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@... Special Materials Editor - Ivie Bozeman - ibozeman@... Eternal Ink Web Site - www.eternal-ink.com ISSN#: 1528-9605 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Table of Contents: 1) Mary-Ellen's Note 2) Devotion 3) Poetry 4) Prayers 5) Inspirational Feature 6) Meditation of the Heart 7) A Story to Share 8) Humor 9) Memorable Words 10) Closing Words ISSN#: 1528-9605 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 1) Mary-Ellen's Note After counseling young couples for years, a minister I know suggested that "love is what you do." Young couples frequently have adjustments to make to the differences in romantic courtship and the realities of day-to-day living with the rigorous requirements of work, children, house and yard keeping, and all the many tasks required to maintain a good home and marriage. Young wives in particular, experiencing the stress of many new responsibilities, worried that their feelings for their husbands were not always so tender and romantic as they had been during dating. Even with a basis of sincere love, rushed schedules and economic necessities dimmed the glamour of marriage. With the advice that "love is what you do," the women could concentrate less on romantic feelings and more on positive doing--showing their love in practical and effective ways. The active elements of good will and faith helped the marriages to retain the "zip and spice" of a well-balanced interaction in the homes--what old-time couples used to call "give and take." That selfless love called agape that causes each of us to focus on the needs of others with no thought of return for ourselves is a high ideal of Christian love. While it takes all kinds of love and loving to make a good home and marriage, the common element of "what you do" runs through all the forms that love takes. From romantic love to brotherly and family love, the outer evidence shows in "what you do." +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 2) Devotion Random acts of kindness can warm your neighbor's heart "You shall love your neighbor as yourself. . . " James 2:8 (NKJV) The snow had finally stopped falling. My husband, Jeff, worked hard as he shoveled and pushed it to form mountainous piles along our large driveway, clearing a path before leaving for his evening shift at the shop. Later that night, the snow started falling again-fast and furious. Soon the neatly shoveled drive was again covered with layers of fresh fallen snow. The bright white snowflakes quickly replaced my husband's earlier efforts to make an apparent path for our car. As I sat in my chair reading, I heard the sound of a snow blower. I wondered, Where is that coming from? Since our drives are side by side, oftentimes, it is hard to distinguish if the echoes are coming from our drive or our neighbors'. However, I figured it was just our next door neighbor clearing a path of newborn snow from their own driveway. As I listened, the noise appeared as if it was getting closer and closer. Approaching the kitchen sink to rinse off a dish, I looked upward and caught the view of a shadow from the window facing me. A closer look revealed my neighbor's face beaming a huge smile of delight at me, as I watched him blowing the snow from our back patio in the dark, cold, winter air. I smiled back as if to say "Thank You!" as I went to the side kitchen window for a full view of our drive. Before my eyes appeared a neatly cleared drive for my husband's late return home that night. As I pondered over the sight, I couldn't get over how considerate he was to do this for my husband, and with a delightful heart, as well. He saw a need and filled it. Jesus instructed us to "love our neighbor." Our next door neighbor was willing to show us his family's love for us, by taking extra time out that night to meet our need. Whether it be a person in your neighborhood, or one who sits next to you at school or work, why not let Christ's love shine through you, as you do something special to love your neighbor. (c)2004 Annettee Budzban ahrtwrites2u@... +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 3) Poetry The Old Sycamore Tree By Nell M.Berry There's a tree standing mute, in the field out back, no telling how long it's stood. I look at it in wonder and amazement, for the damage it's endured. It's suffered many lightening strikes, with limbs broken and falling down; the blows from Nature, merciless, yet it seems eternally earthbound. It's a sycamore tree, like Zacheus climbed, the day when Jesus he found. As he struggled to see Jesus, he knew, his life needed turning around. This tree, the old sycamore, has seen many a violent storm, it's trunk, decayed and splintered, limbs broken and deformed. Across the landscape, it's sprawled, undaunted by violence and strife. From the elements, it's been mauled, and still, it clings to life. Every year, it sprouts new growth, and bursts into bud again, in a never ending cycle, it defies death and pain, its leaves finally opening, so beautiful and green, like Zacheus, after receiving Jesus, it comes to new life each spring. Kind of like our Christian walk, through struggles and often shame, sometimes we are battered and broken and have to start over again. Though we face adversity, we stand tall, like the sycamore tree we endure, for our strength is in the Lord. No matter how many times we fall, or suffer through storms and strife, we can always count on Him, Who gives us eternal life. For Jesus is our High Tower, our Deliverer, our Hope. He gives us strength to carry on, when we're at the end of our rope. We keep plodding under a heavy load and He is always there. We keep trodding down that long dusty road with no one to care. When we see nothing but despair and can't see the forest for the trees, When we aren't even aware, Jesus gives us the victory. (c)1999, 2004 Nell Berry nmberry@... MY HEARTS DESIRE By Monique Nicole Fox Within the stirrings of my hearts desire God speaks to me God leads me to a more fulfilling life like being a man's soul mate and/or wife The essence of my hearts desire whatever it may be is always