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) Prayers for Online Friends 4) Poetry 5) Seasonal Feature 6) Inspirational True Story 7) Meditation of the Heart 8) Bible Meditation 9) Light Moments 10) Memorable Words/Closing Words ISSN#: l528-9605 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 1) Mary-Ellen's Note As I sit here preparing this issue of Eternal Ink, the outcome of the National Election hangs in the balance. Record numbers of voters have been voting, and states seem to be working on correcting the problems at the polls and allowing all who desire to vote to do so. I think there has been a high level of energy and anxiety about this election, and the closeness of the vote makes this a night requiring patience and faith. My own level of tension, even stress, has been high as I anticipate the outcome of the vote. Finally after many prayers, I am now simply praying that God's will be done. We are at a critical juncture in our nation's history; and the future welfare of our country may be at stake in many ways. As Christians, we can believe that regardless of outcomes, eventually God's will shall abide. With all our hearts, we are thankful for this great nation, and many petitions for blessing and guidance for our land will be offered to God. Let us use this season of thankfulness to renew our resolve to do and be the best we can be...for the good of our nation and the glory of God. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 2) Devotion GRAVOL!!! By Lyn Chaffart "For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness . . ." (Isa 61:10) I should be sick. The boat is heaving and pitching; people are running down the halls, hands covering their mouths, searching for motion sickness bags. Others are running into the gift shop asking for anything against motion sickness. But I feel fine. So does Donovan, my oldest son. In fact, I feel good enough to be writing this devotional! Now you may say, maybe you guys just don't tend to get seasick. But that's not true at all. In fact, Donovan gets seasick just thinking about being on a boat, and I'm usually the next one in line. Trust us to be the only ones on the outside deck on a boat that doesn't allow passengers to be outside! But today, we are smiling. Why? We took our Gravol! We are safe, protected, feeling good, and for once, thoroughly enjoying the boat ride. This whole scenario reminds me of the Day of Judgment. Just like there are two classes of people aboard this ferry today-those who are not seasick and those who are; there will be two classes of people on the Day of Judgment-those who are saved and those who are doomed to eternal punishment. The difference between the two classes on the ship is that those who are NOT seasick have coated their stomachs with Gravol, while those who have not taken their Gravol ARE seasick! The difference between the saved and the lost on the Day of Judgment is just as simple-the saved are wearing Christ's Robe of Righteousness. They have accepted His gift of Salvation. The lost have not. What class would you find yourself in, friend, were you to face the Judgment today? Would you have taken your "Gravol"? Would you have been covered by the Blood of Jesus? Or would you belong to the other class? Perhaps you've been taught that living a good life is all it takes, so you've worked hard all of your life to "make it" to Heaven. Or maybe you believed that going to church was enough. Or perhaps you have been brought up thinking that following a particular denomination's theology will save you. Friend, nothing saves but the Blood of Jesus! "Since we have now been justified BY HIS BLOOD, how much more shall we be SAVED from God's wrath through him!" (Rom 5:9) As I look around me at the seasick-passengers on this ferry, I wonder why they didn't all take Gravol. Don't be in that class, friend! Give your heart to Jesus today. Receive His robe of righteousness. Then, when the Day of Judgment arrives, you will be covered! Lyn Chaffart, moderator, The Nugget, Scriptural Nuggets, www.sermonillustrator.org/minisermons/ Answers2Prayer Ministries http://www.answers2prayer.org/ Lyn@... +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 3) Prayers for Online Friends "This wonderful prayer says it all. We want to thank all those who prayed for Hart over this summer as he suffered with a bone infection. It was due to the prayer of so many that he is now recovering. A big 'Thank you' to all those who have prayed for us this summer. Hart is improving daily and we attribute this to God and to your prayers." From Hart and Helen Dowd "Email to God" Hello, dearest God, it is just me again. You know I have this group of friends that I need you to take care of and watch over. They are not from my town, and most are not even in the same state/province. In fact there are some that live in a different country. They are scattered all over the world. I met them on the Internet. We send emails to each other, we chat, and some I have even spoken to on the phone, but most of them, we will never meet face to face. However there are a few that I have been lucky enough to share a real hug with. It does not matter if we have met or not these people are my friends. There is so much going on in the world, and it scares me. You see I care about these friends that I have met, and God that is why I am asking you to please watch over them and protect them. I would never have imagined that I could care and even love someone that I have only met online. The truth is loving and truly caring about a person begins in the heart, and it stays inside of the heart. I ask you God to give my friends happiness and peace. Please take care of them, and guide them. Through the Internet I have been so lucky to found have friends from all over the world. I have learned that although some of us have different beliefs and we live differently, we are so much alike, all hoping for the same things in life, true happiness. Please God, bless each one of these friends that have touched my life in one way or another. Forgive those God that have hurt others, help them learn the true meaning of love and friendship. I know that each person that I have met through the Internet has been placed in