Welcome to Mountain Breeze Devotions

Mountain Breeze Devotions began in May of 2003. This ministry is an email ministry sending devotionals and meditations seven days a week by request.
It is the sister site of www.ChristianDevotions.US

This is the ministry of authors Cindy Sproles and Eddie Jones. Two friends brought together to serve the Father -- to spread the word to those who may not know and to promote the art and writers of Christian writing.

Welcome to Mountain Breeze Devotions --Cindy Sproles, author

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Color Your World – By Sue Payne

Click on this button to hear this devotion - Listen to Color Your World - By Sue Payne

All the days of the oppressed are wretched, but the cheerful heart is a continual feast.
Proverbs 15:15

My Mom was an amazing cook. Coming from a long line of creative and frugal gourmets she came by her talent honestly. But, not only was she good at preparing delicious feasts, she thoroughly enjoyed putting a meal together that was pleasing to the palette, as well as colorful to the eye. I remember her telling me that there should be at least four different colors represented on a plate of food. This not only looked appetizing, but would be nutritionally balanced.

I usually fail miserably at following her food guidelines, but I have internalized a truth in regards to coloring my life in order to stay healthy, happy, and balanced. I’ve learned through experience that attitudes come in many colors and can often make a mess on our “plates”.

For over 10 years I had a large poster-like banner displayed in our kitchen that read, “Attitude is the mind’s paintbrush. It can color any situation!” I purchased it to influence my children, whose colorful personalities and sometimes challenging attitudes added to the mess I frequently seemed to be cleaning up. The four of us usually made a very colorful display but at times, spilled words of anger and responses served with sarcasm left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth.

It wasn’t long before I began to realize that the oppression we sometimes felt in our home came from the attitudes we chose in response to the circumstances of our lives. I simply had too much on my “plate”. My two boys were simply testing boundaries and experiencing the flavorful, yet confusing and tempting world around them. I think occasionally my husband wanted to bag us up and send us packing! But it really had nothing to do with our relationships with each other. Our circumstances had us choosing the wrong attitudes.

How many of us find that our plates are so full that the frustration from yesterday’s board meeting has run into the pile of bills that are overdue? Has communication in your marriage gotten cold and become stale and tasteless? Maybe your plate is piled with good things but they’ve combined to form a heavy burden of heartburn. Stress and fear cause terrible indigestion.

So, serve up a feast of cheerfulness tonight! Add in a cup of grace, sprinkled with kind words and a listening ear. And for dessert? Try some love and understanding. The table will be set, balanced, and ready for healing, forgiveness, rest, and joy!

Sue PayneSue Payne is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in home schooling newsletters and church news bulletins. She is experienced in curriculum planning and design and uses her writing skills to encourage and teach others. Sue lives in Delaware, is married, and has two boys whom she home schooled for a total of fourteen years.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Honor Thy Father -- Ariel Allison

Click on this button to hear this devotion - Listen to Honor Thy Father - By Ariel Allison

“Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), so that it may be well with you.
Ephesians 6: 2-3

Honor, according to Webster’s dictionary is, “a good name or public esteem. A showing of unusual merited respect.” Being an adult does not relieve us of Scripture’s command to honor our mother and father. Yet is a verse we often associate with young children or rebellious teenagers. The truth is that I have struggled with this command more than any other. For many years I didn’t feel as though my father was worthy of honor. It helped me tremendously when I read these words by Dennis Rainey:

“Honoring your parents does not mean endorsing irresponsibility or sin. It is not a denial of what they have done wrong as parents. Honoring your parents means choosing to place great value on your relationship with them…It is an attitude accompanied by actions that say to your parents, ‘You are worthy. You have value. You are the person God sovereignly placed in my life.’”

Shortly before my father passed away, I felt God calling me to stand up at his funeral and honor him publicly. I stood before 200 people that day and shared the things that my father had done right. I told of how he loved the word of God and how he imparted that love to me. I told of his compassion for those in society that no one else cared for. I told of his great love for sharing the gospel and I told of his ability to keep a promise. He said, “until death do us part” to my mother and he meant it.

