Sunday, September 29, 2013


It was in the letting go that their beauty
flowed from among the masses.
~ Starr Ayers ~
"There's an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on earth . . .
a right time to hold on and another to let go."
Ecclesiastes 3:1,6 MSG
These leaves finally let go of the lofty position they held for so longcarried by the wind and brought to rest in deep waters. Where the waters will take them is a mystery, but one thing is sure, they served their purpose along the way: They brightened up my day.


Friday, September 27, 2013


Welcome to my blogBringing Life into Focus. Friday Friendly Focus will appear the 2nd and 4th Friday of every month and will feature a snapshot of someone’s life. I am privileged to bring into focus this week, Cindy Sproles. Cindy is a gifted writer and author living in the mountains of Kingsport, Tennessee. Many of us know her as co-founder of Writers Advance Boot Camp and the online devotional site, Christian Devotions. Cindy has been a pivotal person in my growth as a writer, so I am thrilled to feature her as my first Friendly Focus guest. Thank you, Cindy, for being so willing to continue to share your life with us. 
Careful What You Pray For 
by Cindy Sproles
"If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, 
ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you."
– John 15:7, NIV

I learned to be careful what you pray for. God does answer prayers.

When I gained the courage to attend a writer's conference, I felt alone and lost. All I wanted was someone to look at my work and tell me the truth. “Yes you have talent” or “No, you should pursue fast food.” So when I ended up at the conference, clueless and lost, my prayer was simple. “God I have no clue what I’m doing here. One of these days, can I sit on the other side of the table with a gentle, compassionate heart and help new writers not feel this way?” God said, "Yes."

My first writers conference was the springboard to meeting my ministry partner, Eddie Jones. God had spoken to Eddie about beginning a new website for daily devotions and to me about writing them. He softened our hearts for good writers with raw talent, and thus Christian Devotions was born. We often laugh that God took two misfits and made one pretty decent ministry. All we did was say yes. God knew our gifts, as raw as they were, and He began to shape and teach us the skills we needed to manage a unique one-of-a-kind ministry.
Over the past seven years, God has guided us. We began, and began to search for writers with the right heart–willing to learn and willing to share. Eddie and I learned to craft devotions from Dennis Hensley and once we learned the skill, we began sharing.

John Riddle, Marlene Bagnull and Alton Gansky felt God’s nudge and allowed us to cut our teaching teeth on them. Since these, we’ve taught at over 50 conferences across the country.

The goalto seek new writers with good talent, provide mentoring to help them step up to publishable and then publish them. And so, became the first devotional website whose goal was always to say yes to writers. God led us to editors and mentors willing to help us take those new writers and hone their skills. What we found was the more we gave to others, the more God blessed this ministry.

After seven years, Christian Devotions Ministries has grown to have multiple sites from children to adult, a syndicated Blog Talk Radio show (Christian Devotions Speak UP!) and we host our own conference, Writers Advance Boot Camp. Then came Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, a traditional indie publisher (not a self-publisher).

It’s not about us. It’s about what we can do for others. If we can guide new writers to pen the words God places on their hearts with confidence and joy, then we have been obedient.

In the midst of our work, God has blessed us into being published through major houses ourselves.

Careful what you pray for. Be ready . . . God does answer prayers.

Cindy K. Sproles is an author and speaker. She is the cofounder of Christian Devotions Ministries and serves as a conference teacher, editor and life coach. She is the author of two books, He Said, She Said – A Devotional Guide for Cultivating a Life of Passion and her newest release, New Sheets – Thirty Days to Refine You into the Woman You can Be. Links:

New Sheets

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


"For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power
and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been
made, so that people are without excuse."  Romans 1:20, NIV
In yesterday's blog post, I shared a lesson I learned through a butterfly.  Recall a lesson you have learned from nature and consider sharing it with others in the comment section below. 

Please visit my devotional blog at the following link

Photo taken at Holden Beach, NC, ©Starr Ayers 2013  

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


"I draw my greatest pleasure, not from capturing the moment, but from the moment capturing me.”
~ Starr Ayers ~ 

"My eyes are ever on the LORD, for only he will release my feet from the snare."
Psalm 25:15, NIV

For the rest of the story . . . please drop by my devotional blog, Simply As I See It.  You'll find it at the link below.

