Thursday, August 10, 2017

When Winter Comes



The early morning sunshine beckons.  I reach for my heavy sweater and scarf.  Outside in the brisk air, I breathe in the fragrance of autumn and head toward the woods behind our house.  As I advance deeper into the woods, the stillness of morning is complete.  The occasional whisper of rustling leaves is the only sound.  The almost bare trees raise their branches in supplication, as a flock of geese flies south without a herald of warning.  The world seems to be suspended in time and holding its breath in anticipation.  I find a fallen tree and sit down to rest.  I begin to contemplate the changing seasons, and how they correlate to God's love for us.  Matthew 24: 32-33 Jesus uses a parable about the seasons to let us know the signs to look for when his coming is near.  He has rule over everything in our lives.  If we have faith in his love and trust him, he guides us through all the seasons of life--he protects us in our innocence,  he gives us strength during our productive years, he prepares us to persevere during middle age and gives us hope in later years.  Unlike the seasons, God's love is constant and unchanging.


Genesis 8:22 ESV 

While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.”

Also read: 

Ecclesiastes 3:1-22  
Matthew 24: 32-33 
Psalm 1: 3 
Daniel 2: 21

Prayer:  Merciful Father,  we hold our arms up in supplication and pray that we learn to trust in your never-changing love.  Amen


Published in Penned from the Heart 

Friday, April 7, 2017

The Weakest Link (A Prayer for Strength)

 


In the stillness of morning,
I wait in churning anxiety.
I pray The Lord will open
the shutters to my heart and still
it's frantic beating.

Oh, that I could be stronger
and wait patiently for God's
answers to prayer.  I pray
to be mired, so deeply, in trust
with him that all doubt is
extirpated.

Condition the channels
of my thinking, oh Lord,
and let me rest on the wings
of peace that you have promised.
Condition my soul to place hope
in you and discard the things
of earth.

Teach me through trust and hope
to wait for your divine guidance.
Give me strength as we forge
an everlasting chain of faith--
a chain as strong as its weakest
link--please God, forgive my
human frailties



Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Time Keeps Ticking

 Thought for the Day
“Are you still diligently living for God and serving Him, even in these last days? Now is not the time to ease up, but to charge forward and continue living for the Lord.” ~ Paul Chappell 

Verse for Today:  Romans 12:10-11(KJV) Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, and serve the Lord.

I was contemplating old age recently, and came to the conclusion that it is a matter of personal choice to grow "old."  Of course, time keeps ticking, and we don't feel as good as we used to, we don't look as good as we used to, and we don't have as much energy.  What if Moses had given up, and found a rocking chair to while away the hours?  Instead, at the age of eighty, he brought the Israelites out of Egypt, and for forty years led them through the wilderness.  Moses lived one hundred twenty years and served God relentlessly up to the very end.  He trusted God to give him the health and zeal that was needed to accomplish the task that God required of him.  That same trust and zeal is available to all of us if we have faith and continue living actively for Christ.  Isaiah 40:31 tells us that we will run and not grow weary; we will walk and not be faint.  It is essential to understand that no matter what age we are we never lose our need to be still, listen and search our hearts and minds to determine how we can best serve the Lord.

 Prayer:  Father Abba, give us spirit and zeal to carry out the plans you have for us, so that we can serve You and one another.  My prayers are offered in Jesus' holy name, amen.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Chosen Path

He Is My Path
 Chosen Path


I walk a path of certainty,
and inhale His aroma
in the earthy smell of salt air.
I am awed by the beauty
around me.
Morning walk beside the sea,
a conch, held near my ear,
roars with promises of eternity.
I could have walked other paths,
but I chose to follow Him,
and as each day seamlessly
melts into night my soul
is one with God.

Published in Ruby Magazine.


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

A Peculiar People

A Peculiar People

Today's Scripture:  1 Peter 2

Today's Bible Verse:  1 Peter 2:9 King James Version (KJV)
9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light;

What does the phrase, a peculiar people mean?  Does it mean Christians are strange or weird?  I heard someone ask this question, and I decided to do some research on the matter.  This is a simplified explanation of what I found:

If you look up the word peculiar in the dictionary, these are some of the meanings:  Strange, odd, queer, uncommon, unusual distinctive in nature or character from others, but an older meaning of the word is belonging exclusively to some person, group, or thing.  

The passage, in the bible, using the word peculiar can be found in the King James Version, New American Standard, and New International translations.  Peculiar was commonly used, long ago, to describe people belonging to something or someone, such as subjects to a King.  In other translations of the Bible, it is stated as a people belonging to God.  The older meaning of the word is still in the dictionary, but is rarely, if ever, used in that manner.  

