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) Poetry 4) Feature 5) Prayer Requests 6) Thoughtful Moments, Some Humorous 7) Inspirational Short 8) Sayings of Cute Kids 9) Inspirational Story 10) Closing Words ISSN#: 1528-9605 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 1) Mary-Ellen's Note "Obey the laws, then, for two reasons: first, to keep from being punished, and second, just because you know you should. Pay your taxes too, for these same two reasons. For government workers need to be paid so that they can keep on doing God's work, serving you. Pay everyone whatever he ought to have: pay your taxes and import duties gladly, obey those over you, and give honor and respect to all those to whom it is due. Pay all your debts except the debt of love for others--never finish paying that! For if you love them, you will be obeying all of God's laws, fulfilling all his requirements. Romans 14: 5-8 (LB) The Bible has much to say about money, stewardship, refraining from indebtedness, tithes and offerings, and the use of resources. Paying one's debts in a timely fashion and not incurring major indebtedness is wise advice from the Bible. When we are too deeply in debt to another, we are not free to direct our own life or achieve our most important goals. Too much debt can place us in bondage to others. I have heard tragic stories of young people who are enticed into the credit card route soon after graduation from high school or college. Without sufficient funds to pay for what is charged, these young people can get to the place where they cannot pay even a portion of what is owed, the monthly bill. They may ruin their credit rating for life...and negate the range of life choices that should be open to them. Governments, if unwise, can fall into the same trap of indebtedness, with a cycle of impossible-to-pay interest requirements and accumulating bills. Such an unwise course of action would leave the nation open to pressure from others and could ultimately result in a loss of determination and autonomy. A negative fiscal imbalance could render the country's currency and assets practically worthless. There are, however, courses of action that a nation should never take to remedy unwise financial planning and indebtedness. Two that come most readily to mind would be selling portions of that country's land or harbors to other countries, who may ultimately prove to be unfriendly to our national goals, or drastically reducing necessary funding for the welfare of the indebted nation's own country. The Bible says that the work of government is to serve its own people. Cutting funding to education, healthcare, pension and social security, and other programs that guard the welfare of the people should not be a viable option. When at all possible, citizens of a country should be taxed according to their ability to pay, the richest citizenry footing the largest portion of necessary taxation. To my humble way of thinking, the above statements logically reflect Scriptural admonition. I have never been a primarily political person, and at one time or another and indeed, almost consistently, I have voted for persons running for both major parties. I am not a bigot; I am, however, a sincere Christian who is profoundly concerned about the financial state of the United States of America. There are nations, such as China, to whom we are indebted some 260 billion dollars, who are growing restive about our inability to pay the full amount of our indebtedness to them. They are growing tired of only receiving the annual interest payment, which is incidentally a staggering burden to the taxpayers of our country. The President of China is coming to visit our President in April of this year. He wants his country's money, requires the payment of our huge debt. It is time and passed time for us to end this cycle of fiscal irresponsibility. I would humbly suggest that sincere Christians need to make their thinking known to their elected representatives. Their obligation is to you, not to vested interests, not to political machinations, not to irresponsible financial planning. Act now. The time is upon us. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 2) Devotion How Do You Treat the One You Love? By Betty King It has been said: Be very careful if you make a woman cry, for God counts her tears. I wonder how many tears women have shed in the name of love. The Bible tells a woman she should submit to her husband as to the Lord, but it also tells the husband he should love his wife like Christ loved the church, and it goes into great detail as to how Christ loved the church. If husband and wife were to treat each other the way the Bible Instructs, they would cherish each other and be considerate one of the other. Neither would rule with an iron fist, nor require obedience from the other, the way many like to interrupt the scriptures. Neither man nor woman has any Biblical excuse for mistreating one another. Love for God is most important, but our love and treatment of one another is very important to God. When we choose to love someone, we should treasure, value and treat them as we wish to be treated. Respecting one another is essential in having a successful union between two people. We should desire to cause smiles instead of tears on the face of the one