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 ~~

Saturday, April 30, 2011


      Usually I try to post every other day but as the title suggests I've been struggling, even with writing a post which I love to do. There isn't anyone who doesn't struggle with something, whether it's small & resolved quickly or overwhelming as if you've been hit by a truck.  Actually, just living our lives is a struggle.  From the very beginning, we have to "struggle" to enter this world, join our family & take our first breath.  Welcome to life on earth.
      As Christians, I often wonder if we may have a greater issue with struggling. In our everyday lives we can be pulled in so many directions, trying to decide between good & best or even best & best choices. Many times I struggle to choose what ministries to support financially and/or with my time. 
     Most of the books I read are for growing in my walk with the Lord.  They often make me feel the need to do things differently & I become overwhelmed - I should be praying like this or that, I should be journaling, I should be ....   Can anyone else relate to this? 
     God is not the author of confusion & I do what I feel lead to do. If God desires, He will let me know there is something else that needs my attention.  BUT He's not asking me to be OVER-COMMITTED because that does no one any good.  It distracts me which is exactly what the devil wants. When you add some thing you usually need to let go of something else.  Put it in His Hands, He will give some one else the desire to take up where you left off.
     I have a "personality trait" that whatever I do it is never enough because I tend to be a Mrs. Fix-it-Fox, as one Bible teacher put it.  I want to make it right for everyone. I've read that if you don't let the butterfly "struggle" to get out of it's cocoon you are NOT doing it any favors.  The only One who has the answers to our struggles is the Lord, but the answers are not always as clear as we would like them to be.
     A few things are clear: do not compare yourself to others, over-commitment is not God's desire for us, ask Him to speak to your heart about choices and then listen (I'm still working on that one).  And one more thing - don't neglect to be in His Word daily for it is there that He speaks most clearly when our hearts are open to what He is saying. 
Psalm 25:9
He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.

Psalm 25:12
Who is the man who fears the LORD? He will instruct him in the way he should choose.

Psalm 31:3
Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of Your name lead and guide me.

Psalm 32:8
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.

Psalm 37:4,7
Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass ... Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him.

I found these verses all together at Encouraging Bible Verses you might want to bookmark it.  Would love to hear your thoughts about struggling.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

King Who?

When I was in high school girls really didn't participate in sports - mainly basketball in gym & that was half court.  I loved football.  Three of my cousins played and my Dad had played semi-pro in South Bend, IN. Our girls played volleyball & some basketball.  I enJOYed watching them & the boys games also. After the girls graduated, we took a hiatus from high school events.  With our oldest grand-daughter turning six, & 4 more following close behind, I figure it will start all over again soon.  Football is still my favorite - mainly college.  I rarely watch anything else, so when Don is flipping channels to watch every game that is on I find something else to do.
     Sometime last year I saw that in 2005 Lebron James had said, "In the next 15 or 20 years, I hope I'll be the richest man in the world. That's one of my goals. I want to be a billionaire."  It has been said that he nicknamed himself "King James" but I don't know that for certain.  There is ONE thing I do know for certain.  There is only One True King and Lebron James is NOT it.  Revelation 9:16 makes it perfectly clear - On His robe and on His thigh He has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Can't Keep a Good Man Down

As much as I love writing posts for this blog, sometimes the lyrics to a song & a video says it much better than I can put into words. I pray you had a Blessed beyond measure Easter.  May we carry it's message each & every day to the lost & the hurtin..  I hope you enJOY this video.  It will get your heart pumping Can't Keep a Good Man Down by Newsong.  (cartoon by Inherit the Mirth)

He said goodbye to the angels of heaven
And He came to earth as a common man
He taught us how we could love one another
There was healing in His hands
There were those who believed and followed Him
And there were those who wanted Him dead
They thought the grave would silence Him forever
But they found out instead

You can close your eyes
You can say it's a lie
You can stick your head in the sand
You can turn away, even try to explain
He was just another man
When they nailed Him to the cross by His hands and feet
and they put Him in the ground
Three days later everybody found out that you can't
No you can't keep a good man down, no
No you can't keep a good man down

