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) Harvest Home Poetry and Devotion Contest 8) Aids with Outreach - Note cards to send 9) Prayer Requests 10) Memorable Words/Closing Words ISSN#: 1528-9605 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 1) Mary-Ellen's Note Ever since I was very small, I have wanted to be a writer. I used to scribble around in notebooks, creating small pictures and writing down thoughts, small poems, and observations. I carefully saved my writing notebooks and continued the writing during my teaching years and marriage. Some of the stories I wrote for my small son are among my greatest "treasures." I have been sharing inspirational stories and Christian writings on the Internet now for seven years. Last year I brought out a small volume of poems and prose poetry entitled "Earth Tones." Soon I will be releasing a volume of Christian writings (poems, prose poetry, devotions, meditations, stories) entitled "Grace Notes." I enjoy sharing these collections with friends and acquaintances and believe that I am celebrating the joy of the Lord with them. Because of others I've met through Internet newsletters and inspirational sites, I realize that many are using their writing talents for the glory of God. It is such a blessing to be able to share inspirations, personal experiences, and insights about Scripture with readers. I think it is one of the best ways to share our Christian witness and our love of the Lord. In this spirit, the editors of Eternal Ink hold the annual poetry and prose contest for those who love to write and share their Christian faith with others. Section "7" below gives the details on the 2005 Eternal Ink Harvest Home Poetry and Prose Contest, and we sincerely hope that many of you will enter and share your writings with us. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 2) Devotion Choosing friends wisely is important to our well-being By Annettee Budzban "The righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray." - Proverbs 12:16 (NKJV) When I was a young girl, often I would go to the playground down the street and meet with the new friends I found there. In the middle of the playground was a merry-go-round. The wearing of the red paint from its wooden slats proved it was one of our favorite rides. I remember reeling with laughter as my friends whirled me around and around. Next to the park sat a small summer cottage, and one day my friends decided to take a peek in the window. " Come on! It will be fun," were their enticing words to me. We stacked up a bunch of old crates, then each of us took turns peeking inside the window. My peek revealed a girl's bedroom with a shelf lined with old fashioned dolls with curly hair and frilly dresses. In the middle of the room sat a small children's table with a lace doily and tiny tea set painted with colorful flowers. This room beheld every girl's dream. Day after day, we peered through the glass window. Then one day, my friends decided to venture inside the house. Instead of joining them, I ran home as fast as I could. As my feet pounded the pavement, my heart pounded with fear. I couldn't stop thinking how wrong we had been to peek into that house. Afterward, I did my best not to get too involved with this pack of friends. To this very day, I carry this lesson deep within my heart. Its experience is a powerful example of the warning in scripture about how our character can be shaped by the company we keep. Right relationships are important to our physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. Throughout our life we need to choose our friends wisely. We need to make our close associations people who have a good value system that will prompt us to make decisions that will glorify God and help us to be our best. (c)2005 Annettee Budzban ahrtwrites2u@... +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 3) Feature The Light in the Mountains By Ivie Bozeman For the last two July's when the heat index hovers in the nineties, and the air is so thick and heavy, it appears to be recycled, I've found relief in the North Georgia Mountains. Tallulah Falls, a boarding school that will soon celebrate its hundredth anniversary, offers an adult retreat. We live in the boy's dormitory, built on the highest peak on the campus, and enjoy the view. The buildings on campus are built of the native mountain stone and landscaped to fit into the mountainous setting. It is located on the edge of Tallulah State Park, near Tallulah Gorge, which features a lovely waterfall. The river has been dammed to produce electrical power. When the locks are open the view is spectacular. This year has been an unusually rainy one, so the natural flow of the river creates its own beautiful falls. Tallulah Falls is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia. These mountains are accessible to the Retreater for a short drive, as well as many other notable sites in the Georgia, North Carolina area, including many good shopping malls that are an