ETERNAL INK +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ The articles within this publication remain the copyrights of the authors. Any permission to reproduce any article, in any format, must be granted by the author. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Editor-in-Chief of Eternal Ink - Mary-Ellen Grisham meginrose@... meg@... Administrative Editor - David Davis - fishercaster@... Devotions Editor - Annettee Budzban - ahrtwrites2u@... Features Editor - Carl Phillips - CarlPhil10@... Eternal Ink Web Site - www.eternal-ink.com ISSN#: 1528-9605 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Table of Contents: 1) Mary-Ellen's Note 2) Devotion 3) News and Notes 4) Prayer Requests 5) Feature 6) Thoughts by David Davis 7) Poetry 8) Meditation of the Heart 9) Memorable Words 10) Closing Words ISSN#: 1528-9605 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 1) Mary-Ellen's Note When I was very young, I took great pleasure in the fact that my family and I were free to move at will on vacations and outings. We could freely travel all over the United States, with no questions asked, and enjoy freedom of choice and movement in our daily lives. We also had no difficulty travelling into Canada or Mexico. At that time, I was very happy about these privileges because the worst ravages of Communism were limiting the lives and location of many people in Russia and East Germany. Privileges and rights were few, and the people living in those countries were subject to rigorous control and, at times, unexpected visits from police or army. Still today I rejoice in freedom of speech, rights of assembly, freedom of religion, and the right to pursue good life, liberty, and happiness as I define them...and as God wills. We need to pray for our country's leaders on every level of government, seeking God's will for our nation and blessing for our choices. In order to preserve our freedom, we need to keep ourselves informed about important issues and make use of our voting privileges. Careless disregard for our welfare as a nation could result in the loss of freedoms. God granted each of us free will, the right to make free choices; and we would not want to lose that right politically as citizens. We do our best as a nation when we seek the will of God for our choices. We are happiest and most joyful as Christians when we try to follow God's word and guidance in our lives. We can truly rejoice in our days when we follow God's leading and seek His blessing. Happy Fourth of July to all our readers! May you be blessed in your celebrations, blessed in your travels! +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 2) Devotion Circumstantial Evidence By Lyn Chaffart "Don't call me Naomi," she told them. "Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full, but the LORD has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The LORD has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me." (Ruth 1:20-21) Circumstantial evidence--evidence based upon circumstances, concrete facts derived from what is seen and heard. But just how valid is this kind of evidence? We all know that the circumstance of the moment may not always be representative of reality! How many innocent people have been convicted of a crime they did not commit, simply because they were seen at the scene of the crime? Or maybe the weapon used in the crime was found in their possession. Or perhaps they were seen arguing with the victim of the crime. They are tried and wrongly convicted by circumstantial evidence -- evidence that seems to say they are guilty, when in all reality, they may not be! Circumstantial evidence: That's what prompted Naomi's homecoming speech. After all, she had left Israel with a husband and two sons, only to return from Moab with no one but a foreign daughter-in-law. You can't really blame Naomi for her negative attitude. After all, three bad things happened, and God could have prevented them! I mean, if you were in Naomi's shoes, wouldn't you have felt a bit bitter? Wouldn't you have felt that everything that could possibly have gone wrong had, indeed, done so? Wouldn't you have been tempted to think that God has afflicted you? But all of this was, indeed, nothing but circumstantial evidence-- evidence based on the circumstance of the moment, circumstance so broad that it hid the ""big"" picture. And just what was the "circumstantial evidence" hiding? That Naomi''s Moabitess daughter-in-law was to become the great-grandmother of King David! That the character traits of Israel's greatest king -- loyalty, conviction, faith in God no matter what the circumstances -- were all characteristic of his great-grandmother, Ruth! If Naomi's husband and sons had never died, Ruth would have never met Boaz, and king David would have never been! What does the circumstance in YOUR life