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.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

It's Official.....

     It's official..... I'm OLD !!!!  The confirmation came twice in one day.  I was conversing with one of my daughters as we headed to Ft. Wayne.  She suddenly reached over to the glove box and grabbed a napkin, didn't think much of it.  Then I looked at her - she was wiping tears away.
     When I first asked her what's wrong, she shrugged her shoulders then replied in a very gentle voice, "You guys are getting old."  I said, "I know" and started listing some of the unwanted physical signs that have appeared in the last year.
     The next day I shared this story with my other daughter who started to giggle a bit.  It seems that the night before one of her children had prayed, "Dear God, please help Grama & Grampa Dude because they are getting old."  If that's not a major confirmation, I don't know what is !!!!
    The photo above is of my grandmothers - Amanda Redman on the left, Bessie Marrs on the right.  They are standing in front of my cousins' house on Market Street MANY, MANY years ago.  I don't have any idea what year this was, Grandma Redman died when I was a Senior in High School (1970).
     As I've been bemoaning I mean whining/complaining about this aging process - the wrinkles, brown spots, gray in the eyebrows to name a few - this photo came to mind.  These women were not considered fat, they wore no make-up or hair color and I doubt that they ever had their nails done.  I'm making no judgments here, as I do wear make-up & color my hair. I've thought about doing some facials to get rid of the wrinkles, I've asked my daughters if I wear too much make-up for my age.
     What am I getting at?  Where is my heart in all this? I know with out a doubt that ONE DAY, this body with all it's aging imperfections will be LEFT BEHIND.  It's all right to want to look nice, but often the money I spend on it could be used for something of eternal value.  I want the things I do to make an eternal difference.  Who knows - I may still get that facial but it will not compare to the one I get when I meet Jesus Face to face !!!!
Oh ladies, I pray this will be said of us one day whether we have wrinkles, colored hair or not.

Proverbs 31:25 - 31  She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. 
She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:  "Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all." Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.  Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate. 

Monday, March 25, 2013


    I've said it before, but I LOVE searching for pics to capture the essence of my post.  How appropriate when I found this one which I would title - A Handful of Grace.  Here is the definition of grace as a verb - to favor or honor as to grace an occasion with one's presence.  Synonyms: glorify, elevate, exalt
   To grace an occasion with one's presence - I LOVE that because true grace comes from  "One's presence."  When He gives us His Grace we have been brought into His presence.  That is a whole new concept for me.  
    I have a sweet young friend whose middle name is Grace.  She would tell you that God has showered her with his Grace over & over.  We have a grand-daughter who's middle name is Grace - given before we knew of her "spunky" personality.  There are days I think, "Oh Lord, is she gonna need Your Grace !"   But often we ALL need much more than a handful of His Grace.
     One of my favorite authors, Lysa TerKeurst shared this quote the other day - ...we sing about “amazing grace” and speak of “amazing grace,” but far too often it has ceased to amaze us. —Sinclair Ferguson   That thought should grieve our hearts.  I challenge you to put a 3x5 card up where you will see it through out the day that says AMAZING GRACE on it (and if you dare write these words under it - that saved a wretch like me !)
  Do you remember seeing this video of a 7 year old girl singing Amazing Grace? Rhema Marvanne
In the New Testament there are 113 verses containing the word grace. Here are 3 of my favorite.

Acts 20:24 - However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the 
race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—
the task of

testifying to 
the good news of God’s grace.  

Ephesians 2:8 - For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—NOT by works, so that no one can boast.

2 Corinthians 12:9 - But He (the Lord)  said to me (Paul), "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about 
my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

     For those of you who have joined me recently, please know that when I share, it is not out of condemnation.  Most often I have been convicted by the Lord in these areas of my life and though I may be "the only one" who He is speaking to, I share hoping to encourage others who may need to seek His Wisdom & Grace.  In anything & everything I speak to in my posts, there is above all His GRACE for every situation.  When we are headed in the wrong direction according to His Word, He shows us our sin and offers Grace to cover it, if we will turn from it and toward Him.  Condemnation is not for a sinner SAVED by GRACE of which I am one.


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Teach Your Children Well.....

