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Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Small Wonder -- Ariel Allison
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139: 13-14
Ten little fingers and ten little toes. Big blue eyes. Dimples. He’s a miracle, really. One that almost didn’t happen. I had no idea during those final, long days of pregnancy that each heartbeat was a gift. My body was failing him, the placenta slowly dying and robbing him of life giving oxygen and nutrients. Yet God knew. And God continued the work of creating my son – knitting, growing, sustaining.
He lies next to me now, cooing and flashing toothless grins. Each of my sons has reached this stage of alertness and yet I marvel most with him. He is perfect, and healthy – not a remnant of his troubled start. Things could have gone terribly wrong but my God – the giver and taker of life – mercifully chose to deliver him into my arms.
My soul is full tonight as I gaze at a living miracle. I know the works of God are wonderful. I look at this child, so fearfully and wonderfully made, and I can not restrain the praise. Thank You God for knitting this child together in my womb and thank You for the privilege of being his mommy.
I am a fearful woman by nature – often doubting the goodness of God. I’ve seen enough in this life to cause me to question, to wonder, whether He will come through for me. And yet I look at the face of my tiny son and I see the faithfulness of God. He knew I needed a tangible sign. And yet I remember that He knows what it feels like to lose a son. And I know that had He chosen to take mine, He would still be good. He would still be God. But thank you Lord for your mercy. Thank you for life.Ariel Allison writes, reads, and lives in a small Texas town with her husband and four young sons. She is the co-author of Daddy Do You Love Me: a Daughter’s Journey of Faith and Restoration (New Leaf Press, 2006). Her days are filled with toothless grins, muddy hands, and a never ending stream of words that try to find their way to her laptop. She ponders life as a mother of all boys at www.themoabclub.blogspot.com and her thoughts as a redeemed dreamer at www.arielallison.blogspot.com. She will release her first novel, Eye of the God, in October, 2009.Publisher
: New Leaf PressISBN-10
Labels: arielallison, blessing
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
God's Protection - Andrea Merrell
"For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways." Psalm 91:11 NKJV
Decorating can be hazardous to your health! I discovered this fact recently as I climbed down a ladder after hanging something on the window in our church sanctuary. Thinking I was closer to the floor than I actually was, I literally fell off the ten-foot ladder, almost pulling it over of top of me, then landed very hard across the back of a pew. Sounds like a clip from America’s Funniest Videos (AFV), but I can assure you there was nothing funny about it. It felt like someone had whacked me across the back with a baseball bat!
As I struggled to recover my breath, deal with the excruciating pain, and decide if anything was broken, I began to think how much worse the outcome could have been. Then, I remembered many other times God’s hand of protection was on me; like the time I fell five feet off a stairway and did a belly buster on the floor below, or the time I stepped backwards into an uncovered vent while cleaning the floor. There was also an incident when my van hydroplaned and spun several times on the highway before it slammed into an embankment, just a few feet from a steep drop-off. I even stepped on some loose dirt and came close to falling off the side of a mountain while hiking one summer.
Psalm 91 is a Psalm of protection, provision and deliverance. From it we learn that God is our refuge and our fortress and He will not only be with us in trouble, He will deliver us. He has given His angels “charge” over us and instructed them to “keep us” (preserve, protect, watch over and defend). They continually surround us and respond to the voice of our Heavenly Father and His Word.
In all reality, we have no idea how many times God has protected and saved us from dangerous situations when we were totally unaware. Even when we’re caught off guard, God is not. He knows the end from the beginning and everything in between. He lights the path before us and promises to always be there to guide us.
Trust Him with all your heart and thank Him for His protection each and every day.
You can count on it!
Andrea Merrell is a part-time writer and a full-time Executive Assistant, with a passion for God’s Word. She has written her own lessons for Sunday school and Bible Studies, and served as both columnist and editor for Pan Am Bank Notes in Tampa, Florida. She has written material for ladies’ groups, marriage retreats, skits, websites, and brochures. Andrea is a staff writer and copy editor for ChristianDevotions.us.
Labels: andreamerrell, blessing
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Powdered Sugar Snow -- Sue Payne
"Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow." Psalm 51:7
Lying in bed with my eyes still closed, I could already tell it had snowed. The insulated silence permeated my room as if some protective covering blanketed my soul. Peering through the curtains, I was awed by the beauty that had accumulated as I was sleeping. Every tree branch, every blade of grass, every leaf was individually coated with pure, white snow as if powdered sugar had been sprinkled upon the countryside. The stark grays and browns of bare branches and dead grass had been transformed into a winter wonderland. Since it was very cold, I could actually see detail in individual snowflakes stacked up on top of each other. I hurried through breakfast so I could get outside and be a part of God’s handiwork.