dictate, my friend? Does it dictate that you are dying? That your marriage is falling apart? That God has abandoned you? Does it dictate that you are doomed to poverty? That your family doesn't know the Lord? That you are a failure? Circumstantial evidence! That's all it is! Look beyond the circumstance, my friend! Look to Jesus, the author and the finisher of our faith! Trust Him to take even the worse circumstance and turn it into something beautiful, in His time! Lyn Chaffart Director of Mini-Sermons, Answers2Prayer Ministries, www.Answers2Prayer.org, Lyn@... +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 3) News and Notes We are pleased to share the news that one of our Eternal Ink poets, Monique Nicole Fox, has given birth to a baby boy. She writes about her experience in the following poem: Passed Away By Monique Nicole Fox Taking care of me, myself and I Going out anytime I want Enjoying concerts, plays and movies Sleeping late on the weekends Hanging out anytime with friends has come to an end has passed away Everything in my life has become new The birth of a baby boy has presented new opportunities and challenges And many tasks to do But with the guidance of God the Almighty I will venture down the right parental avenue ---------- So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! ~2 Corinthians 5:17~ (c)Monique Nicole Fox Poet_MNF@... ************************************ So much is happening at the Eternal Ink Website! This site is not a drab, "ho-hum" place. There is so much to offer our readers. There are Christian news releases, forums, chat rooms, prayer rooms, and even free e-cards! If you haven't visited recently, you are in for a pleasant surprise. We have all the resources of Arkwebs available to us plus our own enriching activities! Stop by and visit the Eternal Ink site very soon: www.eternal-ink.com Ecards!-- http://eternal-ink.com/ecards.html Prayers and prayer room: http://eternal-ink.com/prayer.html Enjoy the privileges! +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 4) Prayer Requests I received the message below from Michelle's grandmother! Thank you everyone for your prayers! I agree with what her grandmother said, "I don't believe God is done with her yet!!!" Praise Him! Betty King Website www.betty.newsmoose.com LADIES AND GENTLEMEN; YOU HAVE JUST WITNESSED ANOTHER MIRACLE! MICHELLE GOT THE RESULTS BACK FROM THE LYMPH NODE BIOPSY AND THEY WERE CLEAR!!!!!! SHE WILL HAVE TO GO TO ST. LOUIS TO HAVE THE STAPLES REMOVED, AND THE DOCTOR SAID HE WOULD TALK TO HER MORE ABOUT CHEMO TREATMENTS AT THAT TIME. I THINK THEY WILL PROBABLY SUGGEST THAT SHE HAVE SOME TREATMENTS JUST TO BE ON THE SAFE SIDE. SEE WHAT GOD CAN DO!!! GOD ISN'T DONE WITH HER YET!!!!! LOVE TO YOU ALL MARTHA ********************************** Also, please pray for Dana and Rod King and their new baby daughter, Hanna. Hanna was born prematurely, needing further lung development, and her mother (Dana) is experiencing high and fluctuating blood pressure due to pre-eclampsia. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 5) Feature Special Mission By Mark Crider I pulled the throttles back to seventeen inches of manifold pressure. The sound of the constant speed props turned from a powerful drone to a whisper. "All right ladies, pipe down, I've got to talk to flight center and find out what's up with this weather." The six choir girls I was flying to a revival went to a low chortle, knowing I meant business when it came to their safety as well as mine. Viewing a large solid arc of black and greenish clouds sweeping west and to the rear encircling us to the front and to the east, I knew I didn't want to chance trying to get under it. Greenish clouds mean hail and tornadoes. The Iowa corn and soybean fields stretched out in all directions as I called center. "Flight center,Triple Two Niner Sierra, 120 DME off your 240 degree radial requesting weather info on to Twin Cities." I called. "2229 Sierra, get on the ground or try to 180 and go south to safety. Terrible weather is forecast for the next twenty four hours." They replied. "Flight center, roger, we're looking for a strip to set her down." I shot back at them. The girls were in muffled prayer as their eyes peered out into the darkening sky ahead. "OK ladies, we're going down and read water tower names while looking for an airport, long strip of smooth road or a field to set it down in for the night." All of a sudden the plane filled with a harmonizing, "Hold My Hand Precious Lord" as we descended. There was the name, 'Dallas Center' on the water Tower, but no place to land. We continued on and saw a nice stretch of road five or so miles out of town with a large covered hay storage shed on the edge of the road. Looking at the direction the corn tops were blowing, I turned into the wind and dropped the landing gear--a