That was the last page in the last chapter of my relationship with my dad. And I didn’t stand in front of those people and lie. I padded nothing. I celebrated the good things about him honestly and freely. I said goodbye to my dad on a Thanksgiving evening and he slipped into eternity hours later. That day has become about far more than turkey for me. It has become a day that I quiet my heart and thank God for the man who gave me life. Each year I try to honor him on that day, if not out loud, then at least in my heart.

Is there a way that you can honor your parents today, as an adult, intentionally? Perhaps a phone call. Maybe by offering forgiveness for a past sin. Maybe by thanking them for the legacy they have left you and your children. Or it may be as simple as not saying something. Regardless, I challenge you to place your mother or father in that place of honor and experience God’s blessings as a result.

Ariel Allison is a published author who lives in a small Texas town with her husband and three young sons. She is the co-author of Daddy Do You Love Me: a Daughter’s Journey of Faith and Restoration (New Leaf Press, 2006). Justin Case, the first of three children’s books will released by Harvest House Publishers in June 2009. She ponders on life as a mother of all boys at www.themoabclub.blogspot.com and on her thoughts as a redeemed dreamer at www.arielallison.blogspot.com. She and her husband are expecting their fourth son in December.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Most Powerful Warrior -- Pat Patterson

"Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." James 5:16

It’s my routine. Leave the house, drive north 2.5 miles, and then hang a left. The highway is long and straight, and for fifteen miles I’m alone with my thoughts. I use that time to think. And to pray. “Help me to be a good paramedic. Please don’t let me hurt anyone tonight. And, Lord, please help me to be a gentleman.”

I clocked in at 7:00 p.m. and right away the calls began. Tough calls. The kind that make me wonder why I still do this job? One patient lied to me, another one spit. A belligerent female cursed at me, blamed me for her plight in life and then outright accused me of racism. And the calls rolled on. I became exhausted, weary from the workload, frustrated by the onslaught of personal insults. But I handled myself well. Remained a gentleman.

Until 4:00 a.m…

I found the vehicle atop a grove of broken pines. Prickly vines tore at my skin as I climbed down the embankment and into her car. “Hello,” I said scanning her for major injuries. “My name’s Pat. What’s yours?”

She sat in the front seat screaming, “Get me out of here.”

“We will,” I said. “But tell me, are you breathing okay? Are you hurt?”

“Get me out!”

I ignored the verbal stabs and continued my assessment—trauma victims sometimes speak irrationally, say things they don’t mean—but I found no major injuries, no reason for her to be so rude.

I explained the situation to her as the firefighters approached the car. She continued to fuss as they pulled open her door, continued to gripe as we immobilized her and carried her up the hill.
Uncooperative and difficult she abused me the whole way to the hospital, pulling at her bindings and yelling for me to cut her loose. I tried to remain patient, continued trying to help. I even stabilized her on a particularly rough section of road—grabbed her belt and held on tight to keep her from rolling as the truck rocked side to side—but she turned it into something else.

“Don’t you do it,” she said her voice cold and threatening. “Don’t you do it!”

“Do it? Do what?” I said suddenly realizing her implication. “Are you serious? Are you accusing me of—”

I was shocked.

She opened her mouth and tried to speak, but I cut her off this time. I’d had enough!“Shut up!”

“I said, SHUT UP!”

And she did. She remained as passive as a lamb for the rest of the ride. But me? I marched into the ER angry as a hornet and left just as mad, a trail of verbal destruction in my wake. I got in trouble of course—the ER doc is still fuming.

Where did I go wrong? I prayed, didn’t I? I was only trying to help. What am I supposed to do when the whole world turns against me? Attacks me from every side? Well this morning something occurred to me—I need more than routine prayer. I need other Christians praying for me, true warriors who will lift me up every time I go to work.

So here’s a challenge: Call a friend. Ask them to pray for you. Promise to pray for them and do it. And always remember—the prayer of a righteous man is a powerful, effective weapon.

