Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Judy Lentz 


Luke 11:1  One day Jesus was praying in a certain place.  When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples”.

How, when and where we pray are personal choices.  As I have aged, I have found myself in prayer more and more each day.  I pray in the shower, in the car, at my computer, while I am doing my daily meditations, mealtime, at night as I fall asleep, in the morning as I wake-up.    My prayer activity has become a quiet discussion with Jesus about everything --- concerns for those who are sick, concerns for those less fortunate, for my family members, for those who are struggling, for those who are suffering in many different ways.

I pray for help and guidance in knowing what to do, what to say, how to help.   God answers in so many ways  not always immediately but often times soon thereafter reassuring me and giving me the confidence that He has heard my prayer.  Am I always listening?  Do life’s activities occupy my mind making it harder to hear?    I do my best to remind myself that Jesus is with me, that God is trying to talk to me through the Holy Spirit and that I need to slow down long enough to hear what is being said.  Maybe that’s the reason for occasional sleepless nights -- a gentle nudging to open my heart, hear the Holy Spirit and focus my mind through prayer.

Prayer:   Dear Heavenly Father,  thank you for the times that you gently nudge me to slow down, to pray, and to hear you speaking in so many different ways.  Please know how much I love you and need you in my life.  If I need more than a gentle nudging, have at it!!  And know I am a sinner who appreciates being reminded how important you are in my life.  In the name of Jesus, our Lord and Savior.  Amen.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Roy Behling  


"So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you." - Matthew 25:25 (NIV)

Through the years I have heard many preach on the Parable of the Talents. If we look at the parable only in terms of money, it is hard to understand why the master was so angry at the servant who hid his talent. After all, the servant didn't lose the money. However, this is a parable, so perhaps we should look at the "talent' in a broader sense.

Scholars say the term "talent" was first used for a unit of weight (about 75 pounds), then for a unit of coinage (worth more than a thousand dollars in today's terms). The present-day use of "talent" to indicate an ability or gift is derived from this parable. This latter is the definition we use when we talk about stewardship being giving of our time, talents and treasure. Talents in this context is our God-given gifts and abilities.

Certainly, God does not want us to "bury" or hide our talents when we can use our God-given gifts for furthering His kingdom no matter how small they seem. God can magnify any small talent into something wonderful.

Dear Lord, thank You for the gifts and talents You have given me. May I put them to good use to Your glory. In the name of our Lord and Savior, Amen.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Judy Lentz  


Colossians 3:23-25 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

When I began my professional career, I would often talk about the ‘day when I retire’. Dreams were created about what retirement might feel like. Bucket lists were created listing all the places I wanted to go and the things I wanted to see when time allowed. As I neared the normally accepted age of retirement, I found myself thinking of retirement in a very different way.

 I would say to people “the closer I got to retirement age, the less I wanted to retire because I was enjoying my professional career more and more.” It had taken many years to gain the knowledge and experience to feel confident and assured. During those years, I was maturing in my spiritual journey ultimately recognizing that the ‘work’ I was doing was not serving others, I was serving the Lord! I had always worked with all of my heart, but my purpose was miss-directed. I was focused more on achieving earthly goals, like money, recognition, etc.

I formally retired four years ago – since that time, I have come to recognize the real purpose of the work of my lifetime. I had been given talents by the Lord to be used in serving Him. He has rewarded me in so many ways – love, compassion, gratitude, humility to name just a few. May the ‘work’ that I do as a volunteer today always be Christ-led to return to Him what he has already given me.

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father – you have generously blessed me with gifts. May I never forget ‘who I am’ and ‘whose I am’. As I serve others, may I never forget I am serving you. In the name of Jesus, Amen. 

Friday, February 24, 2017

Grace Peters   


“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. …..Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”  Psalm 46: 1 and 10 KJV

                As we celebrate the Bicentennial of SCPC, let us focus on the meaning of the bright red, empty cross that hangs on the back wall of the altar.  This cross symbolizes the sacrifice, death and resurrection of our Lord!

                Fifty years ago on September 4, 1967, my well controlled, well planned, gently protected, and faith filled life was shaken to its very core. I found my first born child, a beautiful, healthy, two months old baby girl, dead in her crib. At first the shock was numbing but then came the pain, the anger, the why’s.  I clung to my faith reflexively and almost like insurance because I knew that it was my only hope of being reunited with my child.  God and I had many anguished conversations and I would weep and cry out to God.

