13a RSV

I had forgotten to salt the eggs. We had not been at the breakfast table long before I heard, "Please pass the salt."

The sweet corn, fresh from the Farmer's Market, was steaming on a platter in the middle of the dinner table. The first request was, "Please pass the butter." Then, "Please pass the salt."

At the church my daughter and family attend, when the youth confirm their faith in their Lord and Savior, a lighted candle is placed in confirmand's right hand and a teaspoon of salt in the palm of the left hand. Then the pastor reads Matthew 5:13 & 14. They are then challenged to go out into the world and make the Good News appetizing. They are commissioned to live their lives in such a way that the world would want more of that Good News -- would seek it at every opportunity.

As Jesus walked this earth, he never missed an opportunity to "be the salt of the earth." Tomorrow is another day. Tomorrow is an opportunity for each of us to be the "salt" that makes someone's life brighter, more pleasant, more enjoyable.

Lord, may we, Your Church on earth, never loose its savor. Amen

Madeline, Nebraska, USA 

The Entire bible

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.(2 Timothy 3:16-17 NKJV).

Several years ago I was hospitalized for an extended period. During that time I got to know the lady who was in the bed adjacent to mine well enough to know that although we were both Christians, our religious beliefs differed widely. One afternoon I asked that a Bible be brought to me and when only a New Testament was delivered and I expressed my desire for the whole Bible, my vocal roommate said I didn’t need the Old Testament, as when Jesus came to earth, the Old Testament was made void.

The Bible Jesus read from in the synagogues and temple and so often quoted from was that of the Old Testament. If for no other reason than to confirm the fulfillment of the Messianic prophecies made in the Old Testament through Christ’s earthly sojourn, that would be reason enough to refer to it again and again. 
I have a special place in my heart for the Old Testament heroes as portrayed in the colorful pamphlets we were given every week in Sunday School when I was very young. How incomplete would be our religious views if devoid of the stories of Noah, Abraham, Moses, David. That these titans of faith are immortalized in Hebrews 11 is no accident. Their simple stories provide us not only with history, but are a foundation that prepares us for the more clearly defined beliefs set out in the New Testament. We should not dismiss these 39 books as irrelevant but incorporate them into our Bible study.

When we are called upon to defend our faith we need not be angry or confrontational, just direct. Too often we do such a soft sell of our beliefs in the name of not offending those with different views, we come across as being apologetic for them. May we all have the courage to speak up for God’s way when the opportunity arises. I only wish I had.

Prayer: Lord, please guide us in our search of all the Scriptures so we may come to know you more fully and help others to as well. Amen. 

Carol (NC)


Talk To Me

Whatsoever you ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it." John 14:13-14 NASB

On a beautiful sun filled Arizona morning, I was walking in my backyard surrounded by our palm trees. I had been robbed of peace by my fear for their safety.

I had read that morning that the famous palm trees of Pasadena California were being eaten by voracious beetles who I was afraid might be planning a trip over the mountains to Arizona.

Strangely, I began to hear: "Talk to Me". As I have had three life threatening medical experiences during the last year, including a massive stroke, I wondered if I had more damage than I realized. Then, I remembered today's verses and thought it might be the Lord trying to get my attention.

Feeling free to ask Jesus to take care of my palm trees, I began to talk to my Lord. Feeling much better, I realized that I often didn't talk to Jesus like I would a good friend, about everyday life. I often had been afraid to bother Him about small things because He was so important and dealing with such important things. I didn't want to impose on Him.

Then, I felt much better and understood that He loved me and wanted to hear what was bothering me in everyday life, even if it was beetles. 

Prayer: Dear Lord help us to talk to You as to a dear loving friend. Thank You for dying on the cross so that we can go to heaven someday, Amen.

Dr. Bob, AZ

A Bitter Bush

"See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many are defiled" Hebrews 12:15 NASB

During my devotion one morning, I discovered that God's Word contains instruction not only about how to keep a relationship, but also about how to lose a relationship. I was surprised.

Matthew 6, verses 9-11 taught me how God's children are to pray and, it stressed forgiveness in our relationship with Him, and consequentially, His children. Forgiveness is a golden key to healthy relationships. However, Jesus said in verse fourteen and fifteen that the Father would not forgive us if we did not forgive others. Those were frightening words to me. 