And do me a personal favor—please pray for me. Pray for my partner too. Tonight we go back out and face it all again. Ask God to help me to be a gentleman this time…regardless of what the night brings.

Pat Patterson is a novelist, a paramedic, and an instructor of Emergency Medical Science. His stories are true, based on real experiences from the streets of Durham, North Carolina where he has served as a paramedic since 1992.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Born Again -- Cindy Sproles

Click on this button to hear this devotion - Listen to Born Again- By Cindy Sproles

"In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” John 3:3

You can ask my mother. She’ll tell you it’s true. Every year on my birthday, I call my mother and sing Happy Birthday to her. In the beginning she thought she’d raised an odd child. But she grew to enjoy the birthday calls I gave her on MY birthday.

“It’s not my birthday,” she’d say.

“Sure it is.”

“How do you figure?”

“You gave birth to me, and outside of being completely blessed (here’s where she chuckles), it was you who gave birth. It’s your 'birth' day.” She laughs and insults me by asking if I feel it’s necessary to remind her.

When I read about Nicodemus and what must have gone through his mind when Jesus said, “you must be born again,” I have to laugh. Poor guy must have gone into sensory overload. He simply couldn’t imagine an adult being thrust back into the womb. The thought of two birthdays made him a little nutty. You have to give Nicodemus a little credit. The concept was hard when you lived in such a literal world. Jesus knew Nicodemus wouldn’t fully understand, but He also knew he’d think on the topic, study in his mind and eventually make a difference in the Sanhedrin. And Nicodemus did make a difference. Though we never know if he ever really grasped the idea of rebirth, He ended up coming to the defense of Jesus.

Me…..well, I was born on August 21. Ten years later, April, 10 1968, I was born again. I stepped into the aisle, walked to the front of the church and celebrated my real birthday.Jesus asked me to be born again if I wanted to see the Kingdom of God, and I obeyed. He offered me eternal life. But I had to be reborn. I experienced that second birth, when my slate was wiped clean—when I died to sin and my heart received the jolt that brought it to life a second time. Even when times have been difficult I could only imagine the frustration being worse without the Father in my life.

My earthly birthday comes and goes. For the most part, I never give it a second thought, but that second birthday carries the weight. I never let that date slip past without falling to my knees and singing “happy birthday to me.”

Have you been reborn? I mean, really reborn? Have you allowed Christ to change your life? If you haven’t, seriously consider it. Chew on the concept, consider the invitation. Accept. This is one birthday you’ll not want to miss.

So, later in the morning, I’ll dial the phone and when my mom answers, I’ll break into song and sing happy “birth” day to her. She’ll laugh, shake her head and wonder how she managed such a weird child, one who’s obviously still not grown up.

You must be born again. I was, and I’m glad.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

More Precious than Gold -- Pat Patterson

"Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold." - Proverbs 3:13-14

Anger! It’s part of who I am. My response to the harshness of life. But have mercy on me please, I didn’t choose to be this way…..

My youngest son was fourteen years old at the time, healthy and safe, getting himself ready for school when my final call of the night was dispatched. “EMS report for medic-seven,” the dispatcher said. “Possible suicide…”

A gallery of colorful images flooded my mind—slashed wrists, gunshot wounds, overdoses. I’d seen them all. Vibrant memories of hopelessness and pain. Horrific expressions of self-inflicted death.
I felt myself cringe.

“You can handle it,” I told myself. “It’s just another call.”

I forced the images aside and approached the scene. We found her lying at the base of a carpeted staircase, a fourteen year old girl without a breath of life. Her eyes bulged. Her face looked puffy and blue. A collar of swollen red skin encircled her neck.

“Oh, my God,” my partner cried.

“She hung herself,” one of the police officers explained. “Her little sister found her. Cut her down and ran back to bed. Can you believe it? Poor kid didn’t know what else to do.”

The harshness of life. It slapped me in the face. What was I to do but cry?

But I couldn’t cry. My defense mechanism worked too well. I glanced around the room. The other faces displayed emotion. Pain. I felt nothing. No sorrow. No pity.


