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“What is peace?” asked the teacher. Many answers were given: no wars, a flower strewn meadow, a babbling brook beneath
shading trees, no family problems, getting along with others. All, he agreed, were peace in some form. Then he
submitted his own graphic picture of peace that, in my young years, I had never considered, and have never forgotten.
“Picture this,” he directed. “A roaring waterfall. At the water’s edge is a large tree with one of its longer branches jutting out directly over the fall. Focus on that branch, near the tip end. Look closely. There is a bird’s nest with three babies in it. Now watch mama bird as she tends them and prepares them for adult life. She feeds and cares for them every day, and yes, even teaches them to fly: all above that roaring water fall.’
What a picture! Why did she build her nest there? Why didn’t she put it on a branch over land rather than in that extremely dangerous place? It might be said she didn’t know any better. She might even be called a bad mother, careless in choosing that particular spot. Whether careless, ignorant, or uncaring, we would accuse her of not looking out for the best interests of her babies.
But watch her. She doesn’t flutter and fly in a frenzy. She deliberately and methodically goes about the task of raising her babies, caring for them, even so close to dangerous water. From Matthew 6:25‐34, we learn that God takes care of even the “fowls of the air”. God takes care of that mama and her babies even above those dangerous waters.
Are we like mother bird? Can we be? Our lives are anything but peaceful in today’s world. Satan is striving to push God out of our focus at every turn. Morals have loosened to the point where nearly everything is accepted. That brings problems on every side: drugs, alcohol, pornography, abuse and family problems of what ever kind, loss of jobs, health issues, especially of older parents, natural disasters, as well as those nowadays in the terrorist vein. The list is endless.
Each of us, with our families, are living over our own invisible water fall. Perhaps we are not simply above the falls, trying to walk that branch without falling (and taking our family with us), but are closer to waters that are more than a few high waves—turbulent waters beating around every side, threatening to destroy the very foundation of our home. How can we live in peace with that? How can we possibly raise our children in a world like that?
BUT WE CAN! Yes, we can because God has told us we can. He has promised us that He will not allow us to have more trials and hardships than we can bear (I Cor. 10:13), that He will give us strength and make a way out, a way through. Those waters beating around us cannot harm us if we are His child; if we have put our trust and faith in Him, and are clinging to that rope of hope connected to God.
But it’s not just us, with our children, alone with God. Because of our salvation, we are part of God’s family that bears/shares those turbulent waters, whatever they be (Gal. 6:2). Helping one another, we do what we can with what we know, fortified with God’s word and His strength. In turn, we teach that same faith and trust to our children, striving to teach them to “fly” in the world out there. And when they leave our nest, we have to let go. Like the mother bird lets her young fly away to make its own nest, we too, must let our young go to make their homes.
It’s at that point, that our prayer life becomes more intense. It’s at this time when whatever peace we had in our lives is shaken, because we don’t know what or how our young will do. We can only pray earnestly to God, and trust Him to help them through their trials as He has helped us.
So, in spite of everything that happens to us or around us, our hearts can be full of peace. Peace, knowing God is in control. Peace that goes beyond our understanding. Peace that only comes from keeping our hearts and our eyes centered on God, no matter what. Peace that fills our hearts and excites because we KNOW we have a home in Heaven, waiting, as long as we daily strive to follow His way. Peace that is deep within us even as we weep tears of grief and hurt.
Let’s strive to show that peace in our lives; to LIVE our belief that God IS in control; that He will never leave us or forsake us, and that everything that happens to us is recognized as our walkway to Heaven. Let’s walk it with the peace that only God can give in these troubled times.