perfect landing and a start up chorus of "What A Friend We Have In Jesus." I had to chuckle, but those girls were serious. We taxied under the shed, got out and found rope to secure the plane in case of violent winds. The corn must have been eight feet high so we were pretty well protected. I told the girls we would just have to live on our water and whatever they had left in their travel picnic basket until the weather broke or we could get to town. They settled down on a pile of corn husks and were visiting when a farmer came down the road pulling into the cover of the shed. He got out and I volunteered who we were and what our problem was, telling him I didn't have much money on me and credit cards were out of the question out there in corn country. I finally told him if he would take us to a larger town I would see that he was paid for his trouble. The girls started harmonizing 'Jesus Hold My Hand' and they were really good at it too. I could see the old farmer's eyes start to get a little damp when he said, "Well, there's just my wife and I and we have this big old farmhouse just down the road. We can make a few pallets and I'm sure we can put y'all up 'till this weather blows over." The girls finished and I told them about his offer. They were elated that they weren't going to have to spend the night under that shed in bad weather and told him they would gladly pay for their stay with their singing if he'd like and started a song, "We'll Sing In The Sunshine, We'll Sing In The Rain," a happy tune that made the old farmer smile. He loaded us up in his truck and took us to his home. After he told his wife what was up, she smiled and fixed lunch. I mean ham, deviled eggs, home made bread and fresh garden vegetables. After lunch the girls jumped up, as they were used to doing all the chores at the home, and promptly did the dishes, cleaning and impressing the farmer's wife. We sat around talking and listening to the girls quietly practice. I noticed the farmer and his wife were intently listening and holding hands. They then said they'd like to invite some couples over for supper and have them listen to the girls too. They all squealed they'd love to "sing for their supper" to an audience since they were missing the revival. The farmer got on the phone, his wife went to the garden with the girls, gathering all kinds of wonderful things. That evening three other farm couples came, sitting around listening to the songs. How those girls could harmonize, like professionals! We had a nice supper with the girls cleaning up afterwards then they really got into the songs. Standing in front of the fireplace with the four couples and myself spaced around on the couches they started their show with happy hymns and invocationals. I noticed that it wasn't very long and all the couples were holding hands, from time to time squeezing each other's as the songs flowed. For an hour or so they sang then finalized with 'The Old Rugged Cross.' There was not a dry eye among them or a dry hanky in their hands. The old farmer got up and told me none of them had been to church in several years but, they were going to start going again the coming Sunday because they were so inspired by our visit. Lifting off the country road the next day heading home with full tummies, we all felt great. Though we didn't make our destination, I feel God sent us on a special mission that stormy day and we came through for Him. (c)2003 Mark Crider mark@... ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 6) Thoughts by David Davis, Administrative Editor Eternal Vigilance Equals Eternal Freedom By David Davis On this day, when we in the United States celebrate our freedom, Eternal Ink is announcing a bold new venture. We, the ezine and website, are declaring an all-out war on pornography. It was once said, and I paraphrase, that the only way to lose freedom was when good men/women sat by and did nothing. This will no longer be the policy of Eternal Ink. We have been on the sidelines for too long. It is now time for us to get in the game. Yes, we will probably take some hits and take a few bruises. That is not the point. When an unsuspecting child can access a tool meant for good, type a simple phrase into a search engine and come up with thousands of hits which lead to pornographic sites, then something is wrong. When our very freedom to access decent material is being assaulted, then we must do something. My personal computer was recently attacked by "hackers" with nothing better to do than spread their smut. As a result, I have a renewed desire to aid in the fight against pornography. Freedom came at a cost for this great country of ours. Freedom, for the Christian, lies in Christ Himself. It is up to us to be good stewards of both freedoms though. Our freedom from sin was won at Calvary. Our freedom, as responsible