A forgiving heart is a kind heart. A forgiving heart is a loving heart that keeps relationships.

Growing bitter bushes happens when we plant bitter seeds and then fertilize them with sarcasm and lack of gratitude. These bitter seeds are weeds that can grow up overnight. Weed control is a big part of any successful relationship. Smiles and the happiness in being friends are replaced by becoming competitors who spend their energy expressing their frustrations. Faces that eat bitter fruit are sour and unhappy.

Father, please help us not to plant bitter seeds that grow into poisonous bushes that destroy our loving relationships. We pray in Your Son's name.

Dr. Bob, AZ

The Gift of Life

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23 (KJV)

As descendants from the bloodline of Adam and Eve we are all plagued with the same sinful nature they possessed. And as Paul states so bluntly in Romans 6:23, “The wages of sin is death.” Lucky for us God had a plan. Early on he promised a Savior who would come and rid man of this death sentence. There is a catch: no amount of good deeds can rid us of this curse as God doesn’t operate on the points system. Only belief in Jesus can guarantee us this incredible gift.

Thinking only in human terms, the Israelites He made this promise to made the mistake of believing God had in mind a Messiah who would establish an earthly kingdom and they would suddenly, miraculously find themselves living on easy street. Little wonder, as they were not only seeking relief from oppressive Roman rule, they were likely also chafing under all the strict rules and corrupt practices in place within Judaism. 

By the time Jesus arrived on the scene the temple hierarchy so jealously guarded God’s covenant, they had come to believe the offer was exclusive to their people. They were so blind to the truth they didn’t recognize the fulfillment of all of the Old Testament prophecies their generation was fortunate enough to be privy to. What a tragedy to be witness not only to Jesus’s signs and wonders, but also be in the glorious presence of truth in its purist form and be too self-absorbed to accept him as God incarnate. Instead of embracing Him, the religious leaders led a mob in clamoring for His death, not realizing by so doing they were facilitating the plan God had all along. Wouldn’t they be surprised today to realize Christ’s simple message of belief, repentance and love has thrived over time, delivered by passionate missionaries to even the most remote tribes?

But the beauty of God’s plan was twofold. In sacrificing His perfect Son atonement for the sin of all mankind was made, negating the need for further retribution to balance the scales. Secondly, Jesus rose from the grave to show us more than the fact He was God incarnate. He did it to prove one day we would as well, providing hope to countless generations. If He hadn’t risen from the dead His death would be no more momentous than any other martyr, and His life would be no more than a topic for college research papers. There would be no New Testament for the very title of this prized collection of twenty-seven books heralds a new beginning---one without end. Perhaps we believers should consider replacing the period punctuating the end of our obituaries with the infinity symbol instead.

Dear Father, Please accept our praise and gratitude for not giving up on us and offering us the privilege of spending eternity in your glorious presence. Amen

Carol (NC)

Losing My Grip

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has ordained that we should walk in them. (Eph. 2:10, KJV) 

The Ten Commandments sound like a lot of “do this” and “don’t do that”. The New Testament makes it sounds like obeying will be automatic after accepting Christ. I was caught between obeying the commandments and not doing works.

My first glimpse of Jesus’ righteousness happened while waiting in line at the store. I felt impatient. Suddenly I lost my impatience and could look around without being mad. I felt friendlier with those in front of me. My reaction was, “So this is what it feels like to be truly righteous!”

The New Testament talks about walking in the Spirit to be righteous. While studying the phrase “walk in”, I found verses with “shall” and “will.” Doesn’t this mean something definite will be done? 

Ezekiel lists better things to come. “I WILL give them one heart, and I WILL put a new spirit within you, and I WILL take the stony heart out of their flesh, and WILL give them a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 11:19, KJV, capitalization is my emphasis.) Ezekiel 36:27 seems even stronger. “I WILL put my Spirit in you and CAUSE you to walk in my statutes.”(KJV, capitalization is my emphasis.) The most encouraging verse in the New Testament is “we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:10, KJV). 

