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) Thanksgivings 4) Prayer Requests 5) Results of the Harvest Home Poetry Contest 6) Harvest Home Poetry Contest - Winning Poems 7) This n' That 8) Special Blessing Story 9) Light Moments 10) Memorable Words/ Closing Words ISSN#: 1528-9605 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 1) Mary-Ellen's Note As the late fall and winter come and the seasons change, some folks tend to decline in spirit. As a child, I can remember feeling as if I should be in hibernation. The seasonal change no longer has that affect on me. I see these quiet seasons as a preparation for a new burst of life, for new growth. Life is the goal--bud, bloom, flourish, fruition. I now feel that God's "garden vision" for our earth makes the green and growing seasons the true ideal. Yet each season has its beauty and its purpose, and truly there is a season, a time for everything. A good attitude can help us to find abundant living in any season, at any age, during any stage of life. I find myself very thankful for the gift of life during this Thanksgiving season. The many blessings God bestows help to enrich and enhance the precious life we have been given. As Jesus said in the story of the good shepherd, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." (John 10: l0b-11) The gift of abundant life, and eternal life, blessed by God's love and assured through Jesus' sacrifice for each of us truly calls forth our highest praise, our greatest thanks, our most dedicated devotion. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 2) Devotion Thanks Be to God . . . By Lyn Chaffart "Of these . . . four thousand are to praise the LORD with the musical instruments I have provided for that purpose." (1 Chron 23:4-5) The Thanksgiving season never fails to conjure up old memories, memories of Thanksgivings gone by . . . Sitting down with my family, to a table literally groaning from the weight of the food, intent on stuffing myself to the max. But before we could eat, each one in turn had to thank God for just one thing. How I hated this exercise! I could never think of anything I was thankful for! As I got older the task became easier, but with each passing year, I came to realize that this exercise could never capturing the true meaning of Thanksgiving! A whole year of God's blessings simply cannot be summarized in one sentence. In fact, trying to think of something to be thankful for everyday still wouldn't adequately capture the meaning of the holiday! What then? King David made extensive plans for the temple that Solomon would later build. One of those plans was to set aside 4000 people whose sole purpose was to praise God continually during the temple's construction. 4000 people whose sole purpose was to praise God - continually! I think they must have had a pretty long list of things to be thankful for, don't you? Or . . . Is it possible that they simply saw the hand of God in everything? I would suggest that if we have a solid understanding of just how much God blesses us every second of every day, even continual songs of thanksgiving would not be adequate to express our gratitude! After all, why should we be depressed for not having a job when there is a roof over our heads and food on the table? Why be upset about a headache when there are those dying of AIDS and cancer? Those who can't walk? Those who can't speak? Why grumble about the rain when we know that it is a gift of God? God's blessings touch each and every part of our lives, my friends. This Thanksgiving season, I would like to challenge each one of you to watch for where He is at work in your life. Then take a few moments to thank Him for every wondrous blessing! But perhaps the Thanksgiving table isn't the most appropriate place to do this! After all, if we start thanking God for all the things He deserves to be thanked for, it might take a very long time! Why not, like King David's singers, live in a spirit of habitual praise? After all, we live under an umbrella of perpetual blessing! Happy Thanksgiving! (c)Lyn Chaffart Lyn@... +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 3) Thanksgivings Put on a glad heart The month of November makes us all conscious of the subject of gratitude. We all know it is something that should stay with us, and yet, we manage to lose our thankfulness at the drop of the slightest misfortune. However, it is these tests in life that God uses to help us to see the things that we have left to be grateful for. My friend Nancy Gibbs says you can have a "baditude" or a "gladitude," take your pick. I am going to choose a "gladitude" which is an attitude of gratitude! Please join me in putting on a glad heart this Thanksgiving. I wish you all a blessed one! Annettee Budzban ahrtwrites2u@... SEE By Monique Nicole Fox See the green of the trees and grass, See my baby boy growing fast, See his eyes so shining bright, See his smiles of happiness and delight. See the clear blue sky, See the blessings and miracles of God up high, See my angel, my baby boy sent by the Almighty guy. See the sand on the beach beneath your feet, See the sweat from the scorching heat, And see how wonderful God is. What a treat! (c)2003 by Monique Nicole Fox Poet_MNF@... Her Full Colors Bonnie Church Where will I find the words to write, To tell You of this day, How dressed in her full colors, Autumn has found her way; How can I ever describe the sun, As it burst through golden leaves, Or of the frost upon the lawn, Still green beneath the freeze; Of a single rosebud glistening, With velvet ice, Or the copper mums beneath her, That show fall's sacrifice. What words could ever tell You, Of this fresh October morn, Or how Your sunrise beauty, Fills my life with sweet adorn. (c)2003 Bonnie Church bchurch@... +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 4) Prayer Requests Please pray for the following missionary families: Victor and Erica Stevens--They are planning to go to Tanzania, Africa, in the first part of 2004, but they are still short about $1000 per month of needed support. Wayne and Greta Meece--They are planning a trip to visit Ivory Coast to visit missionaries they helped recruit for their Liberian Mission in Africa. Wayne is just recovering from serious surgery for a ruptured appendix and needs prayer for the recovery of strength. Please pray for David Davis' new prayer group, Haven In The Storm. