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. Meditation of the Heart 4. Prayer Requests 5. Blessing Blurbs 6. Poem of Special Blessing 7. Devotional Feature 8. Humor Moments 9. Memorable Words 10. Closing Words ISSN#: 1528-9605 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 1. Mary-Ellen's Note When I was a very little girl, I was always thankful when the pan was half full of green peas. My granny used to serve home-grown vegetables, and when I stayed with her, I would get enlisted in the food preparation for lunch. Because I was only six, I could not use a sharp knife, so I had to shell the peas slowly, opening the pod and using my fingers to free the peas. It was tedious for me, and I usually only managed to fill about a fourth of the pot. Granny always found time to shell enough more to make a half pot for lunch. With homemade bread, good garden vegetables, gravy and potatoes, and usually some sort of cobbler, dinner was a big and delicious meal. My uncles and I would "dig in" with real enjoyment. There are so many little joys and pleasures in our days as we go from childhood through our adult years. Many times we take these daily blessings for granted. November is the thankful month, and most folks take time to consider all that the Lord has given them. In this season of harvest, we celebrate the bounty as well as the settling of our country. We can enthusiastically join in with the familiar church hymn, "Now thank we all our God, with hearts and hands and voices..." +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 2. Devotion HURRY SICKNESS By Violet Nesdoly The world around me seems to be coming down with hurry sickness. When I travel the speed limit on a busy street, cars dart in and out around me like spring swallows. When people ask me for my address, it's my e-mail, not snail-mail address they mean. Why, you can't sell a car, computer or diet these days, unless it's speedy. While grocery shopping the other day, I noticed symptoms that made me suspect I was coming down with the same disease. With my cart full, I cast a speculative eye over all the cashier lineups. I made a mental calculation that factored in the fullness of the various carts against the anticipated speed of the various cashiers and was about to make my move when someone slid into 'my' spot. The surge of irritation I felt told me all was not well. I took a deep breath and reminded myself to "Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for him" (Psalm 37:7). That's a hard frame of mind to get into, in our millisecond-oriented society. Yet throughout the Bible we see that, in little things and big, God has His own timetable. The results of moving ahead of God are grim. Abraham, despairing of ever having a son by Sarah, slept with Hagar, sired Ishmael and a family rift resulted. Saul's hold on the kingly line was lost when, tired of waiting, he offered the sacrifice that only Samuel was to make. Contrast what happened when people waited for God's timing. David refused to take Saul's life and assume the kingship. He allowed God to deal with Saul and in time became the nation's best-loved king. The early Christians obeyed Jesus' command to stay in Jerusalem and await supernatural power. On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was poured out on all of them. Perhaps your life isn't fitting into the timetable you've designed. After years of college, you still don't have a career direction. Your husband has moved to start a new job while you're still in your old town, waiting for the house to sell. You want to start a family, but after months of trying, you're still not pregnant. Don't panic. If you find yourself exhibiting hurry sickness symptoms of anxiety, worry, irritability and thoughts of how you can manipulate the situation, remind yourself that God's schedule may differ from yours. However, he has assured you, "... all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28) (c) 2000 by Violet Nesdoly First published in The Vision May 21, 2000. vnesdoly@... +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 3. Meditation of the Heart BEAUTIFUL FALL MORNING By Melva Cooper It was a gorgeous fall morning! The leaves on the trees were showing some of their vivid oranges and yellows that make us so aware of God's beautiful world at this time of the year. Soon the hillsides in our part of the country would be ablaze with those awesome colors. Hummingbirds were tanking up on their succulent juice, making ready for their long journey further south where they will spend the winter. The past few days our bright red feeders had been busy places as the hummingbirds dipped their long beaks into the sugar water. We could literally see their little tummies expand! Squirrels were running around hiding acorns so there would be food for them in the long cold months ahead. It was a testimony to the world of God's love and care for them. The bluebirds that had used our bluebird boxes to raise three families during the summer