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) Devotion 3) News Notes 4) Poetry 5) Feature 6) Bible Study 7) Thoughtful Moments 8) Short N' Sweet 9) Light and Lovely - The Importance of U 10) Memorable Words/Closing Words ISSN#: l528-9605 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 1) Mary-Ellen's Note Recently the missionary to Chile that our church supports gave an evening program, explaining the growth of the mission. He compared his work to that of a farmer, who must do so much background preparation to insure a good harvest. He mentioned driving through Illinois seeing farms where he knew the farmers, and smiling because he revisited one farm where the farmer goes to great lengths to harvest every last bit of useful crop. He explained that the building of modest buildings at their mission center was a vital part of his preparation. So are the Bible study classes, the Saturday School for children, the internship program for new missionaries, the participation with the drug center, the counseling of women, the inter-cultural events in which the mission invites local people in for celebrations of local holidays. All of these activities, and others, he saw as preparation for the Lord's harvest of new believers. He was perhaps most delighted with the fact that one of the families that he had prepared for the Lord's service had moved from Santiago to Northern Chile where they were starting a new mission and a church. His Bible text was the Parable of the Sower in Matthew 13, and that story of Jesus' gives further insight into the problems of "sowing" for the Lord. Those of us listening also became aware that we "reap what we sow" in our Christian life, and the example of dedicated missionaries and hard-working local farmers is an inspiration and guide for us all. I smiled as I read Melva's devotion below because it too points to the diligence needed to assure a good harvest--and the blessing of God's guidance in all our preparations. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 2) Devotion SHARE YOUR GIFT By Melva Cooper "The Lord Almighty is a wonderful teacher, and He gives the farmer great wisdom." Isaiah 28:29 (NLT) Today my husband and I traveled many miles across our state to attend a memorial service for a member of our extended family. It was a beautiful August day as our car glided around the curves and up and down the hills before we reached our destination. Farmers could be seen baling freshly cut hay into many round bales. There were fields of rice and soy beans almost in their fruition stage. Planting had been done much earlier, cultivation was mostly completed and the farmers were waiting for the bountiful harvests sure to come in a few weeks. It was evident from the lush fields we were viewing that the farmers had known what to do as they worked the fields so diligently. Yet, there was a sense in my spirit that only God could bring about such a marvelous thing. He had been a wonderful teacher to those farmers as they planted, watered and cultivated; our extraordinary God had given them great wisdom as they worked day after day dreaming of harvest days. I thought about the many mission teams that have gone out this summer from the local church my family attends. One team ministered to an orphanage in Mexico, teaching them praise songs and sharing the love of Jesus with them. Another group went to Russia singing and playing their instruments in a strange land. Yet they were bound together because God's great love is the same in any language. In Poland a team prayer walked the streets making way for the preaching and teaching to come. In Africa a great harvest was gathered as hundreds prayed to receive Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. Much planting, watering, and cultivating could be found in those foreign lands our teams visited. The farmers use special tools to plant, cultivate and eventually harvest their crops. God also gives different gifts to His people to plant seeds about His amazing gift of salvation. To others, he allows the watering and drawing near to Him through the sharing of His Holy Word. And then some may be given the Hallelujah assignment of bringing in the fruit by actually witnessing many souls being saved. Whatever glorious opportunity God presents to you - grab it with all your strength. Go forth and offer the life saving gift of salvation to a lost and dying world. Be available wherever and whenever God calls you. Follow His teachings and gain the wisdom He can give you. Be a planter. Be a waterer, a cultivator, or a harvester. All are precious in God's sight. (c)2004 Melva Cooper jmelva@... www.melvacooper.com http://www.melvacooper.com/ +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 3) News Note We are happy to announce that Elizabeth (Betty) Pearson is the new Poetry Editor for Eternal Ink. She is a Christian poet who has