Written by Tai French - Anglican Compass
"While the close of October is typically known for Halloween, its liturgical forerunner is All Hallows’ Eve (Oct. 31) followed by All Saints’ Day on November 1st.
Even though many saints of the church are remembered throughout the calendar year, All Saints’ provides a dedicated day to call to memory those saints who have led the way before us. We honor the example of their lives and deaths and rejoice in the continued communion with them through membership and participation in the body of Christ."
To read the remainder of Tai French's article on All Saints' Day, click here.
Written by Rhonda Logan Bailey - Heartland Church - Fort Wayne, IN
Painting by Danyelle Yoder
Resistance slashes deep as we run lost
through the fields
Seeking to escape the
familiar false safety of
Only to cross the Event Horizon
of a fear-spiral that
and layers us in concentric lies
during the freefall,
as we become unrecognizable;
prisoners of self-imposed bondage,
doing battle with the tyranny of our soul.
We hold onto the key just long enough
to give it away,
remaining hostage to the darkness
we’ve grown accustomed to.
Once again locked away,
looking at the key
just out of our reach.
begin to fall
as words take form.
We call out to Hope
as we cry out for help,
wanting to be whole again.
“Hold onto me.
Help me, hear me, heal me.
Holy, Holy, Holy.
Hold me. Holy, hold me.”
In unity, we’re screaming out these phrases,
yet we hear no other voices,
we’re so convinced we are alone.
With unending toil, we tug in
sobbing secret confessions
and uttering private promises.
Feeling trapped in the vacuum of a
hopeless hell and left exhausted
from the struggle of pulling at the Bitterroot,
As we experience the root break off and burrow deeper,
by our own
it continues intertwining to strangle us and make bitter our souls.
In a weak whimper we cry, as we look up
from the lowest level of our pit and
You reveal Your grace.
When we listen to Your word and
begin hearing the harmony of the phrases,
we cross the threshold of trust,
and realize we are not alone.
Then we begin to let go of the lies
we cling to,
freeing our hands
to grasp Yours.
When we allow You, You will
lift us from the depths of despair
and remove the Bitterroot,
turning it to dust that is
as far as the
east is from the west.
Stagnation is exchanged
for the fresh flow of
Your living waters,
filling the void with a healing balm
of Your love,
That renders us renewed and complete..
~ Rhonda Logan Bailey
Please join me in this prayer:
May the truth of God’s love guide us all across the threshold of trust uniting the heart with the mind so we undeniably believe.
In the holy name of Jesus,
Luke 4:16-19 TPT
Isaiah 61:1-3 NIV
Psalm 102:20-22 MSG
Psalm 103:12 MSG
Written and Photo Credit by Cathy Schrock - Heartland Church - Fort Wayne, IN
It was an especially crisp afternoon, that bracing fall atmosphere in which children love to play. There was just a hint of chill in the air as I raced through the crunchy, colorful leaves to try out our new rope swing. Earlier, my father had thrown the rope up over the lowest branch on our tall walnut tree, tying a big, knotted loop at the bottom end of it. He came inside with a huge grin on his face as we were preparing the table for supper, then pointed to the swing through the kitchen window. “Who’s going to be first?” he asked. I just had to be first! I was determined, as the youngest of three, to prove my moxie to my two older siblings.
I was the first one out the door and ran across our lot as fast as I could, winning the footrace to the walnut tree. “Lift me up, Daddy!” I cried out with my arms held over my head. My father was built like an ox and strong as a bear, the strongest man I have ever met. He swept me up in his massive hands, tossing me up over his head like a sack of potatoes. I squealed with glee as he caught me again. He placed me on the knot and held on to me, swinging me back and forth. I was up off the ground at least four feet, but never once was I afraid. I knew that my Daddy was right there with me, holding on to me and that he would not let me fall.
How about you? Think of a time when you were in a precarious situation that could have filled you with fear. Have you ever felt like you were in over your head and in danger? Or have you experienced a temptation so irresistible you felt as if you would give in at any moment and wreck your life, your witness, your family? Your heavenly Father is right there with you in every situation, no matter how overwhelming or dangerous (Hebrew 13:5). You can trust Him implicitly! He is mighty to save and can rescue you from imminent danger (Psalm 68:20). He is wise and can guide you through each and every situation you face (Proverbs chapter 2). He is ready, willing, and able to come to your aid, and He has every resource at His disposal, ready to dispatch the exact aid you need at just the right moment (Matthew 4:6). All you need do is ask for His help, and He will save you (Psalm 18:3)!
READ: Psalm 63:7,8; John 10:29; Psalm 55:22; Proverbs 3:25, 26
PRAYER: “Father, You have always shown Yourself faithful to me, and I trust You. In my current situation, I need Your help. I know You have all I need, and that I am in Your hands. Please help me!”
