Monday, May 22, 2017

Guided thoughts, 9


This past weekend I witnessed a family gathering of several generations. No fancy stuff there at this gathering . . . this was just country folks enjoying each other's company.

There was a tiny girl nestled in her mother's arms, contentedly looking around at the folks and the food. It was suggested that she might like to ride on the big farm tractor from the shed, with her grandfather's help. Her eyes widened. The big tractor? Sitting on grandfather's lap? It sounded scary, but nice at the same time!

The tractor seemed huge.
Her little legs wouldn't reach the pedals!
And it was loud.
And it was unfamiliar.
Here it came, bustling out of the shed . . . the exhaust chuffing out of the top stack, and that loud, loud engine!
She instinctively clung tighter to her mom.

But then she heard a familiar, loving voice.
She looked up into that weather-worn, well-loved face.
And she held up her arms to her grandfather, and settled happily onto his lap, high up on the farm tractor.

Oh, Christian, whether a guy or a gal, isn't this the story of our lives?
We may need to do something that seems scary and unfamiliar. The task may seem huge, like we can't possibly get our arms around it. It may even be something that we've never, ever attempted before.
But if we listen, we will hear that Voice.  If we are doing His will, He will speak.
Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. (Jeremiah 33:3)
And if we look closely, we will see His face.
Blessed are the pure in heart,    for they will see God. (Matthew 5:8)
And His arms will be around us as we try this new venture.
Though I walk in the midst of trouble,    you preserve my life.
You stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes;    with your right hand you save me. (Psalm 138:7)
Now, that little girl may become more accustomed to that loud tractor. She might even reach out to put her hands on that big metal steering wheel. But always, grandfather's hands will be there to make sure the tractor goes where it should.
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;    I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. Do not be like the horse or the mule,    which have no understandingbut must be controlled by bit and bridle    or they will not come to you. (Psalm 32:8-9)
And even if we try to steer things where we should not -- whether by mistake, or on purpose -- our Father will still have His hands on our lives, and keep us safe.



Friday, May 19, 2017

Friday slowdown

This week's thoughts, guided by the Spirit, left us thinking of the life that God has blessed us with. Let's utilize what He's given us, in working for Him!


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Guided thoughts, number 8



Do you enjoy vintage things?
I sure do.

Especially vintage linens.
Recently, I've been blessed to find some lovely things that have been in our family for years, and I treasure them.
Y'all know what feedsacks were for, right? (Grin)
We are so far removed from that world, today.... I can remember my great-grandma telling me about when she was small, and goods like flour, sugar, meal, salt, and animal feed would come to her house in bags. This was a big change from the tins, boxes, and barrels that her mom and dad purchased. It was a welcome change, she said, because the metal containers could rust, and the barrels could leak. The sewing or "stitching" machine with interlocking stitches made good double seams, and the companies sewed their bags in durable canvas. So durable, in fact, that the bags could be re-used, by the farmer bringing the empty sack to be refilled at the grist mill. Here in the Southland, cotton fabric began being used for the sacks in the very late 1800's, and since my ancestors were good Scots, and "pinched every penny till it squealed," they were among those who began to use the sturdy cotton for underwear, diapers, dish cloths and more.

The manufacturers recognized this as an awesome marketing opportunity. Of course, there were plenty of babies who sported diapers with the sugar or flour brand on their little posteriors, but more than that -- the companies began offering feedsacks in colors and even in prints. After all, if a thrifty sewist wanted a dress, she would want three or four feedsacks in the same color; or she'd want them all to have the same print. The companies could sell more flour or sugar that way!

The sacks that were not printed were still prized: the cloth could be bleached and lovingly cut into shapes for handwork. Many an evening was spent embroidering flowers and leaves onto the newly-whitened cloth. The only giveaway that it was a feedsack in its former life would be a tiny number somewhere on it -- that was the only thing that wouldn't bleach away!

What a legacy. Tiny, lovely stitches on dresser scarves, table toppers, and aprons. Except for a few photos, that is all I have to remember some of my "greats" by. I cherish those pieces, and I feel drawn to them, since I am a sewist, quilter, and crafter myself.

