Divine Beauty


There is a beauty to behold
That is not on a display
A gift not wrapped in boxes
Or for sale in any way
More lovely than  a flower
That fades in a short time
This beauty is eternal
For it is born from the divine

Our precious Savior loves us
Promising with every test
To breathe upon our testimony
And give us peace and rest

He gives the beauty for ashes
As we hold our hearts open
With sweet words of life
He heals what is broken

And bring forth what is hidden
In the faithful passage of time
That has eternal power
To breaks all things that bind

So come before the Prince of Peace
Lay your Burden at his feet
In His presence there is sweet release
Your hope and joy will be complete

And Beauty will flow from your soul
It is awesome to behold…
For what comes from the divine 
is now released into time.

Empowered by the Spirit

To Worship God

A Tale of Evangelism God’s Way

John 4:35b …Behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.

James Cannon reached out his hand and hit the alarm right before the buzzer went off at 5:45. “This is the Day that the Lord has made, I will be glad and rejoice in it!” he declared confidently as his feet hit the floor. He was ready to begin the new day. He spent a brief time in prayer submitting his day to the Lord and then jumped in the shower. He had much to accomplish.

Before he began to shave he flipped on the radio. He immediately heard the voice of his favorite radio evangelist, who was in the middle of his message say,

Sharing the Gospel is everyone’s responsibility but unfortunately many do not have it as a priority.” He then quoted Mark 16:15, “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”

James contemplated this as he shaved and listened intently to the rest of the message. He loved the Lord and the things of God. He loved His Church, but he had to admit He had not made sharing the Gospel a priority, and he could not count how many months, years, even, it had been since the last time he had told someone who was not a Christian about Jesus. As the message went on, he felt more convicted about this very fact. By the time he grabbed his keys, and went out to his car, he was ready to make a fresh commitment to share the Gospel with those around him. He prayed all the way through rush hour traffic as he went to work.

His morning went by uneventfully. The sales job was difficult, but he was catching on as well as could be expected, especially under the tutelage of Ben Steel the star salesperson on the team. Ben was a fortunate man who had a great marriage, a beautiful, sprawling home and two beautiful, well-adjusted children. He seemed to have everything. Everything that is, except the most important thing; a relationship with Jesus Christ. As a believer James felt he has an obligation to reach out to Ben, but he just did not know how. They spent many lunches talking easily about everything from their days at college to sports to family and children. James shared briefly one day that he was a Christian but Ben did not seem interested and quickly changed the subject.

Right before lunch James got a ping on his instant message account. It was Ben. “Want to grab a bite to eat?” he asked.

“Sure.”James fingers quickly pecked out in response, “Want to meet in ten?” It was go, and James quickly wrapped up the email he was working on. He got up and strode through the sea of cubicles to Ben’s desk. As he came up from behind, he was shocked to see that Ben was wiping away tears. He stopped short and walked away for a brief moment allowing some time to pass before he returned.

He wanted to reach out right then to his new friend, but thought better of it, since they were still in the office. He slowly walked back over.

“Ready?” He asked, as if he saw nothing.

Minutes later, they settled into a booth at a diner close to the office. As they sat there, James knew something was really wrong. James allowed the waitress to take their orders looked into Ben’s eyes intently “Is everything ok?”He asked.

“No” he said after a nervous sip of water, “I need someone to talk to and I feel I can confide in you. Can you keep this confidential?”

“You can trust that nothing that you say to me will go anywhere else.”

Ben leaned closer as he began to explain. He was having serious money problems from several bad personal investments.

“I feel so lost. How am I going to get out of this pit that I am in?”

It was a story James knew too well. Unbeknownst to Ben, he had walked the same path five years before, racking up several hundred thousand dollars in debt. Christ alone has pulled him out. He knew the power of God in this area, and had sat right where Ben sat now.

But even though he knew exactly what Ben needed fear gripped him. He wanted to share what God did for him but he did not know where to begin. Ben was his superior at work. If this conversation did not go well, it may not go well for his career. Negative thoughts flooded his mind.

“Where should I start?”

“He will not want to hear what I have to say. I am only a junior associate”

“What if he rejects me? I will lose a key relationship.”

His heart pounded and sweat began to bubble up on his brow. “Speak up!” he said to himself. Although he felt obligated to say something, he kept silent during lunch, just listening. In the end, he told Ben to keep his head up, that he would be thinking about him, and went back to work.