“It’s just another call,” I whispered, my heart grown cold. “Just another call.”

Weeks passed. Months. My life went on as usual. But then one day, like a freight train charging out of the night, another crisis hit. This one in my home.

My defense mechanisms went to work. I prepared myself for the worst.

“You can handle it,” I told myself. “It’s just another call.”

But this time something went wrong. Like a pressure cooker blowing off steam, I exploded. I broke down in a fit of uncontrolled grief while my wife, my sons, my in-laws watched, bewildered by the sudden burst of emotion from a man so usually hard.

Embarrassment could not begin to explain the humiliation I felt that day. But I couldn’t help myself, it just happened. Fifteen years of pent up frustration and anger, grief and hopelessness, sorrow and death—they all finally surfaced, and with them a tidal wave of emotion that truly rocked my world.
My family survived that crisis. God poured out His mercy on us…especially on me. I still find myself crying at times when the harsh realities of life slap me in the face, but I handle pain better now. I now know how to let it go.

God granted me wisdom through those two experiences, and new understanding more precious than gold. I learned that no man can hold in the pain forever. It will surface. It always finds a way.

* * *

Do you know a police officer? A firefighter or a paramedic? Someone who’s out there every day absorbing the pain of others and trying their best to keep it all inside? Pray for that person. Be
there for them. Love them. But most of all try to understand them. They were called to serve others— a tough, painful job.

Monday, August 18, 2008

What is that Smell? -- Virginia Smith

Click on this button to hear this devotion - Listen to What is that Smell- By Virginia Smith

For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life.”
Corinthians 2:15-16

I woke the other day to find a distinctive odor lingering in the air – it was brewing day for the local bourbon distillery. I drew in deep breaths, savoring the smell of my past. I was raised in central Kentucky within a few miles of several distilleries, so the yeasty fragrance of brewing bourbon brings back vivid memories of childhood. To me, a functioning distillery smells like bacon and eggs frying in the kitchen.

My husband gagged all morning.

At our house in Utah we can smell the Great Salt Lake when the wind blows from the northwest. It isn’t at all like the ocean’s salty smell. It’s more like decaying fish, and makes me want to barricade the windows and doors and light scented candles in every room. Locals refer to the distinctive odor as lake stench. And yet, the other day my neighbor, a native Utahn, stood in my front yard, drew in a deep breath, and announced with a smile lingering on her lips, “Ah, it smells like summer has arrived.”

My aunt is a Kentucky thoroughbred breeder. She insists that horse manure smells good. Honest.

The other day I read a Bible verse that made me think of lake stench and horse manure and bourbon distilleries. 2 Corinthians 2:15-16 says, “For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life.”

To me, this is one of the vast mysteries of all time. I do so few things that are worthy of God’s notice. On the contrary, I’m often aware that my efforts would come up pitifully short if laid on an eternal yardstick. I’m too often focused on myself and my own goals instead of looking for ways to help others. I make decisions without consulting Him. I fight with my husband. I mismanage my money. In the eternal crowd of His faithful—to put it bluntly—I stink. And yet, He lives in me. When God draws near to me and inhales, He smells life. His life. And somehow, regardless of my shortcomings, others can catch a whiff of that fragrance in me, too.

God’s grace is an awesome, unfathomable mystery. Some days I don’t even try to understand it. I just inhale deeply and enjoy the smell.

Virginia Smith left her twenty-year career as a corporate director to become a full time writer and speaker with the release of her first novel Just As I Am. In March of 2008 she was honored with the Writer of the Year award at Mount Hermon Christian Writer’s Conference. She writes mystery/suspense novels such as Bluegrass Peril and A Taste of Murder, and humorous heart-touching stories like Stuck in the Middle, book 1 of the Sister-to-Sister Series, and Sincerely, Mayla. http://www.virginiasmith.org/

Labels: , ,

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Be Still -- Cindy Sproles

Click on this button to hear this devotion - Listen to Be Still- By Cindy Sproles

"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." Psalm 46:10

Blurry! Figures. I tried again. Blurry. I grunted, held the camera away from my face and gently shook. You’re new. You ought to take perfect pictures. I realize my eyes are aging and now there’s the inconvenience of reader glasses, but I could have sworn that the picture was focused through the viewfinder. What was the deal?