We are a people possessed by God, and as such, we are expected to grow and mature in our faith.  It is our responsibility to tell others about Jesus, and guide them toward the faith.  We no longer belong to anyone or anything but God.   Jew or Gentile, Christians are chosen, called and faithful servants of God.  

After my research on this phrase, I came to this conclusion, if belonging to God makes me peculiar, with any definition, then I am delighted to be "peculiar."


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Today’s Scripture:  1 John 2:1-6
Today’s Verse:  But who so keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.  1 John 2: 5 (KJV)

“Shine all over the world, I'm gonna let it shine. Shine all over the world, I'm gonna let it shine.  Shine all over the world, I'm gonna let it shine. Let it shine, Let it shine, Let it shine.”   ― Harry Dixon Loes

The Brightest Jewels

One of the sweetest things in the world is being around fellow Christians. Whether it is in church services or at a social gathering, it is always a treat. One of the small church groups that I belong to has the most delightful leader. When she walks into the room, her enthusiasm and zeal for Jesus Christ are contagious.  Her inner glow reflects in her smile and reaches out to everyone.  She leads the group with compassion, understanding, and wisdom. She is always well prepared, and sometimes I hate for the meeting to end. There is no doubt in my mind that she is full of the Holy Spirit. Her light shines so brightly that I leave feeling like a better person.


My friend is the perfect example of Christ living within. We are instructed in 1 John 2:6. Whoever claims to live in Him must live as Jesus. Obeying His commands, showing love and understanding, and helping the needy is to walk as Jesus did. When we have enthusiasm for the word and shine the Light out into the world, we are truly in Him and He in us.

Published in TheQuite Hour 2015

Wednesday, February 1, 2017



Nonexistent

"You have got to be kidding me," I said.

"Nope," the lady at the desk replied, "No one by the name you gave me, sorry."

She rudely turned her back and proceeded to ignore me.

I was in quite a predicament!  In the process of planning a trip to Caracas, Venezuela, I had overlooked the fact that I did not have a copy of my birth certificate.  Since I had put off obtaining one until the last minute, I had to make a special trip to the office of Vital Statistics to acquire one.   When I arrived there, I was told that no one in Marshall County bearing the birth date or my name existed in the records.

"As you can very well see, I most certainly exist." I said emphatically.

I was feeling frustrated and it reflected in my voice.

Miss I’m-Not-Going-To-Cooperate-If-I-Can-Help-It looked up, shot daggers at me with her beady eyes, and emphasized each word as she said, "I will look one more place."

"I would appreciate it.” I retorted.

My attitude was deteriorating with every hostile glance she tossed my way. While she was searching, a disturbing question was running through my mind; how was I going to prove that I really did exist?  Old-Happy-Face returned from her search, and said she had found an unnamed person born on the right date, in the right county, having the correct last name—the names I gave her for the parents and attending physician matched those on the document. While standing there in my nonexistent state, I found it unsettling that my parents had failed to give me a name.  My mother had mentioned that she was never able to obtain a certificate of birth for me when my father went to serve in World War II, but it was never an issue because I had never needed it for anything.

"What am I going to do?" I ask pitifully. "I need my birth certificate to acquire a passport, and I took the day off from work to come here.  Isn’t there something we can do today?  I have a driver’s license and credit cards.  If I don’t get this done today, my birth certificate will not get to me in time to obtain a passport.”

"Is your mother alive?" Happy-Face growled.

"Yes."

"What about the Doctor," She asked.

"Yes," I meekly replied.

Old-Happy-Face lilted her mean-spirited voice, "Well then, we might be able to make this work, and get it done today."

Happy-Face was delighted to inform me that Marshall County was close by, and time was short, as the Statistics Office closed at four o'clock sharp. She gave me some forms that had to be signed, witnessed, and notarized.  I felt defeated.  It was a long trip to my hometown, and all I had to do was find my mother and Doctor Connors, round up a notary and witness, have everyone sign, and get back to Nashville before the office closed. It was not improbable; it was impossible!

Jane, one of my close friends, worked for the Governor.  Her office was in the same building as the Statistics Office.  I decided to drop by and ask her if she could do anything to expedite the red tape.  She said she didn't think so. Dejected, I started to leave, but Jane asked me to wait a minute.

"There might be a way to pull this off." She said mischievously.

"What do you mean?" I asked cautiously.

"Did they give you forms?"

"Yes."

"Good, fill them out."

"Why should I fill them out?”

"Just go ahead and fill them out, and we’ll see what we can do.” Jane replied.

"OK," I said.