Kinda makes you think, doesn't it?
What kind of legacy will we leave?  What will we "pass along" to our children, our grandchildren, and our great-grandchildren?
Not being morbid, here.
But we have a limited time here on God's earth.
As the hymn says, "what's done for Christ will last."

First, we should teach our kids and grandkids about Christ Jesus.
The purpose of these laws is to cause you, your sons, and your grandsons to reverence the Lord your God by obeying all of his instructions as long as you live; if you do, you will have long, prosperous years ahead of you.  You must love him with all your heart, soul, and might. And you must think constantly about these commandments I am giving you today. You must teach them to your children and talk about them when you are at home or out for a walk; at bedtime and the first thing in the morning. Tie them on your finger, wear them on your forehead, and write them on the doorposts of your house! (Deuteronomy 6:2,6-9)
We are not bound by the law any longer, but these instructions are awesome -- we can surround ourselves and our kiddos with reminders of God's Word!

We can be an example of godliness for our children and grandchildren.
....set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. (I Timothy 4:12b)
Let's leave a legacy that glorifies God, and leads others to Him!





Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Guided thoughts, number 7


Do you enjoy what are called container plants?

I sure do.

The colorful blooms and contrasting foliage aren't the only pretty things; sometimes the container itself is very lovely. Ceramic, glazed, painted, adorned with our kiddos' hand-prints.... they all are special.

They all serve one purpose -- they keep the plant within them "in bounds." The roots of the plant can only go so far before meeting with the obstacle presented by the container! Sometimes the plants even become "root-bound" and can't grow any larger. Try as they might, no matter how much sunshine or water or fertilizer they receive, they can't grow any more.

In fact, some of them begin to wither away once they are root-bound. They don't thrive like they once did. But, if they are given a new "home," a new container, with more good soil and a good environment, they can grow again by leaps and bounds.

Believers are like that, too.

It could be said that we grow and mature and thrive on the good food of the Word. Our roots reach down deep into the scriptures, and we are healthy.

But then we hit an obstacle.
Maybe it's something that someone says.
Or maybe it's that little voice inside our heads.

Can I really go further?
Can I perform this daunting task?
Can I be the person that I need to be?
We are smack-dab up against the side of our container.
Our container. Our faith.

Ouch.
Yes, it's true.
Sometimes what keeps us from doing a task, going further in our walk with Him, or being the person that we need to be, is our faith (or lack of it).

Who has said that He will help us go as far as we need to go?
Who has said that He will help us with our tasks?
Who has said that He will strengthen us to be the person we should be?

Are we relying on ourselves to do these things? No need for that!
I will go before you
    and will level the mountains;I will break down gates of bronze    and cut through bars of iron. I will give you hidden treasures,    riches stored in secret places,
so that you may know that I am the Lord,    the God of Israel, who summons you by name. They will say of me, ‘In the Lord alone
    are deliverance and strength.’”(Isaiah 45:2-3, 24a)
Paul gave us a great example of "being at the edge of his container." And this is what he said:
We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, (II Corinthians 1:8-10)
How did Paul solve his problem? He relied on God! Amen! Oh, that we would remember this when our faith threatens to stunt our growth! We can't let a lack of faith stop our growth, or stop us from doing what will bring glory to Him. God will keep us in His hands, and give us more soil and a larger container!
Spread out your roots, believer! Soak up that sunshine and rain, and grow for God! If we exercise and expand our faith, there's no limit to what God can do with us!
And now just as you trusted Christ to save you, trust him, too, for each day’s problems; live in vital union with him. Let your roots grow down into him and draw up nourishment from him. See that you go on growing in the Lord, and become strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught. Let your lives overflow with joy and thanksgiving for all he has done. (Colossians 2:6-7 TLB)

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Prayer requests


I'd like to ask that everyone join in a time of prayer today. It can be at your own schedule, your own convenience. Many of our fellow study-mates have let us know of health problems. Some of our friends and families have financial struggles. Some are suffering for their faith, and enduring persecution.

Missionaries that we know are fighting hard against the forces of evil in the cities and in the rural areas where they serve. Pastors are working diligently to provide meat for mature believers, and milk for the babes in Christ.

