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) Personal Experience Meditation 4) Poetry 5) Timely Feature 6) Thoughtful poetry - speaking of feasts 7) This n' That 8) Prayer Request 9) Light Moments 10) Closing Words ISSN#: 1528-9605 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 1) Mary-Ellen's Note When the trials and tribulations of Revelations are almost over, the servants of God are invited to praise Him. The defeat of Satan is imminent, and the righteous are being called to rejoice. They are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb. In Revelations 19, we find the following text: "'Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him small and great.' Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty thunderpeals, crying, 'Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to be clothed with fine linen, bright and pure'-- for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. And the angel said to me, 'Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.'" Revelations 19: 5b-9a Revised Standard Version As the disciple John writes the words the angel gives him, we realize that the saints, the Body of Christ, His church on earth, those redeemed in the Lord are being invited to a great celebration--one in honor of the faithful followers of Jesus. This celebration, this joyous feast, is one we do not want to miss. The supreme joy of the new heaven and earth is about to be revealed. God's heavenly city, the new Jerusalem, will descend, lit by the light of God's glory and love. This scene of victory and joy is heralded by the second coming of Jesus. As I read these words in Revelations, I am reminded a little of our holiday feasts, especially those that are times of prayer, praise, and thanksgiving. Perhaps these genuine times of fellowship and worship, of rejoicing and feasting are a foreshadowing of the great joy to come in the Kingdom of the Lamb, where the spiritual food will satisfy for all eternity. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 2) Devotion Scattering Seeds By Betty King All who come to Him feast on His bounty "Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things." Psalm 107: 8-9 (NIV) Thanksgiving finds the dinning room table overflowing with a vast array of hearty cuisine as the family gathers around to feed on the bounty and give thanks for another year of blessings. Turkey and cornbread dressing compete with the aromas of other traditional family recipes, as conversation vies for a place at the table. Utensils, like shovels and rakes in the hands of a work crew, labor with ravish fervor as more than the turkey's cavity is filled. Ice clinking in glasses signals grandma's pitcher is needed. She pours a continuous supply of tea, as if from a bottomless well, quenching the thirst of each loving descendant, filling them with the liquid sweetness. The table, set in its grandest finery, soon looks like a heap of leftovers. The dog, part of the family, yet scarcely noticed by preoccupied humans, pleads his share of morsels before the cleaning crew descends scraping, stacking, and washing "Sunday's best" china. Though ballooned-up like a helium pilgrim display, everyone selects his favorites among the vast array of pies. The usual pumpkin, pecan, cherry, and even cream pies with egg whites, whipped into snow like mountains, tempt the most loyal dieting enthusiast. Cake-lovers yield to swirls of chocolate icing, temptation disintegrating like cake left in crumbles on dessert plates. A narrative of blessings is passed around the table, like yeast raised hot rolls, by each family member, satisfying the need to give thanks to God for His unfailing love and care. Tears are wiped from an occasional eye. Being thankful for God's gifts makes all in attendance realize that more than stomachs need to be filled as life is lived through the year. God supplies living water that can quench thirst, not just on Sundays or Holidays, but throughout the year, a spring of water welling up, giving eternal life. Those who search after Christ, He who can feed their hunger, will be filled with righteousness. All who are gathered realize there are both physical and spiritual needs, and they thank God for His provisions. The Word of God is a continual feast, a harvest needed to fill those who desire a daily banquet, food that is necessary to sustain a righteous life. The family acknowledges these facts as they read a passage of scripture. The day comes to an end; another family Thanksgiving Day passes; God provides another season and the assurance of an eternal celebration. Prayer: God, may this nation's homes be filled this Thanksgiving, and everyday throughout the year, with family members who pause to be thankful, not just for physical food and provisions, but spiritual nourishment that feeds the soul and provides eternal life. (c)2005 Betty King Betty King is the author of two books, It Takes two Mountains to Make a Valley and But - It Was in the Valleys I Grew. Visit her website at http://www.bettyking.net/ or email her at baking2@... +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 3) Personal Experience Meditation For Granted By Kathy Anne Harris So many things I have taken for granted. "The Merriam-Webster Dictionary" definition: 2: something granted; esp: a gift for a particular purpose. I looked that up this evening. It is the first time I've ever wondered what the meaning of that word "granted" in the term "take for granted" meant. I looked it up in "Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language" and found a more in-depth definition: 6. take for granted, a. to accept without question or objection; assume. b. to use, accept, or treat in a careless or indifferent manner. Boy, that second set of definitions about said it all for me. Defined my attitude to a tee. It has