         I quietly cried through many church services, but I would always keep my eyes focused on that red cross which reminded me that through Christ’s death and resurrection, my child, Karen, would have eternal life.  Often, after times when I was most emotional, a sense of peace and comfort would come and God would give me peace and hope.  He would wrap me in His arms and gently let me +know that He was in control.

                Throughout these fifty years, there have been other occasions of sorrow and many joys.  In all of those times, both in joys and sorrows, I still focus my eyes on that red cross, the cross of the Risen Christ!

Prayer:  Thank you exalted God for the sacrifice that you made in the death of your son, Jesus.  A sacrifice made so that my child and all of your children may have eternal life. Help us to always cling to our faith and allow you to be in control because you are “our refuge and strength”!  Amen 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Susanne Udvari   


You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.  Psalm 16:11

       Last Christmas I gave my daughter a bracelet that had two simple words engraved on it – CHOOSE JOY.   I have decided this is my new mantra, and I strive to have it be the foundation of my life every day.  It has to be a conscious decision because there are days when it is not so easy to be Joyful.  The apostle Paul is a great example of a person accepting his current circumstances.  He stood firm in the Lord and responded with Joy, even when he was in prison and his death was a certainty.  We can see his urgency in spreading the gospel and supporting his brothers in Christ as we read the many letters in the New Testament written to churches in various cities.

       We can use Joy to fight back fear and pain, and, in the process, we may fill those around us with Joy and hope.  We need to seek God in every situation, and declare his goodness on the darkest days.  Stay conscious of God's fierce love for you and remember He is up to something in your life!  There is something beautiful to be found in having a faith grounded in love, mercy, and the grace of God.  Knowing the truth of who God is – and who we are because of Christ – deeply embedded in our hearts and minds will position us for Joy and peace regardless of our daily circumstances.

      As Margaret Feinberg states in her book, Fight Back With Joy, “When we fight back with Joy, we awaken the deepest reality of our identity as beloved, delightful children of God.  Joy is your heritage, purpose, and destiny.”

Lord, help me always to choose Joy and be thankful for the multitude of blessings you shower on me each day.  Help me to always rest in God's extravagant love and know that believing in Jesus will position me for Joy and peace regardless of my circumstances.   Amen

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Ann Arthur

“Abiding friendships we count as wealth,
We’re very grateful for lasting health.
On the whole the years have been very kind,
Even most of our clouds have been silver-lined.

So our prayer today is full of thanks to You,
For guidance and help in all that You do,
May Your blessings continue so we may meet again,

We ask in the name of Your son, Amen!”

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Roy Behling     


If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me", even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. - Psalm 139: 11-12  (NIV)

As the prayer elder that Sunday, it was a morning of mixed emotions as one family had fears of imminent death, while a young person had joy for being healed and so it went with concerns and praise.

In the parking lot afterwards, I noticed fluffy white cumulus clouds in one part of the sky and brooding dark storm clouds on the horizon. Now both sets of clouds contained water droplets that would become blessings for the earth. However, the storm clouds held more droplets and thus greater blessings.

Both the joy and sadness mixed up in daily life may contain blessings. Sometimes the greater blessings can be found in the stormy moments. Living in Christ means all our life events are opportunities to experience His love. The more difficult ones may well bring us richer experiences of His grace. We may not always be aware of Christ's presence, and holding on to His promise to remain in us (see John 15:4)  may not take away our pain or answer our questions, but challenging times can lead us to God's greatest blessings.

Dear Lord, no matter what storm this day brings, give me Your assurance that You remain with me. Help me to receive Your blessings each day, even during life's challenges. In the name of our Lord and Savior, Amen.

Monday, February 20, 2017


The following poem was found in Sharon's archives from a booklet published in the 1960's by members of the congregation.  This untitled poem was submitted by Mrs. S. W. Hixson.

When days are filled with worldly snares,
Ask God to help.  He truly cares.
He sent His Son to earth to show
How much He loves us here below.
Don't make a move without His guiding,
Ever in His love abiding.
Lean on Him if strength is wanting.
Love and faith He gives undaunting.
Though doctor, lawyer, student, wife,
Take Him with you through your life.
If you but ask, your spirit humbling,
He'll surely keep your feet from stumbling.
Take Him then to work or school
And you will live the Golden Rule.
As each thought and act you know He'll see
You'll live as the Christian He wants you to be.