attraction for older women, who like to add shopping to the pleasures of enjoying nature. On the campus of the school is a beautiful A-frame, non-denominational glass chapel, where we gathered each morning for a time of devotion. No one mentioned any particular denomination, yet we felt a special closeness to each other and to nature as we discussed spiritual topics of interest to all of us. In fact, it was so easy to feel close to God all week. The fellowship was great, the atmosphere clean and pure. One had the feeling of being in a holy place. I tried to visualize what it would be like to be a student on this campus, to have the opportunity to live and learn in this environment. There are students from 17 different countries represented in their enrollment of 140 boarding students and 18-day students that come from the surrounding area. It is a co-education boarding school for grades 7-12 with a student-teacher ratio of 1-11. This school was opened in 1909 through the efforts of the Georgia Federation of Women's clubs (which still own it today.) In 1970, the school became a privately chartered institution, serving students from throughout the world. All this came to be reality when a summer resident met many of the local children and was moved by their hunger for knowledge. The logo of the school is "The Light in the Mountains." My mind played with this phrase in many different ways. For one, I thought of the controversy we have in the public schools. This school, while not calling itself a Christian school, personifies one in many ways. Everything about the school inspires one to strive to be well-rounded in body, mind and spirit. The school is unique in that The Federated Women's Club of Georgia founded it. It is the only private school to be owned by a group of women and founded to be a "light in the mountains." for children who could not attend school due to location, lack of transportation and various other reasons. I thought a lot about verses 2-5 in the first chapter of Genesis: "Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light 'day' and the darkness he called 'night.' And there was evening, and there was morning---the first day." God was not talking about the light of the sun here. The sun, moon and stars were not created until the fourth day. This "light in the mountains" at Tallulah Falls School has nothing to do with the light of the sun, but the light of knowledge and the love of God. This light is within our minds. This light rescues us from the darkness within and allows separation of the light and dark within us. What a terrific dream these women of nearly a century ago had and developed. It is truly a light in the mountains for those who pass through its gates. (c)2005 Ivie Bozeman ivie@... +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ (4) Poetry NOTHING BUT LEAVES By Elizabeth Pearson Do you wonder why Jesus cursed the fig tree on His way? Wasn't that a cruel gesture, Harsh words for Him to say? Yes, it bore nothing but leaves -- But time for harvest was not yet! Because not one bud there was found -- its promise of fruit was not met! The plant was truly worthless, the harvest already lost! No wonder it withered and died and into the weed-pile was tossed. Even though one "looks" very nice, with "foliage" rich and green, God's looking for promising buds and His eyesight is very keen. Where are the desired "buds" -- Deeds that manifest His love? Does your life show rich promise of fruit for the Master above? (c)2005 Elizabeth Pearson roybet630@... +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 5) Inspirational Story Inside That Counts? Our house was directly across the street from the clinic entrance of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. We lived downstairs and rented The upstairs rooms to out-patients at the clinic. One summer evening as I was fixing supper, there was a knock at the door. I opened it to see a truly awful looking man. "Why, he's hardly taller than my 8-year-old," I thought as I stared at the stooped, shriveled body. But the appalling thing was his face, lopsided from swelling, red and raw. Yet his voice was pleasant as he said, "Good evening. I've come to see if you've a room for just one night. I came for a treatment this morning from the eastern shore, and there's no bus 'til morning." He told me he'd been hunting for a room since noon but with no success; no one seemed to have a room. "I guess it's my face ... I know it looks terrible, but my doctor says with a few more treatments ..." For a moment I hesitated, but his next words convinced me: "I could sleep in this rocking chair on the porch. My bus leaves early in the morning." I told him we would find him a bed, but to rest on the porch. I went inside and finished getting supper. When we were ready, I asked the old man if he would join us. "No, thank you. I have plenty." And he held up a brown paper bag. When I had finished the dishes, I went out on the porch to talk with him a few minutes. It didn't