As I walked in awe of the blessed hush of the woods, the air was crisp and clean and the sun reflected its light on the snow creating sparkles. I noticed that even though the branches and grasses were laden with snow, it was not a burden for them. The snow was light and fluffy and seemed custom fit to each barer.
Hyssop branches coated with a lamb’s blood were used by the Israelites on the frames of their doors to protect their families. Death passed over each household that bore the symbol. Passover is celebrated in remembrance of that day when each individual, covered by the blood of a lamb, was protected and then redeemed.
As I look out my window today at the bleak mid-winter I am reminded of my life before I was redeemed through Christ. I was bare and frozen in the winter of my sins, but God saw the promise of new life.
He came into my life ever so gently, laying down truths and blessings upon me. It wasn’t long until I started to notice the individual detail and beauty that fell, accumulating in and around my days. My heart and soul, once barren, now filled with His promises and grace, were protected and covered in the blood of Jesus. Instead of being burdened, I was light; transformed into a reflection of His wonderful character.
Are you weary with winter blues? Be clothed and blanketed in the warmth and protection of Jesus’ s gift of redemption. He will sprinkle you with the beauty of His sacrifice, custom fit to cover the bleakest of souls and make you sparkle!Sue Payne is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in home schooling newsletters and church news bulletins. She is experienced in curriculum planning and design and uses her writing skills to encourage and teach others. Sue lives in Delaware, is married, and has two boys whom she home schooled for a total of fourteen years.
Labels: blessing, suepayne
Monday, January 19, 2009
Drawing the Line -- Ann Tatlock
“Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus
.” Philippians 3:13-14
Some years ago, I surprised myself by joining a bowling league. I rarely bowled, and when I did my average hovered around 120. I was not exactly bowling league material. But I enjoyed the game and when someone invited me to the league, I decided to give it a shot.
One day while my partner was taking her turn, I glanced over at the score sheet of the team bowling beside us. I noticed the scorekeeper drawing a thick dark line with her pencil between the third and fourth frames. Curious, I asked, “What’s the line for?”
She tapped to the left of the line with the point of the pencil. “See these first three frames?” she asked. I nodded. “Sue was bowling really bad. Even got a gutter ball.” I looked at the numbers she’d recorded and nodded again. “So when that happens, we draw a heavy line between the frames to mark a new beginning. We don’t want the bad throws of those early frames to affect the rest of the game.”
Since that time, the image of the heavy line on the score sheet has stayed with me. There have been many days when I needed it as a reminder that I too can draw a line across my life and start fresh, not because of anything I can do, but because of what Christ as done for me.
We all have moments in our lives that come back to haunt us. Sins we’ve committed that still leave a residue of shame, even though we’ve asked God for forgiveness. Wounds brought on by other people, even though we’ve said we forgive them. It’s easy to relive the difficult times and to let the memories fester. But when we do, we become locked in the past, unable to move forward and mature in the faith.
Ours is a God who says, “Behold, I make all things new
”. We can lay His promise as a line across our life, knowing that no matter what we may think or feel, we are gifted with a new beginning each time we ask God for a fresh start. With our past in God’s hands, we have only to look forward, and to press on to the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.
Ann Tatlock is the author of the Christy Award-winning novel All the Way Home
. She has also won the Midwest Independent Publishers Association "Book of the Year" in fiction for both All the Way Home and I'll Watch the Moon
. Her novel Things We Once Held Dear
received a starred review from Library Journal and Publishers Weekly calls her "one of Christian fiction's better wordsmiths, and her lovely prose reminds readers why it is a joy to savor her stories." Ann lives with her husband and daughter in Ashville, North Carolina. Visit www.anntatlock.com
. Buy Now
Andrea knew when she married John Sheldon that her love was not returned, but they both stayed in the marriage for their own reasons. Now John is returning home from a five-year stint in prison, and while Andrea wants him home, she knows his return will upset the life she and the children have adjusted to in his absence. But she hopes his homecoming will offer them a second chance at marriage.
John is apprehensive about how he will be received, but he is returning a different man. While incarcerated, he committed his life to Christ and wants to hold fast to his newfound faith. Andrea is wary of his conversion, son Billy is delighted, and daughter Rebekah is skeptical. Six-year-old Phoebe doesn't remember her father and is withdrawn. Can John and Andrea mend the rifts that have torn their family apart?