we love. To push another person's buttons until they explode is not being considerate. To force your opinions and ideas on another person is not being kind. Always having to have your way is selfish, and putting your mate down is uncaring. These are not traits that will encourage a loving relationship. Tears may come forth from the eyes, but the piping extends to the heart and soul. So when a person cries, you have touched the very essence of their soul. If tears are from hurt, be assured you have injured their spirit. If their tears are from joy, you have touched their very soul with your goodness. Be careful that you do not cause pain to those you love. The Bible also instructs how children and their parents should treat each other. Both parents and children have a responsibility in their relationship. Even in fostering our friendships, we are given instructions about these relationships in the scriptures. For how we should treat one another is very important to God. Perhaps you aren't a regular Bible reader and are not concerned with what the scriptures say about relationships or marriage. You don't have to be religious to benefit from what the scriptures teach us about how we should treat one another. Both the secular community and those who chose to follow their religious faith will find the Bible to offer instructions that will foster goodness in all kinds of relationships. Self-love, too, is an important aspect the Bible teaches us. Next to loving God more than anything, I think loving ourselves is important. The Bible teaches that in loving others, we should love them as ourselves. It is important that we indeed love ourselves! We are not to be conceited, vain or prideful; we should not be arrogant, snobbish or full-of-ourselves, but we need to love ourselves so that we may better love others. How we wish to be treasured is how we should treasure others. We do not like traits of jealousy, envy or ridicule and bossiness; we do not like to be verbally or physically abused. We do not like to be made fun of, spoken to disrespectfully, or to be treated with unfaithfulness. We don't like for someone to be argumentative toward us, or to disregard our privacy, or betray a code of confidence. So we need to remember not to use these very things in dealing with those we cherish. If you love someone, you care about them and are kind to them. If you honestly love them, you will make allowances for their imperfections, habits or mannerisms and not insist they follow precisely your desires and wishes. Love shows forgiveness, loyalty and compassion; it is slow to anger, it is supportive and overlooks imperfections. Gentleness, patience and understanding should be exhibited, too, when we care for someone. And if you really love someone, you would be willing to give your life for them if that were necessary. There is much responsibility that comes with loving. First of all, it is not all about you. When you truly love someone, their happiness becomes more important than your own. One must be careful not to smother the person they claim to love, or be too needy in their desires, for then love becomes suffocation. That is not love. One must allow individuality in a relationship. Loving should be giving, not taking. If you give love, and it is real and equal, it will come back to you. I am not suggesting you disregard your own needs, for if you enter into a true loving relationship, there will be equality in love, care and concern one for the other. Be careful who you love, and how you love, before you decide to share your life with another person, or there will be many tears for God to count. (c) 2006 Betty King baking2@... www.bettyking.net +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 3) Poetry FREE INDEED By Gary James Smith Free indeed, Hallelujah! What liberty I enjoy From a slave that once was shackled To a bond slave in His employ I breathe the breath of Mercy I savour the taste of Grace I'm walking now in fellowship With Him who took my place My spirit's raised to new heights Which before I never knew It seems I 'm walking on cloud nine Instead of three or two Amazing is that Father Who loveth us so much Daily giving us benefits Because of the Master's touch Drug free jubilation! I'm on a natural high Now released from bondage Never more to die! I watch some friends drink the dregs And suffer to a degree In spite of what I share with them They remain in misery Please dear Lord open eyes Of those entrapped by sin And let that glorious blessed light Of the gospel shine within Help to free the captives For this I humbly plead Then, only will they know What it means to be free indeed! Hallelujah! What a Saviour! (c) 2006 Gary James Smith lindamaysmith2005@... THE HOLY SPIRIT'S PRESENCE By Elizabeth Pearson The Holy Spirit -- an unseen Presence, sent from the Father above..."You will not be left comfortless," Proclaimed the Savior in love! He is our Leader and Guide, revealing God's Eternal Plan -- The myst'ries within God's Word, He unveils to each redeemed man. His ev'ry revelation is truth, He delights to enlighten our path. But He also exposes the depths of our sin and shows us God's rightful wrath. He breathes not a word to glorify self, but of the Father and Son He must speak, exhorting Christians to produce good works, He empowers them