attainable cause God loves me (c)2004 Monique Nicole Fox Poet_MNF@... +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 4) Prayers PRAYER REQUEST Norma Liles has requested prayer for her daughter Cheryl who has had knee trouble since she was very young. Even though she had surgery as a young person, the knee has never healed as promised, and now she is having severe trouble with it again and will need to under-go further treatment. POWERFUL PRAYER When Minister Joe Wright was asked to open the new session of the Kansas Senate, everyone was expecting the usual generalities, but this is what they heard: "Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, 'Woe to those who call evil good,' but that is exactly what we have done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values. We confess that we have ridiculed the absolute truth of Your Word and call it Pluralism. We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery. We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare. We have killed our unborn and called it choice. We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable. We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self esteem. We have abused power and called it politics. We have coveted our neighbor's possessions and called it ambition. We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression. We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment. Search us, Oh, God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and set us free. Guide and bless these men and women who have been sent to direct us to the center of Your will and to openly ask these things in the name of Your Son, the living Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen!" Shared by Richard Sims armaksman@... +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 5) Inspirational Feature The Baseball Game Shared By Ivie Bozeman Love Month is upon us and our thoughts turn to that topic. I recently received a little story on the Internet that gave me a new perspective on the subject of love and its close relatives. The author of this story is unknown. While claiming no credit for the story, I'd like to share it with you: Freddy and the Lord stood by to observe a baseball game. The Lord's team was playing Satan's team. The Lord's team was at bat, the score was tied zero to zero, and it was the bottom of the 9th inning with two outs. They continued to watch as a batter stepped up to the plate whose name was LOVE. LOVE swung at the first pitch and hit a single, because LOVE never fails. The next batter was named FAITH, who also got a single because FAITH works with LOVE. The next batter up was named GODLY WISDOM. Satan wound up and threw the first pitch. GODLY WISDOM looked it over and let it pass: Ball One. Three more pitches and GODLY WISDOM walked, because GODLY WISDOM never swings at what Satan throws. The bases were now loaded. The LORD then brings in His star player. Up to the plate stepped GRACE. Freddy said, "He sure doesn't look like much!" Satan's whole team relaxed when they saw GRACE. Thinking he had won the game, Satan wound up and fired his first pitch. To the shock of everyone, GRACE hit the ball harder than anyone had ever seen. But Satan was not worried; his center fielder let very few get by. He went up for the ball, but it went right through his glove, hit him on the head and sent him crashing on the ground; then it continued over the fence for a home run. The Lord's team won! The Lord then asked Freddy if he knew why LOVE, FAITH AND GODLY WISDOM could get on base but could not win the game. Freddy answered that he did not know why. The Lord explained, "If your love, faith and wisdom had won the game you would think you had done it by yourself. Love, Faith and Wisdom will get you on base but only My Grace can get you home. Psalm 84:11 - for the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord gives grace and glory' no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly."(NASB) As we share our love with others during this love month season, let us remember: Philippians 4:13-"I can do everything through Him who gives me strength." (NIV) The secret is "through Him" who gives us GRACE. Author Unknown +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 6) Meditation of the Heart NO INSTRUCTIONS? By Inez B. Norwood Recently a person who had purchased a new telephone told me that it had pages and pages of instructions with it. She remarked that she didn't get that many instructions when she birthed her babies. I thought about this for some time and then it came to me that we do get many words of instructions with our children - and they come from the Heavenly Father in His inspired Word. It also occurred to me that maybe most people aren't aware of these. They are given for a reason, and we must observe them if we are to rear loving, obedient children. Who is better qualified to give instructions than our Maker. Just as the maker of that telephone knew best what instructions are needed with that phone, so it is with our Creator! One important scripture which comes to my mind is taken from Prov.22:6 - "Train up child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." In the New Testament, there are many instructions or examples for us to heed: "And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." (Eph. 6:4) And in Col. 3:21: Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged." Mature women are given the commandment in Titus 2:3-5:-- "The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed." These instructions are power packed and all encompassing! If young women are taught to "love their husbands, love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home," there would be a real reformation in our nation's homes. Children would not suffer with the many broken homes, and there would not be those children "home alone." They would be loved and nourished - fed not only the good balanced diets that they need, but also see in their mothers, the love of God that is so assuring and reassuring to the young hearts. The children would grow up knowing that their parents loved each other and the almighty God and them. And too, they will have been taught the word of God as was Timothy. Paul reminded Timothy: "But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them. And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith in Christ Jesus."