I was feeling so desperate and frustrated with the treatment I had received from Old-Happy-Face that I was willing to try just about anything. After the paperwork was filled out, Jane tried to look dignified and asked if she looked a little like my mother.  I nodded my head and grinned.  She signed the papers and left the room, returning a short time later with signed and notarized affidavits.  I didn't ask any questions.

I waited until three-fifteen before returning to the Statistics Office.  Making a fast trip was one thing, but it still had to be believable. I tried my best to look exhausted and stressed out as I walked in. Since I was at my wits end, it wasn’t much of a stretch.  Old-Happy-Face eyed me suspiciously. Her demeanor made me extremely nervous.  If I was caught with these forged papers, would I be charged with fraud, or something worse?  I had to play this straight, so I assumed my most innocent expression.  Happy-Face’s voice penetrated my fears and brought me back to reality.

"That was an awfully quick trip!" She noted sourly.

I just nodded my head and thought, "Here it comes; I am going to get busted.” Nevertheless, to my surprise, she viewed the paperwork and proceeded to issue the birth certificate.

With a sarcastic snort, she exclaimed, "It would be an almost impossible trip, if you ask me!"

I stood there, looking as blank as last year's Easter egg. Happy-Face handed me the birth certificate, and with a superior wave of her hand, she dismissed me.

I didn't hesitate. I turned and almost ran out the door. When I got outside and could finally breathe, I thought, “At least I have a name!" On the heels of that thought came another one, “… albeit an illegal name.” All of a sudden, it became urgent to find my car, and get far away from there. I was shaking like a rock star when I jumped behind the wheel. I locked my doors immediately and cranked the engine. On the freeway, it occurred to me that I might be nonexistent and a criminal, but without a doubt, I was going to thoroughly enjoy Venezuela!

Friday, January 27, 2017

The Abandoned Barn

The Abandoned Barn

While driving down a country backroad, I came across an old abandoned barn.  It sat in varying stages of decay.  I pulled off the road, and allowed myself the luxury of imagining how it would feel to be left out in the elements with no one to make repairs or care about my well being.  It was obvious that at one time this barn had been well kept, and was very useful to its owner.  It made me sad, but, at the same time, I was reminded of God's presence   He does not abandon us, but it is up to us to make the necessary repairs that keep us useful to our Heavenly Father.  We can stay in state of the art condition, by having daily contact with Him.  Reading the word, and making time to be in His presence assures us that He is with us to the end of time, so we will never be abandoned.

Thought for the day:   “No matter what storm you face, you need to know that God loves you. He has not abandoned you.” Franklin Graham

Hebrews 13:5 and (NKJV)
5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Awesome and Holy Father, thank you for being faithful,
and never forsaking us.  Help us to seek you out, and follow your example of faithfulness.  We pray in the name of your Son and our Savior, amen.

Published in:  Ruby Magazine for Women 2016









Cleaning the Koi Pond

Winter was over, chased away by sunlight and warm breezes. It was time to clean the Koi pond.  When we removed the net, that was supposed to keep out crisp fall leaves and didn't, we found our white koi floating in the water lilies.  We cherished this fish; he was beautiful and graceful.  When he first arrived in our pond he was bright orange with one white spot, but he turned yellow the next spring.   In late summer, our yellow koi turned solid white.  His colorful transformations were much like children growing up, always changing.   We gently removed him from the pond and put him to rest.   

We were reminded of the year that the pond was new and all our fish had died.  Losing something or someone you love can seem like the end of the world, but, in the face of death, we are comforted by these words of Jesus Christ: John 5:24 (NIV) “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged, but has crossed over from death to life."

Of course, we were upset by the loss of our fish, but the sadness sprang from a deeper source.  We clung to each other avoiding the unbearable pain of admitting that our beautiful, fifteen year old, granddaughter had gone to a live with Jesus.  


Prayer:  Lord, I bow humbly before you, thanking you for the simple diversion of a koi pond, when our hearts were too raw to accept the loss of our sweet granddaughter.  We praise you for your kindness and mercy.  Help us to bestow the same kindness and mercy on others.  In the name of your Son and our Savior, we pray, amen.

Isaiah 25:8 (NKJV):   He will swallow up death forever, Andthe Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces; The rebuke of His people He will take away from all the earth;For the Lord has spoken.

Also read:  
John 6: 40
John 11: 25-26
Romans 6: 23

©All Rights Reserved – Nells Wasilewski

Friday, September 30, 2016

Temptation


Today’s Verse: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. James 1:14 (KJV)

Thought for the Day: Concentrate on heavenly things and the beauty God has created, instead of worldly things.

