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) Poetry 5) Inspirational Story 6) Light Moments 7) Memorable Words/Closing Words ISSN#: 1528-9605 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 1) Mary-Ellen's Note Salt--good for seasoning, curing meat, softening water, gargling, brushing teeth, preserving, and other curative applications. Too much salt, though, is not good for the heart or blood pressure. While salt can be stimulating, in excess, it can be irritating. Used in moderation, in balance with other ingredients, salt ads flavor and zest to food and living. Light--guiding, illuminating, making the way plain. Light pushes away the darkness, clears dark corners, and brings joy, hope, and energy to man. Deeds done in darkness are exposed by the light, and those with no sin to hide are comfortable living in the light--for all to see what they do. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told his listeners that they were salt and light: "You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under s bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." (Matthew 5: 13-14 NIV - Salt and Light) Jesus' followers can add flavor and zip to life; they can bring the light of truth, love, faith, and hope to others. Ever mindful that we point to the Lord's truth, we can add the seasoning and illumination which bring joy to our days and to the lives of others. Salt and light can be curative, and we need to endeavor to bring healing and hope to others, along with good counsel, wise decisions, helpfulness, and living that points to wellness and renewal. Love and warmth add blessing to this "recipe" for Christian living, as we let the Holy Spirit "stir" us to righteous and goodly example. Bland or lukewarm living robs those we touch of truth and joy. Living with enthusiasm, zest, and gladness brings God's light and love to the hearts of all we meet. Discerning a Godly balance is the work of a lifetime, but the effort does not go unnoticed! Many will rejoice in our kindly endeavor along the way, praising the Lord for His encouraging influence. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 2) Devotion MAKE A NEW BREATH By Melva Cooper "In His hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind." Job 12:10 (NIV) An afternoon of babysitting with Levi and Brooke is pure joy for me. The boundless energy of a six-year-old and a five-year-old sometimes stretches my physical limitations. Yet, it can be an awesome time of communication between grandma and two of her grandchildren. The sun was shining. Swings and a sandbox covered a large area of the freshly mowed yard. Bicycles, scooters, and a four-wheeler were parked on the patio. But, today swimming was their objective. A pool large enough for them to enjoy and small enough for grandma to be comfortable with, sat full of water ready to jump into. Rocket, their Sheltie puppy, ran circles around them and the pool. "Look, grandma, I can swim all the way across!" It was Brooke, eager for me to notice her accomplishments. Not to be outdone, big brother Levi chimed in just as loudly, "And grandma, watch me pick up the diving sticks from the bottom of the pool." I loved it! Forget the books, my journal, and the papers and pens that I had brought with me. Today, I would relax and enjoy the company of these two precious kids. Brooke liked holding her breath and swimming under water. Under she would go! In a few seconds back up she would come, always looking around to see if grandma was still watching. After one of Brooke's extended times under water, I decided to check on her and be sure she was OK. Up she came, shaking the water from her face and almost gasping for air. "Grandma, I stayed under so long I needed to make a new breath," her little teeth chattered as she explained. Brooke knew she had stayed nearly too long down in the depths of that swimming pool. She also knew that 'making a new breath' would refresh her and soon she would be ready to go again. I thought about how sometimes life's problems, trials, and tests can be so overwhelming that we feel like we need to come up for air just to be able to breathe. The bottom of the pool would be an adequate way to explain how lost and lonely the way gets some days. Yet, no matter how deep our struggles, or how far away we roam, it is never too late to return to the Lord. God is always waiting with outstretched arms for you 'to make a new breath' and a new life in Him. (c)2005 Melva Cooper melva@... www.melvacooper.com http://www.melvacooper.com/ +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 3) Seasonal Feature THOSE WHO WEAR PURPLE BY IVIE BOZEMAN The beautiful spring and early summer seasons have past, along with their special holidays. The Fourth of July is behind and several weeks of hot summer stretches ahead before Labor Day arrives. Some people will break the long stretch of heat by going to the mountains or the seashore. Others will choose to