James settled back in at his desk, but he was kicking himself. “Keep your head up?”…”Thinking about him??” “Where did that come from?” he internally chastised himself, not realizing how politically correct he had become. There it was an awesome opportunity to share the love of God, and what does he do? He blew it! He made a few phone calls, and tried to get back into his work, but his mind stayed mostly on Ben. How could he stay silent? He felt like a failure to his friend and more importantly to God.

At home he made a simple dinner and continued working on a report he needed to finish. Before he went to bed he got on his knees.

“Father, he prayed, I am sorry that I disappointed you today. I know I missed an opportunity to witness to Ben. Lord, wash me in the blood of Jesus. I feel a special responsibility to talk to him about you. But I do not know how. I don’t know how to help him. Lord I feel so inadequate. Please give me a second chance.”

James got into bed and peacefully drifted off to sleep. Far, far above him, there was much activity going in the heavenlies, as the Lord Himself heard his prayer in the Throne Room. The Father addressed the Son, “Did you hear my servant James, who desires to see his friend saved? He has My desire for I long for all of my children to come to Me! That is why I gave You,My Son as an offering that the world would be saved through You!”

“Yes.” Replied Jesus, “He does well to hear My call for evangelism, but he is afraid, and taking all the responsibility on himself.”

“He needs to be reminded that it is not his responsibility to convince people,for I alone draw men to me, and I alone change and transform the heart of a man.” said the Lord.

“Amen Father. And that You do so well, Hallelujah!” Jesus praised exuberantly which began a thunder of praise from the countless number of angels that surrounded the throne for they were always ready to praise Him.

The Lord began to speak which brought everyone back to rapt attention. “Holy Spirit, instruct James. Give him My Words, and empower him to minister to Ben.”

“As You desire Lord. That is an excellent command as always!” This began another round of thunderous praise.

James eyes opened and looked at the clock. It was 2:10. He let out a sigh of relief because he still had a few hours left of sleep. He rearranged his pillows and closed his eyes, planning to pick up in his dreams right where he left off, but his mind went back to earlier in the day and his conversation, and lack of input with Ben. He reached over to his night table and turned on the night-light. He picked up his Bible and flipped it open, and his eyes immediately fell on Ephesians 2:10 that seemed to be illuminated on the page:

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

At the bottom of the page was a short devotion:

God has already planned out or steps and the good works that He has called us to do. We only need to yield to Him and His plan and He accomplishes the work in us.”

James received these words into his spirit and closed his eyes. He asked the Lord to empower Him and slowly drifted off to sleep, as he felt the embrace of the Holy Spirit around him.

As the clock reached 5:45, James was sound asleep. He was exhausted, and hit the buzzer 2 or three times before he got up. After spending some time with the Lord, he flipped on the radio. There was the voice of his Pastor again, continuing his message on evangelism from the previous day. As James began to walk to the bathroom to turn on the shower, he heard the Pastor quoting Ephesians 2:10. James stopped in his tracks and turned back to the radio. That was the verse from last night! He listened with rapt attention as the Pastor said the next verse, out of Matthew 10 which talked about the Holy Spirit instructing believers on what they are to say even in times of persecution:

But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. Matthew 10:19-20

He then said, “Only God can draw a man to Himself and give him a desire for the things of God. You only need to allow God to direct you in the small part that you are to play. He will give you what to say, and you can be confident to leave the outcome up to Him.”

When James got to the office he went straight to Ben’s desk intending to invite him to lunch but he was not there. As he walked past his boss’s office, he overheard that Ben was as the hospital.

James heart sank fearing the worst. “I had a prime opportunity with Ben, and now he is in the hospital! What if it is serious? I really blew it!”

“Well, “ he thought with determination, “Maybe not.” After saying a few words to Richard, his boss, He ran out the door headed to the only hospital in town; County General. As he sped through town, he felt empowered, and emboldened by forces unseen. The revolving doors emptied him into the well-lit lobby. He immediately saw Ben who was standing near the Reception Desk. He smiled, but seemed surprised to see him. “James?” he asked quizzically, “What are you doing here?”

An out of breath James, who was expecting to see Ben on a stretcher, answered by asking, “Is everything alright?”

“Yes,” Ben said. “Actually it is great! My sister just gave birth to twins today!”

James flushed, and wiped his brow. “Well, I came to see about you, I just happened to be passing by Richard’s office when I overheard that you were at the hospital. I was worried something serious happened so I came right over.”

“Oh, wow! Well it was great of you to come. I am glad you did because I really could use a friend right now with everything else going on” James said motioning Ben to a seat. “We can talk until my sister is ready to see me.”