We ought to also pray for our countries, for their leaders, and those in authority. This world is an ever-changing place, full of conflict and strife.

Let's join hands across the internet and pray together for all of these issues. Let's make today a special day of devotion to prayer.

If you have a request that we can pray about, please leave a comment. If you have a praise for answered prayer, let us know. And by all means, let's encourage each other -- if you will pray with us today, let us know by leaving a comment telling us you are joining in our prayers to the Father.

Thank you all.

Let's pray.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Guided thoughts again (VI)



Part of being self-employed in the business world today is that there is often a requirement for travel. I know that many peeps don't agree, but the hubs and I prefer to travel via automobile, instead of flying. We pack some foods that are OK on our diet regimen, make sure the vehicle is ready to roll, and then we hit the road! (Grin)

Once home again, it is a necessary ritual to clean up the car that we've traveled in. Life on the road means running through storms, and getting mud and crud splashed up the sides. It means being on the receiving end of bug splatters on the front, and so the bumper and grille need special attention.

You see, if those stains and splatters are left on the paint, they will actually harm it. Don't ask me to explain the chemical interactions, or the breaking down of the process, but it can happen. Stains can become permanent, and even pitted areas can appear. Pitted places in the paint can grow in size and become easily apparent.  A good high-speed polish can help those, even though in actuality, a thin layer of paint is being removed. (Ouch!)

Are y'all getting my drift?
Or, to put it another way, are you getting what the Spirit wants us to see in this picture?

As we Christians go through life, we often go through storms and mud. We get splashed with dirt and crud, and even the telltale signs of sin. We are in this world, and there's not much way to avoid all of this. Splatters of temper, or pitted places from harsh words. Even splashes of jealousy, of unforgiving spirit, or of slothfulness, or maybe of willful sin.

Oy vey.
Is it time for a good scrubbing?
Does the Spirit need to give us a good cleaning?
You know what will happen if that stuff stays around . . .
See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. (Hebrews 12:15)
Bitterness and jealousy can "grow" and hurt many people.
But your iniquities have separated    you from your God;your sins have hidden his face from you,    so that he will not hear. For your hands are stained with blood,    your fingers with guilt.
Your lips have spoken falsely,    and your tongue mutters wicked things. (Isaiah 59:2-3)
Sin keeps us from having that close and sweet relationship with our Father.

And how are we to know how much we sin? Is there anyone who is truly aware of how sinful we are? Human nature is so strong in us, still, and it's not just the faults we know about, but the ones we don't know, too. It's not just the sins we hide from others, but the ones that we don't see or recognize yet as sins.
But who can discern their own errors?    Forgive my hidden faults. Keep your servant also from willful sins;    may they not rule over me.
Then I will be blameless,    innocent of great transgression. (Psalm 19:12-13)
Quick! Where's the soap, and the water? God made provision for us .....
Have mercy on me, O God,    according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion    blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity    and cleanse me from my sin. (Psalm 51:1-2)
Our Father can reveal our sins to us through the Holy Spirit, and God will not just reveal but He will cleanse and restore us.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (I John 1:9)
Amen!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Friday slowdown

After all Mary had been through when she became a widow, and with everything happening in her world, I think she might have prayed this to our Father . . .

In the beginning
Into the darkness
The Spirit's moving upon the waters
You spoke the words:
"LET THERE BE LIGHT!"
Out of the chaos
Came the promise
The universe rose and applauded
When You commanded
The new born sun to rise

You are the Day Spring
You are the Morning Star
Creation's splendor speaks of who You are
You are Salvation
You are the Joy of the Earth
Restoration comes
Hope of the broken world

Into my weakness
Into my darkness
Your Spirit's moving upon my heart and
You speak the words: "LET THERE BE LIGHT!"
Into my chaos
Comes Your promise
The new is rising the old has passed on
You are reviving and making all things right

You are the Day Spring
You are the Morning Star
Creation's splendor speaks of who You are
You are Salvation
You are the Joy of the Earth
Restoration comes
Hope of the broken world




Thursday, May 11, 2017

Mary, Mark's mom (Conclusion)


So far this week, we've focused on Mark's mom, Mary, as she raised her son and was a great example and influence on him. Today, as we conclude our study, I'd like to focus on Mary herself.

