Friday, February 26, 2010


The world needs the gift of you.
The holy hugs you share.
The hungry you feed.
The folks you help clothe.
The tears you shed.

Jan Grueter & Janet Bly at Lake Tahoe, CA
The forgiveness you extend.
The encouragement you give.
The children you nurture.
The hospitality you show.
The words and deeds you offer to those in trouble.
The secret, loving acts you do that few know about.
Your hard work and humor.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people” (Galatians 6:9-10)

Swing your lantern a bit higher.
Give the best of yourself today
in Jesus’ Name
and be part of spreading the light
of God’s goodness
to your world.

adapted from God Is Good, All The Time
Janet Chester Bly
download free articles for study groups: 

Thursday, February 25, 2010


As long as cattle provided an income, rustlers existed. In the past, cattle could be stolen easier than today. The vast herds that freely roamed the open prairies proved hard to count and control. A few head here and a dozen there wouldn't be missed--at least, that's what some thought.

But if your corral contained cows with another man's brand on them, that's hard to explain. So most rustlers perfected the ability to brand-over steers with their own symbols. To combat this, the ranchers devised ways to secretly mark their cattle, such as with a decoy brand--a small mark placed on an animal's belly or other out-of-the-way place. They placed choice animals like this where they might be stolen, that displayed either large, easy-to-change brands or none at all. Such a cow found on other man's property could catch a thief. However, clever rustlers discovered the decoy brand and doctored it as well.

In a similar way, some religious folks think they can operate with a hidden brand. The offer a half-hearted commitment to Christ. For them, that proves ownership. When the roll is called up yonder, they'll expose their private mark and waltz into heaven, they believe. Meanwhile, they mix in the world, indulge its pleasures, and submerge attention to any heavenly allegiance. However, you can no more hide Jesus than you can conceal a buffalo in a bedroom. Just as the decoy cattle seldom fooled anyone, you'll leave yourself open to rustlers who'll want to change your brand.

Stephen Bly