stay quietly at home and deal with the summer heat in various ways. One of the brightest splotches of color in my hometown this summer is the Red Hat Society. These women can be seen dining at the local restaurants and having the best time imaginable. This is a women's movement that is changing the perception of aging women in the United States and around the world. My small town has three chapters and there is talk of a fourth one being organized. This group now has more than one million members with more than 41,000 chapters across the United States and in more than 30 foreign countries. The members, made up of women over fifty years of age, have no rules; only believing that being together, having fun and enjoying each other's fellowship is what matters. They dress in purple, wear shiny red hats, lots of jewelry and a smile on their faces. When I see a "Red Hatter" in her purple dress, I'm always reminded of Lydia in the bible. (Acts 16) She always dressed in purple. She was a seller of purple dye, the clear and white secretion that ran through the veins of a certain mollusk (shellfish). When this secretion was exposed to the sun, it turned to deep purple and made a dye for fabrics. A successful gentile businesswoman, Lydia moved to Philippi in Macedonia. She became a part of a small group of Jewish women who met together to worship the God of Abraham, and she came to know the one true God. Paul happened upon this little group of worshipers and shared with them the message of Christ. Possibly, because Lydia was a gentile, she didn't fee free to invite the Jewish group into her home, but she and the others met outside the gates of Philippi on the banks of the Gangites River to study and pray. They prayed for more light and spiritual encouragement. This group had never heard of Jesus Christ until Paul found them. Through their praying, their hearts had been prepared for Paul's message, and Lydia and her friends eagerly accepted it. He baptized them in the river. Filled with the boldness of Christ, she then invited the group to her home. It became the meeting place of a growing group of Christians. Lydia continued her business activities, but the center of her life became the indwelling presence of the man who had been crucified in Jerusalem for all of our sins. I don't know how far I can take the comparison of Lydia and the Red Hatters. Lydia was a successful professional woman. She seemed to have everything, but she was perceptive enough to face her inner emptiness and take definite steps to fill her emptiness with the true God. The Red Hatters are older women; many retired business and professional women, who believe there is something more available in a woman's life in the later years, and they are pursuing it. Hopefully, like Lydia, they too, will find new life and purpose. (c)2005 Ivie Bozeman ivie@... +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 4) Poetry SERIOUS BUSINESS By Elizabeth Pearson "Oh, well, it's only a game," said he, As he shrugged his shoulders and sighed. "I'll have another chance, you will see," (His keen disappointment to hide). Some people think of Life as a Game, With no eternal consequence. A failure is no cause for alarm, Just "try again" to scale that fence! Each of us likes to end up "on top," The prize at the end, wish to win -- But if we keep on losing the game, The thrill and commitment wear thin. Games are trivial, their value suspect, When over, repeated again. The winner may gain fleeting respect And brief recognition by men. Life, a prelude to Eternity, Means that ev'ry day counts with God. We cannot recall a single hour As on this pilgrimage we plod. A serious business, our journey here, And when God declares it must end, "Another chance," His Word makes it clear -- Is a choice you cannot defend. As trivial pursuit, don't live your days, In God's will be sure you have run. Then, at Christ's feet your crowns you will lay And the Master will say, "Well Done!" (c)2005 Elizabeth Pearson roybet630@... +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ (5) Inspirational Story THE EMPEROR'S SEEDS An emperor was growing old and knew it was time to choose His successor. He called the young people in the kingdom together and said, "It is time for me to step down and to choose the next emperor." "I am giving each one of you a seed today. I want you to plant the seed, water it and come back one year from today with what you have grown from this one seed. I will then judge what you bring, and choose who will be the next emperor!" Ling received a seed like the others. He went home and excitedly told his mother the story. She helped him get a pot and planting soil, and he planted the seed and carefully watered it. Every day he watered it and watched to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other youths began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow. Ling kept checking his seed, but nothing grew. Three, four, five