James sat down and said, “Well I am so glad that we do have time to talk, because you have been weighing heavily on my mind since our conversation yesterday. I have a confession to make. I was just where you were 5 years ago, in worse debt than you.

Ben looked dumbfounded. “You were?”

“Yes. I was. And I would still be there if it wasn’t for Jesus Christ in my life.”

Ben’s listened intently James went on to share his struggle and what God did, and how his life is different today.

When James finished, there was a long silence.

Ben’s voice shook slightly as he began to speak. “I don’t think it is by chance that I came to you. The other day I felt so desperate, that I got on my knees to pray. I did not even know how. But I was longing for one thing, someone to confide in; someone who could help me through this. After I got up, you were the only person that came to mind. I don’t even understand this God thing, but it sure does seem like He answered me.”

“That He did,” James said solemnly. “And that He will continue to do.” James put his hand on Ben’s shoulder, as he began to share the Lord and pray with Ben. He had done God’s will, but felt more blessed by what he had learned in the last two days, as he heard and obeyed God. They were timely lessons he knew he would never forget.


Kids on School Bus A Modern Parable about Friendship and Forgiveness

Two friends since childhood, Rocky(for Rochelle) and Clay; short for (Clarice) loved to be together. Although both very different people, they enjoyed sharing their lives. They were inseparable ; not one was ever too far from the other. It was a picture perfect relationship. Or so it seemed. But one day, it all changed, as quickly as storm clouds can roll in on a hot and sunny day.

Now if you ask them, they would tell you they don’t recall how it all started that day at Clay’s house. Maybe it was because of the bad day that Rocky had; or maybe it was because of the struggles that Clay had already been going through. What it really was a secret, that was between them; that neither one wanted to discuss any more; an irritation that persisted and brought gray clouds into their sunny relationship. One thing led to another and before either of them knew it; they were in a loud argument! It happened so quickly; each voice rising higher than the other! Louder and louder they got at every exchange! So fast and so loud, they were just speaking and not hearing; expressing but not being understood. Turn after turn, until the breaking point, when words became daggers in the mouth of a skillful marksman hurling themselves at their target at in the most painful places; no longer discussing the issue at hand at all.

Instead it was“ You always”, and the “you nevers”, and the” so what’s” and “the don’t you evers” along with disgusting , disgraceful, words that were just downright distasteful. And as quickly as it all began it was over in a huff as they vowed this is the last time they’d ever speak again… Just like that!



It was like Rocky’s feet grew wings the way she flew out of there and reached her place down the block in record time. She flung open the door and slammed it shut shaking her whole house. She was steamed!

She marched to the phone and dialed her friends one by one Self Righteousness, Instigator and Gossip ; venting; “Guess what Clay said to me!”, as she ran down her version of the story which seemed to diminish her part and magnify Clay’s “Can you believe it!”Of course none of them could. Self righteousness, told her she was absolutely right in what she did. Instigator had a stronger sentiment when she told her Rocky she should have smacked her upside the head and Gossip, who had the least advice seemed to take it all in and then shared with Rocky a dirty little secret about Clay. “Oh my goodness! Rocky raged;” I knew it! I asked her about this and she lied but all the while I really knew the truth!” that made Rocky even madder.


Clay was stunned. What had just happened? Her best friend had just walked out the door. The tears sprang forth and began to flow. She had a long cry but through the tears the sweetest prayer began. “Lord! I really messed up this time, but I am sorry! Please forgive me.” She realized she had no peace. And soon remembered the scripture that said that she should not come to God before she went to her friend to apologize. Immediately, she ran out of the house and down the street to knock on Rocky’s door.

“Who is it ? “ Rocky spat nastily after many rounds of knocks and Clay’s insistent calls. “You know it’s me , Clay!” Well I don’t want to talk to you ! Go away! “But I wanted to apologize,” Clay called!

“ But I don’t want to talk to you!” Rocky screamed. “In fact, I never want to see you again! You are a liar and We are not friends”! And then she opened the door and began to recite what Gossip told her earlier that day.

Clay went home… crushed.


The next few weeks were difficult for Rocky and Clay. They had spent so much time together that their lives; once knit together were ripped apart. Each was hurting in different ways.

Rocky had the hurt before her all the time. She was so angry at Clay. How could she keep things from her? The more she talked to friends, the more they affirmed her thoughts which caused her anger to burn like wildfire, until it was no longer just anger, but rage, with thoughts of revenge and the desire to hurt the one who hurt her. “I’ll fix her!” she said.

