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) Winners of the Eternal Ink Holiday Prose/Poetry Contest 4) Poetry of Contest Winners 5) Seasonal Feature 6) Prayer Suggestion 7) Prose of a Contest Winner 8) Inspirational Story 9) Thanksgiving Prayer Poem 10) Memorable Words/Closing Words ISSN#: l528-9605 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 1) Mary-Ellen's Note "Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ..." Ephesians 5:20 (KJV) As you read down through this issue of Eternal Ink, you will find that some of the writers give thanks for the difficult experiences that motivate them to growth in their Christian living. We love to give thanks for our blessings...for all the bounty of the earth, for home and family, for nation and world! As we learn to pray in all situations, we also learn to give thanks unceasingly for all the meaningful experiences that life sends our way. The editors of Eternal Ink would like to wish you and yours a most blessed and joyful Thanksgiving! +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 2) Devotion Slow and Steady Progress Will Last in the Long Run By Annettee Budzban "Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased and are numerous enough to take possession of the land." ---Exodus 23:30 (Amp) As a young newlywed, my first home was a small basement apartment. I had a second-hand double bed that someone had given to my parents. The living room area was furnished with an old sectional couch with the mid-section missing from it and some scratched-up end tables that I covered with tablecloths. Then the day came to move to my first house. It was a small, two-bedroom structure that needed some work- but it was affordable, and I felt blessed with it. In a few more years, I progressed to a three-bedroom ranch home with a full basement. I think you get the point here. Increase comes little by little. In the Old Testament, when the Israelites were on their way to the Promised Land, they faced many obstacles. They battled war, famine, and lack. But God instructed them that they could overcome their enemies "little by little." When we are first starting out on our own, setting up a household or building a business, poverty or lack may be some of those enemies we face. Oftentimes, people want to start out big. Before long, they find that making progress too fast has over-stretched their budget and gotten them into overwhelming financial burdens, leaving them with too much month at the end of the money. But the law of progress applies in this situation as well. If they tighten their spending and stay determined to watch their budget, they can turn the enemy of debt away as well. When I worked with patients who were dieting, trying to quit smoking, or working toward some other health goal, slow and steady changes brought them more success in the long run. Whatever we are lacking, whether spiritual, emotional, or physical, applying God's law of progress can bring us to increase in that area. Remembering that God's law of progress means a little at a time can keep us from giving up and help us to overcome. (c)2004 Annettee Budzban ahrtwrites2u@... +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 3) Winners of Eternal Ink Holiday Prose/Poetry Contest Winners in the Prose Category First Place - Roger Allen Cook - The Gift Second Place - Craig Sands - Let It Snow Third Place - Melva Cooper - Bethlehem Winners and Honorable Mentions in Poetry Category First Place - Betty Jo Mings - Wise Men Still Seek Him Second Place - Deborah Dee Simmons - God's Other Blessings Third Place - Gary J. Smith - Heed the Call Honorable Mentions: A Christmas Remembrance by Betty Jo Mings A Stranger in the Midst by Robert J. White Thanksgiving Recipe by Roger Allen Cook +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 4) Poetry of Contest Winners For this issue, I will use the poetry of the Contest Winners which is pertinent to Thanksgiving: God's Other Blessings by Deborah Dee Simmons When you gather 'round the table on this Thanksgiving Day, As you share your meal with loved ones and bow your heads to pray... Thanking God for all His blessings... for the bounty He bestows, For His wisdom and His kindness, and for sharing all He knows... As you praise His loving guidance and take stock of all His gifts, Take time to look beyond the wealth-and allow your thoughts to drift... Don't overlook your struggles, or forget your daily strife, Don't thank God for just the good times in this frantic Earthly life. Take note of all the worries that you've faced along the way, Recall your tribulations and your stress from day to day. Remember all the cares and woes you've conquered in the past, Reflect upon the tears you've shed and troubles you've amassed. For all those woes and worries are merely steppingstones, And troubles are just bricks along the path to Heaven's home. The tears we've shed are Life's sweet rain; its flowers spring from strife, And trials and tribulations are the mortar in this life. The stress and strain upon our souls unite to make us strong, And cares and struggles light the way-when our road is dark and long. So thank Him for His bounty, for our families and our friends, And for granting us forgiveness-when we must make amends. But recall God's other blessings-for their merit's oft