always been easy to live that way--accepting without questions, assume, accept in a careless or indifferent manner. It has not always been that extreme for me throughout the years, though. I have always appreciated and treasured any time spent in the mountains, moments when critters of all kind shared part of their lives with me, the holidays, grandma and grandpa, books. I learned that certain things I had assumed would always be a part of my life could be taken away. The love of a father and grandfather, through disease. The presence of a devoted, accepting, loving pet by old age. The dedication and companionship of a friend, by an auto accident. Yet, from the blindness of youth, I failed to see that, as the years passed, my skin was losing the supple glow of the young. My eyes, the vision that allowed me to read things that my parents could not. The agility and limberness that allowed me to play and fall--that made it possible for me to bang into and bounce off of furniture and walls and the hard ground and only cry about it if someone witnessed my clumsiness. I lost that childlike vision that opened the world to the joy of giggles, the wonder of a baby bird, the excitement of my first trip to Disneyland, and the delight in anticipating the arrival of Santa. It was my heart's sight that allowed me to observe the world around me with an open mind, and the people in my sphere of existence as people I could trust--I never knew a stranger. Somewhere between childhood naivete and the assumed maturity of young adulthood, I shed the ability to recall the miraculous, to trust, and to accept. As a person of "age," I began to take for granted, more and more, important things in life. Mortality, on a personal level, would not affect me. Disease was a destiny for others, but not in my world. Getting older... Getting gray... Getting rickety did not apply to me. Stairs and mountainsides, sand dunes and carnival rides would never seem insurmountable to me. My legs would not give out. My stamina would be forever youthful. I could always ride the tummy-tossing roller-coasters and whirling dervishes and never get sick. The sun was my friend, the snow my playmate, and never would I have thought to fear them. The summer breeze at sunset would bring with it the scent of fresh-washed gingham, Breck shampoo in still-damp hair, and an air of romance--those magical moments would be mine, forever. But forever suddenly becomes yesterday. And time hurtles on. The more complicated life and the world becomes, . . . the more simple experiences and moments give me the most pleasure. Regaining my childlike wonderment gives my older eyes renewed vision. The best sight, really. A melding of past and present shapes my vision of the future. I have three angles to see through, and the clarity has never been better. It is all a gift, for a particular purpose, as the dictionary defined. Thank you Lord for knocking me low enough that I could see everything, when looking up. (c) 2005 by Kathy Anne Harris kathap@... +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 4) Poetry The Dawn Awakes By Elizabeth Nisperos The beam of the early morning peeks through the windows, pulsating on the couch, cat still dreaming. The daisy drooping petals shakes the dews from her lips of white, red, yellow bouquet. The earthworm smells the coffee grounds as the baker puts bread on the oven and his dough rises. The dawn awakes. The mother peeks at her newborn asleep on the cradle, a tiny hand moves; her husband snoring on the bed has snow on the sides of his mouth. The songbird flaps her wings signaling her birdies to open their eyes to make squeaking sounds for the leaves to photosynthesize. May the dawn awake, always it shall, with the courage in its heart to let a glow into the morning sun. Heaven has heard a prayer. (c)2004 Elizabeth Nisperos rosespin7@... +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 5) Timely Feature INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER FOR THE PERSECUTED CHURCH -November 13, 2005 By Ivie Bozeman More than one hundred thousand churches of all denominations, in over one hundred thirty nations, will devote a November Sunday to prayer for persecuted Christians. Statistics tell us that nearly one hundred million Christians were martyred for their faith during the twentieth century. These statistics show that more Christians died for their faith during the last century than the previous nineteen centuries combined. The facts show that more Christians died for their faith than soldiers for their countries. Persecution of Christians began shortly after Pentecost. About this time, King Herod laid violent hands upon some who belonged to the church. Acts 12:1 states, "He had James, the brother of John, killed with the sword." James was one of Jesus' apostles. Herod next had Peter arrested and thrown into prison. Herod, as a representative of Rome held the real power to persecute. Steven was killed by mob action. After watching this event, the Apostle Paul gained permission to persecute the Christians and was on his way to do so when Jesus appeared to him on the Damascus Road Eugene Peterson says they had a choice to make--the way of Herod or the way of Jesus. Jesus is still known today while only historians know Herod. Jesus chose to work on the margins of society. Herod spent his time and energy with the wealthy and powerful. Herod showed his power in buildings and monuments. Such things never impressed Jesus; instead, he announced a kingdom and rule of God. The early church was a praying church. We are told that Peter's church was in prayer for him when the angel appeared in Acts 12:7 releasing him from prison. Surely the church prayed for James also. Only God in his great wisdom knows why Peter was released and James was killed. This describes to us Christians