 Temptation  

We don't have to search very far to find temptation. We can see it on television commercials, the front page of popular magazines, in department store windows and the list goes on and on. The things assaulting our senses are designed to lure us from God’s goodness, and convince us to believe in Satan's lies. We are tempted by numerous things in our everyday life, and it is hard to rise above it. Overcoming the lure of the world is never easy; therefore, we need a concrete plan for resisting it.  We can start by recognizing the lies propagated by Satan who is more than willing to show us the easy way to the world’s view of success and happiness. Before I can become too overwhelmed by my selfish desires, I look for a quiet place to seek God's presence and pray for strength to overcome the lies. I keep some of my favorite bible verses close to my heart for emergencies.  Eve being tempted by Satan in the garden, is a good reminder that allowing ourselves to stray from God’s will, into our own, has serious consequences.

I find it easier when I am focusing on heavenly things rather than worldly pleasures. 1 Peter 5:8 tells us to be alert and sober because Satan prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Having good control over thoughts and yearnings of the flesh weakens Satan’s influence. Temptation becomes strongest when we allow our focus to stray from the Father, beware, because temptation comes wrapped in beautiful, alluring packages, but yielding brings disaster.

—Nells Wasilewski



Saturday, September 17, 2016




If You Look for Me

If you look for me, I will not be in the 
usual places.  You will not find me in 
the jewelry chest, or the closet that
overflows.  My essence will not linger 
in the kitchen with steel pots and pans,

but if you leaf through poetry books, 
you may find me hiding in well-worn pages.  
The koi pond with its mellifluous waterfall, 
that you so lovingly builtor the flower 
garden bursting with myriad colors
may be places to search.

Think of our travels, and take a walk 
down a sandy path toward icy waves
falling like prisms of glass against 
craggy rock-formations.  Listen to fierce 
winds of the Midwest whooshing across 
prairie grasses.  Hear me whisper.  
Rise high into mountains pregnant 
with ancient treasures, and follow the sounds
of a waterfall—you’ll find me—inside
the life we shared.

Published by:  Poetry Quarterly – Spring 2014
Published By:  Ancient Paths Magazine – Winter 2015

© All rights reserved -  Nells Wasilewski

Monday, September 12, 2016

This post is based in part on my Dad’s discovery of my Mother’s death.  He woke up early and found that she had passed during the night.  I embellished a bit to drive home the point of trusting the Father in all situations.

Read:  Psalm 147:3

Accepting Death

Thought for the Day:  Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord.  2 Corinthians 5:6 NIV 

It was early morning just before the alarm sounded.   I woke up with a foreboding, and tried to wake you.  After a moment of silence, I called out, but you didn’t answer.  I was scared, and didn't know what to do, so I moved closer and put my head next yours.    Questions were buzzing like a dozen angry wasps.   I wanted to know what it was like to cross to the other side.  Was it a smooth transition?  Did you soar in weightless flight?   What kind of vessel awaited you and was it equipped with wings?   Were you cognizant of earthly things?   Did pain leave at once or melt away slowly?   Could you not have given me warning to help me cope?  I remembered Isaiah (41:13 ESV) For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who says to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.”  I calmed my erratic thoughts and prayed. Across the distance, l heard your voice:  "Trust in Him;" I left your side and dialed 911.

Prayer:  Lord, thank you for holding our hand through all our trials and triumphs.  Thank you for being our strength and shield.  In Jesus’ name, amen.


©2014 (All Rights Reserved) – Nells Wasilewski
   




Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Scripture:  Romans 14: 13-21

Verse:  Let us not, therefore, judge one another anymore: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.  
Romans 14:13 (KJV)

The Spider's Web

I was looking at a picture that my daughter in law had taken of a very large spider web.   I am amazed at the beauty of a spider web and puzzled by its purpose.  The spider weaves his web with the sole purpose of enticing and capturing its prey.  The web is exceedingly beautiful, but deceptive nonetheless.  

Spider webs remind me of Christian Communities; closely woven, intricate, delicate but strong.   Our Christian “web” serves the same purpose of attracting others to our beautifully woven church of believers, but that is where the similarity ends.  Once we have attracted others and brought them to faith, we are bound by God’s teachings to nurture and encourage them in their journey.  We pray for them and forgive past transgressions.  With steadfast love, we are to be mindful not to do anything that deceives or would cause them to falter.

End Blurb: “Being a Christian is more than just an instantaneous conversion; it is a daily process whereby you grow to be more and more like Christ.” ― Billy Graham 

Prayer:  Father, help me to be a blessing for new members in our church. Guide me that I may be the example to lead them in Christian love.  In the name of Your Son and our Savior, amen.

   Nells Wasilewski