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 - meggy88@... Administrative Editor - David Davis - fishercaster@... Devotions Editor - Annettee Budzban - ahrtwrites2u@... Features Editor - Carl Phillips - CarlPhil10@... Special Materials Editor - Ivie Bozeman - ivie@... Poetry Editor - Elizabeth (Betty) Pearson - roybet630@... Eternal Ink Web Site - www.eternal-ink.com ISSN#: 1528-9605 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Table of Contents 1) Mary-Ellen's Note 2) Meditation 3) Seasonal Feature 4) Light Moments 5) Inspiration 6) Creative Story 7) This n' That 8) Memorable Words/Closing Words ISSN#: 1528-9605 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 1) Mary-Ellen's Note As Christian parents, we love, nurture, and pray for our children. We want them to have their own saving relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. We know that this relationship with Jesus will bring them a permanent sense of peace, joy, and hope. Their faith will see them through the triumphs and failures, the good times and bad. A firm faith will help them to avoid disabling inner conflict and moral uncertainty. Reading of the Bible will provide them a path to follow in day to day living. No matter how much we love and want to protect our children, we know that there is a time when they will be on their own. They will want to test their abilities and seek new goals. They will want to be independent and self-supporting, making their own decisions and commitments. They will follow their own religious convictions and build their own families. If we have given them a firm foundation in the Christian faith, we can trust the Lord to guide them. Letting go is a little easier for the parent who prays and trusts God for the right outcomes. In the devotion below, we see that Mary has great confidence in her son and his destiny, but she too learns and knows that the Lord must follow the will of His Heavenly Father. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 2) Meditation LIKE NOTHING ELSE By Mary-Ellen Grisham Bible verse: Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, "Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now." John 2: 9-10 After Jesus was baptized by John and God's Holy Spirit, the miracles begin. Jesus, his friends, and his mother are at a wedding in Cana of Galilee. For some reason, the bridegroom has not prepared adequately for his guests. As the feasting continues, there is a shortage of wine. Jesus' mother, who has stored many experiences in her heart over the years, knows how special her son is. She tells Him that there is no more wine, and Jesus understands her intention. Though He does not think this occasion is the time or place to begin, He rewards His mother's confidence in Him. An ordinary afternoon is transformed into one of those quietly extraordinary times when the human event is touched by the presence of God. In this story, very few people know what is happening Mary directs the servants to do what Jesus tells them, and He asks them to fill six stone water jars with water. Many Jewish rituals are preceded by ceremonial washing, and the jars selected by Jesus are the ones that were normally used for ritual cleansing. After the jars were filled to the brim with water, Jesus tells the servants to "draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet." The master of the banquet samples the water turned into wine and tells the bridegroom that he has saved the best for last--rather than using it first to make an impression on the sober guests. As we see these events unfold, we realize only Jesus, Mary, the disciples, and the servants actually know what is happening. The disciples are aware of the miracle and "put their faith in Him." While the servants may not understand the significance of what has taken place, they too know that something very special has occurred. Far from being just an outing for a young man and his mother, the wedding feast becomes a celebration of new life in Jesus for those who understand. Jesus' baptism and first miracle may foreshadow his death and resurrection--just as the wonderful wine, like nothing any of them had ever tasted before, may suggest the eventual significance of the wine at the Last Supper. It may, indeed, be a foreshadowing of a whole new communion between man and God because of Jesus' special nature and blessed sacrifice. Jesus becomes the bridegroom who is always prepared and who prepares His followers. Based on John 2: 1-11 (c)2005 Mary-Ellen Grisham meginrose@... +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 3) Seasonal Feature MEMORIAL DAY By Ivie Bozeman There is much controversy as to who originated Memorial Day and when, but the important thing to remember is that it is a day of remembrance for those who have died while defending our nation and its values. The traditional day set aside as Memorial Day was May 30th, but it is now routinely observed on the last Monday in May. While we should honor these heroes everyday for the profound contributions they have made; we should especially honor them on Memorial Day. There are many, many websites and sources of information on the Internet relating to Memorial Day. I encourage you to check out some of them as you refresh your thoughts on this day. One in particular I'd like to share with you. It is a Memorial Day Prayer by Rev. Dick Kozelka (ret.), First Congregational Church of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN. http://www.usmemorialday.org/prayer.html