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 5) Results of the Harvest Home Poetry Contest We were indeed blessed by the quality and spirit of the poetry entered in this annual Eternal Ink Poetry Contest. Seventeen authors submitted 38 poems for consideration, and every entry was a good one. All the contributing authors have a deep faith and a growing poetic skill. We are grateful for every author, every entry. The following are the winners that the Eternal Ink Editors selected: First place - A King Within by Helen Dowd Second place - The Beautiful Gate by Michael Perna Third place - A Broken Vessel by Sylvia Lavallee Honorable Mentions: Temptation's War - Kathryn Hupp His Word in My Heart - Betty Jo Mings God's Law - Marian Jones Congratulations to these fine writers! +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 6) Harvest Home Poetry Contest - Winning Poems A KING WITHIN By Helen Dowd I Samuel 16:1-13 Next time you feel unlovely, or your mirror says your plain, just think about King David; then take a look again. When God looked for a Monarch, he passed up seven men. He had his eye on David- a shepherd-for His king. God said to Prophet Samuel, "King Saul's a sad disgrace. Go pick from Jesse's children a king, to take his place." The prophet called Eliab, so handsome and so tall. "I'm sure this is God's chosen. He's the finest of them all." But God said, "No! Keep searching. You look with outward eyes. I look upon the inside. That's where the true self lies." Then Samuel said to Jessie, "Bring on your other sons. Let each one pass before me: I'll know God's chosen one." But Samuel was puzzled, "Just seven sons you had?" "Oh no," said father Jesse. "There's still the shepherd lad." Now, there in front of Samuel stood David, with a sheep. God spoke: "He is my 'Chosen 'My Word I know he'll keep." God saw inside of David. He knew he loved the Truth. He didn't see his garment; He didn't mind his youth. Man sees just on the outside, but God's eyes search within. If your heart's right with Jesus, to Him, you are a king. (c) Helen Dowd helendowd@... The Beautiful Gate By Michael Perna Viewed as useless since born lame. Forty years of endless shame. Forty years without a name At the foot of the Beautiful Gate. Carried out there every day To call out as the faithful pray, With nothing else than just to stay A cripple beggar at the door. Then one day these strangers came And told me of the precious name Of Christ who died and rose again For even such a wretch as me. I felt a feeling never known, A faith that had within me grown. Soon I stood up on my own, And he told me I could walk! Now the people come and see The miracle He made in me, And then they heard this Peter speak About the truth of God. And now his words have taken hold. My story one of many told To welcome others into the fold Of God's beloved children. Based on Acts 3: 1-10 (c)2003 Michael Perna questingthequixotic@... A BROKEN VESSEL By Sylvia Lavallee Just a dirty old broken vessel, Discarded and gathering dust; Far from its former splendour, Cracked and stained with rust. It looked a truly hopeless case, Having barely survived the wars; For life had placed on every part, Deep wounds, and deeper scars. Then the Master Potter found it, Hiding in that corner, so dark, And with bittersweet inspection, He slowly traced each mark. He gazed long ~ in sorrow deep, Knowing all it had gone through. Saying, "This vessel, I will keep, To restore and make brand new." So lovingly His hands reshaped, A gouge ~ a wound ~ a scar; Restoring back to life anew, Each ravage caused by war. Then the Holy Master Potter, With His love ~ so patiently; Peeled away each layer of dirt, To reveal, the beauty in me. As I watched, a transformation, Was unveiled before my eyes; For beneath the years of grime, There appeared a true surprise. A vessel of pure loveliness, That shone with brilliant light. A rare gem of priceless value, In whom, God could delight. Now, at His touch I'm healing, And in the fullness of His time, Each painful wound will fade away, Due to precious love sublime. He chose what once was useless, And envisioned its true worth, Then made it fit His perfect plan, Through remolding, and rebirth. He will never forsake or leave us, Wallowing in our loathsome sin; Hiding in some darkened corner, Where His love-light can't shine in. For He is the Great Restorer, Who makes all things brand new. What He's done for me and others, Rest assured ~ He'll do for you. (c) Sylvia Lavallee ch-poets@... +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 7) News Notes: This n' That The Honorable Mention poems in the Harvest Home Poetry Contest will be published in the next edition of Eternal Ink, December 5, 2003. ++++++++++ David Davis has begun a prayer group called Haven In the Storm, which is part of Eternal Ink's ministry. If you would like to be a prayer warrior, you might want to contact him at the email address in the EI masthead above. This group is an Internet group through the Yahoo-groups plan: HavenInTheStorm-subscribe@... ++++++++++ One of our Honorable Mention poetry contest winners is Betty Jo Mings. She has a wonderful web site including many of her Christian poems. To see her Family Thanksgiving Prayer, use the following site address: http://www.bettyjomings.truepath.com/familythanksgivingprayer.html ++++++++++ Helen Dowd wrote me soon after the last edition of Eternal Ink about the inspirational and very moving Highway 109 poem which I attributed to Author Unknown. Helen does us all a service by providing me with the name of the author: "I know you would like to know who the author of this great poem is, but since you had it submitted as that, you would have no way of knowing that the poem has a known author--Ruth Gillis. I have known Ruth since