were already gone. My husband and I count it pure joy to sit and watch all those lovely creatures as they prepare for the changing of the seasons. Inside the house my family was enjoying a Saturday morning brunch. The grandchildren's basketball games would come later in the day. But, for now we were sitting down to a good home-cooked breakfast. Sausage and bacon were the heart of the meal. Add biscuits, gravy, scrambled eggs and hash browns and you have a true Southern brunch that can't be beat. Of course, butter and several kinds of jelly would garnish the biscuits. Sitting around the table with me was my husband of more than forty years. Also, our daughter who is a 5th grade teacher in a small Christian school our grandchildren attend. And two precious granddaughters - Faith, 13, and Mary Kathryn, 8 years old. This has been our immediate family since a devastating divorce several years ago. We have cared for those young granddaughters with a love that is unexplainable. The promises of God became so real to us as we watched Him bind up wounds and heal broken hearts. Nevertheless, God still pleasantly surprises me when one of the girls so innocently proclaims His goodness! As we always do before a meal, that Saturday we held hands and thanked God for loving us and giving such an abundant meal to enjoy. Then before a bite of the scrumptious breakfast was consumed, Mary Kathryn who often ministers to others through her quiet, sweet, gentle, spirit proclaimed, "This is the good life! A cozy warm home, a cozy warm family, and cozy warm food." My heart melted right there as tears spilled down onto my plate. I knew God was speaking through the mouth of this young granddaughter whose father had left her when she was barely two years old. Her granddaddy and I could love her, clothe her, feed her and provide shelter for her, but only God could fill in the gaps left in her life those many years ago. Our Glorious, Holy, Living, God that we love and serve was not only, that day, making winter provisions for the hummingbirds of the air and the squirrels on the ground, but He was confirming to this grandmother that He would continue with His provisions for our young grandchildren. Praise His Holy Name! I will always be grateful for that wonderful moment at our breakfast table on that pleasant fall day. (c)2003 Melva Cooper Jmelva@... +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 4. Prayer Requests Please pray for Wib and Wilma Grove. Wib is recovering from a serious infection and Wilma is receiving diagnosis and treatment for a problem with internal bleeding. We need to renew our prayers for the young men and women who are stationed in the Middle East because the terrorist attacks continue, and we are weekly losing the precious lives of those in the armed forces. We need to be in prayer about the economic situation in our country. The costs of war and the reduction of taxes favoring the wealthy leave programs such as Social Security, aid to education, and support to state programs sadly neglected. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 5. Blessing Blurbs Praise the Lord for singing!--for the joy of raising our voices together and the sharing of special music. Thanks be for the times the Holy Spirit has supported me through special performances, being with me every step of the way. Praise the Lord for the small critters and creatures: the squirrels playing tag and chase in the crisp autumn leaves, the small wrens feeding in groups almost hidden in the fall foliage, the lush loveliness of thick clusters of mums, the doves settling down in bird bath or leaf bunches to rest at twilight. Yes, thanks be for even the crickets and lady bugs that sneak in open doors, looking for warmth from the winter's cold. Praise the Lord for products made naturally from the earth's goodness--tart cherry juice and golden flaxseed. Praise be for yams and green vegetables, along with natural foods, that help to maintain our health and prolong our lives. (Now, I am sure you get the idea, so please send me blessing bits for the next issue of Eternal Ink, and we will celebrate the season with a column of blessings! meginrose@... ) +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 6. Poem of Special Blessing HIGHWAY 109 A drunk man in an Oldsmobile They said had run the light That caused the six-car pileup On 109 that night. When broken bodies lay about And blood was everywhere, The sirens screamed out eulogies, For death was in the air. A mother, trapped inside her car, Was heard above the noise; Her plaintive plea near split the air: "Oh, God, please spare my boys!" She fought to loose her pinned hands; She struggled to get free, But mangled metal held her fast In grim captivity. Her frightened eyes then focused On where the back seat once had been, But all she saw was broken glass and Two children's seats crushed in. Her twins were nowhere to be seen; She did not hear them cry, And then she prayed they'd been thrown free, "Oh, God, don't let