Prayer:  Remembering those who are a part of Sharon's history.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Dan Peters     


Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; be not frightened neither be dismayed; for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. – Joshua 1: 9
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth – Matthew 5:5

God calls us to be courageous and not dismayed for he is always with us.  Jesus exalts the status of those who are meek.  Is there a contradiction here?  In our daily lives we meet people who display courage and we meet people who are meek; but rarely, if ever, are these attributes displayed by the same person at the same time. Perhaps Jesus calls us to be meek before God as we acknowledge our humanity, our sinfulness, and our shortcomings.  God calls us to be courageous human beings as we strive to live Christian lives, tell the good news of salvation, and demonstrate our faith through service to others.

PRAYER:  Heavenly Father, I am mindful of my sin and my shortcomings as I come before you. Make me also mindful of your power to provide me with the courage to do the things you call me to do.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Judy Lentz    

Angels from all Angles

Luke 4:10  For it is written:  He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully.

The Associate Pastor of the church where we are affiliate members in Greenwood, SC has always offered “travel mercies” for anyone taking a trip.  With travel mercies she describes your car, train or airplane being surrounded by angels - she will say, “may there be angels before you, angels behind you, angels beside you, angels on top of you and angels under you”.  It is such a comforting feeling to be encased by angels as we drive north to Moon or fly somewhere to see our grandchildren.  No matter how or when we travel, I envision this image.  

I have taken this same image and thought about it in terms of our health.  What if we were to envision the encasement of angels for anyone we know facing serious illnesses.  We could call them “health mercies”.  How powerful would this be?  To be surrounded by the love of Christ in angels from all angles.  Such comfort that image offers!!  Try it.  Imagine angels surrounding your friend or loved one as they traverse the journey of serious illness.  What a powerful prayer this would be for all that you know would benefit.

Prayer:  Dear Lord and Savior of us all -we ask for your travel angels and health angels to surround all those who might benefit.  The warmth, love and comfort created by this image will provide the peace that we all need in times of concern. In the name of Jesus, we pray.  Amen

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Susanne Udvari


And your ears shall hear a word behind you saying, “This is the way, walk in it, when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.”  Isaiah 30:21

When I was in an airport several years ago, I had been praying that God would show me a direction for several issues in my life.  I was considering stepping into a new commitment which would take more of my time.  I stepped onto one of the moving walkways, and as I looked down I saw two words – the left side said WALK and the right side said STAND.  It was if God were saying to me – Don't you see – I want you to walk forward with me - you have been standing – don't be stagnant,  but just keep moving in the direction I choose.

 These two words just smacked me in the face with a very clear message!  Yes, I had been doing more standing than moving forward, not keeping in step with what God wanted me to do.  Our God is a God of surprises!  In the strangest ways and places he speaks to us.  It is our job to be open to these nudges from God.  We have all had years in our lives when we were not walking forward, when we were not serving Him with the gifts he has given us.

It is easy to stand still, be complacent and comfortable.  But we are called to serve and let our light shine.  Walking in God's way does not always guarantee a comfortable life, but we have limited time on this earth to take the path of service to God.

So the next time you are in an airport, and see those words WALK and STAND on the moving walkways, ask yourself – am I walking forward with God or am I stuck in one place, not moving forward in service.  He might just speak to you as He did to me!!

Almighty God, help me to always listen to you and to be open to your voice.  Help me to follow as it states in Psalm 37:5, “Commit your way to the Lord: Trust him and he will act.”  Give me the wisdom to know when you are nudging me.  Amen

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Dan Peters     


And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his span of life – Matthew 6:27

Anxiety seems to be an inseparable part of the human condition.  As infants we become anxious over minor discomforts or temporary parental absence.  As children we become anxious about our ability to perform effectively.  As teens, we become anxious (oh…so anxious !) about our personal image and our relationships.  As young adults we become anxious about our performance in the working world.  As parents, we inadvertently echo the anxieties of our children and add the uncertainties of their futures to our list of anxieties. 

As we advance in years we add our health and the health of our loved ones to the list.  Throughout our lives we develop anxiety about our surroundings, our community, our nation and the world and the changes taking place therein.  When these changes occur we have difficulty in discerning whether to resist or adapt, causing us more anxiety.  To make matters worse anxieties accumulate as we age.
Let’s eliminate at once the ultimate anxiety: our destination after death on this earth. As Christians we know that …by “grace  (we) have been saved through faith. And this is not (our) own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works…”(Ephesians 2: 8-9).

But it is not just our salvation that we worry about; we have our growing and seemingly endless list of worldy anxieties too. To which God responds “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything in prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Phillipians 4:6).