weeks went by, but nothing sprouted. By now, others were talking about their plants. Ling didn't have a plant, and he felt like a failure. Six months went by; still nothing grew in Ling's pot. He believed he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. He just kept hoping for his seed to grow. After a year all the youths of the kingdom brought their plants to the emperor for his inspection. Ling told his mother that he wasn't going to take an empty pot, but his Mother said he must be honest about what happened. Ling felt sick to his stomach, but he knew his Mother was right. When Ling arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other youths. They were all shapes and sizes. Ling put his empty pot on the floor and many of the others laughed at him. A few felt sorry for him and said, "Hey, nice try." When the emperor arrived, he greeted the young people and then surveyed the room. Ling tried to hide in the back. "My, what great plants, trees and flowers you have grown," said the emperor. "Today, one of you will be appointed the next emperor!" All of a sudden, the emperor spotted Ling at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered his guards to bring him to the front. Ling was terrified. "The emperor knows I'm a failure! Maybe he will have me killed!" When Ling got to the front, the Emperor asked his name. "My name is Ling," he replied. The emperor looked at Ling, and then announced to the crowd, "Behold your new emperor! His name is Ling!" Ling couldn't believe it. Ling couldn't even grow his seed. How could he be the new emperor? Then the emperor said, "One year ago today, I gave everyone here a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. I gave you all boiled seeds, which would not grow. All of you, except Ling, have brought me trees, plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Ling was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new emperor!" Remember: Plant honesty, you will reap trust. Plant goodness, you will reap friends. Plant humility, you will reap greatness. Plant perseverance, you will reap victory. Plant consideration, you will reap harmony. Plant hard work, you will reap success. Plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation. Plant openness, you will reap intimacy. Plant patience, you will reap improvements. Plant faith, you will reap miracles. What you plant now will determine what you will reap tomorrow. The seeds you now scatter will make your life worse or better in the future. It may also have a profound effect on those around you. Yes, someday, you will enjoy the fruits..... or you will pay for the choices you plant today. Author Unknown Shared by Ivie Bozeman and her friends +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 6) Light Moments Once upon a time there was a shepherd tending his sheep at the edge of a country road. A brand new Cadillac Escalade screeches to a halt next to him. The driver, a young man dressed in a Briani suit, Cerutti shoes, Ray-Ban sunglasses, Jovial Swiss wrist watch, and a Bhs tie gets out and asks the shepherd, "If I can guess how many sheep you have, will you give me one of them?" The shepherd looks at the young man, then looks at the sprawling field of sheep and says, "Okay." The young man parks the SUV, connects his notebook and wireless modem, enters a NASA site, scans the ground using his GPS, opens a database and 60 Excel tables filled with algorithms, then prints a 150 page report on his high tech mini printer. He then turns to the shepherd and says, "You have exactly 1,586 sheep here." The shepherd answers, "That's correct! You can have your sheep." The young man takes one of the animals and puts it in the back of his vehicle. The shepherd looks at him and asks, "Now, if I guess your profession, will you pay me back in kind?" The young man answers, "Sure." The shepherd says, "You are a consultant." "Exactly! How did you know?" asks the young man. "Very simple," answers the shepherd. "First, you came here without being called. Second, you charged me a fee to tell me something I already knew. Third, you don't understand anything about my business - and I'd really like to have my dog back." ....Mikey's Thot for the Day (Mike Atkinson www.UneekNet.com or www.MikeysFunnies.com) +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 7) Memorable Words/Closing Words "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." John 10:10 KJV "...even so we also should walk in newness of life." Romans 6:4b KJV "And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." Romans 5:5 KJV We hope you have found inspiration and blessing in this issue of Eternal Ink. If so, please share a copy with a friend or neighbor. 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, Mary-Ellen. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ WE ARE PLEASED TO BE PARTNERS WITH LIVING2SERVE AND WITH TEENS4JESUS. 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.