Dusk was beginning its decent over daylight and I wanted the pictures before the sunset lost to the night. I pressed the camera to my eye, squinted, focused—auto focused. Who can go wrong with auto focus? Then clicked. The camera fired 5 consecutive snaps. Surely I’d gotten the humming bird this time.

Fred the Hummingbird and his buddies dive bomb our feeder daily. Every time I’d catch him hovering, I snapped but the pictures were blurry.

Sometimes my life seems blurry, too. Life seems so rushed and it’s hard to make the time I need for the Father. I’ve prayed with a friend every morning for the last year. In fact, the prayers we’ve shared are very specific prayers and though we see answers, I can’t say that any of the “big” things have come into fruition.

So, I asked God, “Why? Am I doing something wrong?” I didn’t hear Him answer. That was odd. I usually feel His nudge. “Hey…are you listening? You there?” Still nothing. I leaned back in my chair, the springs squeaked. My eyes closed and my thoughts sank into the words of the Psalms. “Be still and know that I am God.” The air seeped from my lungs as I relaxed. As quickly as my eyes closed, they popped open.

He’d spoken to me, loud and clear. I needed to simply be still. Be quiet and when I was—His voice sang to me. The things that had been blurry throughout the week came into focus. I had the reassurance that God is in control. He’s got his eyes on things. Being still is not easy. I learned that God can’t speak to me when I’m in constant motion. He knows I’m not really paying attention. But when I’m still, His voice fills my soul. When I’m quiet, I see the answered prayers.

I figured out the problem with my pictures. I was moving—it didn’t feel like I was moving, but I was. The pictures I wanted to take required a tripod. Something that didn’t move.

Has your life been a blur lately? Maybe you’re moving too much. The psalmist reminds us that God said to “be still.” Be still and know He is God. Let Him bring your life into focus.

Christian Devotions

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Guest Devotionalist -- Pat Patterson

"Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
--John 11:25

A Second Chance

I caught myself smiling. The scene looked perfectly serene. A group of old men sat together in a wide circle on the front porch rocking quietly. Their aged faces reflected serenity. Not a care in the world. I stepped onto the porch and cleared my throat. No one spoke or greeted me. They hardly seemed to notice me.

“Excuse me,” I said feeling somewhat confused, quite certain that my EMS uniform would have been enough to announce the purpose of my visit. “Did you gentlemen call 9-1-1?”

“Sure, sure,” one of the men responded. “We did.”

“Well—” I glanced at him and chuckled. “What can we do for you?”

“I think Harold’s dead,” he said pointing across the porch. “He stopped breathing five minutes ago.”


I set down my equipment and walked over for a closer look. Sure enough, a gray-haired man sat in one of the chairs between two fellow rockers his head slumped against one shoulder as if he were asleep. I saw no sign of life, no movement at all. I touched his neck and felt for a pulse.


“Uh, Andy?” I glanced at my partner, Andy Strader. “I believe he’s right.”

Andy set down the defibrillator unit and pushed the power button. I grabbed the old man by the arms, slid him to the floor and ripped open the front of his shirt. Buttons flew. Fabric tore. Andy handed me the defibrillator paddles. I placed them on his chest and glanced at the monitor. A squiggly green line traced across the screen.

“Okay,” I murmured. “We’ve got V-Fib. We can handle that.”

Andy switched the unit to DEFIB and pushed the charge button. The unit began to whine. The low-toned whistle built quickly into a high-pitched shrill.

“Okay,” Andy said the capacitor was fully charged. “Light him up.”

“Here goes. Clear!”

Andy backed away. I straightened my arms, pushed the paddles firmly against Harold’s bony chest, and delivered the shock. Two hundred watt-seconds of electricity discharged into the old man’s body. His back arched. His muscles jerked. And then suddenly, to my amazement, he opened his eyes. He looked about briefly as if trying to gain his bearings, and then turned and gazed at me.