Sunday, September 22, 2013


 "For a lake to reflect the heavens on its surface . . . 
. . .  it must be calm."
"In returning and rest you shall be saved;
in quietness and confidence shall be your strength."
Isaiah 30:15, NIV

Please visit my devotional blog at the following link
Today's photo was taken at Northmont Lake, Asheboro, NC  ©Starr Ayers 2011

Saturday, September 21, 2013


Just leavin' a light on for ya . . .

"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it."
―John 1:5, NLT
 "Necessity is the mother of invention."
The author of this proverb is not known, but it is often ascribed to the  Greek philosopher, Plato. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, this expression means―if someone really needs to do something, they will think of a way to do it.

 When Thomas Edison, the inventor of the first commercially practical incandescent light, was asked if he was afraid of anything he replied, "I am afraid of the dark."

On December 31, 1879, at the age of thirty-two, Edison gave the first public demonstration of his incandescent light bulb in Menlo Park, New Jersey. It was during this time that he said: "We will make electricity so cheap that only the rich will burn candles."

Thomas Edison died October 18, 1931. He was eighty-four. All the lights in his New Jersey home were burning.

Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”John 8:12, NIV

In the same way, we are to let our light shine before others. Someone may need you to be a light in their darkness. Think of a way to do it.


Please visit my devotional blog at the following link

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Choose Your Fork

" When you come to the fork in the road, take it!"
~ Yogi Berra ~
 And Alice said to the Cheshire Cat . . . 
"Would you tell me please which way I ought to go from here?"
"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat.
"I don't much care where," said Alice.
"Then it doesn't matter which way you go," said the Cat.
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland ~ Lewis Carroll
At times I can be directionally challenged, but unlike AliceI do care where I am going. It is frustrating when my GPS takes me miles out of my way, or the directions someone gives me are wrong. Sometimes we just need a good old-fashioned road mapor better yetsomeone to follow.
God has provided both for our journey. He not only gives us his Word but His Holy Spirit to guide us. We have all we need to navigate life's perilous roads.
Follow God's lead. He does care where we are going.
"Whether you turn to the right or to the left,
your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, 'This is the way; walk in it.'"
Isaiah  30:21, NIV
I would love for you to visit my devotional blog at the following link

Sunday, September 15, 2013

SUNDAY SOLACE: Come to the Well

 "And Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well . . .
when a Samaritan woman came to draw water."  
John 4:6-7, NIV
Even Jesus took time to rest. It was  in his place of rest that
ministry came to him.  

Why do we feel we must find our place of purpose. Instead, we should simply find our placefind our place before Him; find our place of rest.
Perhaps, when we are at our place, our purpose will present itself.

Just come. Jesus is already there.

 Would love to have you check out my devotional blog.
Today's photo was taken at Northmont Lake, Asheboro, NC  ©Starr Ayers 2011 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

SIMPLY SATURDAY TRIVIA: The Heavens Declare His Glory

"When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the  stars,
which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?"
Psalm 8:3-4, NIV
On this day in history, September 14, 1959, the Soviet Union's Luna 2 crashed onto the surface of the moon becoming the first man-made object to reach the moon in the space race between the two world superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union.
Ten years later, on July 16, 1969, people worldwide huddled around their television sets to witness fuzzy, black and white images of  American astronaut, Neil Armstrong become the first man to step foot onto the surface of the moon. He described the event as "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." Landing with only twenty seconds worth of fuel left, it was a step he almost didn't make.

I will never forget the excitement of that unprecedented moment in history. Today, I marvel that man has not only walked on the moon once, but a total of fourteen times.
Only an infinite God of tremendous grace would create something as marvelous as the moon and then give finite man the profound gift of leaving footprints upon its surface.

 Oh, yes! Who is man that you are mindful of him?
Would love to have you check out my devotional blog.