We've talked before about how different things were in the times of the early church. Women didn't have as much value or prestige as they do now, and it was especially so for widows. The poor widows were completely destitute unless there was some member of their family who would take them in and provide for them.
Widows were to be pitied. Even if they had been left with considerable wealth, they would seem to have no purpose, and certainly had no power. In the ancient world, women had value primarily through their husbands or fathers, and widows lost that connection. As a woman of wealth, Mary would have had a leading role in supporting her husband's affairs. But now he was dead. To many, she was now a nobody.

But then Jesus came.
His message must have been so empowering to Mary! She was a nobody no longer! In the world, she was "just a widow," but in God's kingdom she could use her wealth, her talents, her skills, and her gifts to serve other believers. She could be a force for good, and glorify God.

How did she do this?
I believe she must have been a pretty organized, efficient person!
First she looked at the "outside" things.....She and Barnabas looked at the inventory of what they had, and he decided to sell that piece of land that was worth a good bit of money. That could have been a nice source of security for both of them, but they were believers now, and they realized that their security was in Christ, not in possessions. Barnabas took the money from that sale and asked the church elders to use it to help the members of the church who badly needed assistance.

Next, she looked at what else she had......how about the house? Sell it, too? Wait! Such a large house was a perfect gathering place for prayers and for worship. The church in Jerusalem could make use of it -- and she had servants that would make all of this hospitality possible.

Then she looked "inside." What could she give of herself? She was already making arrangements to give of her time and the use of her home. But the tramp, tramp of Herod's soldiers' feet, and the rattling of their pikes and sabers could be heard daily in the streets. And Herod had just recently executed the apostle James. From within herself, and with her hand firmly in the Lord's hand, she found the courage to host the prayer gathering when Peter had been tossed into the jail. She could easily have lost her home, her servants, her possessions, and even her own freedom for doing this, but she courageously flung her doors open to the believers who wanted to come.
Last, Mary offered God her son -- besides her own soul and her devotion, this was the most precious thing she could give to God. I can only imagine how her courage was tested as she watched him leave on the journey with Paul and Barnabas, and then again on the second journey, too. Paul may have been concerned about Mark's returning to Jerusalem on the first trip, but when he was in prison, Paul wrote that he'd like for John Mark to come to him:
Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry. (II Timothy 4:11)
Mary must have prayed a lot as her son traveled! But she trusted God to keep him safe and give him the opportunity to glorify Jesus.

Can Mary be an example to us? Does the world tell us as women, as Christians, or as seniors, that we don't have as important a purpose as those younger folks around us? In God's kingdom we have power, and we have wisdom to give others. There is a purpose -- a high calling, indeed!

Perhaps we should (as Mary did) look "outside" and "inside" to see if there are resources and talents that we can offer. It doesn't have to be money! It can be time, or expertise, or talents that we can offer. And don't forget, we can pray for our loved ones, that they will be used of God, and they can glorify Him!




Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Mary, Mark's mom (part II)



We're studying Mary, the mother of John Mark (the author of the Gospel of Mark), this week. We mentioned that she is the widow to whose home Peter came, after his miraculous escape from the Roman jail. He knew that a large company of believers were gathered there, fervently praying for his release. The fact that the Christians met in Mary's home speaks of her great faith, for simply being hostess to the believers put her life in jeopardy.

Let's learn more about Mary now . . .
Mary must have been a wealthy widow, for her home would have needed to be pretty large to host a prayer meeting, right? (Grin) There is also a clue to her prosperity in that she had servants to help her in that home -- we studied Rhoda a few weeks ago. She was the servant girl who answered the door.

Mary's brother (or brother-in-law) was Barnabas, who so generously sold a piece of land and gave all of the proceeds to the church to help poor and homeless believers. Just as he gave up his land for his Savior, so Mary gave up her home to be used as a church and a place of refuge. At the time, Christians were being persecuted, and she was putting her own life in danger to have her house known as a center of spiritual gatherings.