untold, Praise God for loving you enough to help you build the road... And for giving you the tools you'll need-the mortar, bricks and stones, For the path that leads to Heaven-and the stairway to His home. (c)2004 Deborah Dee Simmons deetales@... Second Place Winner Thanksgiving Recipe By Roger Allen Cook Mix together a bag of your failures, Of your sin-add a pound or two, Add a full cup of disappointment, And just a teaspoon of bitter stew. Stir this concoction for just a while Until together your troubles blend, Then place it all into a baking pan Be sure to cook it for hours on end. When you're finished give it to Jesus, With a prayer for His cleansing power, Being thankful for God's forgiveness From those deeds that make life sour. This offering from the oven called life Will be transformed to win first place, When frosted with a generous covering Of our thanksgiving and God's grace. (c)2004 Roger Allen Cook rkcook@... Honorable Mention Poem +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 5) Seasonal Feature BETWEEN HALLOWEEN AND CHRISTMAS--CELEBRATE THANKSGIVING! By Ivie Bozeman Halloween comes at the end of the harvest season when the pumpkin is ripe, the golden rod is yellow, the October rose blooms forth, and leaves on the trees are beginning to turn, but are not ready to fall. The yellow and white chrysanthemums brighten the yards and Pumpkin Farms. The corn has been harvested and its stalks and ears have joined the pumpkins as decorative items. The hay has been cut and baled and is used as decoration or piled in hay wagons for seats as tractors pull merrymakers through the fields on traditional hayrides. It is a beautiful season indeed. Soon after Halloween, folks begin to think about decorating for Christmas. They pause for a few pictures of turkeys and pilgrims and of families gathered around tables laden with food, but the rich colors of Halloween and the bright twinkling lights of Christmas overshadow these. Other than the aspect of the family gathering for the great turkey feast, a few pilgrim costumes, and the emphasis of the churches on Thanksgiving services, this holiday seems to be "falling through the crack" between two extremely commercialized and colorful holidays. The grocery stores are the only merchants who really push Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a holiday focused on home and family--the gathering together of the family, long distance calls from those who can't come home, and excessive food served by the women while the men watch football games. It is also a time of quiet reflection upon the past and a reminder that God is still faithful. It is a time to reflect on the solid and simple things of life. Thanksgiving reminds us to be thankful--reminds us of our roots, deepening and strengthening them, and inspiring us to perpetuate our faith, preserving it for future generations. It changes our focus from self to a higher power and encourages appreciation, joy and delight in the blessings given throughout the year. Thanksgiving stirs our national pride. It arouses feelings of gratitude for our country and what it means to us. It is a reminder of our great heritage, taking us back to the Pilgrims at Plymouth. It brings to mind terms such as integrity, bravery, respect, faith, vigilance, dignity, honor, freedom, discipline, sacrifice and godliness. Thanksgiving turns our thoughts upward, prompting the spirit of humility and gratitude. It inspires us to count our blessings. We are reminded of the soil, the sun, and the rain, which produce our food and of shelter for our bodies, which are direct gifts from our God of grace. Three hundred and eighty-one years ago, the Governor of Plymouth Colony, issued the following proclamation: TO ALL YE PILGRIMS Inasmuch as the great Father has given us this year an abundant harvest of Indian corn, wheat, beans, squashes, and garden vegetables, and has made the forests to abound with game and the sea with fish and clams, and inasmuch as He has protected us from the ravages of the savages, has spared us from pestilence and disease, has granted us freedom to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience; now, I, your magistrate, do proclaim that all ye Pilgrims, with your wives and little ones, do gather at ye meeting house on ye hill, between the hours of 9 and 12 in the day time, on Thursday, November ye 29th of the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and twenty-three, and the third year since ye Pilgrims landed on ye Pilgrim Rock, there to listen to ye pastor, and render thanksgiving to ye Almighty God for all His blessings. William Bradford ` Governor of Plymouth Colony, 1623 (c)2004 Ivie Bozeman ivie@... +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 6) Prayer Suggestion The Five-Finger Prayer 1. Your thumb is nearest you. So begin your prayers by praying for those closest to you. They are the easiest to remember. To pray for our loved ones is, as C. S. Lewis once said, a "sweet duty." 2. The next finger is the pointing finger. Pray for those who teach, instruct and heal. This includes teachers, doctors, and ministers. They need support and wisdom in pointing others in the right direction. Keep them in your prayers. 