PRAYER:  Thank you Heavenly Father for your son Jesus and the gift to me of salvation through his death on the cross.  This relieves me of any anxiety about my ultimate destination.  Help me this day to forget all my other anxieties and, by so doing, to devote my energy to the tasks at hand and the strengthening of my personal relationship with you.  Amen

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Grace Peters

“Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God, and he who loves is born of God and knows God.”  1 John 4:7 NRSV

God often speaks through children and they deliver His message simply and innocently.  My daughter’s third grade class had a Mother’s Day program.  The loving messages were recited: “I love my Mom because she’s a good cook and feeds me”; I love my Mother because she is pretty”; “I love my Mum because she takes care of me”.  Then my daughter got up and said, “I love my Mummy because she loves me.”   Isn’t that how it is with God?  We love God because he first loved us; He is love.

Prayer:  God thank you for first loving us and help us to love one another and to love our neighbors as ourselves.  Amen

Monday, February 13, 2017

A Thought for the Day...  
Submitted by Terry Doughty

Some graduate students were visiting a retired professor that had inspired them. Their conversation about everyone's successful lives began to turn into shared complaints about the stresses found in their work, lives, and relationships. The professor offered them hot chocolate and set out an assortment of cups and told them to help themselves. Then he shared his thoughts.
“Notice all the nicest cups were taken first, leaving the plainest and cheap ones untaken. It is human nature to select the best available for ourselves but I believe that this tendency is the source of your problems and stress. The cup you drink from adds nothing to the quality of the chocolate. In some cases, using the most expensive and fancy cup even detracts or hides what you are drinking. What everyone really wanted initially was a cup of hot cocoa, not the cup; but even so, everyone took pains to select the best cup—even eyeing what everyone else chose.
However, please consider this: Life is the hot chocolate--your job, money, position in society are the cups. They are the tools to hold and contain life. The cup you hold does NOT define nor does it change the quality of the life you are living.”
Often when we concentrate on the cup, we fail to enjoy the hot chocolate God has provided us. Always remember that God brews the hot chocolate. He does not choose the cup.
The happiest people do not have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything that they have. So...
Live simply
Love generously
Care deeply   
Speak kindly
Leave the rest to God

And remember the richest person is not the one who has the most, but the one who needs the least. Enjoy your hot chocolate.”

Saturday, February 11, 2017

THE POETRY OF SHARON CHURCH  (by members, circa mid-1960's)
Mrs. S. W. Hixson

Do you have a problem
You think is unsolvable?
Ask God to help.

It'll soon be resolvable.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Roy Behling  


Jesus said: "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these." - Mark 10:14 (NIV)

Even as I approach 80 years of age, I cannot forget my Sunday School teachers and youth leaders. I attended Sunday School and Youth Fellowship from toddler age through high school. During this period, I received Jesus as my Savior. I am grateful for my teachers who taught the living word of God with deep commitment and love. All these years later, I still have respect for these teachers.

In Luke Chapter 2, we see twelve-year-old Jesus sitting with the teachers in the Temple, and they were all astonished by his wisdom and answers. He was well versed in Old Testament scripture.

What about our children? I firmly believe it is part of God's plan to use Sunday School to produce faithful servants for His church. Children are precious in the sight of God and by attending Sunday School our children can learn about Jesus Christ and the scriptures and then pass on these lessons of faith to future generations.

Dear Lord, I ask for Your continued blessing on Sunday School teachers, youth leaders and students as they grow in the faith, become Your disciples and spread the Gospel as fruitful members of Your church. In the name of our Lord and Savior, Amen.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Toni Sample

“The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand.” Psalm 37:23-2

I had the delight to be the facilitator of the October, 2016 Women’s Retreat at Sharon Community Presbyterian Church.

On that cold but sunny Saturday morning, I watched the women enter the room and enjoy an informal gathering time of fellowship. I felt blessed to be a part of this group of women who obviously supported and cared for each other.

Throughout the day we searched our Bibles repeatedly, staying in His word and letting Him guide us through the materials. Our study was based on Paul’s words to the church of Corinth, (2 Corinthians 3:3) when he wrote: “Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This "letter" is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts.”

Although our focus was on the words in Corinthians we moved throughout both the Old and New Testaments. Each verse, each discussion that ensued, showed that these women were not only ‘letters from Christ written on human hearts’, but they were delighted in their relationship, not just with each other, but with their LORD. Some of these women were in the middle of struggles and were being upheld with His mighty hand; others had come out the other side of recent struggles and were enjoying a time of rest.

