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) Bible Study 3) Seasonal Feature 4) Inspirational Story 5) Personal Experience/Scriptural Tips/Closing Words ISSN#: 1528-9605 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 1) Mary-Ellen's Note Faith of the Fathers My father always stood for character and integrity. He always urged my brother and I to be honest and to do what we said we would do. He placed a high value on a "good name," "keeping your word," and church attendance. He tried to teach us Scriptural values and ideals and to stand up for what we believe. The church "fathers" at the many churches I have attended have done likewise. They have always placed an emphasis on reading the Bible, fellowship with Christians, and sharing Christian love and good will. Even though the emphasis now tends to be on loving others, personal relationship with God and man, and a missionary heart for spreading the gospel, the old values and virtues are still taught and respected. And Jesus is the center of our faith. In the present times, there is also a profound fascination with new age theories, mind sciences, and love of the arcane and unknown. The Bible and the "wisdom of the fathers" are still good guides with the many choices that face us. There also seems to be a continuing search for the way to merge religion, philosophy, psychology, and science and to link earth and heaven quite directly. Even Christians who like mystery, puzzles, adventure, and exploration of the unknown can smile at their own urges to plumb the depths of the mysteries or explore the fascinating arcane. They know the Bible is their best guide, and that the Gospel can be simply presented for all to understand. As for mysterious "doors" between heaven and earth or portals to the unknown, once again Christians know that they have already been given the answer: "Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'" (John 14:6 NIV) Faith, love, hope--Bible reading and prayer--sharing, caring, personally relating--spreading the gospel to all parts of the world--hearing the Word, believing, confessing the Word, repenting, being baptized, walking the Christian way----these are the paths to heaven and eternal life. Jesus is the door to life everlasting and to understanding of all that is. These bits of "Fatherly wisdom" can carry us well down the narrow way to the Kingdom of God. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 2) Bible Study - Meditative Enhancement Integrity in Adversity Based on Daniel, Chapter 1 By Nancy K. Brown It was a dark day for the city of Jerusalem. Israel had been warned not to follow after foreign gods, but they had ignored the counsel of God's prophets. Now, judgment was upon them. Soldiers from the invading Babylonian army burst through the city gates, and as terrified inhabitants ran screaming for cover, Daniel's mother pleaded with him to make his escape. "Run, Daniel, run!" Daniel darted from one stone structure to the next as he made his way through the darkness of the early dawn, but there was no place in all of Jerusalem where he could hide. The city was in chaos. Babylonian soldiers were everywhere, and their orders were to capture every Hebrew teen they could find. He was just fifteen. In his desperate dash to seek sanctuary within the granite walls of the Jewish temple, a band of soldiers spotted him and chased him all the way to the altar of incense. As they dragged him to the ground, Daniel struggled in vain against the overwhelming force of Nebuchadnezzar's trained men. Unwilling to be taken without a fight, he thrashed violently and was beaten severely. When his strength had given way to the brutal blows, his hands were tied and he was dragged to the city gate. The captured teens would be carried away, "thousands of them," all marked for deportation to Babylon. The best and brightest of Jerusalem's heritage would be a part of the spoil from the enemy's invasion of Jerusalem. Later that afternoon, the prisoners were bound to one another in a massive human chain. The air resounded with the crack of the soldiers' whips; the exodus was under way. Daniel tried to resist, fighting to free himself from the cords that bound him. Realizing that he could not get away, he turned back to gain one last look at the majestic city of David. There among the crowd of stunned onlookers was his beloved mother. Her face was streaked with a mixture of dirt and tears, and her outstretched arms reached forward as if to snatch Daniel from the grasp of his captors. "Pray, Daniel, pray!" she kept shouting. "Pray!" It would be the last time Daniel would see his mother, and the last time his feet would walk the familiar paths of his cherished homeland. Carried to a strange and foreign land, he would live the remainder of his life serving under a brutal dictator. His hope for the future, and his security in the present, was suddenly gone. But the story of this courageous young man does not close with his capture. Instead, as we follow him into captivity, Daniel's life serves as a reminder that devotion to God knows no age limit, and that God honors obedience wherever He finds it. As the young Hebrew prisoners settled into life under Babylonian domination, and as the task of training and sorting prospective servants began, it was clear that Daniel was an exceptional young man. Chosen for his strength, intelligence and good looks, he could have laid claim to all the power and wealth of the empire. But Daniel was not interested in public approval or personal prosperity. As he observed the lifestyle of his captors, he vowed he would never follow in their wicked ways. His family had taught him well and he had listened and learned. Faced with the immorality of a godless, foreign culture, Daniel did not bend, though many of his fellow countrymen were not so strong. Once he had been trained in the ways of Babylon, Daniel was scheduled for a personal appearance before king Nebuchadnezzar. He knew his responses to the king's questions could mean life or death, but, once again, he proved that he was a man of integrity. The king was impressed. He quickly learned that this young Hebrew not only possessed tremendous physical strength and personal appeal, but even at his young age, Daniel was wiser than any of the Babylonian magicians. Though he did not understand Daniel's strange commitment to his God, Nebuchadnezzar was drawn to the exceptional character of Daniel, and he decided to make him one of his most trusted advisers. Instead of dying in slavery, Daniel lived in a place of honor. What a turnaround and what a testimony! Daniel lived his life as a man of integrity, even in adversity. His example serves as a witness to the fact that we, too, can stand through the toughest of trials and in the most difficult of times. Much of what we see in today's culture is ungodly, just as it was in the Babylonian society, and the pressure to do what everyone else is doing can be intense. But God is looking for men and women who will be strong, and who will choose His ways over the world's ways. Will we be like Daniel? Will we choose integrity even in adversity? (c)2005 Nancy K. Brown, one time rights to Eternal Ink nancy@... Submitted to Carl