long before the days of internet (for me, anyway). Ruth and I wrote for the same poetry magazine in the 90's. She now has a website and this poem is on it. Here is the URL to her website." http://home.att.net/~ruthgill/variety/the_wreck_on_highway_109.htm "I just know you would like to know her and her wonderful poetry." +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 8) Special Blessing - True Life Story Special Blessing By Mary-Ellen Grisham Blessings come in all sizes and shapes, but this special blessing came in the form of a blonde, blue-eyed toddler. After David was old enough to want friends, we began to realize that there were no children near his age in our part of the old country subdivision. During his second summer, a seven year-old-boy, Robbie, who lived two streets over, happened to go by the house on his two-wheeler. He spotted David and me, and pulled his bike in the drive and stopped. During summers when he wasn't in school or playing little league, he would come by our backyard to visit with David, watch him in the swimming pool, or listen to stories I made up for them while sitting in the corner of the yard under the shade tree. Then there was Mark, the teen-aged paper boy, who would stop by to share a funny comment, neighborhood gossip, or a joke or two. Two grade school twins moved in across the street, but they were mostly busy with "big kid" stuff. While we tried to keep David in church programs for kids, he really missed having a friend near his home. Then one day I happened to notice a little blonde girl next door. I thought she was visiting her grandmother, but soon we realized that Shawna and her mom were living there. Because the father was in the military and moving constantly, Shawna and her mom were going to be right next door for awhile. David was delighted, and the two children played in the backyards morning, afternoon, and early evening. Other children from around the subdivision would occasionally come into the yards, but usually it was the faithful twosome doing every activity, sharing every treat that kids could enjoy together. Birthday parties and church trips were shared, and we frequently took Shawna to Vacation Bible School or special programs at church. Gradually other small children moved into our part of the subdivision as houses were re-sold, and a small troupe of kids moved from yard to yard through the active summer days. Even then, though, there was a special friendship between David and Shawna, one of those memorable once-in-a-lifetime chum partnerships that are the frequent topic of children's books. After the Gulf War, we saw a picture of Shawna's father on the front page of the local newspaper, with Shawna and her mom hugging him. We knew that she would soon be leaving the neighborhood, but we were happy to learn that her family would be re-united and moving to Minnesota together. Several years after we moved to a new home, David got a letter from Minnesota. He opened it and smiled from ear to ear. Shawna's grandmother had given her our new address, and David's old friend wanted to write him. David passed the letter to me, and tears came to my eyes as I read Shawna's thanks. She told David that she remembered him and still read her Bible very frequently. She went on to thank us for the friendship of her early childhood days and the visits to our church. She felt that she was growing to understand the Bible and would one day soon accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. While she told us a little of her current life and activities, the letter was clearly a thank-you for her childhood friendship with David. David saved the letter, and we treasure it and the memorable early days that David and Shawna shared. Once when David was splashing in his play pool, Shawna had brought her small sprinkling can over and watered him like a flower. That memorable little scene, though somewhat hilarious and naughty, still reminds us of the way those early childhood days nourish the healthy growth of children as they move toward maturity in many ways. (c)2003 Mary-Ellen Grisham meginrose@... The name Shawna is fictional, though the girl is real. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 9) Light Moments Words of Wisdom 1. It isn't difficult to make a mountain out of a molehill, just add a little dirt. 2. A successful marriage isn't finding the right person; it's being the right person. 3. The mighty oak tree was once a little nut that held its ground. 4. You'll notice that a turtle only makes progress when it sticks out its neck... 5. The tongue must be heavy, indeed, because so few people can hold it. 6. To forgive is to set the prisoner free and then discover the prisoner was you. 7. You have to wonder about humans; they think God is dead and Elvis is alive! 8. It's all right to sit on your pity pot every now and again. Just be sure to flush when you are done. 9. If the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, you can bet the water bill is higher. 10. The best way to get even is to forget... 11. Feed your faith and your doubts will starve to death... 12. God wants spiritual fruit, not religious nuts... 13. Some folks wear their halos much too tight... 14. Some marriages are made in heaven, but they ALL have to be maintained on earth... 15. Unless you can create the WHOLE universe in 5 days, Then perhaps giving "advice" to God, isn't such a good idea! You are richer today if you have laughed, given, or forgiven... Shared by Teresa S. Bateman tetepinch@... +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 10) Memorable Words/Closing Words "Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him, bless his name! For the Lord is good: his steadfast love endures for ever, and his faithfulness to all generations." Psalm 100: 4-5 Revised Standard Version We wish you a blessed Thanksgiving and much joy in the season! W truly hope that you have found inspiration and blessing from this issue of Eternal Ink. If so, please feel free to share it with 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 AND PARTNERS WITH LIVING2SERVE.