I hear you say that it all sounds crazy
It's a good story but it can't be true
How could a man who was dead and buried
Mean a thing to me and you
Here we are two thousand years later
and still the choice is just the same
You can say that you don't believe it
But it doesn't change a thing

You can close your eyes
You can say it's a lie
You can stick your head in the sand
You can turn away, even try to explain
He was just another man
When they nailed Him to the cross by His hands and feet
and they put Him in the ground
Three days later everybody found out that you can't
No you can't keep a good man down, no
No you can't keep a good man down

I can take you to the hill where they hung Him on the cross
I can take you to the empty tomb
I can tell you He's alive 'cause He lives in me
But the rest is up to you

You can close your eyes
You can say it's a lie
You can stick your head in the sand
You can turn away, even try to explain
He was just another man
When they nailed Him to the cross by His hands and feet
and they put Him in the ground
Three days later everybody found out that you can't
No you can't keep a good man down, no
No you can't keep a good man down

Saturday, April 23, 2011

It's Empty !!!!!

 If my bank account, refrigerator, gas tank or well are empty that is not a good thing.  I tried hard to think of the positive of empty.  If my mailbox is empty that means no bills to pay & if my dishwasher is empty I don't have to put dishes away.  Those can be good things.  But there is no "empty" like the empty tomb on Easter morning.  He is RISEN !!! (cartoon by Inherit the Mirth)  It's what this day is ALL about.  For if He is not, then my faith is futile & the JOY I find in doing this blog has no meaning.  The life of Christ & the empty tomb are not just Biblical facts, they are historical - they were recorded in other books besides the Bible.  One thing I love about the Resurrection story is how God has injected some humor. Matthew 28:13 "You (the soldiers) are to say, 'His disciples came during the night and stole Him away while we were asleep."  Now think about that. Duh !!!!  I also love that Jesus met the women first - He knew the news about Him would spread quickly that way !!!!!  Matthew 28:8-10 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with JOY, and ran to tell His disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” He said. They came to Him, clasped His feet and worshiped Him. Then Jesus said to them, Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see Me.”
WOW !!! Here's a final thought.  If you were given the awesome opportunity to introduce Christ after He had risen from the dead, how would you do it?  Here is how Steve Harvey would - Needs No Introduction

Friday, April 22, 2011


  Our daughter Abbi, her husband Aaron & her daughters are longing to hear her say, "It is finished !!"  In 2013 she will become a Nurse Practitioner.  It's been a long time coming.  A lot of hard work & time in between being wife & mother & working two 12 hour shifts a week and every third weekend as a nurse in Lima.
   Our daughter Amanda & her husband David were in the process of building their home when she was pregnant with Allison, now 5.  It got her out of painting but I'm certain that she was thrilled they moved in shortly before Allie was born.  She was able to say "it is finished" concerning some things at that point.  No doubt we all have had times in our life when were able to say the same and breathe a sigh of relief.
     When Jesus spoke those words as He took His final breath I have to wonder if He actually was relieved?  Why do I ask that?  Because of these amazing words from Hebrews 12:2  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Could He really find joy in the shame of the cross?  YES, YES, YES !!!!!  Because He had FINISHED the work the Father had given Him to do.  And for that reason, when our Spiritual Enemy the devil attempts to wear us down, we need to remind ourselves of this:  Jesus did not say, "I am finished" but "It is finished."  How do we know that?  This painting  says it all.
 Keys of Hell

Please visit The Inspired Art of Danny Hahlbohm to view his AMAZING paintings & order prints.    The first picture, Question, is also by Danny.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


TGIF - Often this acronym is used to refer to the end of the work week & people are ready to relax or party.  Many use it as a praise -Thank God I'm Forgiven!!!
Today is called Good Friday.  How is that possible when a Man who was innocent bore the shame of a Roman crucifixion, the most horrendous form of execution known to man, all for the past, present, & future sins of the human race?  Only in the mind of God - "For nothing is impossible with God." Luke 1:37  We know that God's ways are not our ways & often we cannot comprehend them in such events as the loss of a child or a friend.  This is why we live by trust & faith.  Thais is what Easter is about.  We have no choice if we truly believe that God is good & we are forgiven.
       What is it about this day that gives us hope when everything about what we call Good Friday did not seem good at all?  The prophets foretold of it centuries before.  Jesus alluded to it in John 2:18-22 Then the Jews demanded of Him, "What miraculous sign can You show us to prove  Your authority to do all this?" Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days." The Jews replied, "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and You are going to raise it in three days?"  But the temple He had spoken of was His body.  After He was raised from the dead, His disciples recalled what He had said.  Notice that is says "after" so the men who had been with him for 3 years still didn't get it. 
Which brings us back to this day, Friday.  Take a few moments to watch It's Friday and rejoice at what's coming!!!!!!!!  Please share this post and/or video today.  There is someone you know that needs to hear it's message.   Blessings to you.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I've Got a Secret