     It's just pure JOY when I can use a pic I've download with a title for a post that "pops" into my head AND I'm given the thoughts to go along with them.  Some of the following thoughts came after someone shared with me that while caring for her 6 grand-kids for a few days she "ran" them to dance, piano, sports, etc.
     What our children are involved in has changed GREATLY  since my girls were small and IMMENSELY since I was a child.  I wondered today, "Are we allowing our children time to be children?"  Are they involved is so many activities that they really don't have time to just play? Are we/they so busy that we are not training them in what really matters?   
     As I look back, I am so grateful that I have two daughters -Godly young women - since I lacked the know how of "training" them in their early years - I became a Believer at age 35.  If I could go back & do it over, knowing what I know now, there are things we would have not participated in & spent more time in God's Word learning to become like Christ.  One of the girls shared in Bible Study a few years ago she would not have been in as many things in high school.
    We, as women, have been told the lie that "you can have it all."  The truth is, no we can't.  We often settle for "better" ignoring what is truly BEST.  Might it be so with our children?  What's here on earth is temporary.  Teach them what is eternal because the only thing we can take to Heaven is those we have led to Christ.
     I love this:
I would simply add: "to bring them to the Saving Grace of Jesus Christ so they may go into ALL the world to bring the Good News."

God's Word is clear when it comes to teaching our children:
Deuteronomy 6:7 - Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

Deuteronomy 11:18-21  Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.
 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates, 
so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land the swore to give your ancestors, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.

First Image:
Second Image:

Friday, March 15, 2013

LOVE my life... (part 2)

In my last post, I said  I loved my life 99% of the time.  Today, I want to be open, honest & unveiled to share with you what goes on in my life the other 1% of the time.

In response to a few past posts, I've had friends tell me I'm too hard on myself.  That my be true, but it's usually during that 1% of my life - depression.   There, it's out.  Not a word we like to admit.  Depression brings us to a point of having no control, something I don't do well with. It has been an off-n-on issue much of my adult life, especially a few years after my Dad died.

 I want you to know, whether you deal with it or may do so eventually, don't give up. Yes, it's not fun, it's a struggle & sometimes a dark place.  I choose to persevere through it knowing God is walking with me, even if it doesn't always seem like it. Doing some research  I found that hypoglycemia can have many of the symptoms of depression, along with thyroid & other physical imbalances.  I seem to have all of them.

 I know when I'm "in the 1%" because a negative attitude comes over me. This is my God-alert, which I am grateful for & I can begin to do what needs to be done to overcome it.  A few weeks ago when it occurred , God lead me to books & devotionals about gratitude & JOY.  This has truly been LIFE CHANGING for me.  The supplements I take are helpful BUT God's Word & the encouragement through the books is the Game/Attitude changer.

The 1% will rear it's ugly head at times, but I do not battle it in my own strength.  I have friends who pray for me during those times, I read my Bible, read the Gratitude books & I persevere through the tears and what seems to be despair to the other side to enJOY my life. 

I almost gave up this blog a few weeks ago in the midst of the 1% - ready to erase it from the internet.  God did not allow me to follow through.  Thank You Lord, for giving me the grace to be open & to continue to be an encouragement to others.

Lysa Terkeurst writing in her Unglued Devotional put into words for me the reason why I love doing my blog - "It's what compels me to split my heart wide open & let people see the not-so-great stuff about me mixed in with all the gracious goodness of God... If I can help a soul find an authentic, honest way to connect with God..."  The following two Scriptures assure me that Jesus has my 1% covered.
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding...
Luke 10:27  Jesus said, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind."  (Jesus is quoting from Deuteronomy 6:5 and, since He is the Author of Scripture, took the liberty to add "all your mind." )

Unglued Devotional is linked in previous post. image:

Friday, March 8, 2013

LOVE my life... (part 1)

 I really do LOVE my life  - 99%  of the time.  I have a hard-working, faithful but annoying husband; I have 2 helpful, but annoying son-in-laws; I have 2 beautiful, great cooks, awesome Godly mothers as daughters, 4 Screamin' Meemies (meemies defined as "nervous hysteria" - OH YEAH !!) & one Adam Buddy - full of Miller genes, professional face maker, otherwise known as "Judy" (ask his Mom).

