Archive for September 2010

Broken Cisterns

September 29, 2010
Pam Ford Davis

BROKEN CISTERNS

I’m a country girl, who grew up in the rural neighborhood of Mycenae, outside of Syracuse, N.Y. Our family used a water-well and pump, and we greatly appreciated the benefits of a large cistern in our basement. My parents thought green before ecology became a global buzzword; they stored rainwater in a cellar cistern for household use.

Mom and Dad complained about the hard-water pumped from the well. We depended upon water softener additives. Rainwater from the cistern far surpassed well water for bathing, cleaning laundry, and especially for washing hair. Our neighborhood offered a fresh water spring. We could always depend on it to provide clear ice-cold water. Wild spearmint grew along the edge; we often picked and chewed the leaves before gulping water cupped in eager hands. Today’s bottled water or tap water cannot compare.

Jeremiah gives applicable teaching, focusing on cisterns. They become useless when broken. “For My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, to hew for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water (Jeremiah 2:13 NAS).” God said His people abandoned Him, their source of fresh living waters, in the foolish exchange for broken cisterns. We do not need to patch up cracks of old leaking cisterns to quench spiritual thirst. Drink from His fountain and find never ending refreshment!

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Dear Nicodemus

September 23, 2010

GUEST WRITER: JEANNE WEBSTER

Dear Nicodemus
©2010 Jeanne E. Webster

Nicodemus, teacher
Order of the Pharisees
Sanhedrin member
Rabbi (master of Israel)

Dear Nicodemus:

This letter is sent to confirm our conversation last night regarding eternal life. You questioned my statement that a person cannot enter heaven without being born again. You wanted evidence that a person can be born again after he’s grown. As a Pharisee, a rabbi and teacher, you don’t comprehend this?

I explained to you that one must be born of the Spirit, not a rebirth from the womb. Being born of the flesh is a physical birth; being born of the Spirit is a spiritual birth. There is a touch from God framing the spiritual birth which is granted to anyone who believes in the Son of man. He descended from heaven and will return to heaven, evidence for the passage of regeneration for everyone who believes in Him.

You have heard me preach of earthly things yet you don’t believe them. How will you have faith in what I tell you of heavenly things? Moses lifted up the brass serpent that represented the sins of Israel; everyone who looked on it was healed. So will the Son of man be lifted up for everyone to see and believe in, and they shall have eternal life. God loved everyone so much that He put upon the Son of Man the sins of the world. He was lifted up on Calvary for all to see and believe. Those who have faith in Him will not perish but have everlasting life in heaven.

You see, Nicodemus, God didn’t send his Son into the world to condemn everyone but to save them. They condemn themselves if they do not believe in the name of the only Son of God. In all reality, this is the truth: light has come into the world to save the souls of everyone. But people love the darkness, as it covers the evil deeds they don’t want discovered. Those that live good lives are drawn to the light because their deeds will be shown to be of God.

The wind blows where it wishes, Nicodemus. Even though you can’t tell where the sound comes from, listen to it, as it is from the Spirit. Believe in it and be born again, this time of the Spirit, and you will have eternal life.

Love,
Jesus

(Paraphrased from John 3:1-21)

 

Whiskers Against My Cheek

September 16, 2010

Pam Ford Davis

What memories trigger thoughts of your father? We cannot measure the influence dads have on their children; it helps to remind us of the responsibility and privilege we now hold as parents and grandparents. In ways our dads blessed us we give our heavenly Father thanksgiving. We release our fathers from their failings and receive peace and healing.

My Dad, Franklin F. Ford touched my life in so many ways. I remember sitting in his lap when a very young girl and feeling his whiskers rub against my cheek. Dad showed his kids and grandkids how to tie our shoes, using the two loops, bunny ears method. He taught me how to ride a bike, and along with Mom tried to teach me to swim. He also served as my driving instructor, but that job needed the extra patience of my husband several years later.