The corporate church goes through struggles, much like we do individually. We may stumble but He will never let us fall. God has been yoked to SCPC for 200 years, making the load lighter for those who gather to worship and delight in Him. It is the delight and hope in our LORD that sees us through our times of struggle. As we celebrate His faithfulness, He celebrates ours.

Prayer :Dear God, we come to you through your Son, Jesus Christ, in awe of your power, your forgiveness, your love, and your healing grace. Thank you for never forsaking us. Thank you for helping us to walk on your path. Thank you for the hope we have in you. Amen

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Judy  Lentz  

What is God’s Purpose for Us

Ephesians: 1: 17-19  I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.  I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and the incomparably great power for us who believe.

I am sure early in your life you were asked “what do you want to be?”  When you are seeking education after high school, again guidance counselors will ask “what do you want to be?”  Maybe you struggled with the answer to this question.  Maybe you thought you wanted to go one way only to discover that way was not for you.  Maybe you accepted a job in the direction you had chosen only to find you were very unhappy.  Maybe your career choice has left you miserable.

Have you ever considered the possibility that God had already determined His purpose for you and His purpose did not match the direction you were taking or had taken?  We won’t be satisfied with what we are doing until we have gone the direction God had called us to go.  I Corinthians 2: 9-10 says “However, as it is written: No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him but God has revealed it to us by his spirit.”   We need to seek God rather than seek a career.  If we seek to know and love God, we will not miss our calling.  It will be revealed by His spirit.

Prayer:  Dear Gracious and loving Father:  reveal to me through your spirit the directions you are calling me to go.  I love you because you first loved me and want only to serve the purpose you have intended for me.  In the name of Christ Jesus.  Amen

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Barbara Cain

"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:16 (NRSV)

God gives me the strength and courage. He provides for all my needs. I can walk with Him in glory and I feel all my efforts will succeed. God gives me all the light and wisdom, and He guides me through every day. My decisions are all destined by His will, I pray I do not stray. God does give me encouragement to move ahead with reverence. I pray I do not fail; my faith, hope and confidence are restored by God. God gives me His love and mercy. He give me strength when I need it most. Such a calmness comes over me, through my sorrow and pain. I feel cradled in His arms. And with His words, "now rest, my child," my heart and soul are warmed.

Prayer:  Dear God, thank you for your presence in happy times and in trying times. Your love is always patient and kind. Amen.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Judy Yeck
1 Thessalonians 5:16-28 CEV    Always be joyful (vs. 15)

Our attitude can be one of gratitude, and joy. We can decide each day, how we are going to go through that day, full of joy, or not. It doesn't matter where we live, what we do or how we spend our time. The only thing that dictates our attitude is our choice.

Do we believe that God in in control of all things, including us? Do we trust His word, which tells us that He is in control of all things?  Even in the midst of disaster, He is there and waiting for us to acknowledge His presence in our lives.

The scripture above is one that we should write down, and attach it to the bathroom mirror, and throughout our busy lives. It is a choice, choose joy!

Prayer:  Dear Lord,   Help us to acknowledge Your presence in our lives, may we truly live in an attitude of gratitude with joy. Help us put You first in our lives and be pleasing in Your sight, for we ask this in Jesus' Name.


Saturday, February 4, 2017

Grace Peters

“Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if not accompanied by action is dead.” James 2:15-16  Life Application Bible, NIV

When our first son was transitioning from the church nursery to the 3-year-old Sunday School class, I gave it a big build up, “You’re going to love it. You will read stories and sing songs about Jesus; you will learn so much!”  After about three weeks, at pick up time, he greeted me, with hands on hips, indignantly protesting, “Well, we didn’t DO much Jesus!”

Children are concrete thinkers and they need to see us acting out our faith. The world also needs to see us projecting our Christian faith in God’s love and grace in concrete acts of caring and compassion for others. We often meet God when we serve those who are hurting and vulnerable. His love and warmth shine through us and enrich us as much as those we serve.

Prayer:  God of grace and love, thank you for giving us many opportunities to act out our faith in deeds of caring and compassion.  Help us to use these opportunities to witness to your kingdom.


Friday, February 3, 2017

Judy  Lentz


Genesis 17:1  When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty” (Hebrew  El-Shaddai).