One morning I asked God to help me get a grip on doing the right thing. The answer of “Let go of your grip” surprised me. I started with my thoughts, where action is conceived (James 1:15, KJV). I let go of the idea that doing dishes was a chore and it naturally followed to quit putting it off. I let go of laying in bed trying to use willpower, and just did things as they needed to be done. I have a harder time letting go of financial worries, but at least I have some peace and hope for tomorrow.

These “great and precious promises” (2 Peter 1:5, KJV) describe us as being “partakers of the divine nature”.  What a blessing this is!

Prayer: Thank You that Christ Jesus has made it possible for us to do good works without depending on willpower.

Bonnie (Kansas)

The Deceiver

Be Sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. (1 Peter 5:8 KJV) 

        Sometimes in church when I purposely let my guard down so I can be receptive to worship, much to my dismay subversive thoughts creep in, threatening to undermine any good that may have come of attending. Initially, I mistook this disruptive inner voice as the dark side of me, but over time it has become apparent to me it springs from an evil outside influence.      While it may have fallen out of favor to call this the work of the devil, isn’t this precisely the sort of deception he specializes in? Taking advantage of my lowered defenses he masquerades in a form I am not likely to question and proceeds to try and rattle me and render my efforts to commune with God fruitless.
        Try and think of this influence as the polar opposite of conscience. While conscience provides a gentle nudge for me to put the brakes on to keep from sinning, the devil conspires to nudge me towards sin by using every intrusive means at his disposal. Once he has gained a stronghold there is no limit to the damage he can do.
        But how do we know when a thought crosses the line between temptation and sin? We experience the same twinge of self-satisfaction we have when we think we have gotten away with something. No doubt this is a sensation with which we are all familiar. Once the precedent is set, it becomes easier and easier for the devil to leave us to our own devices, allowing us to come up with all manner of evil thoughts and imaginings on our own---which is what he was after in the first place. We simply make his job easier by succumbing to his flattery and the other tactics in his bag of tricks. 

Dear Lord, Please help us to heed the Bible's instructions in Ephesians 6 to arm ourselves against the devil's trickery. Amen

Carol (NC)

Learning About Death

" Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me" Psalm 23:4 (KJV) 

        Six months ago, I began recovering from a massive stroke, which the attending physician said was “a miracle” due to the severity of the massive clot he had to remove by means of a tube from my groin. His exact words were “a Divine reprieve to a death sentence.” Another physician went even further when he told me: “Bob, you have experienced “A Miracle. I fill out death certificates all the time for each of the traumas you have experienced, and you had them all in sequence.”
        He was referring to first a month of pneumonia that had turned into “blood spitting pneumonia”; then came the stroke; then came invasive pulmonary embolisms in both lungs.
        Things are so quiet when your heart, lungs and hearing stop. I experienced “The Valley of Death” of Psalm 23. Reading this blessed Psalm is quite different than experiencing the words. It is a very wonderful peaceful quiet that I didn’t want to come back from, but Jesus had other plans, one of which is for me to testify as to what is waiting for each of His sheep. I learned Death is nothing to be afraid of- Jesus has conquered death and has gone to prepare a place for us.
        In the Valley, I couldn’t think about Jesus or talk to Him. I was blank and still. All I could feel was His presence, and that was enough.

Dear Father, help us not to be afraid of dying. Help our hearts to come to Jesus and rest in His love. His love and victory are all our fearful hearts need. Thank You, in your Son's name we pray. 

Dr. Bob (AZ)

The Scarlet Cord

Was not Rahab the harlot also justified? (James 2:25 NKJV)

Rahab was a woman with a tarnished reputation; a woman of immoral behavior. Rahab was a prostitute who lived in Jericho. When Joshua sent spies into the city, she hid these enemies of the government in her house. When she was questioned, she lied. She would probably have been rewarded for turning in the spies, yet she chose to put her life in jeopardy by not disclosing their whereabouts. In return for hiding the spies, she and her family were promised safety when the walls of Jericho would later tumble. She needed only to hang a scarlet cord from her window to spare her household. “By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace” (Hebrews 11:31). 