Mary must have been generous as Barnabas was, and self-sacrificing, too, for it must have required time and effort to take care of so many believers, struggling to find food and shelter. It may have been that Rhoda hesitated at the door, thinking that it was a contingent of Herod's soldiers, who had come to arrest some of the Christians at the prayer meeting, or even Mary herself. I'm sure that may be one reason why she was so joyful to realize it was Peter's voice, not a gruff military man!

Mary's influence is seen in the life of her son, John Mark, as well. He must have learned his straight-forward ways (his gospel doesn't have flowery language, just the facts!) from her, and his love for Jesus and other believers must have been inspired by her example, too. As my grandma used to say, she must have "raised him right." (Grin)  Mark accompanied Paul and Barnabas on the first missionary journey that Paul undertook, but he turned back when they were in Perga. Perhaps he was deeply attached to his mom, and went back to Jerusalem for that reason.
From Paphos, Paul and his companions sailed to Perga in Pamphylia,where John left them to return to Jerusalem. (Acts 13:13)
Because of his mom's influence, John Mark wanted to be a helper on the missionary journeys. Plural? Yep. Even though there was a sharp disagreement between Paul and Barnabas about Mark, he did go on another mission. Barnabas defended his young cousin to Paul in Acts 15, but Paul must have been concerned about his commitment to the effort, for he resisted taking Mark along. The problem was resolved by two teams leaving for the mission field: Paul and Silas, and Barnabas and Mark.
Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us go back and visit the believers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing.” 37 Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, 38 but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work. 39 They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, 40 but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the believers to the grace of the Lord. 41 He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches. (Acts 15:36-41)
John Mark appears to be a person of determination, and a person committed to the spreading of the gospel. It seems that he gave his life to the service of believers, for he is seen as a companion of Peter (I Peter 5:13) and also of Timothy (II Timothy 4:11). As a direct influence of his mom's cheerful and sacrificial giving to others, he was one of the fortunate few to have seen and heard Jesus during His human lifetime, and Mark also witnessed the birth and growth of the Christian church.  He saw the power of God in the defeat of Herod and the miraculous spread of the gospel, in spite of persecution. All of this from a mother's love and generosity, providing an example to her son.

We'll conclude our study of Mary, Mark's mom, tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

What are we listening to, today?


I'm giving away the punch line today, by posting the picture above.

But I digress.
Let me begin my story at the beginning.
Recently, I was sitting on our screen porch, shortly after a thunderstorm had passed by. The roar of the downpour had stopped, and the silence was broken only by the random drips of water from the leaves in the woods. The trees surrounding that corner of the house were washed clean of pollen and dust, and the raindrops on the leaves were glistening in the sunshine as the sun broke through the clouds and began to warm things up.

Bambambambam!

A sharp sound broke the stillness.

Then again.
Bambambambam!

At first, I wasn't sure what was making the noise, for we don't see these large woodpeckers as often as their smaller cousins.
But there, on the side of a large, dead poplar, was a huge pileated woodpecker. These birds are as big as some of the large crows seen everywhere, but these woodpeckers are a little more shy. They whack away at dead trees, searching for their prey -- they love to gobble up carpenter ants. When we hike on our property, we can see where they have been, for they leave behind unusual rectangular holes in the wood they've explored.

They make pretty large nesting holes in trees, and they move around often, leaving one hole and settling in a new one. Their old nesting holes make great habitats for owls, some ducks, and even bats.

Bambambambam!
He was really working over that tree. Must be some carpenter ants in it, and he's on their trail.

As I was listening to him fiercely pecking on the tree, the Spirit nudged me and reminded me of God's wonderful design. How the ecosystems that we humans love to talk about so pompously are really his creative work. How He planned for all of these animals and environments to work together in harmony.
And how His plans for us, His children, are just as detailed, and just as wonderful.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, (Jeremiah 29:11-14a)
A lesson from a woodpecker.
What are you listening to, today?

Monday, May 8, 2017

Mary, Mark's mom


Our lady of the Bible for this week is one of those that we don't know too much about. She's mentioned briefly, but we can pull out some nuggets from situations we see her in, as well as the actions of people around her.