them die!" Then firemen came and cut her loose, But when they searched the back, They found therein no little boys, But the seat belts were intact. They thought the woman had gone mad And was traveling alone, But when they turned to question her, They discovered she was gone. Policemen saw her running wild And screaming above the noise In beseeching supplication, "Please help me find my boys! They're four years old and wear blue shirts; Their jeans are blue to match." One cop spoke up, "They're in my car, And they don't have a scratch. They said their daddy put them there And gave them each a cone, Then told them both to wait for Mom To come and take them home. I've searched the area high and low, But I can't find their dad. He must have fled the scene, I guess, and that is very bad." The mother hugged the twins and said, While wiping at a tear, "He could not flee the scene, you see, For he's been dead a year." The cop just looked confused and asked, "Now, how can that be true?" The boys said, "Mommy, Daddy came And left a kiss for you." He told us not to worry And that you would be all right, And then he put us in this car with The pretty, flashing light. We wanted him to stay with us, Because we miss him so, But Mommy, he just hugged us tight And said he had to go. He said someday we'd understand And told us not to fuss, And he said to tell you, Mommy, He's watching over us." The mother knew without a doubt That what they spoke was true, For she recalled their dad's last words, "I will watch over you." The firemen's notes could not explain The twisted, mangled car, And how the three of them escaped Without a single scar. But on the cop's report was scribed, In print so very fine, An angel walked the beat tonight On Highway 109. Author Unknown Shared by Charlotte Clark +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 7. Devotional Feature Spiritual Vitamin E By Inez Norwood I thought of this article while talking with a dear grandson who is now serving as a youth minister for a congregation in Tennessee. Chris is so dedicated to his work that my heart swells with pride when I get a chance to talk with him or read something he has written. One day he mentioned that someone visited the church, and it seems the thrust of his message was to "equip the saints." My ears pricked up and I began to think of all the "E's" that jump out at me in studying about our Christian walk. I have had some serious heart trouble and read a lot about things that will help strengthen the heart. Vitamin E is said to be helpful, but when I tried to research this on the internet, I was not convinced that all we read is certain to help as it is advertised to do. But in researching the use of E's in our spiritual life, there is no question of the values to the individual Christian heart! And the Word of God confirms that fact! So you and I know we can depend upon that! "Equipping the saints" is surely a Biblical topic and one which the Apostle Paul wrote much about! He met with the elders of the Ephesian church on one occasion and was positive in urging them to "Feed the church of God, over which you have been made overseers." The Lord has designed congregations to have bishops, or elders to oversee the work of the various congregations of His church. They are to meet certain qualifications before being named to that position by the individual congregations; then they are urged to "feed the church," which will help equip them! For the saints to be fully equipped, they must know the Word! To be true believers, one must know the truth. To teach others of Him, one must know the Word. For the Christian to be fully equipped to fight off the darts of Satan, one must know the Word! Two other E's of importance that come to my mind and that I have found to be absolute essentials are encouragement and exhortation. Many of us would have given up long ago had it not been for loved ones who encouraged us in our walk with Him! Barnabas was known as the encourager. Even those apostles who had the Lord walking with them "in person" had need of encouragement, and Barnabas was one who had that gift. How many of us have had a dear brother or sister in Christ lay a hand on our shoulder or meet us with a warm hug or other greeting and lift us from despair. It gave us strength to pick up and go on with our life! I had grandparents who gave me all reason to believe in myself. I have thanked God many times for the encouragement they gave to me in my young days. I hope we are careful to give that much needed warmth to our young people and struggling young parents. It is truly a chain reaction set in motion by older Christians as they live among others! May we, as aging Christians, never feel unneeded or unwanted! A loving smile or note just might be what another Christian needs. Inspiration gave order in Heb. 3:12-13: "Beware brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God, but exhort one another daily, while it is called 'Today' lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin." We