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) Seasonal Feature 4) Meditation on Scripture 5) Poetry 6) Light Moments 7) Memorable Words/Closing Words ISSN#: 1528-9605 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 1) Mary-Ellen's Note Since God gave man free will, we have been faced with a continual series of choices. With mature consideration, I have thought that God knew that Adam and Eve would eat the apple when tempted by Satan in the guise of a serpent and that this fore-knowledge was one of the reasons He gave man free will from the beginning. Without the power to say "yes" or "no," we would continually be manipulated by evil...or by those with evil intentions. With the knowledge of good and evil, we can further free ourselves if we follow the guidance of the Lord. With free will, our choices are significant. They are not the product of puppet-like determination, nor need they be the product of sinister, manipulative evil. With faith and maturity, we can discern the "good" that we should choose. Choice brings a heavy responsibility as does the knowledge of good and evil. If Adam and Eve had been obedient to God's instructions and lived simply in fellowship with Him, the burden of choice would have been easy. When they and we choose to disobey God's best advice, His Word, then we leave ourselves open to making unwise decisions, being manipulated by temptation, and being duped by those with evil minds and hearts. The Bible is really a long story of a people (Israel) and of all mankind freeing themselves from bondage--the bondage of powerful and unprincipled nations, the bondage of sin, and the bondage of death. At this Fourth of July time of year, we pause to give special thanks for our freedoms as citizens of the United States of America. Our country, our citizens will be faced with difficult choices in the days to come. At times, the line between good and evil blurs if we rely too heavily on our own understanding or push too exclusively for our own vested interests without the guidance of God. We can be very thankful that we have His Word to guide us along through difficult times and along difficult pathways. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 2) Devotion Taking time to smell the roses, gives us spiritual balance and reduces stress By Annettee Budzban Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy the devil roams around like a lion ( in fierce hunger) seeking someone to seize upon and devour. - 1 that Peter 5:8 (AMP) How I love the summer months! Everywhere you look you can see beautiful flowers. Hues of pink, red, and white are popping up all over. My neighbor has some type of bright yellow flower blooming in a background of green foliage. Roses - my favorite flower- are climbing their way up the branches of many a neighborhood trellises. In a season when many activities are taking place, we can easily get caught off guard and go from enjoyment to the stress of running from here to there. When this happens on a regular basis, we may find ourselves becoming oblivious to our environment. Although this may appear harmless, living life in a whirlwind of activity doesn't give us the needed rest our bodies require- and robs us from enjoying the beauty of God's creation. Before you know it, we find ourselves devoured by exhaustion and feeling stressed instead of blessed. Excessive activity is a tool the enemy of our soul uses to get us stressed out of perfect balance. With my background in nursing, I realize that many illnesses are either caused or aggravated by stress. Why not try a little preventive medicine? Take some time to rest this season, and let some summer colors captivate your senses. When you walk out the door each day, give yourself a moment to pause and notice the beauty of the surroundings. At your coffee break, take a few minutes to gaze out a window at the white fluffy clouds. After dinner, take an evening stroll around the block- it will not only help you to burn off a few pounds, but you will have the opportunity to enjoy the gift of your neighbor's green thumb. The spiritual principle to balance work and rest was God's original design for a healthy life. God has created a beautiful world for us to enjoy. It would be a pity for us to ignore it. So in the midst of our busy schedules, let's not forget to take some time to stop and smell the roses. (c)2005 Annettee Budzban ahrtwrites2u@... +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 3) Seasonal Feature OUR NATION'S BIRTHDAY BY IVIE BOZEMAN In a few days we will celebrate Independence Day or the Fourth of July, which has become a favorite way to refer to the birthday of the United States of America. My home is located near the Fair Grounds where my community has celebrated this day with fireworks for many years. When my children and later, grandchildren were small, we walked over to the Fair Grounds to have a closer view of the activities. In later years since the children have gone, we set at home in air-conditioned comfort and watch through our windows, which repels the mosquitoes and other night insects. Actually, we get a better view of the fireworks off at a distance. As we watch the lighted colors in the sky, it's like watching a ballet show, except the dancers are above us and seem to be painting the sky. This scene is the climax to a holiday for Americans, celebrated with a day off from work. Many communities, including my own, have picnics, lively music, swimming parties and friendly baseball games. Young people dress in red, white and blue during these events. Older people discuss the meaning of this birthday celebration. In the middle 1700s, our country consisted of 13 colonies under the rulership of a king 3000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean. The colonists were tired of the taxes imposed upon them by King George III. A "tea party" and a "massacre" further agitated both the British and the colonists. Partly as a joke, Bostonians dressed up as Indians and dumped a shipload of tea into the Massachusetts Bay. British soldiers retaliated, by firing on the locals, killing a few citizens. The Colonists called it a Massacre. Virginia took the first step toward independence when the Continental Congress met in 1774. George Washington took command of the continental army and for eight years the Revolutionary war raged on. On July 2, 1776, the Second Continental Congress presented a document called the Declaration of Independence. In 1783, Independence Day was declared an official holiday. In 1941 congress declared the Fourth of July a federal holiday. We are fortunate to live in a country today that is free. Paul in his letter to the Galatians affirms freedom as an important part of the Christian life. "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free." (Galatians 5:1 NIV) As Christians we are