Phillips for publication in Eternal Ink +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 3) Seasonal Feature RECOGNIZING FATHERS By Ivie Bozeman Father's Day is a day of commemoration and celebration of the man. It is a day not only to honor your Father, but all men who have acted as a father figure in your life. Father's Day has been around since the early 1900's. In 1966 President Lyndon Johnson signed a presidential proclamation declaring the third Sunday of June as Father's Day. . In my church, Father's Day is recognized by honoring the youngest father, or the father with the youngest child present; the oldest father and the father whose children drove the longest distance to be present with him. It is a day we all enjoy. One year there was a couple in their early forties who had desperately wanted a child for a long time. Prayers had been answered, and they had adopted a newborn baby just a few days before Father's Day. He was a large, jolly man we all loved. There was no doubt that year he would be the recipient of the first award. When the speaker made the call, he was immediately on his feet, baby in his arms, headed down the aisle. I was reminded that day of the radiant face of Moses when he came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the testimony in his hands. Moses was not aware of his radiance. Neither was this young father aware of the radiance on his face that day, but it was there. He's been a father for six years now and his face is still radiant when he's with his daughter or talks about her. It is easy to see that she's "the light of his life". On one occasion in our church, we had a young man who had just become a stepfather. He wore a glow of radiance as he was recognized as the newest father. This Father's Day he will be in the running for the "newest biological father." There are lots of good fathers today, both young and old, biological and stepfathers. There are teachers and coaches and various other positions where men are role models to children, making a difference in their lives. These are the men we recognize on Father's Day. Thank God for their lives and their influence. (c)2005 Ivie Bozeman ivie@... +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 4) Inspirational Story Back in the 50's, there was a well known radio host/comedian/song writer in Hollywood named Stuart Hamblen who was noted for his drinking, womanizing, partying, and general mischief. One of his bigger hits at the time was "I won't go hunting with you Jake, but I'll go chasing women." One day, along came a young preacher holding a tent revival. Hamblen had him on his radio show presumably to poke fun at him. In order to gather more material for his show, Hamblin showed up at one of the revival meetings. Early in the service the preacher announced, "There is one man in this audience who is a big fake." There were probably others who thought the same thing, but Hamblen was convinced that he was the one the preacher was talking about (some would call that conviction), but he was having none of that. Still the words continued to haunt him until a couple of nights later he showed up drunk at the preacher's hotel door around 2AM demanding that the preacher pray for him! But the preacher refused, saying, "This is between you and God, and I'm not going to get in the middle of it." But he did invite Stuart in, and they talked until about 5 AM at which point Stuart dropped to his knees and with tears, cried out to God. But that is not the end of the story. Stuart quit drinking, quit chasing women, quit everything that was 'fun.' Soon he began to lose favor with the Hollywood crowd. He was ultimately fired by the radio station when he refused to accept a beer company as a sponsor. Hard times were upon him. He tried writing a couple of "Christian" songs, but the only one that had much success was "This Old House," written for his friend Rosemary Clooney. As he continued to struggle, a long time friend named John took him aside and told him, "All your troubles started when you 'got religion.' Was it worth it all?" Stuart answered simply, "Yes." Then his friend asked, "You liked your booze so much, don't you ever miss it?" And his answer was, "No." John then said, "I don't understand how you could give it up so easily." And Stuart's response was, "It's no big secret. All things are possible with God." To this John said, "That's a catchy phrase. You should write a song about it." And as they say, "The rest is history." The song Stuart wrote was "It Is No Secret." "It is no secret what God can do. What He's done for others, He'll do for you. With arms wide open, He'll welcome you. It is no secret, what God can do...." By the way... the friend was John Wayne. And the young preacher who refused to pray for Stuart Hamblen? ....That was Billy Graham. Author Unknown Shared by Bob Shaw and his friends +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 5) Personal Experience/ Scriptural Tips/Closing Words Declaration of Independence By Mary-Ellen Grisham When I was five years old, I went to a kindergarten in a private home because public schools had not yet started offering that grade. I had to walk into a small town and take a bus to Mrs. Burnison's house. My parents walked and took the bus with me until I got competent with the route, but soon I was chafing to be big and on my own. Still most days, my dad who was working night shift would walk to meet me as I got off the bus. Finally, I worked out a way to demonstrate my independence and complete capability. When the bus pulled in to the small town, I noticed Dad was not yet at the stop, so I took off running, going home by an alternative route. Sometime later, Dad got back home. I wasn't punished, but from then on, I had the privilege of going the whole way alone. I wish I could report that I was smoothly competent and problem-free everyday, but I had my share of difficulties from time to time: missing my stop, aggravation with store clerks when I tried to buy penny sweets, and tendencies to "diddle and dawdle" along. How like that independent five-year-old we all are at times. We forget to rely on God's help and want to go-it-alone. When problems arise, we are startled to realize that we were not so self-sufficient as we thought. God is always ready to help, to hear our prayers, and guide our steps. With the same good nature of a loving father, he opens His arms and welcomes us back into the light of His love. Some handy reminders of our needs: "Hear, ye, children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law." Proverbs 4: 1-2 (KJV) "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV) If you have found inspiration and blessing from this issue of Eternal Ink, we hope that you will share a copy with a friend...or suggest a subscription to Eternal Ink: 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 all the joys of high summer, Mary-Ellen +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ WE ARE PLEASED TO BE PARTNERS WITH LIVING2SERVE AND WITH TEENS4JESUS. OUR THANKS TO ARKWEBS MINISTRIES FOR ALL THEIR HELP. -- To unsubscribe, send ANY message to: eternal_ink-unsubscribe@... A proud member of the ArkWebs<http://www.arkwebs>ministry team.