Shared by Ivie Bozeman ivie@... +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 4) Light Moments BABYSITTING GRANDKIDS By Elizabeth Pearson We are babysitting the grandkids -- they're coming to our house today! Their faces aglow with excitement, with grandma and grandpa to play. We have set aside our agenda and safeguarded all our antiques, For boisterous boys and a giddy girl can attain some disastrous peaks. They demand our every attention: "Can we do this now, or play that?" There's not a moment to catch our breath or for "grandparents only" chat. But their laughter is like a tonic, their exuberance cannot be beat. We can predict it's not long at all when they'll be asking for a treat. With cookies and milk or bright gumball, they are very soon satisfied. And what do we seem to enjoy most? reading books, snuggled side by side. There's a vast amount of scattered toys, seems they've played with every one! The house looks like a tornado's stuck but we each enjoyed all the fun. With great disappointment faces cloud when mother calls, "It's time to leave" -- With one accord they raise protests loud and excuses begin to weave. "Just one more game" or "Just one more book" -- "Mom, can't we stay here overnight?" And they search their grandparents' faces to settle such an unwanted plight. And do we give in, you bet we do, to disappoint them, we would not! Our days are not all in concrete set and those "extra beds" we have got. In pajamas clad, with teeth all brushed and their prayers have rightly been said, We kiss them tenderly, say "Good Night," and tuck them snugly into bed. We retire to our room reminiscing, thankful for blessings God showers. We revel in such undeserved bliss -- thankful such great grandkids are ours. So we're babysitting those children, as often as mom will agree. They're helping us to maintain our youth, to enjoy life abundantly! (c)2005 Elizabeth Pearson roybet630@... +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 5) Inspiration DAD'S EMPTY CHAIR A man's daughter had asked the local minister to come and pray with her father. When the minister arrived, he found the man lying in bed with his head propped up on two pillows. An empty chair sat beside his bed. The minister assumed that the old fellow had been informed of his visit. "I guess you were expecting me," he said. "No, who are you?" said the father. The minister told him his name and then remarked, "I saw the empty chair and I figured you knew I was going to show up." "Oh yeah, the chair," said the bedridden man. "Would you mind closing the door?" Puzzled, the minister shut the door. "I have never told anyone this, not even my daughter," said the man. "But all of my life I have never known how to pray. At church I used to hear the pastor talk about prayer, but it went right over my head. I abandoned any attempt at prayer," the old man continued, "until one day four years ago. My best friend said to me, "Johnny, prayer is just a simple matter of having a conversation with Jesus. Here is what I suggest." "Sit down in a chair; place an empty chair in front of you, and in faith see Jesus on the chair. It's not spooky because he promised, 'I will be with you always.' Then just speak to him in the same way you're doing with me right now." "So, I tried it and I've liked it so much that I do it a couple of hours every day. I'm careful though. If my daughter saw me talking to an empty chair, she'd either have a nervous breakdown or send me off to the funny farm." The minister was deeply moved by the story and encouraged the old man to continue on the journey. Then he prayed with him, anointed him with oil, and returned to the church. Two nights later the daughter called to tell the minister that her daddy had died that afternoon. Did he die in peace?" he asked. "Yes, when I left the house about two o'clock, he called me over to his bedside, told me he loved me and kissed me on the cheek." "When I got back from the store an hour later, I found him dead. But there was something strange about his death. Apparently, just before Daddy died he leaned over and rested his head on the chair beside the bed. What do you make of that?" The minister wiped a tear from his eye and said, "I wish we could all go like that." Author Unknown Shared by Arthur K. Hawthorne +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 6) Creative Story As we consider family themes during the Mother's Day/Father's Day season, this visionary story by James Henson has a special relevance for us. In this age of so many technological "toys" and gadgets, so much multi-media, and so many available activities, Christian families need to work to make family time and worship/study time a priority. The Dream by James Henson I had a strange, yet refreshing dream last night. Perhaps someone out there can help me understand just what all this means. It was eerie, like most dreams are, I suppose; but at the same time, everything was so vivid. That's what made it sort of scary! I found myself intrigued by all that was happening, so much, that I wanted this dream to go on forever. I was standing in an open field, while observing the strange actions of a great mass of people. Men, women, and children of all ages were walking toward very large piles of some kind of material. There were many piles, and these people were carrying various objects as they walked toward the great piles that lay before them. I watched, as they appeared to drop the objects they were carrying onto the stacks. I wanted to move