citizens of our country, can be renewed by fighting with our keyboards. This fight, or war, will not be in vain. If we are fighting for a just, God-ordained, cause, then our efforts will be blessed. The first thing you can do is to put a "firewall" on your system. This piece of software, and there are some good free ones available, simply protects your system from would be intrusions of your privacy. We have much to do and little time to do it in. If you have any questions, please email me at the above address and put "Eternal Ink Request" in the subject line. Together, we will prevail. God Bless You, David http://www.eternal-ink.com +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 7) Poetry In Need of a Master Gardener By Darlene Moore Berg Hebrews 6:7-8 "When the soil drinks in the rain that falls often upon it, and yields a crop for the use of those who cultivate it, it receives its blessing from God; but if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and a curse hangs over it; it ends by being burnt." NEB God's word rains into the thirsty soil of my heart receptive, beating to the percussion of each drop. Joy germinates with salvation's gospel of hope the seed splits with a promise of new creation... Where then do the weeds come from.... The roots of discontent, discouragement. Bristly leaves of selfishness? These shadow the raised cotyledon searching for the Son, the essence of God's redemptive love... I pray for the gardener, with gloved hands to weed and feed this clay filled plot of ground... nourish this seedling's continued growth. One who will break off thorns, sharp that develop along its stem and prune with care allowing only the sweet fruit of a spiritual life to come to harvest. (c)2003 Darlene Moore Berg mddmberg@... ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 8) Meditation of the Heart Freedom Is Making Right Choices By Annettee Budzban "Everything is permissible for me - but not everything is beneficial." 1 Corinthians 6:12 (NIV) The right of free choice is an awesome responsibility. When the Apostle Paul instructed the Corinthians about freedom, he informed them that they were created to be free. However, he warned them not all 'free' choices are good ones. Freedom in Christ means making right choices, not doing whatever we please. God created us with the free will to choose our destiny. If we choose unrighteous or unholy living, God won't force us to do things His way. The Holy Spirit doesn't force His will on us. Instead, He comes to lead us and guide us. He allows us to choose our mates, friends, and jobs. Every choice we make affects our future. Not all of the troubles we encounter in our lives are due to making wrong choices, but many of them are. When we have made a series of wrong choices and find ourselves in trouble, such as bearing a financial burden from overspending, or a relationship that is in need of repair due to our self-centeredness, God is merciful. Or when we find ourselves battling an illness due to our own abuse and neglect of our body, God can help us to change this around with a series of right choices made over time, day by day. Making right choices is the most important thing we do each day. In order to make wise choices, we need truth. We need to understand what is right and what is wrong. The Bible book of Proverbs is a good source of wisdom and truth. As we come to the crossroad of decision, reading our Bible, praying for guidance, direction, and strength can help us choose the right thing. We need to remind ourselves freedom is doing things God's way. We need to learn to make our choices according to what God's standards are and not our own idea of what 'freedom' is. Then by living according to His standard, we can receive the life of 'freedom' He has planned for us. (c)2003 Annettee Budzban ahrtwrites2u@... +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 9) Memorable Words "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hat made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage....But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law....But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith; meekness, temperance; against such there is no law....If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit." Galatians 5: 1, 18, 22-23, 25 (KJV) +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 10) Closing Words We truly hope that you have found inspiration and blessing from this issue of Eternal Ink. If so, please feel free to forward a copy to a friend or relative. To subscribe to Eternal Ink, send a blank email to eternal_ink-subscribe@... To unsubscribe, send a blank email to eternal_ink-unsubscribe@... Until our next issue, may God bless you richly, Mary-Ellen. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ We are proud to be a member of the ArkWebs team of ministries.