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 ~~

Monday, May 30, 2011

Seek & Find

The artwork is by Jack Dawson.  It is part of his "Seek & Find" series.  I shared a link to it on Face Book Saturday.  For those who didn't see it I would ask that you follow the link at the end of this post to view the story behind it.  You will need to click on Paintings & Prints on the left side bar, then on the link under the picture "If My People" & watch the video about the painting.
     When you are at the home page, you will see a wonderful painting he's done & you might want to take the time to read about it, as well as many of the others.  I was absolutely in awe as I read about many of them.  For my teacher friends: make sure you view "School Daze" & every one view "The Passion Tree."  Actually, save the link to the home page and view them all at some point.  Don't miss the video on the "About the Artist" page.
     I hope to visit his gallery in Missouri this summer or fall, although they are very close to the area where the tornado came through.
     The artwork will speak for itself, so I have no need to write more.  Have a blessed day & be a blessing, too. 
You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13
Follow this link: Bittersweet Gallery Jack Dawson

Monday, May 23, 2011

WHY ME ?????

I can't tell you how long ago I saw this cartoon in the paper but it's been YEARS & I've never forgotten it. Actually, the longer I walk with the Lord the more true it rings. With all the horrific weather that's been going on here in the U.S. I'm sure "Why me, why us?" has been on the lips of many & that's okay.  The shock of sudden devastation brings on many questions in our human frailness. As I awoke this morning to the videos of the tornadoes in Joplin, MO my heart broke. I'm sure yours did also.  The weather lately isn't "hit or miss" it's more like "hit, hit, hit again !"
    My husband spent most of his day planting in the driest field he could only to sit & watch it pour off & on for an hour after supper.  I wanted to console him just like I want to console all the other victims of this weather, but words seemed empty.  At times like this, I truly don't ask "Why me?" but I so wonder "Why not me?"  I certainly don't deserve God's Grace any more than any one else but I am eternally grateful for it.
     There may be a time in the future when something I would rather not have to deal with will happen to me or my family & I don't know how I will react at that moment.  I only know that in all of this & what may come, I can trust Him.  It's been said that God does not give us grace a head of time, He gives us what we need when we need it.  I believe that with all my heart.  If I try to "plan a head" in what I would do in certain situations I cannot really know because God's Grace will be there to up hold me.
     When Paul arrived and saw the evidence of the grace of God, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts. Acts 11:23  God, I certainly don't deserve Your Amazing Grace & I could ask "why me?"  Yet because of your infinite Grace through the sacrifice of Your Son, Jesus Christ, I am able to say "Why not me?"  Thank You.
P.S.  Often when a title comes to mind for a post I have a quick thought as to where it will lead & I jot it down.  As put the Scripture in this post, it was only then that the rest of the post was spoken to my heart & tears came to my eyes.  Through His Spirit He speaks to us if only we take time to listen.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Forecast ????

     Rain, rain, go away. Come again some other day. (But not TOO soon.) That's how most us feel right now, although those who read my posts probably  haven't been greatly affected by the weather like those along the Mississippi & where the tornadoes barreled through.     
     Being married to a farmer may have a bit impact mentally & emotionally as I watch Don try to take it in stride. He's fully aware that he can't change it. We've gotten some things done that would still be on the to-do list if it were not for the rain. Then there's always the possibility of replanting the little that's been planted. Yet some of the farm land in the south that's flooded may never be usable again due to salt water coming in.
     All this can wear on you emotionally, but not for what seems to be the obvious reasons. Just the thought of the homes torn to shreds by the tornadoes & those in the path way of flood waters breaks my heart. We hear it said at these times for those who didn't lose their lives, "We have our lives, we have each other." I have no idea what that feels like.  I think of the few THINGS I would want to grab if I had the time - my Bible & family photos. Yep, that's pretty much it.
     I know in my heart that I can never truly fathom what many people are dealing with.  Matthew 5:45 says this - "for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. "  I've walked with the Lord long enough to know not to bother with the idea of "that's not fair." I have learned that if I am willing to accept the mercy & blessings of God then who am I to question what I see as "not right."   I can't explain it, so I do my best to trust Him. BUT I do know one forecast that is for certain - God reigns & the Son shines. At times like these, Christians need to be the ones who let the light of the Son shine through us even when there is rain in our own life.  But if the rain is overwhelming for us, God will send some one to help - Hebrews 13:5 - for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Trap Doors

     My devotion time this morning lead me to write this post.  It was titled Optimism 101 from Once a Day Every Day for Women. I love devotionals & at one point was doing 3 a day but it became overwhelming so I returned to "simplify" mode.                                                               The devotion began with  "pessimism & Christianity don't mix as Christians need to be optimistic about life here on earth & life eternal. Sometimes, despite our trust in God, we may fall into the spiritual traps of worry, frustration, anxiety, or sheer exhaustion, and our hearts become heavy."  Immediately this thought came to mind: I feel like I fall through trap doors often, some of my own doing, some not.  Many times it is when physically I'm just not on my game, so to speak.  Other times it is when the events of this world weigh heavy on my heart & I feel helpless to do much about it.
     The next thought in the devotion was this: "What's needed is plenty of rest, a large dose of perspective,  God's healing touch, but not necessarily in that order."  That makes so much sense, but I'd like to add one more thing - perseverance. If I've learned anything in my walk with the Lord these many years it is the need for perseverance no matter what.  There are days I just don't feel like it, so I get through that day & start the next one & I keep doing that until I'm back on track.
     I believe the reason we, as Christians, can persevere is because of Hope. We know that this life is not all there is but He has things for us to do while we are here. Philippians 4:13 was the Scripture given - I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.  And the cartoon which I've always loved says it well. My new motto - Persevere while you are here!!!!