Rahab was King David’s great, great grandmother. This lying woman of ill-repute was in the lineage of Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:5). Rahab is listed in the Hebrews “hall of fame” as a woman of faith. God’s love and forgiveness know no boundaries or prejudice. The blood of Jesus Christ—the scarlet cord—can reach anyone. God’s love is amazing and His grace is divine. This story is not about Rahab’s career choice. It’s not about the lie. The point is not her moral ethics, but her faith. If you have not been washed in the blood of Jesus Christ, reach out and take hold of the scarlet cord. It is never beyond our reach!

Father of mercy, thank You for Your amazing love, mercy, and grace!

Angie (OH)

Copyright @2015 Angie Davis
WestBow Press

No Whispering

Whoever spreads slander is a fool. (Proverbs 10:18 NKJV))

“Sally told me that Linda told her that Debbie’s husband is having an affair.” “Robert heard from Don that Jim has filed bankruptcy.” “I promised not to tell anyone, but…” Gossip. Idle talk. Slander. Rumor. A rumor is information, often a mix of truth and untruth, shared without confirmation or certainty of fact. Rumors are hearsay. The archaic definition of rumor is “continuous, confused noise; clamor.” 

Gossip hurts. It is malicious. It damages another’s reputation, destroys friendships, and divides families. It is verbal assassination of a person’s character. Gossip is whispering behind someone’s back. “A whisperer separates the best of friends” (Proverbs 16:28). An English teacher once conducted an experiment on accuracy. She asked her class of fifteen students move their chairs into a circle. She whispered five sentences into the ear of the student on her left. Each student then whispered those sentences to the student on her left until the last student whispered it back to the teacher. Not one of the original five sentences had remained. And the final five sentences were in no way related to the original five sentences! Each time information is shared, the less accurate it becomes. The best way to avoid speaking gossip is to choose not to listen to it. When someone says, “I’m not supposed to tell anyone…” I immediately respond with, “Then don’t.” Hear no evil, speak no evil!

Father of all truth, help me to keep my words kind, thoughtful, and true. Set a watch over my mouth so that everything I say is pleasing to You.

Angie (OH)

Copyright @2015 Angie Davis
WestBow Press

Bugs and Big Guys

There we saw the giants…And we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight. (Numbers 13:33 NKJV)

Moses sent twelve scouts to check out the new homeland. Joshua and Caleb were included in the twelve. All twelve scouts saw the same thing: a land rich in milk and honey—and giants! Ten of the spies reported, “We saw the giants…And we were like grasshoppers in our own sight.” Joshua and Caleb saw the giants, too. But they had a different perspective. They reported, “Do not rebel against the LORD, or fear the people of the land, for they are our bread” (Numbers 14:9). Faith feeds off the bugs the enemy throws at us! 

The ten negative reports caused the people to be afraid. Some wanted to return to Egypt, and others wanted to just settle right there in the wilderness! They had a grasshopper mentality. Fear causes us to forget all the blessings from God and focus only on what we do not have. Joshua and Caleb stayed focused on doing God’s will, knowing He would be with them and bring the victory. They had a giant-killer mentality. To move from a grasshopper mentality to a giant-killer mentality, we have to believe that God goes with us into every battle. He equips us for every circumstance He brings us to. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13). If you are facing a difficult challenge right now, remember that God is bigger than the biggest giant you will ever face!

Father, help me to remember that I cannot do anything in my own strength. I am thankful that You never leave me alone to face my fears.

Angie Davis (OH)

Previously published in Come to the Light
Copyright @2015 Angie Davis

Basket Case

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:6-7 (NIV)

For the past few weeks, I'd been searching for our fall altar centerpiece. Last year, our maintenance crew put away the autumn decorations to prepare for Christmas. I didn't take the time to find out where they'd been stored. Now, my carelessness was catching up, and I was searching in vain for a replacement.
"Lord, when will I learn to be more responsible"?

This morning, I walked into the worship center, still stewing about my dilemma. I couldn't believe my eyes-the missing basket was back on the altar where it belonged. I hadn't told anyone it was missing, but God knew.

"Lord, when will I learn to trust You completely"?

Isn't it just like God to take care of even the little things for us? The Bible tells us to cast our cares on Him. Whatever your burden, take it to God. He is willing, able and waiting to help you.

Father, thank You for carrying my burdens, just for the asking.

Dorsee (OH)

Potter's Wheel

Here I am again, Lord, 
I place myself on Your wheel, 
shape me, mold me, fill me, 
Your hands I want to feel. 