“Let not your hearts be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in me.” (John 14:1)
Ailment Vitamin Description
Anxious A “All things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
Blue B “Bless the Lord. O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name.” (Psalm 103:1)
Crushed C “Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)
Depressed D “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” (James 4:8)
Empty E “Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him, bless his name.” (Psalm 100:4)
Fearful F “Fear not, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God.” (Isaiah 41:10)
Greedy G “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap,for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.” (Luke 6:38)
Hesitant H “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace, who brings good news, who announces salvation, who says Zion, “Your God reigns.” (Isaiah 52:7)
Insecure I “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)
Jittery J “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)
Know nothing K “Know this that the Lord is God, it is He that made us and not we our selves.” (Psalm 100:3)
Lonely L “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)
Mortgaged M “My grace is sufficient for you, the power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
Nervous N “Never, no never will I leave you nor forsake you.’” (Hebrews 13:5)
Overwhelmed O “Overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21)
Perplexed / Puzzled P “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.” (John 14:27)
Quitting Q “Quit you like men and women, be strong.” (1 Corinthians 16:13)
Restless R “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him.” (Psalm 37:7)
Scared S “Stay with me, and do not be afraid; for the one who seeks my life seeks your life; you will be safe with me.” (I Samuel 22:23)
Tired T “Those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 43:10)
Uncertain U “Understand that I am (the Lord). Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me.” (Isaiah 43:10)
Vain V “Vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.” (Acts 5:16)
Wondering what to do W “What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with God?” (Micah 6:8)
Exhausted X “Exercise thyself rather unto godliness.” (I Timothy 4:7)
Yearning for Hope Y “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for you art with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4)
Zapped Z “Zealous for good deeds” (Titus 2:14)
By: Lee Simons
Oh, for another chance at life -
To change the wrongs and make things right!
Often comes calling the Specter of Sin,
Convicting the heart for what could have been.
See life’s failures – the berth not gained;
The lack of honor, or wealth, or fame.
Remember the true love so thoughtlessly spurned;
For youthful follies selfishly turned.
Mourn fortunes spent on ephemeral things,
And opportunities sent on Oblivion’s wings.
So much error and cause for regret;
Burned in a conscience, unwilling to forget.
Yet comfort there is for those who have learned;
What wisdom teaches when sin is discerned:
Come all oppressed by sin and vexation
Thereis infinite mercy from the God of creation!
Hear Him! Believe Him! Turn from past sin!
Tell of your faith – hold not within!
His plan of redemption is easily realized
Salvationis yours when you are baptized!
The blood of Jesus atones for all sin
Today is the day to start over again!
“Jesus said, “He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has
disbelieved shall be condemned.” Mark 16:16
When I was young, I loved spending the summer at my Great‐Grandma’s
(to me, just grandma). She taught me to sew, to cook, to be who I am
today. She was everything in the world to me! One summer when I was
probably 10 or 11, she let me “invent” this recipe so that I could make
dessert for my grandpa who would come eat lunch with us every other
day. I was SO proud of myself!! I haven’t made the recipe in years, but
will never forget the excitement I felt when I “cooked” dessert for my
grandpa & great‐grandma! And I can never eat a graham cracker without
thinking of my grandma!
2 sleeves of graham crackers
2 3.5 oz boxes chocolate pudding
1 tub Cool Whip, thawed
First, prepare chocolate pudding as directed on the box. Place in the refrigerator
to set up while preparing the rest of the recipe. Crush graham crackers
until they are fine crumbs. (easily done in a Ziplock bag, a few at a time …
using either a rolling pin or lots of pounding!!) Once the pudding has been
set up, layer the ingredients in a bowl or trifle dish. First a layer of graham
cracker crumbs, then pudding – continuing the two layers. Over the last
layer of pudding, cover with the whipped topping. It’s a yummy and easy
treat that the kids can help make!
Contributed by: Lisa Gaston
Today is the day to become a beautiful woman
for God. Now is the time to prepare our “beauty
box”…our hearts. We want to put in our boxes
only the things that will make us truly beautiful.
Water and Cleanser
Have you been washed clean by Christ?
“Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and
wash away your sins, calling on his name” Acts 22:16
Contributed by Amy Ellis
Water is necessary for our physical lives. Throughout the Bible, we read of many people who
were saved physically when God provided the right water for them at the right time in their
See if you can locate the scriptures that describe how these people were saved by water.
1. Hagar’s son
3. Children of Israel
4. Noah’s family
*Answers provided to the right under the picture
Water plays an important part in our spiritual salvation as seen in Acts 8 with the Ethiopian
Eunuch and in Acts 10 with Cornelius and his household.
