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Volume 4, Issue 6 - May/June 2008

" The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he restores my soul.."

~ Psalm 23:1-3a NIV ~


Hello and welcome to the May/June Issue of FaithWriters' Magazine--another issue full of inspiration, encouragement and special blessings to brighten your day.

I don't know about you, but I find that life often has a tendency to throw a spanner in the works of our best laid plans. We rise up with excitement to step into the dreams and hopes God has placed before us, or even just to embrace the pleasure of a brand new day, only to find that circumstances don't always go the way we'd hoped.

God is Good all the Time
By Arway Sayeh-Swepson

God is good all the time, and all the time God is good! Some pastors, prior to delivering the message, often make the congregation recite this statement of belief. As the adage goes, "easier said than done." It does not take much effort for every Tom, Dick and Harry to sing or recite a creed without understanding its true meaning, knowing the magnitude of the words expressed, or exercising its full meaning. Do we really mean what we say when we say that God is good? Can we say that God is good all the time?

Read Complete Article...

It may be a minor setback along the way, or it could be a traumatic and serious experience that brings everything to a grinding halt.

When these things happen, we have a choice to make. Will we believe God's love for us is greater than our circumstances, or will we think the circumstances are greater than His love? In our heads, we know the right choice, but our hearts often do battle with the truth.

It's this battle to trust, that is the focus of our front page feature, God is Good all the Time by Arway Sayeh-Swepson. If you feel you are under attack, or that your life is falling apart at the seams, make sure you take time to read this challenging and encouraging message. It definitely stirred me.

Following on in a similar way, Angela Posey-Arnold shares a testimony of God's great faithfulness throughout the various trials of life, in her article Storms Come and Storms Go. This is another word of encouragement to believe that, no matter what we face, our God will bring us through.

Then, to bring this particular theme to a close, we have a gentle reminder of God's eternal hope in Verna Cole Mitchell's beautiful poem The Light Ahead of the Darkness.

Three very special messages of encouragement and hope, which I pray will minister to the hearts of those going through times of trial and hardship. As we all know, being a Christian does not make us immune to pain and sorrow, and the greatest sorrow of all is the loss of a loved one.

A few weeks ago I received the very sad news that one of our original FaithWriters' Magazine contributors, Bill Shurkey, had passed away. Bill was a regular and much loved contributor to our Rhythm of Life section, and occasionally to our children's page, The Tree House. He was a talented writer, a godly brother and a gentleman in every sense of the word. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Linda, and their family.

Yet, as Verna's poem declares, no matter what may happen to us in life, God will lead us home. Bill is with the Lord, and we give thanks for the assurance of that. We also give thanks for the legacy Bill has left us through his work. If you ever feel like wandering through the FaithWriters' Magazine archives, please take time to enjoy some of his writing. I know that it always came straight from the heart.

Speaking of The Rhythm of Life, I think Bill would have enjoyed the two poems we have in that section this issue. The first is a rather different poem to the usual ones about motherhood, yet it's one I think most mothers will immediately relate to. A Mother's Cry for Self by Laura Anne Harrison is our Mother's Day gift to you.

The second poem, Forks in the Road by Brenda LaVelle, is also bound to strike a chord in many readers. Like Brenda, how many of us have, at some time, reached a point on our journey with Christ where we just weren't sure which direction to take? I know I have--sometimes on a daily basis, or so it seems. This poem won't provide the road map for your next step, but it may just give you the peace to wait patiently for God's guidance.

If you are a parent, then I'm sure you've stood at many a fork in the road throughout your child's life. Children never stay in one stage for any length of time, and each new level of growth brings new challenges and new decisions to be made. When you think about it, parenting is an incredible responsibility, and we only have a handful of years to get it right. That's where Peter Stone's article, Dear Parents, is such straightforward, down-to-earth wisdom for Christian parents. If you want to lay a solid foundation for your children, this is well worth reading.

I have a feeling that Anna Caison would probably agree that being a wife and mother can, at times, be a pretty hard and thankless job. In her Woman's World article, The Highest Call, Anna admits that she went many years without seeing any fruit for her labor--in fact, at times it appeared to be quite the opposite. I think that's why this little testimony had such an impact on me when I read it. If you've been trying to be the Proverbs 31 woman, and feel as though you're just not making the cut, don't despair. Your family may yet rise up and call you blessed--when you least expect it.

Of course, one of the responsibilities we have, not only as parents but as children of God, is to put prayer first. Unfortunately, all too often when our lives are shaking, we do the opposite, and then wonder why things keep going from bad to worse. In her article Screening Your Prayers...Not, Becky Brown reminds us of the importance of putting time with God first in our lives. It's a message I know I need to hear on a regular basis.

Now for something a little lighter...I always enjoy author Crista Darr's writing, and her short story, Bad Apple, is no exception. It's a delightful treat to read, and I'm sure it will bring a smile to your face.

Another smile-producer is Beth LaBuff's poem, The Idiot's Guide, in our Merry Heart section. I know I chuckled more than a few times as I read it, and I'm sure you will too.

Finally, there's a real gem tucked away on the very last page. I'm pretty sure Colin Swann let his imagination run loose when he wrote Omniscient Pulpit and the result is a fun glimpse of what the pulpit in your church may have been thinking all these years. If you are a preacher, you may never thump your pulpit again.

Anyway, that's it for our May/June Issue. I hope it blesses you as much as it blessed me to prepare it for you. Until next time, happy reading!

Deb Porter
Editor, FaithWriters' Magazine