take a long time to see that this old man had an oversized heart crowded into that tiny body. He told me he fished for a living to support his daughter, her 5 children, and her husband, who was hopelessly crippled from a back injury. He didn't tell it by way of complaint; in fact, every other sentence was preface with a thanks to God for a blessing. He was grateful that no pain accompanied his disease, which was apparently a form of skin cancer. He thanked God for giving him the strength to keep going. At bedtime, we put a camp cot in the children's room for him. When I got up in the morning, the bed linens were neatly folded and the little man was out on the porch. He refused breakfast, but just before he left for his bus, haltingly, as if asking a great favor, he said, "Could I please come back and stay the next time I have a treatment? I won't put you out a bit. I can sleep fine in a chair." He paused a moment and then added, "Your children made me feel at home. Grownups are bothered by my face, but children don't seem to mind." I told him he was welcome to come again. And, on his next trip, he arrived a little after 7 in the morning. As a gift, he brought a big fish and a quart of the largest oysters I had ever seen! He said he had shucked them that morning before he left so that they'd be nice and fresh. I knew his bus left at 4:00 a.m., and I wondered what time he had to get up in order to do this for us. In the years he came to stay overnight with us, there was never a time that he did not bring us fish or oysters or vegetables from his garden. Other times we received packages in the mail, always by special delivery; fish and oysters packed in a box of fresh young spinach or kale, every leaf carefully washed. Knowing that he must walk 3 miles to mail these, and knowing how little money he had made the gifts doubly precious. When I received these little remembrances, I often thought of a comment our next-door neighbor made after he left that first morning. "Did you keep that awful looking man last night? I turned him away! You can lose roomers by putting up such people!" Maybe we did lose roomers once or twice. But, oh!, if only they could have known him, perhaps their illnesses would have been easier to bear. I know our family always will be grateful to have known him; from him we learned what it was to accept the bad without complaint and the good with gratitude to God. Recently I was visiting a friend, who has a greenhouse, as she showed me her flowers, we came to the most beautiful one of all, a golden chrysanthemum, bursting with blooms. But to my great surprise, it was growing in an old dented, rusty bucket. I thought to myself, "If this were my plant, I'd put it in the loveliest container I had!" My friend changed my mind. "I ran short of pots," she explained, "and knowing how beautiful this one would be, I thought it wouldn't mind starting out in this old pail. It's just for a little while, till I can put it out in the garden." She must have wondered why I laughed so delightedly, but I was imagining just such a scene in heaven: "Here's an especially beautiful one," God might have said when he came to the soul of the sweet old fisherman. "He won't mind starting in this small body." All this happened long ago - and now, in God's garden, how tall this lovely soul must stand. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." (1 Samuel 16:7b) Friends are very special. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear and they share a word of praise. Show your friends how much you care! Author unknown Shared by Nell Berry and her friends +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 6) Light Moments, with Humor Fund Raising The church choir was putting on a car wash to raise money for their annual Tour. They made a large sign which read, "Car Wash for Choir Trip." On the given Saturday, business was terrific, but by two o'clock the skies clouded and the rain poured, and there were hardly any customers. Finally one of the girl washers had an idea. She printed a large cardboard poster which read, "We Wash and God Rinses." Business boomed! Honest Hymns There are people who in their honest moments ought to sing these familiar hymns, with their own title variations: "I Surrender Some" "When the Saints Go Sneaking In" "Take My Life and Let Me Be" "Just As I Make Believe I Am" "I Love to Talk About Telling the Story" "Where He Leads Me, I Will Think about Following" "Oh, How I Like Jesus" From "The World's Greatest Collection of Church Jokes," published by Barbour Publishing, Inc. Used by permission. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 7) Harvest Home Christian Poetry and Devotion Contest Eternal Ink will hold the Annual Poetry and Prose Contest once again this year. The deadline for submissions will be November 4, 2005, and these should be sent in the body of an email to Mary-Ellen Grisham at the following email address: meginrose@... (No attachments please.) Poetry entries: The poetry may be in any style of poetic expression, but the subject matter must be on Christian themes and topics. We ask each contestant to enter no more than three poems, and each poem should be no longer than 40 lines. The poems do not have to be seasonal. The poem should have a title, an author byline, the body of the poem, the copyright symbol with the author's name, and an email address. The author should also include his regular mailing address. Devotion entries: Devotional entries should be written in prose and be based on the Bible. The author may focus on a single Scriptural verse or on a significant passage or story. The length should be in the 400-600 word range and must be the work of the submitting author. Quoted material should be acknowledged with appropriate credit. The author is free to use personal experience or examples to develop his material. The devotion should have a title, an author byline, and the devotion followed by the copyright symbol with the author's name, and an email address. The author should also include his regular mailing address. Three top winners will be selected for both categories as well as several Honorable Mention awards. First, second, and third place winners will receive a book award, publication in Eternal Ink and publication on the Eternal Ink internet site. Honorable Mention winners will receive publication in Eternal Ink and on the site. Winners will be announced by the end of November, 2005. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 8) Aids with Outreach Many believers have an active outreach to the sick, homebound, lonely, and disabled. Others minister to friends with ongoing problems. Some have a "ministry by mail" with personal newsletters or Christian articles. Whatever form the outreach takes, readily available Christian cards and notes are a big help. I have found two Internet card shops that have assisted me greatly with friends, family, church acquaintances, and recipients of special club programs such as Angels to the Heart, Encouraging Word, and Sunday School Class cards. Creative Cards by Julie offers personalized notecards for all occasions, with a wide variety of categories and selections. Her Christmas card sets and sale packages are a special blessing. Her contact information follows below: Creative Cards by Julie the URL is www.cardsbyjulie.net http://julie47441.tripod.com/ jkdyer30@... (and a "contact me" email possibility on the site) Another source for Christian inspirational notecards is One to Another. They offer an inexpensive selection from a wide variety of nature-scene cards made on firm stock with decorative touches on both the front and inside the card. Their internet site is given below: One to Another http://onetoanother.com/faithcards Recently, I had a note from the two managers which I will include below: Now for our news ... we have recently enhanced our website to bless Christian organizations, such as church youth groups, Awana clubs, Christian schools, and ministries, by making our note cards available to them for achieving their fund raising needs. www.OneToAnother.com/fundraising After reviewing this link for yourself, would you kindly consider passing this link on to Children & Youth Pastors, youth club leaders, school administrators, ministry leaders, etc. whom you personally know so that they may learn of this opportunity. We truly appreciate your assistance in getting the word out. Thank you & God bless, Cathi & Lou One to Another Notecard Collection... for enabling ministry. www.OneToAnother.com +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 9) Prayer requests Let's remember those we know in Florida, Texas, and other portions of the country who have suffered damage and loss due to storms, high winds, and hurricanes. Recently our own Features Editor, Carl Phillips, who lives in Texas, has been part of the damaged areas suffering electrical outages and high winds. Please remember these folks with sincere prayer. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 10) Memorable Words/Closing Words The Word of Life "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched--this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete." I John 1: 1-4 (NIV) The first witnesses of Jesus' live and teachings took great joy in sharing the good news and the truths of life made complete in the Lord. We today can share our joy in the Christian way of life--through right living, loving, outreach, and caring. The joy of sharing our creativity through writing is a blessed form of witness for the Lord, and we hope all you who are sharing the love of the Lord Jesus Christ with others find great joy and blessing through your outreach for Jesus. If you have found hope and blessing from this edition of Eternal Ink, we hope you we 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. OUR THANKS TO ARKWEBS TEAM OF MININSTRIES FOR ALL THEIR HELP. -- To unsubscribe, send ANY message to: eternal_ink-unsubscribe@... A proud member of the ArkWebs<http://www.arkwebs>ministry team.