Every day we experience a multitude of ways that others guide us - through MapQuest, various GPS’s on our phones or in our cars, turn signals, Siri, helpful responses to inquiries at the store, comments from loving friends, parental guidance, internet sources,  etc.  The list can go on and on.   We rely on the help of others to simplify our days, to answer questions, seeking advice to keep us from getting into trouble, to aid us in accomplishing our mission or way again.  These are just a few of the many reasons we look to others.  And when that help comes from a human source, we gratefully acknowledge to them our heartfelt appreciation.

How often do ask Jesus to provide guidance for us in times of need?  Do we seek his guidance as often as we seek the help of others or are we hesitant?  Do we acknowledge our appreciation to Him as easily as we do to others?  He is our El Shaddai - God Almighty, all sufficient one.  He knows our needs long before we bring them in prayer to Him.    We owe Him everything for sacrificing His life for us.  Not only is He the most knowledgeable about guiding us in the right direction but He is also the most loving.  Trust in Him.  He asks only that we come to Him to express our concerns and He promises to respond in gratitude and appreciation.  Listening for His response, hearing the Holy Spirit’s guidance and giving thanks for all that He has done for us remembering that He is God Almighty, El-Shaddai.

Prayer:  We thank you for the guidance and love you show us when we come to you in prayer.  You are our El Shaddai.   You light our way.  May we always seek you first before asking others and keep our ears open for your response.  In the name of Jesus, we pray.


Thursday, February 2, 2017

Terry Doughty    

Living by faith to have an abundant life

2 Corinthians 5:7 “for our life is a matter of faith not of sight.”
Matt. 6:25 “Therefore I tell you do not worry about your life,”
John 10:10 “I have come in order that you might have life and have it abundantly.”

 In my adult years, I have found the following saying to be a reflection of my faith and it has been my philosophy for dealing with the challenges that have come along in life.

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…it’s about learning how to dance in the rain. My faith has given me hope and strength to deal with disappointment, illness and uncertainty when facing unknowns in life. This motivational saying seems to summarize an approach to living that encompasses the understanding that worry does not help us cope when life is stressful but trusting God to have a plan will. I no longer wonder why bad things happen and I realize that being a Christian does not offer any protection from adverse events.

Difficulties are simply a part of life that challenge us to grow and I strive to not fall prey to feeling a victim of circumstance. I trust that God is aware of my distress and I take comfort in the promise that Christ is always with me and all things are possible through him. The hard part for me is tackling issues without surrendering my joy of living.

 Life is meant to be lived as a gift and experienced abundantly but worry and lack of faith drains the positive energy I normally have to face each day. I have learned that prayer helps me find the direction I need to deal with troubles in a positive fashion; helps conquer my doubts and gives me hope for a positive outcome. Only when I surrender my concerns and decide to trust in God am I able to discover the ability to “dance in the rain”. Living by faith gives me hope or perhaps it is hope obtained through prayer and my Christian faith that helps me live my life “abundantly”.    


Dear heavenly Father, Strengthen my faith so that I can face the challenges of life with hope and purpose, knowing you are by my side. Help me discover ways to express my faith by the way I live; finding joy in everyday moments and the ability to love others the way you love me, so I can live life abundantly.


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

 Susanne Udvari

I've told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace.  In this  godless world you will continue to experience difficulties.  But take heart I've conquered the world.  John 16:33  The Message

Many of you may order online from Amazon where you can buy anything from household items, tools, toys, etc. with the click of a button.  It arrives within 48 hours, right at your door, with no shipping charges!!  Isn't this what we would like our God to do – deliver the answer to our prayers immediately, and deliver the answer we choose.

I recently listened to a lecture by a teaching director at a Bible study where she emphasized that what we need is an Amazing God, not an Amazon God!!  Just as Moses and the Israelites had to realize that God moved carefully and methodically, we also must not expect to receive immediate answers to our prayers.  Instead of providing a quick trip across the desert, God kept the Israelites wandering for 40 years as he taught them many lessons about obedience, Holiness, and God's provision.

God is faithful!!  He will answer in His perfect timing.  And remember his answers might be yes, no, or not right now!  I have experienced that through situations in my life, God has taught me many lessons instead of just providing a quick fix. He has given me endurance to run the race if I continue to ask Him to lead me.  We are not really in control, but one thing I am sure of is that there is a 100% chance that God is in control!  So the question is, will we endure some detours and hardships by trusting in an Amazing God, not an Amazon God?

Lord, help me to be patient and continue praying even when I do not see immediate answers.  Help me to trust and continue to obey as I wait for you to answer in your perfect timing and to give me strength and patience as I wait.