My Divine Assignment: To Encourage Others

A dear friend who has gone to be with the Lord once told me I was her Barnabas which Biblically means "encourager." I never saw myself like that, but as I've grown in my walk with the Lord it seems that is my desire. I hope that what I share here will be an encouragement to you as we trust the Lord - for great is His Faithfulness.

My Divine Assignment: To Encourage Others.
In Christ's Love, Shelley

KEEP His JOY IN TRIALS, TEARS & TRIUMPHS ~~ A WOMAN'S HEART SHOULD BE SO COMPLETELY LOST IN God THAT A MAN MUST SEEK Him TO FIND HER ~~ Our desire to learn God's Word must be greater than our need to breathe ~~

Friday, August 16, 2013

DANGER: Quicksand

   Why on earth did the thought of quicksand enter my mind today ?  I've never seen it, we don't have any around here & I've forgotten what I read about how to get out of it.  It came about as I was thinking about having one foot in "the world" and the other in the Christian life.  It really is IMPOSSIBLE to do both, but it is hard to be consistent in keeping both feet in His Kingdom here on earth.
     Having one foot in the "quicksand", the world,  is mentally, physically & spiritually draining & takes our eyes off of Him. But why would I expect anything different, because the world has no desire to seek the things of God, but to draw us deeper into the quicksand with no hope of getting out. It's not hard to feel the pull on that foot with the world's view of right & wrong so quickly changing.  And the deeper it sinks in, the harder it can be to get it out, even if it's only on a mental level.
     I feel lately that I am straddling that line. Not enough, mind you, to end up like the photo with only my hat left to see, but enough to know that there is a real spiritual battle going on for my thoughts & my emotions that keep me from living for His Purpose.   I battle in prayer for myself, my children & grand children because we need to be on the SOLID ground of God's Word, to know that Christ is the One who can SAVE us from being swallowed up in the world.
      It takes diligence & perseverance to keep our feet grounded and out of the quicksand.  I am convinced that I/we who profess to be Christians are not standing on solid ground but living a comfortable, complacent life.  We are trying to enjoy the "pleasures" of this world while over-looking those things that are not pleasing to our Lord, whether it is our music, books, viewing habits or just not seeking His Face & reading His Word.
      Don't get me wrong, He gave us life to enjoy even through the trials, but there is a dividing line.  One side we can stand firm on, but the other will take us under a little bit at a time.
      I don't want to be a nominal, complacent Follower of Christ, which actually is not possible.  I want to LIVE for Him, to bring Him Glory and to share it with anyone who will take time to listen !!!!!  Take the challenge with me & these next few weeks get BOTH FEET on solid ground.  If you find yourself slipping, call a friend to pull you out.  I know I will.   

If we do not stand firm in our faith, we will not stand at all.   Isaiah 7:9  

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Switching Gears

     As I searched for a pic this one jumped out at me. As I viewed it for a few seconds something came to mind that was not the original intent.  So first, the original intent which you be already know.
     At the end of the year, I will be "shifting gears" from the practice of Dental Hygiene for 40 years & focus on a new venture in ministry the Lord put on my heart - Hands of Love-Hearts of Hope - bringing awareness of sex trafficking here in my own backyard.  Ohio has the 5th largest number of youth trafficked & Toledo is 4th in the nation for trafficking, arrests, investigations & rescues. One out of 5 girls/1 out of 10 boys are victimized before adulthood with 13 being the average age of first exploitation.  The Super Bowl is the primary event for sex trafficking, as is the Indy 500, Kentucky Derby, Nascar, Final Four and NBA playoffs.
     Part of my ministry will include ladies writing "Love Letters" to rescued girls, letting them know we are praying for them & God desires to heal their broken hearts & redeem their lives for His glory.  I was made aware of human trafficking in Asia through Love 146  2 years ago.  Last year it was brought to my attention again through a Christian TV program and in April, I was invited to hear Sheri, from North Manchester IN, speak about global trafficking - forced labor and sexual.  My heart was moved to want to help.  As I researched the subject on the web, I started in Asia then to the United States ended up in Ohio.
     Having 2 daughters, 5 grand-daughters and a grandson, I kept thinking, "What if this happened to one of them?"  I had just read The Slave Across the Street by Theresa Flores who was trafficked out of her home at age 15 in Detroit. She is now in her 40's. living in Columbus with a ministry of her own Traffick Free (.com) which includes S.O.A.P. (Saving Our Adolescents from Prostitution) by putting bars of soap in the bathrooms of hotels with the number of the Trafficking Hotline.  I would encourage you to read the book, it is not graphic but brings this issue out in the open.
    Another part of the ministry is to purchase Christian books that will help these girls/women know they can be restored to wholeness through God's Loving Hand.  I just purchased five books this week & want to contact Children's Lantern in Defiance.   I was made aware they have at least 2 girls rescued recently.  Think about it - 40 minutes from my home there are girls being sheltered because they are victims of sex trafficking.
     Other Ministries I want to support are T.A.T. Truckers Against Trafficking , The Daughter Project in Perrysburg near Toledo and Rahab's Heart in Toledo.

Matthew 25:40 - “The King (Jesus)  will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for Me.’

      In light of what God has put upon my heart, I've come across some sayings that spoke to me.


     A man was walking along the beach when he approached a young boy who was throwing star fish back into the ocean that had been washed up on the shore.  The man said, "Son, you can't save them all so what difference does it make?"  The boy picked up another star fish, tossed into the water and replied, "It makes a difference to that one."         
We all can make a difference, even if it's only for just one.