The next day, at lunch Clay sat at the friends regular table. But Rocky did not come to her. Instead she sat a few tables away with Gossip and Self Righeousness… and snickered from time to time; eyeing Clay.

Clay hurt just as much; guilt and shame because of the secret as well as rejection because Rocky did not forgive her. One day at the Church she found herself at the altar for prayer. She was greeted by distant but longtime friends; the sisters Grace and Mercy. They embraced and as they prayed, they began to restore her with words of comfort. As they surrounded her with hugs reminding her of the love of Jesus, Clay exchanged her shroud of Guilt and Shame for Forgiveness and Peace. After service , while chatting, they asked about Rocky because after all; Rocky and Clay used to be inseparable, and they had not seen her in some time. Clay winced, but began to tell them briefly about they falling out; being careful not to reveal too much about Rocky’s part but taking full and complete responsibility for her part.

Well Grace and Mercy had known Rocky and Clay all their lives, and they could not believe that they were not even on speaking terms. So they asked if they could go with Clay to pay Rocky a visit. Because after all , she was no longer in fellowship. At first Clay said no, but then Grace showed her a Bible Passage in Matthew 18:

15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

. 19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

As Grace finished , Mercy began to pray, that God would truly be in the mist of them as they went to see Rocky and that these two longtime friends would reunite.


After an argument with Gossip about something she blabbed to someone else, and Instigator nearly getting her into a fist fight with Self Righteous, Rocky had been all alone for a few days and had time to think. She missed her friend.

Wasn’t her friendship more than the secret? More than what happened even? It was. She finally began to pray. For herself, but also for Clay.

But look! Who was coming down the walk? It was none other than Grace, Mercy and Clay. As soon as Rocky saw them walking down her walk , she rushed out to greet them. She was so glad to see her friend she shouted, “ I’m sorry” as she wrapped her in a bear hug ; tears streaming down her face. At this point, she didn’t even want to talk about what happened; just move forward. But Clay insisted that they did talk, with Grace and Mercy there to mediate ; this time they talked truly listening, one then the other. Through many tears they , each shared their hearts , speaking words of love and forgiveness until they were knit back together…

…Just Like that.

Copyright 2013 by Ebony Anderson

Mommy’s Song

Close Up of Sheet Music


Mary Mastroni sat up in bed night before and woke her husband Frank excitedly, asking, ” Do you hear it? … It is the most beautiful music!”

Dionne Perkins and I have been friends since the beginning of Freshmen year in college. On the first day we met we stayed up all night laughing and talking. And now, over 20 years later, we are separated by hundreds of miles, but we have managed to keep the conversation going with almost daily emails and phone calls. We have a bond that has been made even stronger these last few months in suffering.

It all began back in October when she called me, asking me to pray for Mary Mastroni. This is her Grandmother on her Mother’s side who was ailing. As we both grew to know God, this was common for us to pray as we have leaned on each other through trials and have seen His hand move . A few days later, I called to check on her and her family and she said, “Girl, my Grandmother had all 12 of her kids here.. They thought she was going to die, but she is home, up and cooking!” It was something I really needed to hear. My Mother, Hattie Peterson, had cancer at the time. She had been standing strong and fighting hard, but it was difficult for her and for all of us. We celebrated my sister’s November wedding, the Thanksgiving and the Christmas holiday, which was Mom’s favorite, but soon thereafter, she began to lose her appetite as her liver was failing.

It was the beginning of January in the middle of the night, when Mommy went home to be with the Lord. She was at home in front of her beloved fireplace with the family all round. We sang hymns , prayed and read to her all day. In her last hour, we put on a some praise music. Without our realization she quietly drifted home, as the chorus of this upbeat song played loudly. At the time it seemed very out-of-place in that solemn moment. As we began to understand what happened, I rushed over, to turn it off as it ended , and then began to cry and wail as deep pain gripped my belly.

The next few hours were as a bad dream, but we did not sleep, and as the morning light came in , I began to make necessary phone calls. As I called one of my Mom’s best friends, to tell her the news, I thought about how hard it must have been for her to hear. She knew my mother before I was even born. As I hung up the phone, I called Dionne. It was a short conversation and she cried with me a bit. The rest of the morning was a blur but I did log into my computer for a sense of normalcy. As l I went online , I saw that Dionne had put up a post . Her grandmother, who we prayed for a few months back passed away as well that night. I couldn’t believe it!