Dad gave me the example of hard work rewards. (2 Thessalonians 3:10) He often worked two jobs, yet kept up our house repairs, did yard work, and helped Mom with chores. No job was ever beneath him. He gave me great appreciation for wood items, because he put  finishing touches on crafted items at Stickley Furniture Company.

I often think of my Dad when I view rolling hills, trees, streams, or animals, big or small. Dad thrived when he could be outdoors, gardening, cutting grass, taking long walks, or in later years enjoying his wooden swing. Even in dangerously high temperatures he would be outside every chance he got.

Dad lived a troubled life, but in his happy moments, sounds of his laughter filled our house and our memories. He laughed in pure simple pleasure! I guess Dad’s biggest life lesson was to love and show concern for family. We never got too old or too far away to be on Dad’s mind. He waited for letters and phone calls to learn the latest news about our families and looked forward to visits.

Reading books as he worked long hours as a plant security guard for General Electric now holds special meaning. I can see all those paper back westerns tucked in his lunch box, and know he would be proud of my writing. If Dad still lived I would be calling soon to share the latest family happenings; instead I’ll curl up in his lap in my memories and feel his whiskers against my cheek…

Pop-Ups

September 8, 2010

Pam Ford Davis

There it is, persistently demanding your attention on the computer screen. It’s a pop up advertisement. A bull drawn to the red cape of a matador could not be more annoyed. Yes; we do have some control over the pop up menace, but advertisers know its appeal. I saw a real clever one the other day; the corner of my screen displayed a peal down here tab. I was tempted to sneak a peek, as a small area opened before me.       

Pop ups do just as described, when you least expect them, they pop up. Here we go again; what is it now? We can ignore them, hope they go away, or we can use a blocker. If not, like jack-in-the box, they’ll pop up everywhere.

I know one pop up we need to block securely. Our peace of mind is at stake. The accusations of Satan pop up when you let your guard down. He gets his kicks from dragging up all the muck and mire of our past; he then drags us through. Sometimes his stabbing remarks are spoken so quickly we are unaware they popped up. On other occasions, he pushes the play, automatic replay button, to pop up over and over and over…

He earns his title of the accuser. “And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, who accuses them before our God day and night (Revelation 12:10 NAS).”

 Not only does he accuse us; he tries to convince God the accusations are true. Grab your weapon, the sword of God, His word, and destroy the accuser’s pop ups.  We hold the victory! “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1NAS).” Thumbs down to pop ups!

Close To God

September 2, 2010

GUEST WRITER: VICTOR JASTI

As a Christian,

I understand that when God cleans my heart,

I get closer and closer to Him.

But when sins, selfish attitudes and worldly cares,

Keeps me from getting closer to the Lord,

I lay aside the World’s weight,

For when I lay them aside,

I experience the inspiring joy,

Of a Christian

Who is close to the Lord.

Don’t Look Down

September 2, 2010

GUEST WRITER: EMILY SWANSON

Matthew 14: 24-30

When Jesus invited Peter to join Him on the water of the sea, Peter was hoping to meet the challenge. With great faith, Peter stepped out of the boat. He was full of confidence as he faced the Master. I think Peter’s feet were quite dry as long as his eyes were on Jesus.

I can almost hear Jesus calling out with urgency, “don’t look down, Peter. Don’t look down.”

The Big Fisherman made that very mistake. He looked down into the murky waters. His confidence in himself waned. His faith in Jesus wavered. After all, walking on water was impossible.

It is extremely easy to criticize Peter for his failure. Yet it is true of us all. The walk-of-faith is remarkable as long as one’s eyes are on the Master. When one’s gaze wanders into the world, we get swept up by waves of doubt.

Peter was not too proud to cry out, “Master, save me!”

Like Peter of old, we must “Turn Our Eyes Upon Jesus”. “Look full in His wonderful face“. It becomes easy to sink into the swirling waters of discouragement. One’s attention can become fixed on the problem rather than the Problem Solver. Discouragement can pull us down into a never-ending whirlpool of despair.

I can almost hear Jesus calling out with urgency, “don’t look down. Don’t look down!”

We, too, must cry out, “Master, save me”.

 
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Corner
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