Wake Up!

“Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him.”
Luke 12:35-36, NIV

In 1917, New York artist, James Montgomery Flagg painted the World War I poster Wake Up, America. A young lady is shown sleeping while the storm of war brews behind her. Dressed in red, white, and blue apparel, she wears a Phrygian cap, the symbol of liberty. Flagg painted the poster with hopes that it would inspire Americans to wake up and do their part for the war effort. In response to calls like his, thousands of men, women, and children stepped into their respective roles. The dedication and unity of those who answered the call to serve changed the tide of war and secured America’s victory and the freedoms we now enjoy.

Today, another storm brews across our land. America is undergoing a tremendous shift in its social, political, economic, and religious atmosphere. As we move farther and farther away from the godly principles upon which our nation was founded, there is a steady rise in division, discord and strife. The Scripture text exhorts believers to be ready to serve and be lights in the dark days prior to Christ’s return. Are you prepared for what lies ahead—am I? Are we ready to respond to God’s call to serve? Will we open the door to His daily presence in our lives and move forward in the power of His Spirit?

In Genesis 14, when Abram heard that his nephew Lot had been taken captive by the enemy, he rallied his troops and stepped out to rescue him. Yes, Lot chose to live in the wicked city of Sodom, but Abram never gave up on him. Because of his unconditional love and valiant effort, Lot’s freedom was restored.

Two of my favorite verses in Scripture are Romans 8:35 and 37: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”

Wake up, children of God! United in prayer and service, we can change the tide of the spiritual war raging around us. Fight for the souls of those you love. Christ gave His all for their freedom. The enemy is a defeated foe. Believe it. Suit up. Step out. Step into the role God has for you. His presence is with you. We are more than conquerors!

Starr Ayers

Removing the Splinter

“Leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.” 
Matthew 5: 24, NIV

I didn’t want to remove the splinter. It was glass and had lodged into my foot deeply. After a week of limping, it had to be dealt with but I was not enjoying the prospect of having to cut it out. Many Youtube videos later, having watched the proper procedure, I carefully and slowly cut into the wound according to the instructions I’d researched. Without a bright light to guide me, it would have been impossible to see that little glass splinter shining back at me. The offending object was invisible at first, painful later, and only worsened with time. The first day after I removed the glass shard I was sore, but the next day after some healing I was back to walking again!

     Recently when God called me to make some things right in relationships, I was reminded of the splinter. These offenses such as bitterness, unforgiveness, pride, are invisible at first, but become increasingly painful with time. God values living in right relationships even more than worship!  As He loves His children, He expects me to love them also.  It was obvious that carrying these offenses hindered my walk with God. He makes it clear that obedience is what he wants from us.

     The bright light of the Holy Spirit will shine brightly and show us where our trouble spots are when we are seeking Him, just as a proper light was needed to see the glass splinter. Even though we have no control over the outcome of humble apologies, I was blessed to be forgiven. The even bigger blessing was having my walk with God unhindered again!

In him,

Amy Horton


photo credit:

Yes, Lord, Yes

“The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.” Genesis 12:1. NIV

A couple of summers ago, I watched a nest of sea turtles hatch. Over one hundred little turtles emerged from the comfort of their sandy fortress and followed their internal compass to the perilous depths of the sea. As each tiny creature wobbled its way to the water’s edge, it was engulfed by the pounding surf, toppled, and pushed back time and again. Eventually, their gritty determination culminated in their desired outcome as they rode the crest of the foamy waves out to sea.

Abram’s trek from Ur to Canaan was approximately a thousand miles. When God called Abram, Abram didn’t know where God would lead him. If he’d known the destination beforehand, his decision to follow might have been more difficult. Perhaps, you can look back on something God once asked you to do and like me say, “If I’d known where it would lead me and how long it would take me to accomplish it, I might not have started it.” God, in his grace, often keeps the details of our call to himself and asks us to walk by faith.

Sixth-century Chinese philosopher, Lao-Tzu said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Abram’s single step of faith had mushroomed into a journey of six hundred miles before he settled in Haran. We don’t know why he chose to stop there, but because the city was very much like Ur, it was a likely place for his family to settle. Perhaps their stopover was due to health issues, fear, weariness from the journey, or a loss of vision for the call.

When God calls me to a task, it’s easy for me to put my spin on his revelation and run ahead of him. Then as I begin to walk it out, my starry-eyed course is subjected to the hammer of life. Doubts arise, obstacles loom, giants appear on the horizon, and then the vision begins to fade. I second guess my ability to hear God and convince myself that I’ve misinterpreted his message. Before long, because I can’t reason God’s call, I’m tempted to settle, and I risk forfeiting his best for me.

God has a determined purpose for each of us. Anything short of our Canaan is unacceptable to him. Abram settled in Haran, but because God kept calling, he followed and arrived at his assigned place.

Say “yes” to God’s best. Step out. Don’t settle. You may be pounded, toppled and pushed back by hardship but with gritty determination forge ahead and allow God to carry you to your appointed destination.

Starr Ayers