Friday, September 13, 2013

It's All in the Packaging . . . Or Is It?

Don't judge a book by its cover.
"What matters is not your outer appearance . . . but your inner disposition.
Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in.”
1 Peter 3:3–4, MSG
There is more to the story . . .  please drop by my devotional blog, Simply As I See It.  You'll find it at the link below.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A Day to Remember

The day that changed forever
"Patriotism consists not in waving the flag, but in striving that
our country shall be righteous as well as strong."
 ~ James Bryce ~

"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall
into the heart of the sea. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice,
the earth melts. He says, 'Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.'"
Psalm 46:1-2,6,10, NIV

In Loving Remembrance 

This horrible and tragic day is etched in our memories forever.
 Where were you on that day?

Would love to have you check out my devotional blog.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Abandoned Nest

"Blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear."
―Matthew 13:16, NIV 
In December of 2010, my sister and I placed our ninety-one year old mother in a nursing home. Anyone, who has walked this path, knows the emotional toll it takes upon a family. God, in his grace, used my love for photography as a diversion from the events that were beginning to unfold. My frequent thirty-minute drives to and from the facility became occasions for me to collaborate with the Lord as to my next daily photo and blog post.

Twenty-two days after my mother entered the facility, I noticed an abandoned nest in an adjacent wooded lot. As I focused my camera's lens on its poignant beauty, God quietly spoke to me of another “abandoned nest”one whose tenant would never return.

I will always cherish my encounter and the bittersweet token of beauty God tenderly placed on my difficult path that day, simply to say . . . “I am here.” 

After a nine month stay, my mother left the facility for her eternal nesting place. That was two years ago today. I miss her daily.

Saturday, September 7, 2013


"How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!"
Romans 10:15, NLT

Today is Neither Rain Nor Snow Day.

Neither Rain Nor Snow Day celebrates the opening of the New York Post Office building on this day in 1914. The following inscription was inscribed on the building:            
"Neither snow nor rain not heat nor gloom of night,
stays these couriers from the swift completion
of their appointed rounds."
Show your appreciation to your postal delivery people today, especially those who walk their routes . . .  and be a messenger of good news everyday! 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Come to Me

Straining and striving does not accomplish the work God gives us to do. There is no straining effort in an overflowing life. The key is . . .
"Not overwork but overflow."
~ Streams in the Desert ~
  "He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul."
Psalms 23:2-3, KJV

Ceaseless activity may fill our days, but busyness is not the sign of a meaningful life. Rather, it is quite the opposite. It is in effortless abiding that our life becomes fullfull to overflowing.

Taking the time to refresh our body, soul and spirit is crucial to our physical, mental and spiritual well-being. Christ knew the importance of withdrawing from the crowds and spending time alone with his Father. 

He invites us to do the same.

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28, NIV
Go ahead.
Give yourself permission to step away from your crowded schedule.
Kick back.
Listen to this song.
Meditate on him.
Now . . . BREATHE!      

This photo was taken at Cherry Grove, NC 2011

Sunday, September 1, 2013

A Working Freedom

"Labour was the first price, the original purchase
 money that was paid for all things. It was not by gold or silver, but by labour, that all wealth of the world was originally purchased."
~Adam Smith~ 

"The best thing we can do is eat and drink and enjoy what we have earned.
And yet, I realized that even this comes from God. 
How else could you have anything to eat or enjoy yourself at all? "
Ecclesiastes 2:24-25, GNT

This photo was taken in Ramseur, NC 2011

Be Still and Know

"We live in a very tense society. We are pulled apart . . .
and we all need to learn how to pull ourselves together.
I think at least part of the answer lies in solitude." 
~Helen Hayes~

"Be still, and know that I am God."
Psalm 46:10, NIV

In his book Silent God, Joseph Bentz poses the question . . . "If God silenced himself entirely in our lives, how many of us would notice the difference?"
Sobering . . . isn't it?
This week, eliminate one television show or one hour of internet time each day and spend that time in silence, prayer, or Bible study.
You will notice a difference.

 This photo was taken at Black Mountain, NC 2013