A Breath of Fresh Air
A Merry Heart
A Woman's World
A Word in Season
Acting Up
As I Imitate Christ
Cyber Walk
Faith Seekers
Golden Apples
Heaven Bound
Just Between Men
Take it to Heart
Teen Truth
The Joy of Family
The Parents'
Survival Guide

The Rhythm of Life
The Treehouse
Through Their Eyes
'Tis the Season
We Are the Church
Well Read

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Behold, All Things Have Become New
By Bill Shurkey

Spring is the season of new life. It's the time of year when the earth is renewed and replenished by a loving Creator. Our God is a God of order and spring is the season in which he shows it best. There is such joy and rejoicing of all creation during spring, such motion and change, that the earth could not contain it all. So the Lord in his wisdom gave the earth two hemispheres each opposite one another. In this way spring comes only to half the earth at a time while the other half prepares for winter. We in the Northern Hemisphere enjoy spring from late March to early June and the Southern Hemisphere from September through to the end of November.

New life occurs in two forms: nature and man. While new life in nature takes place in spring, new life in man occurs throughout the year. We all know that man has three parts: body, soul, and spirit and all three are capable of new life. The body experiences new life at birth. The soul experiences it when we submerse it in God's word. The spirit receives new life when we submerse it in God Himself. The most important of the three is new life in the spirit, for without that the other two mean nothing.

God's method of creating new life is the same in both nature and man and it points once again to a God of order. The first step that takes place in nature during spring is rain. God sends it to wash away the grime of winter. God also sends the latter rain, his Holy Spirit, to man for the same purpose. He washes away the grime of sin from our lives. Nature's rain also replenishes the earth by renewing its water supply. God gives man wells of living water. Earth's vegetation buds with new growth. Man also buds with new growth as our old life is replaced by our new. In the earth nature awakens, comes alive. Flowers bloom and hibernating animals leave their winter sleeping places. And isn't it the same for man? A man with Christ's new life begins to blossom and bear spiritual fruit, as he emerges from the darkness of his spiritual cave into the light of a new day.

Finally, in both nature and man, the sun brings warmer days bursting with activity and longer days in which to bask in the light. New life in either form is a miracle but new life in Christ is the greatest miracle of all. It allows us to see creation through Christ's eyes and that makes us doubly blessed. Despite all the sin and pollution of earth, despite its impermanence, it is still a beautiful place created by a loving creator. How much more awaits us in our heavenly home where new life is forever and all things have become new?

This month our talented writers celebrate both forms of new life and they are more than able for the task. They have experienced the new life they write about. The rhythm of life in both nature and man begins with new life. It sets the stage for what is to follow. Change is inevitable. Tides ebb and flow, the moon goes through phases, the sun rises and sets. The earth lives because its creator lives. Man too is constantly in motion, striving for perfection, stumbling, reaching out and reaching up. Man lives because his creator loves.
Let's trust the Lord to walk with us on our journey through all the highs and lows of life. The rhythm of life means change but we can face the change with confidence knowing that at the end of this life the best is yet to come.

Heaven's Heartbeat
Bill Shurkey 2005

Here lies heaven's heartbeat,
On broken streets and dusty roads,
In the slums and prisons you will meet
Humanity crushed under heavy loads.

On broken streets and dusty roads
I see the blind, the deaf, the lame;
Vanished dreams where pain erodes
And sorrow with no one to blame.

I see the blind, the deaf, the lame,
Weathered faces now radiate hope,
Something's happened-they're not the same,
Love is helping them to cope.

Weathered faces now radiate hope,
They've found victory in their defeat,
In the Light man needn't grope,
Here lies heaven's heartbeat.

Bill Shurkey is the editor of The Rhythm of Life. He has published over 100 poems in various publications, as well as short fiction, short nonfiction and a nonfiction book. His two passions are poetry and teaching children through fantasy and humor.
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