Friday, December 26, 2014


This devotion first appeared in The Secret Place by Judson Press in their winter 2011-2012 issue.

New Year…Same God
Read: Hebrews 13: 5-8
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever.” Hebrews 13:8 (NASB)
As I drove past a neighborhood church sometime last January, I couldn’t help but notice the sign in the front of the church. “New Year…same gracious God” were the words written for all passersby to see. What a comforting thought!
We live in a fast paced world. Change happens everyday in every area of our lives.  We face new breakthroughs in science, new gadgets to posses, new occurrences around the world, and technologies to learn. Why, just as we think we have mastered the computer, there are iphones, ipads, blackberries, kindles, and all sorts of other things to figure out. 
My children have words in their vocabulary that I never heard of when I was their ages. When I was a child, a mouse was a small rodent that one tried to avoid. And a pad – now that is an evolving word if ever there was one! To my parents a pad was either a cushion or a small tablet of paper. To my generation it was also a person’s apartment, as in “Hey baby, do you want to come over to my pad?” But today, a pad is a place on which your mouse rests (your computer mouse; that is.)
Amid all of the rapid change, our existence has become, isn’t nice to know the Lord never changes?  Hebrews 13:8 tells us that He is the same yesterday, today, tomorrow, and forever! Thank you Lord for this truth!
Prayer: Father in Heaven, we are so grateful that you are who you are. You have been the same since the beginning of time and we know you can be trusted with our changing tomorrows. In Your Son’s name, Amen
Thought for the Day: We may be facing a new year, but we are facing it with the same God who saw us through the previous one!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Merry Christmas

Last year my local writing group had a fun Christmas writing exercise where we were challenged to write something which incorporated titles of Christmas carols. This piece was written by Crystal Murray the president of my local writing group. She gave me permission to post it on my blog. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!     
Christmas Graphic
(by Crystal A Murray)
We three kings knew we had a long journey ahead. We started on a silent night, but it turned out that many joined us along the way. We happened upon Good King Wenceslas, who asked us where we were going. Since we weren’t exactly sure yet (at this point we were just following the yonder star), I just him hawed around and finally answered, “Oh…little town of Bethlehem, I reckon.”

We continued on down the road when one of our road mates stopped and said, “Do you hear what I hear?

I answered, “Oh come, oh come, Emmanuel, tell us what you heard.”

And then Melchior spoke up and said, “I didn’t hear anything, but I saw three ships come sailing in as we passed the harbor.”

“If you already saw the ships,” I said, “then it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.”

“Well then,” said Melchior, “go tell it on the mountain, so everyone will know!”

“But who will tell Grandma?” asked one of our younger travelers.

“We will,” announced a group of teens who had joined us. As they ran out of site, I heard them singing what sounded like, Hi ho, hi ho, to Grandmother’s house we go. It reminded me so much of my childhood that I could practically see our old homestead decked out with the holly and the ivy, and I could smell the chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Oh those memories of days spent rockin’ around the Christmas tree were so wonderful. I hate that it all had to end when Grandma got run over by a reindeer.

I was almost crying when someone broke into my thoughts. “I think I just heard the silver bells.”

“You mean you heard dinner bells,” I joked because I knew we were all starting to get hungry. Never the less, we trudged along until it came upon the midnight clear that the star was leading us to a barn in the middle of a field.

As we approached the barn, someone shouted, “Bring a torch, Jeanette Isabella,” and we all sprang forward to view the baby who had been tucked away in a manger. At that, the little drummer boy began to play a special tune that sounded more like sleigh bells or jingle bells than a drum. I don’t know how he did that. It was magical and made me wonder, what child is this that can turn even the sound from a child’s toy into such beautiful orchestration. And that’s when I heard the bells on Christmas day and then we all exclaimed together, “Oh holy night

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


“The Pilgrims came across the sea,
And never thought of you and me; And yet it's very strange the way we think of them Thanksgiving day.”

I had practiced and practiced this poem by Annette Wynne. I was eight years old and remember it like it was yesterday. I and my classmates were to recite this poem in unison at the annual Thanksgiving dinner on the Ogbomoso compound. Mine was a large class–we had three girls and two boys. Yes, that was large as classes on this mission station went. My mother, always the seamstress, made us Pilgrim outfits to wear. I remember donning that gray straight dress, tying my white apron around my waist, placing the white bonnet over my hair and smoothing the large square white collar that I had slipped over my neck. The boys had tall cardboard hats painted black with gold construction paper buckles glued on and large square cardboard gold colored buckles on their waists too. They held cardboard guns in their hands.
I was excited! It was my first taste of acting. Our poem went off without a hitch. So I suppose the acting debut for my friends and me went well. But what I remember most about that evening is the magical dinner under the African stars. Large tables had been set up on one of the expansive lawns, still green from the recent season of rains. And there was more food than I could have ever imagined! To a child of eight, it was a grand adventure. There were tables and tables of tasteful delights! I ate till I could not eat any more, stuffing myself with deviled eggs, olives, potato salad, chicken, green beans, fresh tropical fruits, and deserts by the dozens. I really cannot remember if we had turkey–it was Africa in the 1960’s after all. But we certainly had food! The night was warm, the fellowship sweet, and the food of course, was delicious! And I learned something about myself that night. I am better at eating than acting.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

LIfe as I Knew It

Harriet Michael's photo.Fall 

Fall was once an enigma to me. As a little girl growing up in a tropical land, I had no memory of autumn. Oh, I had experienced it when my parents were in America on furlough but I was too young to remember what it was like. And a year of furlough when you are only five years old is a year of so many new things, it’s hard to process (and remember) it all.

But nonetheless, I loved the fall and I still do. Why did I love it so?  I think the credit goes to my missionary aunt who taught me in school–my Aunt Lil Wasson.  

Because she had a teaching degree and several children of her own in need of an education, Aunt Lil bravely took on the job of elementary teacher to all the MK’s (missionary kids) on the Ogbomoso compound. Ogbomoso had both a hospital and seminary with about a half a dozen missionary families working in each, so all together these missionaries had at least a dozen or more elementary age children depending on who was on furlough in any given year. Aunt Lil taught all of us in her garage which had been made into a one room school house. She was a brave woman, indeed. (The sketch at the top is of her garage school.)

She loved the fall. Aunt Lil grew up in Arkansas where trees were abundant and falls were glorious. Of course Nigeria where we were had only two seasons–rainy and dry. But Aunt Lil always decorated her school room with fall pictures and had her American citizen students learn about their homeland. I can still remember sitting in her class and looking at the decorations which were all around me–bright orange pumpkins, brown squirrels with nuts in their mouths, and trees with red, orange, and yellow leaves.   

She had one picture of Jack Frost painting a leaf which always intrigued me. Of course we knew Jack Frost was not real but my imagination went wild just the same with thoughts of a magical place where the world turned bright colors, shiny, frosty crystals formed on the ground, and a little elf painted the leaves when children were not looking.

“Everything we do, even the slightest thing we do, can have a ripple effect and repercussions that emanate.” – Victor Webster