to be loving and meek. Without Him, we can do nothing, To neglect Him causes Him grief! But, in trial, tribulation and trouble, He's there to bring welcome relief. Without the Holy Spirit's presence within, carnal man God's Word cannot grasp. Eternal truths are but foolish to him...but the saved its precepts enclasp. Do we ask for His infinite wisdom? Do we walk as He leads the way? The Third Person of the Trinity should control all we do and say! Do we hear His still, small voice as to righteousness He would prod? How blessed is the man who yields to His will, How close to the heart of God! (c)2005 Elizabeth Pearson roybet630@... +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 4) Feature BUILDING STONES OF SOCIETY By Ivie Bozeman "Morals. Manners. Discipline, Learning. Attitudes. Habits. Honesty. Labor. Responsibility. Patriotism and most of all--Spirituality," says Julian Pipkin, PhD, columnist and retired Baptist Minister, "are the building stones of society." These building stones form the foundation of the society and the nation in which we live. When these stones crumble, the good life is endangered. These building stones are not derived from our culture. They are a reflection of the present state of these qualities. When culture moves away from its anchors, it crumbles. We cannot rely on the public media for these building materials. Most of what we see in the public media today is not good. It is motivated by the greed of ratings and financial gain. It leads us on a slippery slope downward. We cannot depend on our educational system for these building materials. These building stones have to come from the family. Abraham Lincoln stated long ago: life's most important lessons are learned, or lost, at the mother's knee. We once quoted the phrase "train up a child as he/she should go." This advice meant to train with discipline and love and consistency. It was administered in a home where God was honored and going to church was a normal part of life. It was in the home where one learned the difference between right and wrong, honesty and dishonesty, the meaning of yes and no. It was in the family home where one learned responsibility for one's own actions, to practice good speech and to respect others. The home taught what was expected of a person to be considered an upright, godly and productive citizen of the community. We must also learn to listen to Biblical warnings: Matthew 7:26 (CEV) "Anyone who hears my teachings and doesn't obey them is like a foolish person who builds a house on sand." This verse gives a warning to those who put on a good show of doing the right thing, but are like the man who built on a sandy beach. The anchor does not hold when trouble comes. The house and the person fall flat in the storms of life. Isaiah 28:16 (MSG) gives us the meaning of the true foundation stone: But the Master, God, has something to say to this: "Watch closely. I'm laying a foundation in Zion, a solid granite foundation, squared and true. And this is the meaning of the stone: A TRUSTING LIFE WON'T TOPPLE." (c)2005 Ivie Bozeman ivie@... +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 5) Prayer Requests Continue to pray for Roy and Betty Pearson. Roy is getting a little better each day, but Betty has the duty of a full time around-the-clock nurse for him as he recuperates. Continue to pray for Hart and Helen Dowd. Hart had successful surgery to connect the knee prosthesis, but now his body must accept the implant. Swelling must go down, and he needs to stay infection-free. Medical inspection and hospital visits will be required. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 6) Thoughtful Moments, Some Humorous The following shorts are from a Hart Dowd newsletter: ONE Sunday our pastor, knowing that many members of the congregation were out of work and broke, put a hundred dollars in one-and five-dollar bills into a wicker basket. Explaining that the money was from the church's benevolent fund, he said, "I'm going to do something I have never done before in my ministry." With that, he passed the basket of money to the congregation, urging those in need to take from it, without shame. They did, but when the basket was returned, it contained $67 more than it had when it started out. AT A church council dinner, my mother and father were seated at the same table as the pastor. Near the end of the meeting, the pastor stood up to offer a few closing remarks, which became quite long-winded. As he rambled on, he lost his place in his notes for the third time. "Now where was I?" he asked, scratching his beard. To the delight of audience and speaker alike, my mother spoke up and said, "In conclusion!" OUR church was looking for a new minister, and the selection committee finally recommended a young man just out of seminary. Many of the older church members protested that a more experienced man would have been preferable. Committee members responded with the argument that a younger minister might breathe some fresh life into the congregation. At the end of the meeting I commented to an older man that this marked the beginning of better things for our church. "Yes," he said with a wry smile. "Moving on to greener pastors." OUR preacher had tried unsuccessfully to get the members of our small congregation to sit in the front rows