Anyone remember this show from their childhood?  It ran from 1952 (a very good year) to 1967 in black & white.  The premise was for the panel to guess what "secret" the guest was concealing. I don't remember many of the programs but found this: On February 9th, 1956, 96 year old Samuel Seymour appeared as a guest.  Mr. Seymour was the last surviving witness to the assassination of President Lincoln, and he was five years old at the time. This link should bring back memories for some of you I've Got A Secret.  Of course as children we would ask, "Do you want to know a secret?'  or taunt others with "I know something you don't know."  As adults there are things that we don't reveal about ourselves that could be considered secrets.  Sometimes "keeping secrets" is not beneficial if it keeps us controlled by something harmful or we know some one else is being harmed.  It's fun to keep a secret if, when revealed, it will bring JOY to others as in a party or gift.
        Many years ago, Kylee & I went to the Embassy theater to see Michael W. Smith perform.  I can remember to this day as if there was a video in my mind of him singing one song in particular.  Jesus Christ came for the soul purpose of saving the lost but to do that He had "to give His life away."  That was His Secret Ambition (video link).    Mark 10:45 "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."

Monday, April 18, 2011

What's in a Name?

When I was searching for photos for this I could not resist this one.  I'm betting that sometimes we & our children wished we could have had a say in picking our names. In a previous post, nick names were mentioned along with the choosing of names in the Bible.  Even our middle names are of importance especially when it is used by a mother. I've not always understood why people go by there middle name instead of their first name.  To further that, my Dad's given name was Gerald Eugene but they called him Pete.  His brother's name was Joe but was referred to as Dude, we even called him Uncle Dude.  We all know about those who seem to want the most outrageous names for their kids.  And don't forget the Johnny Cash song, "A Boy named Sue."
     If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, no doubt you know where I am headed with this.  Have you ever thought about the Names of Jesus?  Some are familiar - Alpha & Omega, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Wonderfu Counselor, Mighty God, Prince of Peace.  As I pray through my Armor of God prayer (on the Encouraging Words page) I speak these Names at the end - My Comforter, Counselor, Defender, Deliverer,  Fortress, Healer, Hope, Protector, Provider, Redeemer, Refuge, Rock, Shelter, Shepherd, Shield, Strength, & Sustainer.   So that at the name of Jesus, every knee will bow of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.  Philippians 2:10, 11.  I came upon this short video The Name above all Names which is wonderful.   

Saturday, April 16, 2011


The definition of passion: any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, as love or hate; a strong or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, or desire for anything.  It is likely that we all have a passion for something - sports, reading, gardening, exercise to name a few.  There is nothing wrong with being passionate about something, unless it consumes you to the point of becoming an obsession.  There are passions for things that can hurt us, control us, that can lead to death.  No one chooses to make those things the passion of their lives but it happens.
Sunday is the start of what most call Holy Week or Passion Week, beginning with Palm Sunday through Easter Sunday. Passion Week is so named because of the passion with which Jesus willingly went to the cross in order to pay for the sins of His people.  The key to the Passion of Christ is that He chose this path to follow because of His obedience to the Father.  Matthew 26:39 - And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will."  The words in the picture (from porter productions @ google images) I've included need careful consideration. We can be passionate about many things in an intellectual way but it is truly those things we are passionate about from the heart that can change our lives & the lives of others.  Some will be called to give their lives if their passion is to make Christ known.  Steven Curtis Chapman is one of my favorite singers. In his song Magnificent Obsession (click on title)  he shares these words - "I want this to be my one consuming passion."  Lord, may our only true obsession be found in the consuming passion of following Christ, no matter the cost.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Tears of Joy