Written by Janet Mueller - Heartland Church - Fort Wayne, IN
Photo Credit: Jonathan Kaufman
My hand instinctively swept over my lower left abdominal quadrant. “Oh, no,” I thought to myself. “Not now!” As the morning proceeded, the familiar, sharp pain increased. Soon I was doubled over and left the kitchen to recline in the living room. It was Thanksgiving Day, and we had guests. I was cooking the turkey and all the other traditional dishes, and the aroma was making me nauseous. Meal time was drawing near, and I knew I wasn’t going to be able to serve the food, let alone eat it.
I had a history of diverticulitis, and it would strike at the most unpredictable, inopportune times. Symptoms were severe abdominal pain and sometimes fever, nausea, and chills. Most times, I would need to treat it with antibiotics and a very limited diet. I announced to my family and guests what was happening and that they could still have Thanksgiving dinner, but I would not be able to eat with them. As soon as dinner was over, I would need to go to ER or urgent care for treatment since it was a holiday, and no doctors’ offices would be open. But first, I said, “Let’s pray and see if God heals me without treatment.”
Our guest, who was not a believer, asked me, “Does it ever work?” I relayed to him and the others the following story:
It was the middle of the night. I had been sleeping but was jolted awake with left abdominal pain and chills. Larry was working nights so I was alone. I recognized the pain as diverticulitis, an old nemesis that raised its ugly head from time to time. But why now?! Our annual women’s retreat was just two days away, and I was leading it. Typically, the pain lasted a few days before it dissipated with antibiotic treatment. “Oh, God, I need You,” I cried out. “Please heal me.”
Tula, our cat, was sleeping beside me on the pillow next to my head. Suddenly, she shot into the air and landed back down on the pillow. “What was that?” I laughed. I placed my hand on Tula, and she seemed okay. But what had spooked her? Then I realized that the abdominal pain and shaking chills had abruptly ceased. I pressed around the area, trying to elicit the pain…but it was gone! “Had God sent an angel to heal me?” I wondered. “Did our cat sense the presence of someone in the room?” In the morning, I checked myself again. Still no pain. I was amazed and thankful that I was able to attend the women’s retreat with no problem!
“Would God do it again?” our friend inquired.
“Well, to be honest, most times I need to go to the doctor,” I replied, “but I always ask for healing first. Let’s see what happens.” As an afterthought, I added, “All healing comes from Him, whether instantaneous or through medical means.” I wanted so badly to be instantly free of the pain so our friend would see God’s mercy at work, but mentally I was preparing for an ER visit.
Pulling together, everyone placed the meal on the serving counter. We joined hands and prayed a short, simple prayer of thanksgiving with a request for healing. The guests sat down and began to enjoy the dinner. Surprisingly, within minutes the pain left and my appetite returned. “Hey, guys, I’m feeling better! I think I can join you at the table.” I sat down and devoured mashed potatoes, turkey, and stuffing. I even had pecan pie later.
Prior to that unforgettable Thanksgiving, regular diverticulitis attacks had been the norm for me, typically two or three times a year. But to this day, I have never had another one. More importantly, my family and guests saw God’s hand of healing in a most dramatic way!
Written by Cameron Miller - Heartland Church - Fort Wayne, IN
Photo Credit: Janet Mueller
God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?” Numbers 23:19 NIV.
The Bible makes a claim that God cannot lie. I used to think this meant that He can’t say anything that contradicts reality. “Black is black, white is white, pineapple doesn’t belong on pizza, and the Lord Almighty is unable to claim otherwise.” That’s how the thinking went. But more recently, I’ve come to realize a deeper truth: reality isn’t so important that God dare not contradict it; rather God’s word is so powerful that reality can’t help but correspond to it.
I have this power myself — or a lesser refraction of it, at least. As an author, when I write a story, it’s my story. And as the owner of that story, whatever I say is true. If I want there to be magic in my world, then all I have to do is write that there’s magic. If I describe my main character walking through the bazaar, encountering a variety of sights and smells, then that is what that bazaar is like. The story is composed entirely of the words I write, and so everything I say becomes truth.
So if that’s what I can do, just imagine what God is capable of. He is the creator of the universe, and so it cannot help but be exactly what He says it is. The world was dark, but He said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. Lazarus was dead, but Jesus said, “Come forth,” and a dead man walked out of his grave. He took one look at the raging sea and said, “Be still,” and it was.
Sometimes I act like a character in the story trying to argue with the narrator. I need to remind myself that this is God’s world. It came to be because He told it to. It is what He says it is. And it is becoming what He says it will be. As God’s Word, the Bible does not merely explain the principles by which the world works, it defines them, the same way computer code tells your device how it has to operate. If God were to proclaim pineapple on pizza to be delicious, then no matter how my limited mind would recoil at that statement, it would be true. I may have my opinions, my reasoning, and my preconceptions, but they all pale before the supremacy of what God speaks. So in the end, two choices remain: I can either trust, or I can rebel. And only one of those choices works out well.
Prayer: God, You have spoken words into my life that are shaping me to become who you have called me to be. May I play a role in them coming true, and in helping this world to live up to what You have told it to be. Help me release the lies I’ve convinced myself are true when You want to replace them with Your Truth.