instead of scattered at the back. Nothing seemed to work, even roping off the last four rows with a sign that read, "For mothers with small children." One day he came up with the right solution when he announced the last pews were "reserved for lost souls." +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 7) Inspirational Short RIDING UPON THE CLOUDS By Melva Cooper "Sing praises to the Lord! Raise your voice in song to Him who rides upon the clouds. Jehovah is His Name. Rejoice in His presence." Psalm 68:4 (LB) We were on our way to a business meeting for my husband. The trip was a much needed vacation for me. It was going to be a week of combined work and fun time in the far sunny south. I sat in my window seat marveling at the rows of clouds that looked like many snowdrifts piled high in the sky. All the while, I was asking God to keep us safely through the long flight to the west coast. Opening my Bible, I began to read from that wonderful songbook known as the Psalms. The miniscule anxiety in my body relaxed as God confirmed from chapter sixty-eight and verse four, that He was riding every mile on those billowy clouds with us. There was no more fear as I rejoiced in His presence surrounding that hazy mist underneath the giant aircraft. The sea of whitecaps below me had turned to wings of protection. (c)2004 Melva Cooper melva@... +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 8) Sayings of Cute Kids A little boy was attending his first wedding. After the service, his cousin asked him, "How many women can a man marry?" "Sixteen," the boy responded. His cousin was amazed that he had an answer so quickly. "How do you know that?" "Easy," the little boy said. "All you have to do is add it up, like the Bishop said: 4 better, 4 worse, 4 richer, 4 poorer." ++++ After a church service on Sunday morning, a young boy suddenly announced to his mother, "Mom, I've decided to become a minister when I grow up." "That's okay with us, but what made you decide that?" "Well," said the little boy, "I have to go to church on Sunday anyway, and figure it will be more fun to stand up and yell, than to sit and listen." ++++ Terri asked her Sunday School class to draw pictures of their favorite Bible stories. She was puzzled by Kyle's picture, which showed four people on an airplane, so she asked him which story it was meant to represent. "The flight to Egypt," said Kyle. "I see .... And that must be Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus," Ms. Terri said. "But who's the fourth person?" "Oh, that's Pontius - the Pilot. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 9) Inspirational Story A Glass of Milk... One day, a poor boy who was selling goods from door to door to pay his way through school, found he had only one thin dime left, and he was hungry. He decided he would ask for a meal at the next house. However, he lost his nerve when a lovely young woman opened the door. Instead of a meal he asked for a drink of water. She thought he looked hungry so brought him a large glass of milk. He drank it slowly, and then asked, "How much do I owe you?" "You don't owe me anything," she replied. "Mother has taught us never to accept pay for a kindness." He said..... "Then I thank you from my heart." As Howard Kelly left that house, he not only felt stronger physically, but his faith in God and man was strong also. He had been ready to give up and quit. Year's later that young woman became critically ill. The local doctors were baffled. They finally sent her to the big city, where they called in specialists to study her rare disease. Dr. Howard Kelly was called in for the consultation. When he heard the name of the town she came from, a strange light filled his eyes. Immediately he rose and went down the hall of the hospital to her room. Dressed in his doctor's gown he went in to see her. He recognized her at once. He went back to the consultation room determined to do his best to save her life. From that day he gave special attention to the case. After a long struggle, the battle was won. Dr. Kelly requested the business office to pass the final bill to him for approval. He looked at it, then wrote something on the edge and the bill was sent to her room. She feared to open it, for she was sure it would take the rest of her life to pay for it all. Finally she looked, and something caught her attention on the side of the bill. She read these words..... "Paid in full with one glass of milk" (Signed) Dr. Howard Kelly Tears of joy flooded her eyes as her happy heart prayed: "Thank You, God, that Your love has spread abroad through human hearts and hands." Author Unknown Shared by Richard Sims and his friends +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 10) Memorable Words/Closing Words "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) Whether our problems are personal or national, we need to be in prayer about them. Only God has the balance of love and justice to right wrongs and bless His people. Only God is our true source of strength. We need to pray often, at least daily, for the most important concerns of heart and mind. We truly hope that you have found inspiration and blessing from 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 TEENS4JESUS. MANY THANKS TO THE 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.