been writing for many years, and her poetry appears on several Christian websites. She has a large collection of her own poetry, but she is eager to get submissions for publication in Eternal Ink. We usually prefer poetry on Christian themes and concerns that is well written and concise, no more than 30 lines, though occasionally we do accept slightly longer poems. Sending no more than three poems at a time allows staff to give careful consideration to each submission. We have found that the best poems for our ezine are Bible-based. Many scholars believe that poetry originated as a part of ancient worship, and still today the rhythms and sounds of poetry make the form appropriate for worship, praise, hymns, and prayerful consideration of themes and topics appropriate to faith. The poetic form also lends itself to personal meditations and prayer-like expressions. Those interested in submitting poetry for use in Eternal Ink, should send their submissions to Betty Pearson at the following email: roybet630@... +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 4) Poetry THE CROOKED VESSEL by Elizabeth Pearson The Master Potter formed the vessel in accordance with His will -- A vessel He had determined afore how He would usefully fill. But the vessel looked upon himself and did not like what he saw -- Misshapen and crooked, not beautiful, he, so evident was every flaw! "Why have you made me thus?" he cried, "I'm ugly and not like the rest! You could have made me perfect I could have been one of Your best!" "But you are unique, and dearly loved, your beauty is in your worth -- I've chosen you for service, not looks, do not scorn your lowly birth. "I intend to fill you with perfume so sweet, you'll bring pleasure to all who pass by -- They will rejoice in the depth of your fragrance and bring praise to your Maker on High!" "Outward appearance is only for show, it's the inner presence that counts, Handsome vessels are oft empty -- detached from the Master's founts. "So, satisfied be with your lot in life, do not 'gainst your Maker rebel, For you are extra-special to Me, which time and eternity will tell." Thus, in surrender, the vessel found peace and, in serving, found joy multiplied, As he willingly yielded, he was filled to the brim -- His Master within did abide! (c)2004 Elizabeth Pearson CLUTTER by Elizabeth Pearson My life is full of clutter, Lord, And I long to be free -- I hold on to so many things That rob my serenity! If I could only concentrate On things that matter most, For it's not in wealth or possessions That I should some day boast. Teach me to reject the extra things That crowd out simple trust For they are but the certain proof Of wrong desires and lust. May my priorities rest in Thee For, if I put You first, My heart would crave eternity -- For this world no longer thirst! (c)2004 Elizabeth Pearson roybet630@... +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 5) Feature TIME TO CHANGE YOUR CLOCK By Ivie Bozeman Sunday - October 31, 2004-- Time to set our clocks back one hour. Our biological clock is not necessarily in tune with daylight savings. Just about the time one gets adjusted to the time as it is, it changes again. One hour can make a tremendous amount of difference when one gets off from work at a certain time, expecting to see the sun shining and all that is seen outside is darkness. The opposite is true in the morning, when one wakes up at the same time and it is already daylight. A gradual change would never be noticed. It's the suddenness that is a shock. Time is an intriguing subject. Sometimes it seems, elusive. We can easily loose a day--a week or a month, it seems, if we are not careful. Yet, we can think back to our childhood days when time passed so slowly. It seemed our birthday would never come. In the early years we looked forward to a birthday party---to starting to school, to being old enough for certain privileges. Time was especially long when we waited for our sixteenth birthday to come so we could get our driver's licenses. Then graduation became our goal, followed by college, military service, and marriage. Children of our own came then. They grew up much faster than we did. Somewhere along the way, time speeded up. We became senior citizens. How we wished to slow down the hands of the clock. Time can be cruel to the elderly. It takes away strength, and the physical beauty of youth, leaving wrinkles in the skin and wearing away of vital body parts. Diseases surface from somewhere in the genes, and life becomes a struggle. Time can be a great healer. Ask anyone who has lost a loved one, or something very important in his or her lives. Time can also be a great teacher. As the clock ticks on, wisdom and knowledge of living is acquired. We develop a greater appreciation for love, beauty, patience and the finer things of life. When the outer body begins to deteriorate, the inner person seems to grow. Ecclesiastes 3:1 there is a time for everything and a season for everything under heaven. (NIV) Yes, there is a time for everything and a season for everything under heaven. We must stay attuned to the changing seasons of life and be ready when these special seasons come. Psalm 31: 14-16: "But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, 'You are my God.' My times are in your hands; deliver me from my enemies and from those who pursue me. Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love." (NIV) (c)2004 Ivie Bozeman ivie@... +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 6) Bible Study BIBLICAL BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENTS By CARL F. PHILLIPS Quick - whose birth did angels announce? Yes, they announced the birth of Jesus, we are told, but that wasn't the first time in scripture that angels were sent to tell about the birth of a child. Genesis 16:7-13 - (Quote) The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur. And he said, "Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?" "I'm running away from my mistress Sarai," she answered. Then the angel of the Lord told her, "Go back to your mistress and submit to her." The angel added, "I will so increase your descendants that they will be too numerous to count." The angel of the Lord also told her: "You are now with child and you will have a son. You shall name him Ishmael, for the Lord has heard of your misery. He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone's hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers." She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her. "You are the God who sees me," for she said, "I have now seen the One who sees me." (End Quote) Yes, God told Hagar she would have a child, told her what to name him, and told her what his destiny would be - just as He would later tell Mary about the son she would bear. He said Ishmael would be "a wild donkey of a man." Far away from human settlements, he would roam the desert like a wild donkey. And the hostility between Sarai and Hagar persists to this day, for it is back to Abraham through Ishmael that Muslims trace their ancestry. The strife between the two mothers of Abraham's sons is still carried on between Arabs and Jews in our own time. This passage raises a puzzle. In the time of Moses it was believed that to see God's face would result in death. Yet Hagar saw God. "I have now seen the One who sees me." But then perhaps Hagar didn't actually see his face. It is possible to see someone who has his back turned to us, isn't it? We just don't see his face. But we don't know for sure how much of God Hagar saw that day. First there was the appearance of an angel of the Lord. Then she saw God. Genesis 18:2 - (Quote) Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried to the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground. (End Quote) Two of these men were angels. The third was God. Abraham promptly extended hospitality to them. He "bowed low to the ground." Scripture goes on to tell us he called one of the men "my lord," and called himself "your servant." He acted as though it would be a favor to him if they would permit him to serve them. He had water brought to wash their feet. He prepared a meal for them, and stood by to serve them as they ate. All these things were in accordance with the customs of Abraham's time and place. Judges 13:3 - (Quote) The angel of the Lord appeared to (End Quote) (Zorah's wife, mother-to-be of Samson) (Quote) and said, "You are sterile and childless, but you are going to conceive and have a son." (End Quote) Matthew 1:20 - (Quote) But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit." (End quote) Luke 1:11 - (Quote) Then an angel of the Lord appeared to (end quote) (Zechariah), (Quote) standing at the right side of the altar of incense. (End quote) Luke 1:26 - (Quote) In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee.... (End quote) The sixth month referred to is six months after the conception of John the Baptist. God often used angels to announce important events. But He also sometimes appeared in Person to give such news. Hagar saw God either during the angel's speech or immediately afterward. And Abraham extended hospitality to God in Person. Genesis 17:1 - (Quote) When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, "I am God Almighty; walk before me and be blameless." (End quote) Ishmael was 13 when this occurred. "God Almighty" was how God usually revealed Himself to the patriarchs. After Ishmael was born to a surrogate mother, God appeared again to Abraham. He made it clear that, if Abraham was to receive all those promised benefits he must be God's faithful and obedient servant. When God revealed Himself to someone the normal reaction was fear. Genesis 17:3 - (Quote) Abram fell facedown, and God said to him.... (End