Labels: anntatlock, blessing
Monday, December 22, 2008
Remember When.... Cindy Rooy
“I will proclaim what the Lord has done.” Psalm 118:1750 First Dates
is a movie in which Drew Barrymore plays a girl who, after an accident, lives with amnesia. Every morning she believes it’s her father’s birthday. To help her move on and catch up to the present day, her eventual husband videotaped important events in her life while she wrote in a journal.
As my memory gradually fades, I become more optimistic about this idea of journaling. Recently, I was challenged to write down all the times the Lord has intervened in my life - including answers to prayers or help that was unmistakably from Him. I spent days recollecting my past and God’s involvement in my life. Stunned by my spiritual amnesia, I realized how much I had forgotten. I was no better than the Israelites who failed to remember that the Lord parted the Red Sea for them.
I questioned myself with: What events in my life had to be more than a coincidence? What accidents did I narrowly escape? When did God answer my prayer? As I reviewed my growing list and realized how God has been active throughout my life, I felt awed and humbled.
Have you written your list? If your memory is as bad as mine, ask God to help you recall all of His interventions. By keeping the list handy, events can be added when they are remembered and as they occur.
However, God wants us to do more than remember. He wants us to share our stories with other people. When we are alert for occasions to testify, it is amazing how often the opportunity presents itself. Talking about the Lord’s help, healing, and peace remind us how loving and powerful He is. It encourages others and glorifies God when we make known what He has done for us. That’s why God will help us remember His activity in our lives. It also makes us more mindful of and thankful for our blessings. As the song lyrics suggest, “Count your many blessings, name them one by one, count your many blessings, see what God has done
So what has God done for you lately?
Cindy Rooy is a columnist in two Tennessee newspapers and has been published in a devotional book titled Daily Devotions for Writers. Her Bible study, Trusting God Through Trouble and Tears, is being considered for publication. A wife and mother of three adult children, Cindy enjoys a writing and speaking ministry.
Labels: blessing, cindyrooy
Christian Devotions SPEAK UP!
Join us this week on Christian Devotions SPEAK UP! when host Scott McCausey interviews Chaplain Eric Dollyhigh. Eric is a graduate of Texas A&M University where he obtained a Bachelor of Science in Agribusiness. He is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary, earning a degree in Pastoral Ministry and Bible Exposition. He has been married to Amy for four years and enjoys their ten-month old son, Drew. Upon his graduation, he took a job as Assistant Chaplain of Interstate Battery. Interstate Battery is a Christian-operated company whose mission statement is unique: To glorify God as we supply our customers worldwide with top quality, value-priced batteries, related electrical power-source products and distribution services. Eric's work exemplifies this statement. One of the duties Eric performs is teaching Bible studies for Interstate team members. He also organizes ministry luncheons, heads a prison ministry and leads the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program for Interstate. The Chaplains' Department not only serves the Interstate employees, but organizes mission trips, raises support for Christian camps, and creates commercials to promote God's love.
To learn more about Interstate Battery and its company philosophy.
Devotions SPEAK UP! is a live call-in show. Call-in
Number: (347) 884-9367. If you know someone
who would be a great guest on the show contact Scott
Coming up on Christian
Devotions SPEAK UP!
April 27, Brad Stine, Christian Comedian
May 11 - Curt and Marybeth Whalen, Authors
May 18 - Live from Ridgecrest
May 25 - Phil Beavers, Vice President of Institutional Advancement
Tuesday evenings from 6:00 PM. to 7:00 PM.
Catch Christian Devotions Ministry at these events in 2010:
January 19, 2010, Writers Panel Discussion, Blue Mountain College, Mississippi
February 26-27, 2010 - Write2Ignite! Christian Children's Writers Conference, North Greenville University in Greenville, South Carolina. Terri Kelly/DevoKids
March 17, 2010 - The Western North Carolina Christian Writer's Fellowship, Waynesville, NC
March 24 - MOPS, at Mud Creek Baptist Church, Hendersonville, NC - Terri Kelly
March 26 - St. James School, Ormond Beach, FL - Terri Kelly
April 16, 17, 18, 2010 - FCC Annual Women's Spring Retreat, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
May 12-15, 2010 - Colorado Christian Writers Conference, YMCA Estes Park Center
North West of Denver
May 16-20, 2010 - The Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, Lifeway Conference Center, Ridgecrest, North Carolina
June 9-12, 2010 - Write
To Publish Wheaton College, Wheaton, Ill., a Chicago suburb
June 11-12, 2010 - Kentucky Christian Writers Conference, Elizabethtown, KY, - Andrea Merrell, Associate Editor
August 12-14, 2010 - The Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference, 200 Manor Avenue, Langhorne, PA 19047
If you would like more information on when and where we'll be appearing or if you would like the staff of Christian Devotion Ministry to speak to your group
contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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