“Who are you?”

“Sir,” I said trying to hide my astonishment. “I’m a paramedic.”

“What are you doing?”

“You were dead, Harold,” one of the old men shouted. “These boys saved your life.”
“They did? Well, I’ll be.” Harold sat up and rubbed his chin. “Thank you fellas. Looks like you’ve given me a second chance.”

It’s a true story. Harold died that cool autumn morning—his heart stopped beating and his breathing ceased—but only for a little while. Apparently God wasn’t finished with him. He sent us. And by the delivery of a single shock of electricity He gave Harold a second shot at life. What Harold did with the rest would be up to him.

And you?

Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life.” He gave you a second chance too. It’s called eternal life. And just like Harold, what you do with that is up to you. But I wouldn’t wait too long in making that decision.

Harold got another chance. Will you?

Pat Patterson is a novelist, a paramedic, and an instructor of Emergency Medical Science. His stories are true, based on real experiences from the streets of Durham, North Carolina where he has served as a paramedic since 1992.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Guest Devotionalist -- Emme Gannon


Click on this button to hear this devotion - Listen to Rest In Him- By Emme Gannon

Show me the path where I should walk, O Lord, point out the right road for me to follow. Lead me by Your truth and teach me . . . my hope is in You.” Psalm 25:4

I felt like my life was falling apart, and I didn’t have the energy to do anything about it. Why, I asked myself. I have a good husband, great kids. I prayed and read God’s word, but my mind ran ahead, zooming past the message that I knew God intended for me. I needed to release my subconscious from the lies of life and get free of the resultant physical and emotional stress. I needed to hear the voice of God.

Sometimes drastic conditions require drastic measures. With my husband’s blessing, I headed to the beach for two weeks alone. I was ready for a spiritual, emotional, and physical detox.

I arrived at the small cottage prepared to receive. No TV, no radio, just Him and His Word. Keeping secrets from myself and not trying to control every detail of my world needed to be eliminated. Instead, I would allow myself to feel the anger and emotion and then give it to the Lord. I kept a journal—an honest journal—not one filled with sanctimonious ramblings that future generations could read and delight in. I let the darkness that was covering my soul fill the pages.

When I was honest with Him, Jesus did an amazing thing. He showed me where the pain was coming from. He gave me His perspective. He exchanged the lies I believed about myself and Him with His truth, thus changing the filter through which I interpreted my life. He returned my joy.

That was three years ago and I daily reap the gift of that sabbatical. I have learned the necessity of being alone with Him and opening my hurting heart so He can lead me by His truth and teach me His ways.

Lord, show us today the hurting places that need your touch. Reveal the insecurities that rob us of our joy and silence the song You have chosen us to sing, the word You have ordained that we speak, the task You have created us to do. Show us how to release control to You and trust You with our lives. For You are good.

Emme Gannon is an award-winning writer and trained facilitator in healing prayer. She and her husband have two grown children and four grandchildren.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Guest Devotionalist -- Pat Patterson

A Real Miracle

He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted. Job 5:9

My job is unpredictable, out of control at times. Just occasionally I need a little help, and sometimes…a real miracle.

“Excuse us. Move please. Move!”

My partner, Larry, pushed through the crowd, an orange airway bag over his shoulder. I carried a ton of uncertainty in my heart. Three men dressed in bunker pants and navy blue fire department tees knelt over a small inert body in the middle of the street. The Captain looked up at us and grimaced.

“Boy, are we glad to see you guys. His airway’s as tight as a plugged pipe.”

I glanced at the child’s face. The small brown eyes looked lifeless, his lips the color of a purple Popsicle.

“How long has he been down?” I asked.

“Eight minutes. Maybe more.”

I murmured a prayer. Knelt on the asphalt. A firefighter handed me a bag-valve-mask resuscitator. I placed it over the boy’s face and gave the bag a squeeze hoping to see his chest rise. It didn’t. Larry handed me a laryngoscope. I inserted the tip of the blade into the child’s mouth and lifted his tongue. The fiber-optic bulb lit the back of his throat all the way to the vocal cords. There was nothing there.