(2 Tim 3:14,15) Paul reminded Timothy that he should remember what he had been taught by his mother and grandmother: "When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice, and I am persuaded that is in thee also." (1 Tim. 1:5) These godly women had been faithful to teach the young child Timothy and he was of invaluable use in the kingdom of God. His life was one I am sure all of us pray could be the earthly life of our youngsters! This will only be possible if we are faithful in our work as mothers and fathers. The devil is ever busy to lure our families away from knowing and serving God. It is with much prayer that we take the treasures God has entrusted to our care - to train them in such a way that the ways of the world will not be so attractive. We must live before our young ones the life that will be the proper example. God will help us, if we but pray and put our mind to the task to search out His instructions and abide by them! (c)2004 Inez B. Norwood vibn@... +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 7) A Story to Share A GREAT STORY The King's 4 Wives Once upon a time there was a rich King who had four wives. He loved the 4th wife the most and adorned her with rich robes and treated her to the finest of delicacies. He gave her nothing but the best. He also loved the 3rd wife very much and was always showing her off to neighboring kingdoms. However, he feared that one day she would leave him for another. He also loved his 2nd wife. She was his confidant and was always kind, considerate and patient with him. Whenever the King faced a problem, he could confide in her, and she would help him get through the difficult times. The King's 1st wife was a very loyal partner and had made great contributions in maintaining his wealth and kingdom. However, he did not love the first wife. Although she loved him deeply, he hardly took notice of her! One day, the King fell ill and he knew his time was short. He thought of his luxurious life and wondered, "I, now have four wives with me, but when I die, I'll be all alone. "Thus, he asked the 4th wife, "I have loved you the most, endowed you with the finest clothing and showered great care over you. Now that I'm dying, will you follow me and keep me company?" "No way!" replied the 4th wife and she walked away without another word. Her answer cut like a sharp knife right into his heart. The sad King then asked the 3rd wife, "I have loved you all my life. Now that I'm dying, will you follow me and keep me company?" "No!" replied the 3rd wife. "Life is too good! When you die, I'm going to remarry!" His heart sank and turned cold. He then asked the 2nd wife, "I have always turned to you for help and you've always been there for me. When I die, will you follow me and keep me company?" "I'm sorry, I can't help you out this time!" replied the 2nd wife. "At the very most, I can only send you to your grave." Her answer came like a bolt of lightning, and the King was devastated. Then a voice called out: "I'll leave with you and follow you no matter where you go." The King looked up, and there was his first wife. She was so skinny as she suffered from malnutrition and neglect. Greatly grieved, the King said, "I should have taken much better care of you when I had the chance!" In truth, we all have 4 wives in our lives: Our 4th wife is our body. No matter how much time and effort we lavish in making it look good, it will leave us when we die. Our 3rd wife is our possessions, status and wealth. When we die, it will all go to others. Our 2nd wife is our family and friends. No matter how much they have been there for us, the furthest they can stay by us is up to the grave. And our 1st wife is our Soul. Often neglected in pursuit of wealth, power and pleasures of the world. However, our Soul is the only thing that will follow us wherever we go. Cultivate, strengthen and cherish it now, for it is the only part of us that will follow us to the throne of God and continue with us throughout Eternity. When the world pushes you to your knees.....You're in the perfect position to pray. Shared by Charles Dralle +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 8) Humor A little child in church for the first time watched as the ushers passed the offering plates. When they neared the pew where he sat, the youngster piped up so that everyone could hear: "Don't pay for me Daddy, I'm under five." After a church service on Sunday morning, a young boy suddenly announced to his mother, "Mom, I've decided to become a minister when I grow up." "That's okay with us, but what made you decide that?" "Well," said the little boy, "I have to go to church on Sunday anyway, and figure it will be more fun to stand up and yell, than to sit and listen." A 6-year-old was overheard reciting the Lord's Prayer at a church service: "And forgive us our trash passes, as we forgive those who passed trash against us." A little girl became restless as the preacher's sermon dragged on and on. Finally, she leaned over to her mother and whispered, "Mommy, if we give him the money now, will he let us go?" +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 9) Memorable Words "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us." I John 4: 7-12 (NIV) +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 10) Closing Words Share a hug! Many people enjoy a warm embrace, and a good hug is one way to show your love to others. Sometimes we forget to express our Christian love to friends, family, and church members; but right here, right NOW during love month, we have a good opportunity to share the "warm, fuzzies" with a teddy bear hug or two, or three, or more! We truly hope that you have found inspiration and blessing from this issue of Eternal Ink. If so, please share a copy 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 A MEMBER OF THE ARKWEBS TEAM OF MINISTRIES AND PARTNERS WITH LIVING2SERVE.