3. The next finger is the tallest finger. It reminds us of our leaders. Pray for the president, leaders in business and industry, and administrators. These people shape our nation and guide public opinion. They need God's guidance. 4. The fourth finger is our ring finger. Surprising to many is the fact that this is our weakest finger; as any piano teacher will testify. It should remind us to pray for those who are weak, in trouble or in pain. They need your prayers day and night. You cannot pray too much for them. 5. And lastly comes our little finger; the smallest finger of all which is where we should place ourselves in relation to God and others. As the Bible says, "The least shall be the greatest among you." Your pinkie should remind you to pray for yourself. By the time you have prayed for the other four groups, your own needs will be put into proper perspective and you will be able to pray for yourself more effectively. Author Unknown Shared by Ivie Bozeman +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 7) Prose of a Contest Winner Because all of the entries in the prose contest were about the topic of Christmas, I am going to start with the Third Place winner and work up the rankings in reverse order between now and Christmas. Melva's delightful reminiscence about her grand-daughter is certainly a holiday meditation of the heart: BETHLEHEM ".Come on, let's go to Bethlehem! Let's see this wonderful thing that has happened, which the Lord told us about." Luke 2:15 (NLT) Many times during the Christmas season my three year old granddaughter, Mary Kathryn, said to me, "Grandma, tell me the story of Bethlehem. Tell me the whole story of Bethlehem." She never tired of hearing about an angel appearing to Mary, proclaiming that she was going to have a son and his name was to be Jesus. So, with the Bible or her picture book that played Christmas carols, I read or 'told' her again and again about Jesus birth in Bethlehem. From a figurine that depicted the town of Bethlehem complete with manger scene, Mary Kathryn loved to see the lights in the buildings and listen to the music as we repeated the story of Bethlehem one more time. Seemingly absorbing the details, I described to Mary Kathryn how Joseph and Mary made a journey from their home in Nazareth to Bethlehem so Joseph could pay his taxes. Baby Jesus being born in a stable because there was no room for them in the village inn would almost make her cry. Her eyes would light up when I talked about an angel notifying the shepherds out in the fields about a Savior, Jesus Christ, being born in Bethlehem that night. It pleased her that this was good news of great joy for everyone. The highlight of the story always was the angels from heaven breaking forth in song and praising God. Although at that young age Mary Kathryn's picture of Jesus was a baby in a manger, I knew it must not be her last. Soon, I would share with her how that tiny helpless baby lying in a manger in Bethlehem grew up to die on the cross for our sins. I would tell her he arose from the grave and ascended into heaven and will return to this earth as King of kings. Mary Kathryn would someday understand that baby Jesus, as she knew Him, lived a remarkable life and desires to be her Lord of Lords too. But, for that time in the life of my very young granddaughter, it was all about Bethlehem! And I loved sharing the story over and over with her. Melva Cooper Jmelva@... www.melvacooper.com/ +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 8) Inspirational Story A Special Grocery List Louise Redden, a poorly dressed lady with a look of defeat on her face, walked into a grocery store. She approached the owner of the store in a most humble manner and asked if he would let her charge a few groceries. She softly explained that her husband was very ill and unable to work, they had seven children, and they needed food. John Longhouse, the grocer, scoffed at her and requested that she leave his store at once. Visualizing the family needs, she said: "Please, sir! I will bring you the money just as soon as I can." John told her he could not give her credit, since she did not have a charge account at his store. Standing beside the counter was a customer who overheard the conversation between the two. The customer walked forward and told the grocer that he would stand good for whatever she needed for her family. The grocer said in a very reluctant voice, "Do you have a grocery list?" Louise replied, "Yes sir." "O.K.," he said, "put your grocery list on the scales and whatever your grocery list weighs, I will give you that amount in groceries." Louise, hesitated a moment with a bowed head; then she reached into her purse and took out a piece of paper and scribbled something on it. She then laid the piece of paper on the scale carefully with her head still bowed. The eyes of the grocer and the customer showed amazement when the scales went down and stayed down. The grocer, staring at the scales, turned slowly to the customer and said begrudgingly, "I can't believe it." The customer smiled and the grocer started putting the groceries on the other side of the scales. The scale did not balance, so he continued to put more and more groceries on them until the scales would hold no more. The grocer stood there in utter disgust. Finally, he grabbed the piece of paper from the scales and looked at it with greater amazement. It was not a grocery