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Showing posts from August, 2014

Betrayed By a Friend

By:  M. Johnson
"It is not an enemy who taunts me—I could bear that. It is not my foes who so arrogantly insult me—I could have hidden from them. Instead, it is you—my equal, my companion and close friend. What good fellowship we once enjoyed as we walked together to the house of God. Let death stalk my enemies; let the grave swallow them alive, for evil makes its home within them."Psalm 55:12-15 (NLT)
Of all experiences in life, betrayal by a trusted friend is one of the most difficult to bear.
Because of his preaching of judgment, Jeremiah found himself increasingly isolated until finally his close friends turned against him, seeking his downfall (Jeremiah 20:10).
Similarly, our lamenting psalmist describes an intimate friendship: "my equal, my companion, my familiar friend, with whom I kept pleasant company" (verses 13-14).
They had worshiped together in the house of God, but now the friend has joined the enemies. From his enemies he could hide (verse 12), but how ca…

Enjoy All Our Years

By:  E. Jones
However many years a man may live, let him enjoy them all. - Ecclesiastes 11:8
Twenty-six years ago I drove my wife to the emergency room. For the next eight hours we played backgammon while waiting for her condition to improve. It didn't. The pain became unbearable; they gave her drugs. This helped, but not enough. My parents were in Atlantic City, gambling. Hers in Charlotte. So there we were, a young couple facing our first life or death moment without friends or family nearby.
I forget what I wore that day. A surf shirt, probably. I do recall wearing a white headband with the word "Coach" printed in blue marker. I guess I was a good coach because later that evening she delivered a baby boy, our first.
Birthdays are a big deal in our family. Not as big as Christmas, but close. Birthdays mark our beginnings and suggest we might leave a lasting impression on others. In our family, when it comes to birthdays, nobody does a better job of celebrating our legacy o…

A Child's Faith

By:  S. Jaynes
A little child will lead them. Isaiah 11:6
“And dear God,” my little boy whispered, “I pray that you give Mommy and Daddy another Jaynes baby.”
After four years of praying for God to bless us with a second child, we realized that might not be His plan for our family. However, every night my little boy, Steven, prayed for another “Jaynes baby.” But how do you tell someone to stop praying a prayer?
As I pondered this dilemma, God took care of it for me. Just before his fifth birthday Steven and I were sitting at his child-sized table eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. He looked up at me, and with all the wisdom of the prophets asked, “Mommy, have you ever thought that God might want you to have only one Jaynes baby?”
“Yes, son, I have,” I said. “And if that’s the case, I’m glad He gave me everything I ever wanted in one package when He gave me you.”
“Well, what I think we ought to do is pray until you’re too old to have one. Then we’ll know that was His answer.”
Steven h…

Sweeping the Places No One Sees

By:  N. Jeter
I must admit I’m not a very thorough housekeeper. As long as things are reasonably organized and superficially clean, I’m satisfied. Though I have a horror of clutter, I tend to neglect ceiling fans and baseboards and the rather out-of-the-way areas that a more conscientious cleaner might maintain well-dusted and well-scrubbed.
But I’m indebted to an elderly woman in England for reminding me of the importance of sweeping the places no one sees.
Early in the morning on a recent trip to England, I looked down from my bedroom window and spotted a small gray-haired woman slowly and meticulously sweeping the concrete slab in front of her home. The street was lined with row houses and this particular woman had basement rooms, just below street level, so that you would actually have to lean over the railing to see her front porch.
Why, I wondered, would anyone wake up so early in the morning to sweep a place so inconspicuous, so out of the way … a place that no one ever really sees…

Worst Case Scenarios

By:  E. Jones
When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself, enter the silence. Bow in prayer. Don't ask questions: Wait for hope to appear. Don't run from trouble. Take it full-face. The "worst" is never the worst. Lamentations 3:29 (The Message)
"What's the worst that could happen?" I asked the college admissions officer.
"You could flunk out."
"Not if you won't let me in, I can't. Please, sir, isn't there some place you can put me?"
I sat in the admissions office at NC State hoping they'd give me a chance. That's all I needed, just a shot. But a look of disgust spread across the face of the clerk reviewing my transcripts. Months earlier, with SAT scores in the lower latitudes and grades barely above average, my college application had been swiftly dismissed.
"Son, I'd like to help, but honestly; you have no business at this university. Worse, you have no hope of graduating."
I persisted. (Tenac…