my path for a reason, so I ask you once again God, protect them, guide them, keep them safe, love them and bless them throughout their lives. Amen! Author unknown, shared by the Dowds to Ivie Bozeman Hugs from Hart & Helen Dowd www.occupytillicome.com +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 4) Poetry TWAS FOR ME By Inez B. Norwood Alone! Alone! Our Saviour was all alone! As the mob yelled and Spat upon Him, God's beloved Son..... For me! For me! Yes, for me 'twas done. He took my sins away On that cruel Cross of Calvary! Help me, oh dear Lord, To search Your Holy Word, Overcoming the darkness. All light is in Him, And our way never dim! (c)2004 Inez B. Norwood vibn@... Thanksgiving Tribute By Mary-Ellen Grisham The family is gathered safe within For feasting on this day. Prayers of gratitude will soon begin For bounties sent their way. The rolling land lies neat and still-- The crops are gathered in, Garnered before the autumn's chill Brings snowy days again. The fallen leaves are cleanly raked, Bonfires flickered against the sky. Pies and cookies are already baked As eager children sigh. The animals cozy in the barn Bed down or gently play-- Midst' echoes of the hunter's horn Humble creatures munch their hay. Memories of friends away and near Are kept within each heart Children across seas are doubly dear At this thankful season of the year. Families yearn for the quiet tread Of a special step upon the stairs; Soldiers who fight for us instead Are foremost in our prayers. Thank God for our homes and land And the forces who keep us free. Thank God for blessings on every hand-- Keep our soldiers safe across the sea. (c)2004 Mary-Ellen Grisham meginrose@... +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 5) Seasonal Feature THE AUTUMN OF OUR LIVES By Ivie Bozeman Recently a friend celebrated her fiftieth anniversary, a very worthy goal in someone's life. She had put together a video covering her fifty years, starting at the wedding pictures and adding as each child came into the family. This section was followed by scenes from the children's growing years, their weddings, and then their children, her grandchildren. The video told the story of the beginnings and family growth and then ended with the couple in the autumn of their lives. The video was set to music, and pictures of the family were interspersed with beautiful scenes from nature. In the beginning was springtime. As the children grew and were married, the scenes switched to summer. Then as the couple grew older, the scenes switched to fall. I stood mesmerized as one scene near the end moved in closely on a tree with golden leaves and held while the leaves slowly dropped to the ground, making a carpet of color. No matter how much faith one has, our days here on earth will one day come to an end. Jesus promised us eternal life in heaven, but not here on earth. We must prepare to face the autumn of our lives--the day our leaves will start falling from the tree and our torch is passed on to the younger generation. Autumn can become a season of reflection, just as the woman who made the videotape of her fifty years had done. It is a time to reflect and gain new perspectives; to stroll along the back roads of our minds thinking about where we have been, what's been accomplished and if any fences need to be mended before we say goodbye. Philippians 1:6 reminds us: "God who began the good work within you will keep right on helping you grow in His grace until His work within you is finally finished on that day when Jesus Christ returns." (TLB) There may be fences within our souls that still need mending. There may be rooms filled with cobwebs that need dusting and re-arranging. In the autumn of our lives, we can take time to mend these fences, quietly and with sensitivity, and clean these rooms, letting the word of God be our guide. We don't need to be in a hurry. We can take time to become attuned to the composer's music and drink in the great beauty of His handiwork. Autumn is a time of change. The foliage changes, the weather changes, time changes, birds go southward, squirrels store nuts, and salmon return to their spawning grounds. At this season of life, quietly, God moves upon our lives. He writes His agenda on the journals of our hearts. We need to be open to what he is writing. In all that we do, we need to remember the words of Colossians 3:23: "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord." (NIV) The autumn of life is the time to do things that really count. Goals can still be set. One now has time to listen to the heart or the inner spirit and find the true jewels that emerge. One doesn't have to tell others about the treasures being found, just work with God and watch while they emerge. Autumn can be a painful time in our lives as God works within us, helping us clean out the guest rooms and open up our hearts, but at other times, sheer joy will emerge. Just as my friend made a video of her life and family, God has a lifebook too. His book will be on display forever. Even though the golden leaves fall from the tree, there are still pages in the lifebook that need completing. Autumn is a time for reflections, not for final goodbyes. (c)2004 Ivie Bozeman ivie@... +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 6) Inspirational True Story 57 CENTS A sobbing little girl stood near a small church from which she had been turned away because it was "too crowded." "I can't go to Sunday School," she sobbed to the pastor as he walked by. Seeing her shabby, unkempt appearance, the pastor guessed the reason and, taking her by the hand, took her inside and found a place for her in the Sunday school class. The child was so happy that they found room for her, and she went to bed that night thinking of the children who have no place to worship Jesus. Some two years later, this child lay dead in one of the poor tenement buildings. Her parents called for the kind-hearted pastor who had befriended their daughter to handle the final arrangements. As her poor little body was being moved, a worn and crumpled red purse was found which seemed to have been rummaged from some trash dump Inside was found 57 cents and a note, scribbled in childish handwriting, which