would understand from the reading from Hebrews that vitamin "E" (exhortation) is needed daily! Through exhortation comes encouragement. Paul to Timothy wrote: "Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine." I Tim. 4:13. Timothy was in Ephesus and the church was plagued with false teachers, galore. Paul knew the need for exhortation and encouragement, if anyone did! The Ephesian church was plagued with many false teachers so had need that they be given much encouragement. Another spiritual vitamin E can be found in Luke 10 vss 33-35. The Samaritan who found the man robbed and left wounded by the side of the road had much empathy and enough time to assist the man in his needs for the moment and even gave additional money to the inn-keeper to care for him during his stay in the inn. He made arrangements for any future monies the keeper of the inn might expend on the man's upkeep! You and I must learn the lesson here, not only of the immediate need of our fellowman, but for his future needs. We, too, are to meet our Maker in judgement, along with our neighbor - are we concerned about the eternal home for him also? May God grant us that foresight and concern! (c)2003 Inez B. Norwood vibn@... +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 8. Humor Moments Words to Live By If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague. If you lend someone $20, and never see that person again, it was probably worth it. Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it. Accept that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue. It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others. A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour. Happiness comes through doors you didn't even know you left open. Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them. Drive carefully. It's not only cars that can be recalled by their maker. Eat a live toad in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you for the rest of the day. Never buy a car you can't push. Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you don't have a leg to stand on. Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance. The early worm gets eaten by the bird, so sleep late. When everything's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane. Birthdays are good for you; the more you have, the longer you live. Ever notice that the people who are late are often much jollier than the people who have to wait for them? If ignorance is bliss, why aren't more people happy? You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person. Don't cry because it's over; smile because it happened. We could learn a lot from crayons: some are sharp, some are pretty, some are dull, some have weird names, and all are different colors but they all have to learn to live in the same box. Author Unknown Shared by Larietha Clark +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 9. Memorable Words: Daily Survival Kit Items Needed: Mint Candy Kiss Tea Bag Eraser Rubber Band Toothpick Chewing Gum Band Aid Pencil Why????? TOOTHPICK - to remind you to pick out the good qualities in others. - *Matthew 7:1 RUBBER BAND - to remind you to be flexible. Things might not always go the way you want, but it will work out. - *Romans 8:28 BAND AID - to remind you to heal hurt feelings, yours or someone else's. - *Colossians 3:12-14 PENCIL - to remind you to list your blessings everyday. - *Ephesians 1:3 ERASER-to remind you that everyone makes mistakes, and it's okay. - *Genesis 50:15-21 CHEWING GUM - to remind you to stick with it, and you can accomplish anything. - *Philippians 4:13 MINT - to remind you that you are worth a mint. - *John 3:16-17 CANDY KISS - to remind you that everyone needs a kiss or a hug everyday. - * John 4:7 TEA BAG - to remind you to relax daily and go over your list of blessings. - *1 Thessalonians 5:18 *Relevant Scriptures Lord, thank You for loyal, loving friends Who are there in winter or springtime fair. New acquaintances are easy to come by, But true friendship is extremely rare. A friend always sees the best in you, Although they've known you at your worst. They laugh with you in the good times, When storms threaten, they'll be there first. They'll offer a shoulder to rest your head When tears are welling in your eyes. Take a walk down friendship's path with you And help chase away those stormy skies. Lord, thank You for all the gifts You give; Each one makes our life seem more worthwhile. But one of the finest gifts you've given us Is the warmth of friendship's loving smile. Author Unknown Shared by Debbie Kroening +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 10. Closing Words We hope you have found something to celebrate in this issue of Eternal Ink--some reminder of blessing or praise. If you have found inspiration and encouragement from this edition, we hope you will share a copy with a friend. 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 AND PARTNERS WITH LIVING2SERVE.