“See anything?” Larry said.


I knew I’d have to intubate. The endotracheal tube would provide an artificial airway. It was our only hope.

“Let’s tube him.” I held out my hand and snapped my fingers. Larry placed a long slender tube into my hand. I inserted it into the boy’s mouth, passed it down his throat and through the cords, but then it stopped cold as if hitting a wall. “Something’s down there,” I said withdrawing it. “Do some more trusts.”

Nobody moved.

“Come on,” I shouted. “Do it!”

One of the firefighters straddled the child, placed his hands on the boy’s abdomen, and gave five, quick upward thrusts. I tried again. The tube stopped short. I felt myself begin to panic. His airway was completely blocked. The child was going to die.

“Jesus,” I said. “Help me!”

I tried again. Same result. My heart broke. I picked the boy up and ran for the ambulance, climbed into the back, and placed him on the stretcher.

“Let’s go,” I shouted.

Larry climbed in. The truck began to move the siren to wail. We tried our best to clear the boy’s airway, to make some kind of progress, to save his young life, but it was hopeless. There was nothing more we could do.

Suddenly the truck hit a bump. The rear end crashed down on one side and lurched upward. I lost my balance and fell to the floor. I wanted to shout, to scream out in anger and frustration. God had failed me.

“Hey,” Larry shouted. “Look!”

I glanced at my patient. His chest heaved, his small face broke into a pained grimace as he drew a deep breath.

“There it is!” Larry reached into the boy’s mouth, removed a small round object, and wiped away a layer of creamy white saliva. “It’s a grape!”

Do you believe in miracles? That little boy should have died. Fifteen minutes without air and life as we know it is all but impossible…but not to God. By the time we left the ER the boy was sitting up talking with his parents, pink and smiling and as healthy looking a child as I had ever seen. Yes, I believe in miracles. I also believe that sometimes all God wants us to do is ask.

Pat Patterson is a novelist, a paramedic, and an instructor of Emergency Medical Science. His stories are true, based on real experiences from the streets of Durham, North Carolina where he has served as a paramedic since 1992.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Guest Devotionalist - Cindy Rooy

Spiritual Amnesia

“They will tell of the power of your awesome works, and I will proclaim your great deeds.” (Psalm 145:6)

The older and more forgetful I become, the more optimistic I get about the idea of journaling. Recently, I was challenged to write down all the times the Lord has intervened in my life - including answers to prayers or help that was undeniably from Him. I spent days mulling over my past and God’s involvement in my life.

What events in my life were more than coincidences? What accidents did I narrowly escape? When did God answer my prayer? How did He turn that bad event into something good? Stunned by my spiritual amnesia, I realized I was no better than the Israelites who failed to remember that the Lord parted the Red Sea for them. Yet, the number of entries eventually recorded created an awareness of God’s activity throughout my life.

Making a list of personal experiences where God’s power is noticed reaps spiritual benefits. If your memory fails you, ask God for help in recalling His interventions. Then keep the list handy so events can be added when they are remembered and as they occur.

But God wants us to do more than remember. He wants us to share our stories. When we are alert for occasions to tell others about Him, it is amazing how often the opportunity presents itself. Talking about the Lord’s provision of help, healing, and peace remind us how compassionate and mighty He is. It encourages others and glorifies God when we make known what He has done for us.

Remembering His activity in our lives makes us more mindful of and thankful for our blessings. As the song lyrics suggest, “Count your many blessings, name them one by one, count your many blessings, see what God has done.”

So what has God done for you lately?

Cindy Rooy is a columnist in two TN newspapers and has been published in a devotional book titled Daily Devotions for Writers. She recently wrote a Bible study, Trusting God Through Trouble and Tears, which is being considered for publication. A wife and mother of three adult children, Cindy enjoys a writing and speaking ministry, and can be reached at cr4Him@gmail.com.