   To help support Hands of Love- Hearts of Hope I am sharing about Norwex products known for their cleaning cloths using only water for your daily cleaning.  No more chemical laden cleaning products to purchase.  If you would like to know more please visit  

 Cleaning with a Purpose brings together the Ministry along with the Norwex products,  Norwex is a Fair Trade Company and recently donated to The Hope Project which assists in the recovery & counseling for girls ages 11-19 .

And the other thought about the picture of the gears - I feel that's how my mind is constantly, even when I'm sleeping !!!!   

Friday, April 26, 2013

Do you ... ?????

      Questions, questions, questions.  There are always questions, especially when grandchildren are with you. I remember when my girls were small the most important question of all - WHY?  Back then, a famous phrase came about - "Because I'm the mom, that's why?"
     Many questions can start with the words "do you."  When it comes to children, here are some of the questions we ask them: "Do you have to be told 10 times?"  "Do you think that was the kind thing to do?"  "Do you want me to spank you?  Well, do you?"  (Seriously, why do we ask that ??)
    As for adults, we might be asked questions such as - "Do you like to read?" "Do you have any hobbies?"  "Do you eat right and exercise?" - My answer  to the last one - yes to the first; no to the second but I have good intentions :-)
     As I was praying this morning, these questions came to mind - Do you cover those you love in daily prayer?  Do you pray for God's will to be done in their lives & your life?  Do you pray consistently for this Nation to return to God along with His standards of virtue & morality that we were founded on?"
    In the area of prayer, I struggle with consistency. I do my "best", but as I've mentioned before I get distracted.  The Boston bombing became a big distraction for me last week & I'm not sure why.  I believe it's because I have a deep desire to see what's going on around me from a Biblical worldview, which can be very unnerving and often depressing.
      I confess that the devil (the Bible tells us he is the "author of confusion & the father of lies) is very good at distractions, whether in our personal lives or in the events of our nation.  I often feel over-whelmed by it all.   Yet as a Follower of Christ, I (and I pray you) am determined to persevere, keeping the things of God our first priority.  In times such as these, the eternal is all that matters.

Matthew 6:33 -  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 

I Thessalonians 5:16-18    Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus... hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil. 

Here is my Prayer Notebook which I created from a photo album (holds 100 4x6 pics) purchased at Walmart.  I added tabs: Praise, Children (Grandchildren), Marriage, Nation, Other.  There are some prayers included that I like to do in the mornings.  I have kept many of the prayers on my computer, if you would like a copy of them let me know.

image from  

Monday, April 1, 2013

It's April Fools' Day & I'm guessing that no one wants to be considered a fool.  At least not in the terms we normally use it.  The following quote, in different forms , has been attributed to Mark Twain, Abraham Lincoln, Groucho Marx & others - "It is better to keep silent & be thought a fool than to speak & remove all doubt.  Proverbs 17:28 puts it this way - Even fools are thought to be wise when they keep silent; when they keep their mouths shut, they seem intelligent. (NLT)  
     The Bible uses the word fool & foolish 124 times with 64 of them being in Psalms & Proverbs. Thursday my Bible was open to Psalm 53:1 - The fool says in his heart, "There is no God."  I can't disagree with that. God more often than not looks at things differently than the we do.
      The lost world admires birth, social status, financial success, power, & recognition. But none of these things can guarantee eternal life. The message & miracle of God’s grace in Jesus Christ utterly confounds (“puts to shame”) the high & mighty people of this world. 
     The wise of this world cannot understand how God changes sinners into saints, & the mighty of this world are helpless to duplicate the miracle. God’s “foolishness” confounds the wise; God’s “weakness” confounds the mighty!  God turns the world’s standards upside down& usually chooses the ordinary rather than the outstanding.    (from Logos Bible Study references.)   

I Corinthians 1:27 puts it plainly - God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.
     He chose a simple wooden cross & it's shame to bring hope & salvation to the lost.   As Easter approaches I need to ask: Am I willing to be a Fool for Christ? To be scorned here on earth in exchange for an eternal reward? Lord, only in Your strength, I can answer YES !!!!!

(This was first posted in April 2011.  Some thoughts just don't change.)  Be BLESSED.  

Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Fence

     Fences usually serve one of two purposes; they can be ornamental, pleasing to the eye or they are used to keep something/someone in or out, depending on which side you are.  We had the first type when we raised cattle.  And to our dismay, the fence did not always keep the cattle IN. 
     I recall days of trying to get 1,000 pound steers back into a pen as they stared at me intently.  This was before cell phones were commonplace. If Don was not around, the girls & I run to the house to call their Uncles and neighbors to get help.  We had some friends who also had the same problem.  They had a steer make it from Middle Point almost to Linconlview High School - about 5 miles.  They ended up having to put it down.
     Our cattle fence is gone but I have an ornamental fence near the house that separates the back yard from the driveway and the same fence around our front door patio.  It's simply there for looks and that's okay.
     One Sunday a dear friend of mine read this during our church service:
Straddling the Fence shared by Randal Matheny

Our good brother and friend Alexandre Magalhaes preached here in São José dos Campos. He told the story of the man straddling the fence.
On one side of the fence, stood an angel; on the other, the devil. The angel did not stop encouraging the man to jump off the fence on his side, the good side. The devil said nothing.
The angel kept up his appeals for the man to come down from the fence on the good side. The devil said nothing.  The angel never let up as he pleaded with the man to decide for God and get off the fence. The devil said nothing.
The man was intrigued that the angel spoke fervently and insistently, while the devil said nothing.
“Why,” he asked the devil, “have you said nothing so far?”
“Because,” replied the devil, “the fence is mine.”
Straddling the fence is not a neutral position. It is sitting on the devil’s property.

Jesus said, "Whoever is not with Me is against Me...."     Luke 11:23   
There is no neutrality when it comes to Jesus Christ.  This is one fence that we cannot sit on.