Quote) Judges 13:22 - (Quote) "We are doomed to die," (End Quote) (Manoah) (Quote) said to his wife. "We have seen God!" (End Quote) Luke 1:12 - (Quote) When Zechariah saw (End quote) (the angel of the Lord) (Quote) he was startled and was gripped with fear. (End quote) Luke 1:29 - (Quote) Mary was greatly troubled by (End quote) (the angel Gabriel's) (Quote) words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. (End quote) There are many more similarities about the appearances of God and His divine messengers as reported in both the Old and the New Testaments. The point is that, no matter what method God uses to speak to us, we should not be afraid. Instead, we should listen closely and then do our best to obey. He sometimes calls us to tasks we feel we are not equipped to do - but He never fails to give us what we need to accomplish what He tells us to do. Carl Phillips -- Port Isabel, Texas Journalist/Columnist/Speaker Author, THE WESLEYAN WAY -- a weekly Church Page column Features Editor, ETERNAL INK -- http://www.eternal-ink.com/ +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 7) Thoughtful Moments Another Ten Commandments Thou shalt not worry, for worry is the most unproductive of all human activities. Thou shalt not be fearful, for most of the things we fear never come to pass. Thou shalt face each problem as it comes. You can handle only one at a time. Thou shalt not cross bridges before you get to them, for no one yet has succeeded in accomplishing this. Thou shalt not take problems to bed with you, for they make very poor bedfellows. Thou shalt not borrow other people's problems. They can take better care of them than you can. Thou shalt be a good listener, for only when you listen do you hear ideas different from your own. It's very hard to learn something new when you're talking. Thou shalt not try to re-live yesterday; for good or ill-it is gone Concentrate on what is happening in your life today. Thou shalt not become bogged down by frustration, for 50 percent of it is rooted in self-pity and will only interfere with positive actions. Thou shalt count thy blessings never overlooking the small ones- for a lot of small blessings add up to a big one. Author Unknown Shared by Ivie Bozeman +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 8) Short N' Sweet SHORTENED 23RD PSALM In his beautiful book, "I Shall Not Want," Robert Ketchum tells of a Sunday School teacher who asked her group of children if anyone could quote the entire 23rd Psalm. A golden-haired, four-and-a-half-year-old girl was among those who raised their hands. A bit skeptical, the teacher asked if she could really quote the entire psalm. The little girl came to the front of the room, faced the class, made a perky little bow, and said, "The Lord is my shepherd, that's all I want." She bowed again and went and sat down. That may well be the greatest interpretation of the 23rd Psalm ever heard. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ (9) Light and Lovely - The Importance of U The U in JesUs Before U were thought of or time had begun, God even stuck U in the name of His Son. And each time U pray, you'll see it's true You can't spell out JesUs and not include U. You're a pretty big part of His wonderful name, For U, He was born; that's why He came. And His great love for U is the reason He died. It even takes U to spell crUcified. Isn't it thrilling and splendidly grand He rose from the dead, with U in His plan? The stones split away, the gold trUmpet blew, and this word resUrrection is spelled with a U. When JesUs left earth at His upward ascension, He felt there was one thing He just had to mention. "Go into the world and tell them it's true That I love them all - Just like I love U." So many great people are spelled with a U, Don't they have a right to know JesUs too? It all depends now on what U will do, He'd like them to know, But it all starts with U. An additional line I would like to discuss The last part of Jesus isn't u, it is US. Author Unknown Shared by Ivie Bozeman +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 9) Memorable Words/ Closing Words "Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with the instructor. Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who shows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers." Galatians 6: 6-10 (NIV) In this season of fruition and harvest in the natural world, we hope each of you is likewise reaping the fruits of the Spirit. If you found inspiration and blessing from this edition 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 nest issue, may God bless you richly, Mary-Ellen. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ WE ARE PROUD TO BE PARTNERS WITH TEENS4JESUS AND WITH LIVING2SERVE. -- To unsubscribe, send ANY message to: eternal_ink-unsubscribe@... A proud member of the ArkWebs<http://www.arkwebs>ministry team.