read: "This is to help build the little church bigger so more children can go to Sunday School." For two years she had saved for this offering of love. When the pastor tearfully read that note, he knew instantly what he would do. Carrying this note and the cracked, red pocketbook to the pulpit, he told the story of her unselfish love and devotion. He challenged his deacons to get busy and raise enough money for the larger building. But the story does not end there... A newspaper learned of the story and published it. It was read by a wealthy realtor who offered them a parcel of land worth many thousands. When told that the church could not pay so much, he offered to sell it to the little church for 57 cents. Church members made large donations. Checks came from far and wide. Within five years the little girl's gift had increased to $250,000.00--a huge sum for that time (near the turn of the century). Her unselfish love had paid large dividends. When you are in the city of Philadelphia, look up Temple Baptist Church, with a seating capacity of 3,300. And be sure to visit Temple University, where thousands of students are educated. Have a look, too, at the Good Samaritan Hospital and at a Sunday School building which houses hundreds of beautiful children, built so that no child in the area will ever need to be left outside during Sunday school time. In one of the rooms of this building may be seen the picture of the sweet face of the little girl whose 57 cents, so sacrificially saved, made such remarkable history. Alongside of it is a portrait of her kind pastor, Dr. Russell H. Conwell, author of the book, "Acres of Diamonds." This is a true story, which goes to show WHAT GOD CAN DO WITH 57 CENTS. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 7) Meditation of the Heart GIVE THANKS By Melva Cooper "I give you thanks, O Lord, with all my heart..." Psalm 138:1 (NLT) My husband took our ten year-old granddaughter, Mary Kathryn, fishing this morning. It was a beautiful warm day. The temperature was in the upper 70's and the humidity was way down. Quite a contrast to the past week. The lake at the end of our cove was glistening from the bright sun shining on the water. Mary Kathryn could hardly wait to drop her fish bait into the water. She was remembering a few weeks ago when they returned with seven fish. But today was to be different. After about an hour they decided the fish were not hungry at that time and came on home empty-handed. Nevertheless, Mary Kathryn expressed her gratefulness. "Thank you, Granddad," she said to him more than once. Just a little while later, he took her to meet her mom. Mary Kathryn leaned over, kissed her Granddad on the cheek, and told him thank you one more time. My husband was so pleased. I thought about how thanksgiving is woven through the Psalms. Praise should be an integral part of our communication with our Heavenly Father. He is so pleased when we praise and thank Him for our material and spiritual blessings. We must always remember to thank Him for answered prayer. God's provision should never be taken for granted. Granddad was happy when Mary Kathryn showed her love to him through thanksgiving. God, too, would love to hear you say, "I give you thanks, O Lord, with all my heart." (c)2004 Melva Cooper www.melvacooper.com +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 8) Bible Meditation Mercy, Not Sacrifice By Mary-Ellen Grisham Jesus came to save sinners. Just as much of the Old Testament is about the Israelites finding freedom from bondage, so the New Testament is likewise about Jesus bringing freedom from personal bondage and sin. Whether Jesus was healing or teaching, calling followers or ministering to the people, he was always interested in making each person the best he could be. Whatever the need, Jesus sought to fill a person's needs first and then challenged each one to grow in discipleship by following the way of service and love. Jesus seemed to know all about a person from the beginning--whether the person was the Woman at the Well, Nicodemus, Nathanael under the fig tree, or Matthew at the collector's booth. He was willing to love and accept persons as they were but would also lead them gently toward what they could be with faith in Him. When Jesus was criticized by the Pharisees for eating with tax collectors and sinners at the house of Matthew, he replied, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." (Matthew 9: 12-13) Because Jesus was the perfect sacrifice for our sins, He could concentrate on mercy and compassion rather than expecting perfection or continuous guilt from his followers. His human nature understood ours, but his divine intercession with God for each of us brings us into the forgiving presence of God. While we strive toward maturity in our Christian walk, it is a continual blessing and comfort to know that Jesus makes up the shortfall for each of us. (c)2003 Mary-Ellen Grisham meginrose@... +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 9) Light Moments Manners Working as a pediatric nurse, I had the difficult assignment of giving immunization shots to children. One day I entered the examining room to give four-year-old Lizzie her shot. "NO! NO! NO!" she screamed. "Lizzie," her mother scolded. "That's not polite behavior." At that, the girl yelled even louder, "NO, THANK YOU! NO, THANK YOU!" ...By way of Pastor Tim's CleanLaugh List (http://www.cybersaltlists.org ) Appearing in Christian Voices, October 17, 2004 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 10) Memorable Words/Closing Words A Psalm of Praise: Psalm 100 Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. King James Version The thankful season--as we review our blessings and give thanks, we find our hearts prepared for sharing and worship. May we daily remember the prayer and praise that reflects glad hearts and minds. If you have found 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 with thanksgiving and joy, Mary-Ellen +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ WE ARE PROUD TO BE PARTNERS WITH TEENS4JESUS AND WITH LIVING2SERVE. -- To unsubscribe, send ANY message to: eternal_ink-unsubscribe@... 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