Dumbfounded, I dialed the phone correctly on the 3rd or 4th try. She said, “Eb., it is unbelievable! Yes Grandma died, but wait until you hear this!” I listened intently as she began to tell the story.

Eighty three-year old Mary Mastroni had sat up in bed night before and woke her beloved husband Frank excitedly, asking, ” Do you hear it? …

He said, no, and she said, ” You don’t? It is the most beautiful music!” .


As he tried calm her so she would lay back down, she said , ” No! …No! …I have to go! This is the second time they have come for me. I won’t let them leave without me again!…


He saw that her eyes were shining and her face was radiant. She looked as beautiful as the first day they met. He embraced her and kissed his wife of over 60 years, and held her hand as she went back to sleep that night , knowing that she would not be joining him in the morning, and sadly, he was right.

As Dionne tearfully recounted this beautiful story, I couldn’t believe that we had lost them both, in the same night! Even so, I was so comforted to know that her Grandma Mary went to heaven with Mommy. I was sure of it and I told her so. As I hung up the phone, my thoughts shifted to the music. Her Grandmother said it was beautiful. It was then that I remembered the song. When Mommy went home it was a loud , joyful and upbeat song, … what was it? I rushed to my computer and pulled up my streaming service. He LIVES.. Yes, that is what it was, the chorus was playing over and over. When I heard it again , I became overwhelmed as I processed the words:


“He lives He Lives

Conquered the graves and covered our sin

He lives He Lives

Death couldn’t hold the promise within

He lives


He is alive


Death where is your sting

Grave where is your victory

Jesus holds the keys

He reigns forever

Forever and Ever”


Album : Cover the Earth – Lakewood Church


Originally released: 10-FEB-2004

I began to cry a good cry. Before that moment, I felt as if my whole world was collapsing, and I was brought low, to a place I did not deserve to go, in loss and hopelessness. But God pulled me back from the pit, with a song.

Yes, my Mommy was gone , and I will ache and miss her, but she did not, we did not lose!

I needed be reminded right then, that those in Christ who die, never lose! …

The apostle Paul said in his letter to the Philippians, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain…having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better”

This song speaks of the Victory that we have as believers over death and the grave. And even as my Mommy passed from this life to the next, the Gospel was preached. That even though she died , HE LIVES and because of this, SHE lives on with HIM. Glory to Our AWESOME God! Mommy was home, and so was Grandma Mary.

I am not sure what wonderful music Grandma Mastroni heard as she decided to go home to heaven, but rest assured that the testimony of this day is a consolation for our families who lost two great matriarchs. That even in death the Love of God prevails and comforts us from hopeless despair. Jesus Christ gives us a new hope to live eternally and to be united with Him and our loved ones again because He won the battle over death.

HE Lives!

Praise our Wonderful Savior!

Copyright 2011

His Beloved Children


Luke 12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

As I hold my babe in my arms there is such a sweet exchange. He is being nourished, and I am also being lavished with love.

For he strokes my face and gazes intently into my eyes.  It is clear that there is no other place that he would rather be. As I whisper into his ears, he softly reaches out a tiny hand to pull on my lower lip.  Know this;  there is nothing good that I would not do for this little one, my beloved child.

And so it is with our Daddy God, who so desires for us to get up in His lap, and seek His face. He desires for us to reach up and to touch His lips and to hang onto His every Word. Taking your time in His presence pleases Him so…

Know this; there is nothing good that He would not do for us; for we are His beloved children.

Get on Board!!!

John 9:4 KJV – I must work the works of him that sent me while it is day: the night cometh when no man can work.

While I breezed through the train station the other morning my only thought was getting on the train. I was running just a little late, and as soon as I slid my ticket into the reader I dashed up the escalator, not waiting for it to carry me up. As I reached the top, I saw a man who was ahead of me who was walking past the open doors of the waiting cars, to go up to the front of the train. Not wanting to risk missing the train, I entered the first available door and then started looking for a seat.

As I sat down, the bell rang, and the doors abruptly closed. As I looked out the window I was surprised to see that the man that was ahead of me never made it on the train. I watched his look of dismay as the train began to roll out of the station.

I was reminded of how we as believers need to “Get on Board” with what God is doing. His Spirit is on the move! The man had paid his ticket, and had every right to be on that train. But he did not board! Many are called and qualified, but not yet in position. The Bible says:

For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of [them] whose heart [is] perfect toward him (2 Chronicles 16:9A).

We must make ourselves available to God , and he will lead us to the proper assignment.

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