closer, for at this distance, I could not see clearly just what these "objects" being laid on the piles actually were. At the moment that I thought of moving closer, I found myself standing between two of the large piles. I was both amazed and frightened. It was as though all I had to do in order to move was to think it in my mind! It was like operating the zoom lens of a camera. I could now see that there were many large piles, and the piles of matter were all in a darkened area of the open field. The large piles appeared to be lined up in rows; some piles higher that others. As my eyes panned along the stacks, the darkened area was becoming lighter. I thought that perhaps it all had to do with night and daylight. I "willed" myself closer, and then I was truly shocked at what my straining eyes fell upon! People, many people, were coming in extremely long lines to each of the great piles and depositing their objects onto the piles. I leaned in closer, trying to see what they were placing on the stacks. Then I recognized these "objects." Some were carrying small rectangular items, while others were struggling with much larger articles. I now recognized the small ones as Palm Pilots, and cell phones. The people were placing each on its respective pile. The larger objects were laptop and desktop computers. It appeared that the whole world was making a "technology dump." Just what is happening here, I thought? Why would all the world's citizens be forsaking all of these wonderful and very necessary articles? How could people possibly get through each hour of their day without them? As each person brought his or her former treasures and deposited them on the proper pile, I heard no spoken words. I looked at their faces as they made their deposits. As one would place a Palm Pilot on the stack, his face displayed a trace of sadness for only a moment; and as he turned away from the pile, a look of gladness and hope began to appear! This was where my dream grew very strange indeed. As I watched the countenance on each face change, I could not imagine what could cause this transformation. These people were turning their collective backs on all their worldly goods; and yet their sorrow quickly turned into gladness. What could cause such a rapid change? As I thought of moving, my whole being seemed to glide along the path with these people. As we moved further away from the tall dark piles of earthly gadgets, the area was becoming brighter. I watched as the people left the piles of computers, only to see that they were stopping at another huge pile. This time there was only one pile, illuminated as though by a heavenly spotlight. By the time I had moved (glided) adjacent to this new pile, or stack, the area around it was light enough that I could see clearly what was happening. I watched as each removed a single object from this great pile. The light was so bright, that I could now see what the object was. Each person removed one book from the stack. The books all appeared to be identical. I moved closer...I just had to see the title of that book, before I awakened. When I drew closer, I saw it! The light was so bright, there was no mistaking that title...the words almost leaped from the bright gold cover: HOLY BIBLE! As each person picked up a Bible and moved away from the stack, I noticed that the stack never grew smaller. There were always enough Bibles for everyone! As the people moved away with their Bible into greater and greater light, I began to hear something that sounded like singing. Yes, I'm sure it was singing. They were all singing in unison, something about a Lamb that was slain! It was then that I awakened in a state of euphoria. I felt a sense of renewed hope.... (c) June 18, 2002 James Henson jahenson13@... +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 7) This n' That Prayer Request Ivie Bozeman's husband is having surgery this week, and we would like to ask that you keep Ivie and her family in your prayers. Please pray for a successful recovery after surgery and a return to good health for her husband. New Book by One of Our Eternal Ink Subscribers Helen Dowd has a new book out entitled "If You Only Knew" by Helen Splane-Dowd. This is a story of her mother and father and shows their great courage and faith during the Great Depression and beyond. http://www.publishamerica.com/shopping/shopdisplayproducts.asp?catalogid=8418 Helen Dowd: www.occupytillicome.com +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 8) Memorable Words/Closing Words "Teach me, O Lord, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end. Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart. Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight." Psalms 119: 33-35 (KJV) Though Jesus' love directs us beyond strict legalism, still the law of God and the precepts of the Bible are important guides to righteous living. As parents, we strive to direct our children in the way they should go. As we "trust in the Lord," we learn not to rely too heavily on our own judgments and understanding, but on the truth and wisdom that comes from the Bible and from God's Holy Spirit. If you have found inspiration and blessing from this issue of Eternal Ink, 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 PLEASED TO BE PARTNERS WITH TEENS4JESUS AND WITH LIVING2SERVE. MANY THANKS TO ARKWEBS MINISTRIES FOR ALL THEIR HELP! -- To unsubscribe, send ANY message to: eternal_ink-unsubscribe@... A proud member of the ArkWebs<http://www.arkwebs>ministry team.