Greetings and Welcome!

My goal is to share encouragement, grace, and hope from God’s Word, and to brighten your day. Mission trips abroad have enlarged my heart and reminded me once again that regardless of our skin color or location we all need a savior, and His name is Jesus. I pray that my articles will lift your spirits and point you to the One who loves you most.

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May God bless you in your journey of faith.
Warmly,
Fran


This Month's Message

THE EBENEZER LIST

By Fran Caffey Sandin

Imagine experiencing a wonderland of God’s creation during a 7-day Viking Tour of the Fjords. From Oslo, Norway, weaving our way into the heart of mountains, tumbling waterfalls, shimmering glaciers, and deep mysterious lakes, my husband and I became enthralled with the incomparable beauty. One morning we boarded a commercial bus driven by a local 26-year-old. He seemed comfortable maneuvering the vehicle along the snake-like trail, but our adrenaline rushed when he backed up to negotiate eleven hairpin turns up the famous Trollstigen mountain road. Early fog blanketed the sheer drop-offs; but as we neared the top the sky cleared for us to view surrounding lush green mountains, rushing waters, and the fjord below.

In this new environment of dramatic highs and lows, we learned that some folks with homes on top of the mountains placed a harness on their children, tethered to their house, so youngsters would not fall off the cliff when they went outside to play. Some homes had grass on the roofs for insulation, and it was fun seeing goats “cutting the grass” on one roof. We enjoyed Norway’s clean, neat, natural beauty, and the people were friendly, too.

Considering the children having a harness, I thought of the importance of giving our boys and girls a substantial link to God’s Word, the Bible, and to His unfailing love as we have placed our faith and trust in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Certainly, life has many cliffs, and it is easy to fall and lose our way, but if we have experienced God’s help in the past, it gives us courage for the future. That is an opportunity for parents and grandparents to help.

In I Samuel we learn that when the Israelites had assembled at Mizpah, the Philistines threatened to attack them. When the Israelites heard about it, they were afraid, and they asked Samuel to intercede to God for them. So, Samuel cried out to God on Israel’s behalf and the Lord answered him. When the Philistines drew near to engage Israel in battle, the LORD thundered with loud thunder against the Philistines, and they were thrown into such a panic that they were routed before the Israelites. The men of Israel rushed and overcame them to a victorious end.

Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far has the LORD helped us.” So, the Philistines were subdued and did not invade Israelite territory again (I Samuel 7: 12-13). Ebenezer means “stone of help.”

Parents and grandparents experience life’s ups and downs. Jim and I began listing the ways the Lord has helped us through our years of marriage. Some of the events were miraculous, as when the Lord prompted Jim to remove our investment account from an institution that declared bankruptcy the next day. Other examples included God’s provision of furniture we could afford just when we needed it. The Lord brought friends and family to minister to us after the death of our son, Jeffrey, and then years later, our son, Steve. We have found our relationship with the Lord has drawn us closer to each other through the happy times and through the sad times. As we share our Ebenezer list with our grandchildren along with our dependence upon God and His Word, we feel we are providing a spiritual grounding that will keep them from falling into spiritual darkness with all its deadly implications. Just as Samuel set up his stone of help, we are establishing our own family Ebenezer documentation of God’s faithfulness.

Dear Father, thank you that we can tether our lives to You and to Your Word that gives us hope, joy, and security because we know it is Truth. You are an awesome God, our Creator, our provider, our faithful King of Kings and Lord of Lords. In Jesus name, Amen.