Often my post titles seem to be words of contradiction.  My thoughts about tears of joy are many & Pastor Mark Loughridge from Ireland puts it into words for me (His words are in violet.)  There is something deeply moving about tears. We see someone weeping & it can have quite an effect on us. The stronger the person who weeps the more powerful the effect is upon us. We are more affected by seeing a man weeping than a child. We are told of only three occasions when our Lord wept. This is not just at a great man weeping, that would be touching enough, but here we see the Son of God weeping.
Tears allow us to see what really matters to a person. It is no different with Jesus. The first instance of our Lord's tears is when His close friend Lazarus has just died & Jesus has gone to see Lazarus' sisters. We find this in John 11:33-36

When Jesus saw Mary weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.
"Where have you laid him?" he asked.
"Come and see, Lord," they replied.
Jesus wept.   
Jesus is not weeping because Lazarus is dead. He knows that in just a few moments He will raise Lazarus from the dead. Jesus knew that in a few minutes Mary’s tears would be turned into inexpressible joy, that delight would wash away the memories of sadness. There is love made silent through tears. The quietness of sympathy.
The momentary sadness of His people matters to Him. Here He weeps at His loved ones having to suffer. Here we see the beauty of Christ's tenderness. Here we see Jesus' love for His people in the midst of suffering. The Saviour who offers Himself to us is a most tender caring &  feeling Saviour. He knows what we are going through & He cares. He wants us to bring our troubles to Him.
These past few days I have wept tears of joy in my sorrow because another friend, Lori, has passed on.  There is only one reason I can find joy in this. In spending time with Lori through her life & illness, I am assured that she is with the Lord & I will see her again on The Other Side. The Bible tells us that "we can know that we have eternal life" which I will share in a later post.

Keep His JOY in trials, tears & triumphs is how I sign my emails & many of my correspondence with others.  Lori did this in her life & I try to do the same.  Isaiah 25:8 ...he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces...   This is His promise & God keeps His promises of that I am SURE.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Spending Time

Two things everyone spends: time & money. Women are accused of being able to spend money quite easily.  My friend Kylee told me long ago "Women can rationalize anything."  I've never forgotten that, especially when I want something that I don't need. Many men are good at spending time on their hobbies whether it is guns, golf, TV sports, etc.  First, I confess I am a spender when it comes to money - sometimes for the latest neat gadget or the new & improved whatever. I also am a giver & love to buy things for other people. My husband just closes his eyes at all the boxes that show up on our back step. Since I'm making an effort to Simplify (see earlier post) I am no longer interested in having too many things just gathering dust. Same goes for buying the grand-kids "stuff."  I started giving them money to "give, save & spend" & coupons to "spend time" with Don & I for special outings.
My second confession is a bit risky, but when the Lord "nudges" you to confess, you best do it.  As for "spending time" I am OUT-RIGHT SELFISH with it. Because I "rationalize"  that I want to be available if my girls need help, I do not commit much of my time to serving others in my community. I am happy to be a good steward of my money but not so much of my time. (Okay Lord, it's out in the open now.) The thought of this has bothered me lately & "going public" gives me a greater desire to do something about it.  Not because I want to impress anyone, but because I want to please the Lord. We are called to tithe our time as well as our treasures. The picture with this post speaks volumes if you "listen" carefully. Psalm 90:12 Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.   Ephesians 5:15-16, " Be careful how you live. Live as the wise and not the unwise. Redeeming the time, for the days are evil."   How are you doing at spending your time? I'd love to know if I have company on this one.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Annoying Blessing