Fashion me as you see fit, 
I wait as You work and smooth... 
Spinning around, help me stay soft, 
do what You need to do. 

Help me stay on the wheel, 
surrendered to Your doing, 
trusting in Your vision, 
trusting in Your timing... 

And tomorrow morning again, 
may You find me right here, 
still asking for Your touch, 
always staying near. 

Cindy (GA)


Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen and yet have believed. And many other signs truly Jesus did in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. (John 20: 29-31 KJV)

Applying intellectual reasoning, regardless of how well-researched it is, will never provide a satisfying explanation to the questions posed in the quest for salvation. There will always be a lingering hunger if the heart fails to make the connection to Christ on a personal level. This may or may not be an emotional, tearful, fall on the knees before the altar experience. It may well take the more subtle form of a soft flutter like angel wings in the seat of our most private feelings. But at the very least it should be an awakening to Christ’s presence and influence. 

There is more to salvation than simple belief. While all we have to do to receive God’s forgiveness is to ask for it, it carries with it the caveat of showing good faith by turning from our fallen ways. To simply go our merry way and return to life as usual after a profession of faith in Christ is an insincere, counterfeit profession which Christ can see right through and sheer folly. We cannot pull one over on the omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient God. As the writer of Hebrews describes with such precision:

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12).

God may not expect us to be perfect as Christ was, but He does expect us to put in the effort to aspire to be.

While we will always long for the kind of tangible manifestations the early Christians enjoyed with an earthly Jesus, He did not leave us to operate in a vacuum. In his stead He petitioned the Father to send the Comforter, the Holy Spirit to dwell in us. 

So we should soldier on and take heart that we are every bit as precious in Christ’s eyes as those first believers. (John 14: 16-18 KJV) 

Dear Lord, Please help us to recognize that there is more to salvation than an intellectual approach can provide. Amen.

Carol (NC)


I've found that isolation is a primary source of emotional and mental sorrow.

When my children needed me to play with them and asked "please" I often said "no" because I was too involved in my work. When I had a stroke my wife offered to take me to a Bible study with our loving and comforting friends, I said "no' because I wanted to be by myself.

Without knowing it, I was turning my back on my little ones' love and the Holy Spirit's comfort and healing. I'm very sad that I made these choices, but it's too late now.

Looking away from our struggles, fear and pain are not easy, but it changes things. We start to understand that isolation is our enemy as we seek our own desire when we isolate. Opening our souls to our loved one's needs and the Spirit of God's healing love and power we find peace and satisfaction, and we won't have as much to regret when we are old.

Even though medical experiences such as strokes often produce a need to isolate for a time because unsteady walking and poor coordination make us afraid of being knocked down; we must be experimental and step out in faith with Jesus and find what can be safely done. In time reaching out will produce a new self-identity and new relationships. Finding a new usefulness is a gift from our concerned Father's hand.

Thank You Father God for your love and tender care. We accept that You conquered death and separation by what Your Son has done. In His name, we humbly pray.

Dr.Bob AZ



I've found that isolation is a primary source of emotional and mental sorrow.

When my children needed me to play with them and asked "please" I often said "no" because I was too involved in my work. When I had a stroke my wife offered to take me to a Bible study with our loving and comforting friends, I said "no' because I wanted to be by myself.

Without knowing it, I was turning my back on my little ones' love and the Holy Spirit's comfort and healing. I'm very sad that I made these choices, but it's too late now.

Looking away from our struggles, fear and pain are not easy, but it changes things. We start to understand that isolation is our enemy as we seek our own desire when we isolate. Opening our souls to our loved one's needs and the Spirit of God's healing love and power we find peace and satisfaction, and we won't have as much to regret when we are old.

Even though medical experiences such as strokes often produce a need to isolate for a time because unsteady walking and poor coordination make us afraid of being knocked down; we must be experimental and step out in faith with Jesus and find what can be safely done. In time reaching out will produce a new self-identity and new relationships. Finding a new usefulness is a gift from our concerned Father's hand.

Thank You Father God for your love and tender care. We accept that You conquered death and separation by what Your Son has done. In His name, we humbly pray.

Dr.Bob AZ