to use this freedom for service and love. Freedom should make a positive difference in our lives and in the world. (c)2005 Ivie Bozeman ivie@... +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 4) Meditation on Scripture DELETED MESSAGES By Inez B. Norwood Every day, I see my "delete box" has a number of messages in it. Some, I have sent there deliberately, but some have been deleted automatically without any action on my part. I don't understand how some messages have gone to the box, since I know I did not mark them as such. I am not literate enough on the computer to know how to re-program to avoid having those messages sent there "accidentally"! Thus each day, I go to the "delete" box and redirect those that I wish to read and answer to the "in" box. This morning as I had a devotion it occurred to me that this doesn't happen with the messages that we direct to our Heavenly Father. Neither does He delete ANY of our messages to Him. They receive His attention and none of them are insignificant to Him! Our pleas and cries are all important and all of them are prioritized! Some of the following Scriptures give us encouragement with our prayers: "If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?" (Luke 11:11) "If you ask anything in My name, I will do it." (John 14:14) NKJ "In that day you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you." (John 16:23) NASV "Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them." (Mk 11:24) "And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son." (John 14:13) "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed." (James 1:5,6 KJV) "Let him ask in faith." This is an essential condition to prevailing prayer, with no doubting, for "he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind." In the verse from James 1:5 we are told that the Father upbraids not. He considers our requests as serious needs - man does not always do this - but sometimes sneers and questions the honesty of our request. Not so with the Heavenly Father! Other Scriptural encouragement: "Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done." (Matthew 21:21) "For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith." (Mark 11:23) Inez B. Norwood June 27, 2005 vibn@... +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 5) Poetry In Him, Declaration of Independence By Elizabeth Pearson Many years ago America burst its bonds and its independence boldly declared! Through struggles long and oft-times bleak, to challenge a giant it dared! And now, a strong new nation was born, with "Freedom and Justice for all!" The goal of young and old alike made them rise to answer its call. Striving together, united they fought -- To rid all oppression and rule of those who would dictate religious thought, A righteous rebellion was fueled! Against all odds, God honored their quest and gave leadership wise and strong, The fortitude to press on toward the prize -- For the peace they'd desired for so long. For almost 19 decades we honored God's Word in our schools and government life... But in recent years our vision has been blurred by those who engender much strife! No longer is allegiance to God acknowledged, His role in our past they blot out! Life is "expendable" for both young and old, and "alternate lifestyles" they tout. Promiscuity has invaded our land -- Biblical values are flagrantly scorned -- This "Declaration of Independence" -- from God! should cause our people to mourn! But Christians should not join this crowd. Our freedoms we've already gained! We experience God's blessing and power, and eternal rewards we've attained. So, OUR "Declaration of Independence" Should be from the "pleasures" of sin! To seek the lost and win them to God -- return those bound by Satan to Him! (c)2005 Elizabeth Pearson roybet630@... +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ (6) Light Moments...with Thoughtful Implications The Mouse Trap A mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package. "What food might this contain?" He was devastated to discover it was a mouse trap. Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed the warning. "There is a mouse trap in the house! There is a mouse trap in the house!" The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, "Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it." The mouse turned to the pig and told him, "There is a mousetrap in the house." The pig sympathized, but said, "I am so very sorry, Mr. Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it but pray. Be assured you are in my prayers." The mouse turned to the cow. She said, "Wow, Mr. Mouse. I'm sorry for you, but it's no skin off my nose." So, the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer's mousetrap alone. That very night a sound was heard throughout the house -- like the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey. The farmer's wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught. The snake bit the farmer's wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital, and she returned home with a fever. Everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup's main ingredient. But his wife's sickness continued, so friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig. The farmer's wife did not get well; she died. So many people came for her funeral, the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them. So, the next time you hear someone is facing a problem and think it doesn't concern you, remember -- when one of us is threatened, we are all at risk. In the book of Genesis, Cain said this about Able, his brother, to our God: "Am I my brother's keeper?" We are all involved in this journey called life. We must keep an eye out for one another and make an extra effort to encourage one another. REMEMBER: EACH OF US IS A VITAL THREAD IN ANOTHER PERSON'S TAPESTRY; OUR LIVES ARE WOVEN TOGETHER FOR A REASON. Trista Adams Shared by Ivie Bozeman and her friends +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 6) Memorable Words/Closing Words "To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, 'If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.' They answered him, 'We are Abraham's descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?' Jesus replied, 'I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.'" (John 8: 31-36 NIV) "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death." (Romans 8: 1-2 NIV) We hope you have enjoyed reading this Fourth of July issue of Eternal Ink. If you have found blessing from it, 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...and with joy and freedom in the Lord! Mary-Ellen +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ WE ARE PLEASED TO BE PARTNERS WITH TEENS4JESUS AND WITH LIVING2SERVE. MANY THANKS TO ARKWEBS TEAM OF 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.