I suppose the title of this post could be considered an oxymoron but I have two examples to share.  The first example comes in the form of two people in my life - my son-in-laws, Aaron & David.  They believe it is their job to annoy me & they do it well.  Aaron often reminds me that if Don passes on first, they will pick my nursing home.  I remind Aaron that if Don goes first, there will be no inheritance money left. As for David, he makes his annoying remarks & then just snickers.  Yes, they are ANNOYING, but they truly are a blessing as they are good husbands & fathers & they make me laugh - a lot !!!!
My second example is through a circumstance.  I at Meijer wanting to purchase 10 cans of soup which was on sale & I had a coupon for - WooHoo!!!!  Two women were standing right in front of those soups having a conversation. They would not move, although they did separate so I could reach in to get the soups I wanted.  It took me awhile as I had to read the labels to see which ones I wanted.  They just wouldn't move out of the way & I was getting annoyed (inwardly).  About that time a lady was looking for something on the shelves behind me.  I thought I recognized her being from Van Wert, so I asked & she was.  I helped her find what she wanted.  I turned back to finish my soup choices when the two other women's conversation caught my attention.  They were talking about their own children - one had a child that was autistic & the other had a child born with part of his brain missing.  I had just finished reading a book about Autism & the Lord nudge me to share the title with them.  As I did, the lady from Van Wert spoke up & said she had two grandchildren with autism.  My point: if I had walked away because I was annoyed, I would not have been able to share the book with those three ladies.  I don't believe in coincidence, only God-cidence.  I truly left that grocery feeling so blessed due to a few moments of annoyance.  Proverbs 16:9 tells us this: A man's mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps and makes them sure.  Lord, help me never to miss a blessing just because I can't see it immediately.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Name Game

Most of us remember the song The Name Game by Shirley Ellis. It went to number 3 in late 1964.  YIKES, I was 12 (sigh).  I have 2 cross-stitch in heart frames with our girls' names & the meanings  -Amanda means "beloved", Abigail means "a father's joy."  What about nicknames - some endearing, some not so much?  Our grand-daughter Morgan is Mogo because that's how she said her own name. Donald was called Quack (thanks Tom Rhoades) in high school & Big D -which many of the girls' friends still call him.  As of late, he's called Grampa Dude.  Growing up, I was chided about being Indian (actually Dad's side is of Cherokee heritage) because my maiden is Redman.  My Mom told me, "Just tell them you were here when they arrived on the boat!"
In Biblical times names & their meanings meant a great deal.  Some were named in relation to the circumstances at the time.  Take Sarah, who was way past child bearing,  heard a man tell Abraham she would have a son the following year.  She laughed to herself but the Lord heard her.  Abraham named him Isaac which means laughter.  (Genesis 21:1-7)
Most parents, especially mothers, put much thought into what they will name their child.  I'm not sure many of us would want to be told what to name our child, yet there was a set of parents who were told exactly this.  They gave no argument. "She will give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins."  Matthew 1:21  I love the sound of His Name in Hebrew - Yeshua.  As the hymn says, "Jesus, Jesus, there's something about that Name."  Let us raise His Name up in praise so the world may know He came to save.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Pins & Needles

To be "on pins & needles" implies that one is anxious & nervous about what will happen.  This is true especially for me if I'm getting a shot (even from my favorite Dentist) because I do NOT like needles.  When my girls got their shots as babies I would hold them down & close my eyes or look the other way. Now pins, I don't have any trouble with.  For many years,  I sewed for my self & for the girls. I loved making them dresses.  Anymore, I basically sew straight lines if needed. So pins are okay, but needles are not.  Actually, I have an exception to this. As much as I dislike needles, I've had acupuncture done to help with allergies & recently to stimulate a very sluggish immune system.  I really don't mind them a bit, because you hardly know they've been placed.  I am neither anxious or nervous about what will happen.
There seems to be much going on in our world today that could keep us "on pins & needles" - family situations & illnesses, wars, natural disasters, terrorists, integrity in our leaders, integrity in our churches.  For a Christian it comes down to faith & trust in the Only One who can give us peace, His Peace, in uncertain times.  A movie Soul Surfer opened today about Bethany Hamilton who survived a shark attack in 2003.  What an example of faith & trust at a time when she was only 13.    Here is Bethany's life verse Jeremiah 29:11  "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you AND not to harm you, plans to give you hope AND a future."  But let's read the next two verses - "Then you will call upon Me AND come  AND pray to Me, AND I will listen to you.  You will seek Me AND find Me when you seek Me with ALL your heart."  (Notice that word AND? see the previous post)  Let us be deeply committed to instilling in our own children & grandchildren - a saving faith, a growing faith, an independent faith.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Think about it - AND is a very important word.  Peanut butter AND jelly, up AND down, black AND white, this AND that, Romeo AND Juliet, rest AND relaxation (my favorite).  AND is a word of connection.  It even has it's own symbol - &.  I love how that looks in some of the fonts I have on my computer.  Many years ago it was brought to my attention that the use of AND between two specific names should have an important meaning in my life as well - Lord AND Savior.  The question was asked, "If Jesus is not your Lord has He really saved you?"  As in the title of my last post, I Surrender, the question again comes down to "have I surrendered ALL?"  When I come under my Lord's saving grace, calling Him my Savior , I am to submit all areas of my life to Him as Lord.  When the words "Lord and Savior" are used in Scripture, the name Lord comes first. This should speak clearly  to us - we cannot have one with out the other.  His is Lord over all whether we choose to come under His authority. By His strength & wisdom, not our own, may we make Him Lord of life.

Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble;  for in this way the entrance into the  eternal kingdom of our Lord AND Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly  supplied  to you.   I Peter 1:11

You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord AND Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.   I Peter 3:18

P.S.  I've added some wonderful books for Easter under Growing Disciples page.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I Surrrender.....

When little boys play army or cowboys someone usually has to surrender.  When little girls play, this doesn't seem to happen much - usually somebody gets mad or gets their feelings hurt & goes home.  I decided to do a bit of searching about wars & surrender.  This is what I found in a Wikipedia link (I don't always trust it, because it can be changed by anyone).  I figured this link should be accurate & I read that from 1900 - 1989 there were 272 wars with a few still "ongoing."  The link showed the "victory" & "defeat" categories by flags of the Nations.  Something soon caught my eye in the years 1944-89.  Israel was noted in 15 wars & out of the 15 they were ALWAYS in the victory column. As a born again Christian, I'm not surprised & at the same time grateful.  It's a simple fact that proves God keeps His promises.  We'd be wise to remember that He keeps them to the just AND to the unjust.  But the basis for this post is a different surrender. I remember a Bible leader on TV starting to sing the hymn that begins with those words, except she changed it a bit.  It went like this - I surrender some, I surrender some, Some to Thee my blessed Savior, I surrender some.  Now if you've been in church even a few times in your life you know it's not some but ALL.  OUCH!!!  It didn't take a me but a few seconds to get her point.  Then the second verse contains this - Worldly pleasures all forsaken.  OUCH AGAIN!!!  It's a matter of the heart & it's not easy, but it should be our true desire to surrender ALL to Him.  It doesn't have to be legalistic, just heart felt.  As Easter draws closer, let us surrender ALL to Him.   Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.   Matthew 16:24 

Saturday, April 2, 2011


Years ago, I purchased a small picture with these words - Simplify it's good for the soul.  Oh how those words are so true for ALL areas of our lives.  Spring is here & many of us our simplifying our homes by getting rid of "stuff"  (more on this in a future post).  It's seems I get rid of a lot each year, so it must be reproducing in the closet at night !! A very long time ago I cross-stitched this - Use it up, Wear it out, Make it do, Do without.   I need to put that on my fridge.  Of course we are all familiar with K.I.S.S. - Keep it Simple Sweetheart When we simplify our "material" lives, it is so much easier to simplify our spiritual lives.  For the most part, I'm ALWAYS doing something, I can't sit still - ask my family.  My Mom couldn't either.  Dad said if something wasn't nailed down, she'd move it. I've become my mother !!!  I enJOY all that I do, but I need to learn to "be still" & simplify for the benefit of my Soul. This Scripture seems to fit “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness: and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).  We can't seek the Kingdom if our lives are cluttered.  And John 10:10 helps understand why we need to keep it simple. I came that you may have and enjoy life in abundance, to the full, until it overflows!  As I was searching I found this link How to Simplify Your Life.  It's  short PDF you might want to copy & do your own study on.  I plan to do it this week.  

Friday, April 1, 2011

Just checking

Today's post - A Willing Fool - did not seem to go out in email so I am posting this to see if you receive it by email.  Please let me know if you did.  There is something wrong on the feedburner end.  Gotta love those glitches.  Thanks.

A Willing Fool?

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 !!!!!