today what can be done for those being persecuted today. Christians can pray. God is powerful enough to change governments, and He can give strength to people facing persecution. History shows that the times that the church grew the fastest were also the times when Christians were most persecuted. Philip Jenkins, in his book The Next Christendom, says that the greatest growth in the Christian church in the present is taking place in Africa, South America and parts of Asia. In spite of years of persecution, the church in China is huge and growing. The church in Sudan is the fastest growing in any Muslim country. Tertullian stated in the second century: "The blood of the martyrs is the seeds of the church." We can get information on persecution of Christians by consulting the following websites: Christian Freedom International, Christian Solidarity Worldwide and Open Doors International. Information on "The International Day of Prayer" for the persecuted church can be found at the website www.persecutedchurch.org We can remember in prayer those Christians not as fortunate as we are. In America, we don't know what it means to suffer for our faith. Let us pray for those less fortunate. (c)2005 Ivie Bozeman ivie@... +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 6) Thoughtful poetry - speaking of feasts As we approach Thanksgiving and the Christmas holidays, many cooks are thankful for their old family recipes, their recipe card files, or their hefty cooking books. Betty's semi-humorous poem reminds us of the meaning of the seasons...or perhaps even "the seasonings." RECIPES By Elizabeth Pearson 'Tho some, from memory, or creative thought Can produce a delectable dish, Such expertise does not belong to me -- For such talent I can only wish! To make sure that what I attempt to make, Is acceptable for someone to eat, I must follow a recipe, step by step -- One that's already been proven a treat. I must know the ingredients to include And how much of each is needed. What a catastrophe I would produce If each direction is not carefully heeded. How important each measurement And the order of inclusion -- I must not alter any amount Lest I become victim of confusion! Whether to mix or stir or knead... (How thankful I am that I can read!) For, when dutifully doing what I am told, In my hands the desired result I will hold! It's amazing to me how flour and eggs, Milk and salt and yeast, Can work together to emerge brand new As a beautiful, tempting feast! God's Word is a precious recipe book! With instructions for ev'ry category... And, if followed explicitly, Will produce lives full of glory! How careful we, as Christians, should be Not to deviate from any command. 'Tis then we'll know God's blessing and help And become for Him product grand! We may need to be "really stirred up" Or in a "hot oven" be placed... But, be assured, when He finishes with us, We'll be a product of His marvelous grace! (c)2005 Elizabeth Pearson roybet630@... +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 7) This n' That Julie Dyer has the Thanksgiving and Christmas cards ready for sale at her site, Creative Cards by Julie: http://julie47441.tripod.com/ I have purchased Thanksgiving cards and am ordering a mixture of four of the Christmas selections. The pictures available are lovely and the verses inspired. They are a simple, clean, beautiful tribute to the seasons. Her over-all site address is as follows: www.cardsbyjulie.net +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 8) Prayer Request Hartson Dowd had surgery this week on Monday, October 31. Even though the surgery went as planned, he was in a lot of pain and could use our prayers. He is beginning to make a good recovery, with a return of his joy in living and his infectious sense of humor. Please remember both Helen and Hart Dowd in your prayers for healing and renewal, strength and courage. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 9) Light Moments Baking A Cake ============== A little boy is telling his Grandma how "everything" is going wrong: school, family problems, severe health problems, etc. Meanwhile, Grandma is baking a cake. She asks her grandson if he would like a snack, which of course, he does. "Here, have some cooking oil." "Yuck" says the boy. "How about a couple of raw eggs?" "Gross, Grandma!" "Would you like some flour then? Or maybe baking soda?" "Grandma, those are all yucky!" To which Grandma replies: "Yes, all those things seem bad all by themselves. But when they are put together in the right way, they make a wonderfully delicious cake! God works the same way. Many times we wonder why He would let us go through such bad and difficult times. But God knows that when He puts these things all in His order, they always work for good! We just have to trust Him and eventually they will all make something wonderful!" God is Crazy About You. He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning. Whenever you want to talk, He'll listen. He can live anywhere in the universe, and He chose your heart. ~Author Unknown~ Shared by Hart Dowd www.occupytillicome.com +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 10) Closing Words While we are not attempting to do an in-depth analysis or chronology of Revelations, we are hoping to share the joy, the life, the light, the truth, the triumph and victory inherent in the Christian belief, which is frequently quite evident in its feasts and holidays. We hope you are preparing your minds, hearts, souls, and spirits for the holiday seasons ahead. May your praise of the Lord be replete with joy! If you have enjoyed this issue of Eternal Ink, we hope you will share a copy with a loved one. 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 the joy of the Lord be your song! Blessings, 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.