According to John 3:5, except a man be born of water and spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of Heaven. I
Peter 3:21 tells us plainly that baptism saves us, and although baptism does involve going down into the water,
we do much more than wash away the filth on our flesh. When you enter the waters of baptism, you bury
your old self (Rom. 6:4) so that you can be raised to walk a new life.
1. Genesis 21
2. Exodus 2
3. Exodus 14, 15, 17
4. I Peter 3:20
5. 2 Kings 5:11
The Old Testament contains many examples that can provide much food for thought. In 2 Kings Chapter 3, Jehoram and Jehoshaphat, the kings of Israel and Judah, decide to unite together against the common enemy of Moab. They head into the battle without much planning and before they even see the face of the enemy, they find themselves in danger due to a lack of water. Weakened by thirst, they will be easy prey for the Moabites. King Jehoshaphat decides to inquire of the Lord and asks the prophet Elisha for his help in communicating with God.
God tells them that even though they will not see wind or rain, he will provide them with water to drink, both for the people and their cattle and beasts. But to try their faith and obedience, he commands that they first make the valley full of ditches to receive the water.
Because of their obedience, God’s people were blessed ‐ not only with the water they desperately needed, but God also delivered the Moabites into their hand. Scripture tells us that this was but a light thing in the sight of the Lord (2 King 3:18). God’s blessings are given freely and richly, often much more than we could even ask for or think of. His blessings often out‐do our own requests and expectations.
However, if we hope to receive God’s blessings, we must first make room for them in our lives. Before receiving water from God, the Israelites first had
to prepare room for it by creating ditches for the water to fill. The people were given plentiful water, but not by rain. The water was provided in God’s
own way, according to His plan.
We sometimes fill our lives so full of worry, doubt, and troubles that we leave little room for the abundant blessings that God wants to send to us. Whenever you ask for God’s help, don’t forget to take the time to dig a few ditches first and make room for the blessings He will send.
By Valerie Enoch
“”I am definitely getting older”, She says to herself as she notices her first age spot appearing on
her face! Once flawless, her faces is now riddled with wrinkles, frown lines, blemishes and
GASP ‐‐ facial hair! Her bathroom counter, once sparsely filled with a few items, now houses
mounds of varying products designed to decrease wrinkles, plump the lips, make you smell
better, even her complexion and reverse the signs of aging and on and on. All efforts seem futile
as she faces the realization that no matter what she does, every moment lived, is another
moment older. Acceptance comes as she realizes she is now blemished and can never physically
return to the way she once was. The aging process might be slowed or reversed temporarily
but never completely undone.
Likewise, the spiritual body is born without sin or blemish. As we walk the pilgrimage of life,
we begin to sin (Romans 3:23) placing blemishes on our souls, forever separating us from God.
Many will try worldly things to fill the place where God once was by turning to alcohol, drugs,
fornication, adultery, or even idolatry. However, none of these worldly activities will bring
happiness to a person’s life or fill the void where God once was. Turn to John 4 and you will
find an account of a Samaritan woman who talks with Jesus at a well. Much like a person lost
in sin, the Samaritans were outcasts according to the Jews (John 4:9) because of their rebellion
against God and His commands (2 Kings 17). Imagine the woman’s surprise when a Jew asked
her for a drink of water (John 4:7). In spite of her background and her sins (John 4:17), Jesus
tells her that He offers living water (John 4:10). Jesus explains that the water in the well will
quench thirst temporarily (John 4:13) but He says that the water He offers will “become a well
of water springing up to eternal life” (John 4:14). Are you trying to quench your soul’s thirst
with things of this world? You may find relief but your thirst will return and will eventually
lead to your soul’s death (James 1:15). Jesus came so that we may have life, and have it abundantly”
(John 10:10). Our physical bodies may forever be blemished, but our souls can be
washed clean by the blood of Christ. Paul was told, “Now why do you delay? Get up and be
baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name” (Acts 22:16).
If your soul is thirsty, do not delay, quench it today!
“For He has satisfied the thirsty soul” Psalm 108:9
By Beth Drake