list; it was a prayer, which said: "Dear Lord, you know my needs and I am leaving this in your hands." The grocer gave her the groceries that he had gathered and stood in stunned silence. Louise thanked him and left the store. The other customer handed a fifty-dollar bill to the grocer and said, "It was worth every penny of it.. Only God Knows how much a prayer weighs." Author Unknown Shared by Ivie Bozeman +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 9) Thanksgiving Prayer Poem FAMILY THANKSGIVING PRAYER By Betty Jo Mings Dear precious Lord, we bow our heads in heartfelt, thankful prayer For all the ways You've blessed our lives, and for Your loving care. We thank You for the hands that have prepared this special treat, And pray that You will bless all those who have no food to eat. We're thankful for Salvation's plan, and for Your Holy Word, And pray we'll help to spread Your love to those who've never heard. We're thankful for our freedom, and for churches that are near, Where we can meet to praise Your Name, and worship without fear. But still our hearts are saddened by our brothers who aren't free, Who suffer death and torture for their Christianity. We pray You'll give them strength and courage as their cross they bear, And let them know God's family remembers them in prayer. We thank You for heroic troops who fight for liberty, And daily risk their lives and limbs to keep our country free. Forgive us of our many sins, and keep us close today; And bless this food You've given us. In Jesus Name, we pray. Amen ............ (c)2004 Betty Jo Mings bmings@... +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 10) Memorable Words/ Closing Words Please notice David Davis' Sports Reporter's Notebook which has been attached below as a very special addition to Eternal Ink. Beginning in January, the column will be a regularly included column in Eternal Ink. We hope our readers enjoy this new column! We truly hope that you found inspiration and blessing from this issue of Eternal Ink. If so, please 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, my God bless you richly, Mary-Ellen. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ WE ARE PROUD TO BE PARTNERS WITH LIVING2SERVE AND TEENS4JESUS. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ETERNAL INK SPORTS SEQUITUR A NEW COLUMN ADDITION WHICH WILL BE A REGULAR FEATURE IN THE NEW YEAR! Sports Reporter's Notebook by David Davis In an effort to keep Eternal Ink a potpourri of conte, we are pleased to announce the creation of a new department: Sports. Athletes, collegiate and professional, will hopefully be profiled in coming weeks. The inaugural column is an article sent to us by Coach Nick Vogt of the William Jessup University track team. Coach Vogt is Head Coach and also Director of ChristianTeam Ministries. WILLIAM JESSUP UNIVERSITY FRESHMAN WINS NATIONAL COLLIGIATE CROSS COUNTRY TITLE Elsah, Illinois - Sarah Kelly made history Saturday, becoming William Jessup University's first individual national champion by winning the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) Championship. Kelly, a freshman All-American, took an early lead, and held off challengers Elena Yates (University of Dallas) and Kim Anderson (Southern Virginia University) throughout the challenging 6-kilometer course at Principia College. Kelly out-kicked both challengers the final 1,000 meters to finish the race in a time of 24:52, 27 seconds ahead of Yates. "It was a great honor to compete at the Nationals," said Kelly, "My focus was to rejoice in the Lord throughout the race no matter what the outcome; and yet it's so unbelievable to finish in first, knowing that there were several competitors ranked ahead of me." Kelly has been a bright spot for the Warriors all season, recording a personal best 5-kilometer at the UC-Davis Invitational with a time of 19:40 and winning the first annual William Jessup Invitational to set the course record. William Jessup also sent three men to compete at the USCAA Championships, all finishing in the top 16 positions on the 8-kilometer course. Freshmen Tom Harrer and Tim Steele took the 11th and 12th places in times of 29:59 and 30:05 respectively, while Jacob Rydman, a junior, finished in 16th with 30:47 clocking. "Tom, Jake, and I worked really hard this year in order to share this experience," said Steele, "I'm also glad to see Sara finish her season well, because she trained right along with our top men's group the whole year." Harrer added, "I ran through the first mile split a little faster than I normally would have, mostly because I was inspired from the way Sara took charge and ran her race." "I agree," said Rydman, "This entire experience of going to the Nationals is amazing, but I truly feel this day belongs to Sara - She's my hero!" ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ If you would like to learn more about WJU you can visit: http://www.jessup.edu Coach Vogt is also recruiting for 2005. If you would like more info. on the generous track scholarships being offered, just contact me at fishercaster@... and I will be glad to give you Coach Vogt's contact info. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ -- To unsubscribe, send ANY message to: eternal_ink-unsubscribe@... A proud member of the ArkWebs<http://www.arkwebs>ministry team.