Let's dive in!
We see several Marys mentioned in the New Testament, but the mother of Mark (yes, that one that wrote a gospel account) is only spoken of once. We've touched on it before, when we studied the young servant girl, Rhoda, whose job it was to determine who was at the door of the home, and usher them inside. We saw that Rhoda was so excited about Peter being at the door, that she left him without welcoming him inside, and rushed to tell the folks praying in the house that she heard Peter at the door!

So, it was at Mary's house that incident happened . . . .
When this had dawned on him, he went to the house of Mary the mother of John, also called Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying.  (Acts 12:12)
Because Mary was mentioned as the mother of John Mark, instead of being mentioned as the wife of someone, scholars tell us that she was likely a widow. Colossians gives us a clue as to her family:
My fellow prisoner Aristarchus sends you his greetings, as does Mark, the cousin of Barnabas. (Colossians 4:10a)
The scholars who are more knowledgeable than I, tell us that makes her a sister or sister in law to Barnabas, who accompanied Paul on his missionary journey. This is the same Barnabas who was moved by the Spirit to sell his land and bring the money to be used by the church leaders in Jerusalem. Apparently Mary herself was prosperous, too, for her home was large enough to be used as a space for gatherings of the Christians in the city.

Peter knew her home well, and he called John Mark, "his son" in I Peter 5; John Mark was his spiritual son, for he had led him to yield his life to the Savior.

The Christians in Jerusalem knew her home and her steadfast support of the believers, for it was there that they were all gathered to pray for Peter's safety and his release. What an example for us of godliness and faithfulness!

She must have been a very faithful and devout person, for it seems that her son, John Mark, was well-prepared for a life of ministry. First they would have followed the Law and all of its tenets, and then they joyfully accepted Christ as the long-awaited Messiah. Her leadership of the little family, even as a lowly widow (remember they didn't have much social or community standing back then) was an inspiring example to her son and to others in the family of the believers.

We'll learn more about Mary, Mark's mom, this week!


Friday, May 5, 2017

Guided thoughts, V


One of the things that we often take for granted in our lives today is light, or specifically, electricity. In the area where we live, there passed many years where peeps in the city had lights and power, and in the rural areas, people still utilized lanterns, oil, and candles. (Grin) Yes, I do live at the edge of the world.

As late as the mid 1930's there would only be one out of ten rural homes that had electricity. The farmers milked the cows by hand, and their wives cooked on wood stoves and washed clothes on a wash board in a tub or kettle! Seriously. Water was pumped by hand and carried to the house, and kiddos did their homework by the light of a kerosene lantern. That was the way of the world in the county that I live in.
Enter the electric cooperative. As a result of FDR establishing the Rural Electrification Administration, farmers and businessmen formed groups to get power to folks who didn't live nearby the existing power lines. That was important, because it just didn't work for the regular power company to do it....they needed many customers per mile of line, where in the countryside, there might be just one or two customers per mile of wire.
the people living in darkness    have seen a great light;on those living in the land of the shadow of death    a light has dawned. (Matthew 4:16) 
Some of the old-timers who live near me tell stories of what it was like to finally "flip a switch" and have a light come on, or a new electric stove heat up. Imagine how exciting it would be, if all you knew was the lantern or candle, or adding wood in the side of the wood stove to bake a cake or cook a meal! All of the neighbors gathered around to see the miracle, and then rushed to sign up with the electric co-op, so that they could have the benefits of electricity, too.

There is a Light, and a Power available to us, that is just that exciting, but we might not spread the word as we ought to.
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

The Lord is my light and my salvation    whom shall I fear?The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1)


We have access to His power -- the power of the Creator God:
But God made the earth by his power;    he founded the world by his wisdom
    and stretched out the heavens by his understanding. When he thunders, the waters in the heavens roar;    he makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth.He sends lightning with the rain    and brings out the wind from his storehouses. (Jeremiah 10:12-13)
Trust in the Lord forever,    for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal. (Isaiah 26:4)
Just as the neighbors crowded into the newly electrified house, eager to learn and see more, so people are hungry today for the good news of the gospel of Jesus. Are we eager to tell? Do we try to find opportunities to speak a word for Him?

Oh, I pray that we'll be just as excited about what God has done for us, in saving us, and in what He is continuing to do for us today -- excited enough to tell the world!