As I go about my day at home there are times I  find myself thinking, "I LOVE my life" as I did this morning.  First, let me say the primary source for loving my life is because at age 35, Jesus Christ, who had never stopped pursuing me, made Himself completely known.  As I look back over almost 30 years (YIKES) of knowing Him & His deep love for me, I have finally realized that I have been making "imperfect progress" towards an eternal goal (thanks to the book by Lysa Terkeurst Unglued Devotional - 60 Days to Imperfect Progress ).

Just in writing this post, I cannot tell you the JOY that is filling me to over-flowing.  In part 2, I will share with you the other 1% of what goes on in my life and how I have learned to persevere through it.
Nehemiah 8:10  Do not grieve, for the JOY of the is your strength.”

PS - yes, I do know that I, too, can be annoying  - no perfect people this side of Heaven.  :-)
Oh Yeah - I needed to look up whether to use yea or yeah. Found this link:  Grammarphobia

TOO FUNNY - Trivia:  The Screaming Meemees were one of the biggest post-punk new-wave pop bands in New Zealand in the early 1980's. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

O Be Careful Little Eyes ...

So are you singing the song already?  I am getting ready to teach this song to my Lighthouse Kids on Wednesday nights.  I tried to find out who & when the song was written with little luck. For whatever reason when the song popped into my head, it also spoke to MY heart.

I found myself asking this question:  How much do I really desire to protect my eyes, ears, mind & heart to keep them pure in thought ?  Just searching for photos to put in the blog has proven this is not an easy task.  Remember WWJD - what would Jesus do ?  Well, the question could be "what will I do knowing He is ALWAYS with me?"  Matthew 28:20 Jesus said, "Surely, I am with you always..."

If we are desiring to live Christ honoring lives, is there a line drawn for what adults as opposed to what children should see/do?  Matthew 19:14 - Jesus said  “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

We are actually called to be like little children in our faith, to keep our innocence when possible, to guard our hearts.  Our eyes & ears are the gateway to our hearts.   It isn't possible to avoid all ungodly things that may be put before our eyes or caught by our ears, but in most cases we are able to choose what we will see or hear which affects our thoughts, in turn affecting our hearts.  Let us choose wisely, the things of God.

Philippians 4:8 - Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Find the video here and share with kids & grand-kids: O Be Careful Little Eyes ....
image: Allison Grace Miller age 2

Friday, February 22, 2013


An attitude of gratitude.  We've heard that phrase before. In everything we have two choices, it's simply a choice of attitude.  It sounds so simple at times, but it often takes determination to have a an attitude of gratitude through certain seasons or "detours" in our life, in our walk with the Lord.
      It really is true that we do draw closer to Him, during those times which gives us the wisdom & strength to persevere through the next.  Physical and emotional detours can make it a bit harder but that's where perseverance & hope come into play.  I am finding that there is strength in knowing what those words mean, especially in relationship to my faith in Christ.
      This past month, I was lead to a wonderful author of Gratitude devotionals & books - Shelley Hitz. I am actually reading through a few of them at once.  As a Believer, it helps to see life from another perspective.
       So  why Grrr-Atitude ?   Some times we have to walk through the grrrrr - I don't like what's gong on to "I am blessed beyond measure" if we simply have a different perspective.  Not always easy but oh so much more beneficial.

Be joyful always;  pray continually;  give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.  I Thessalonians 5:16-18

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.  Colossians 3:15-17

You can check out Shelley's books here:Shelley Hitz

Image: drchristianhibbert

Saturday, February 2, 2013

The D Word(s)

This post has been on the back burner for awhile.  As you read, you will clearly know why.  Originally, the title of the post was to be Discipline, which usually brings the thought of children to mind. I've been reading some things about being better Disciplined as the Lord revealed to me that being organized is not the same as being Disciplined.  
     The next thing was to understand that my lack of Discipline seems to be due mainly to being so easily Distracted, which makes it hard to be Disciplined when you are Distracted....  are you following me on this ???  My first step was to "organize" a notebook (I can hear some of you already snickering) to help keep my focus on being Disciplined.  On the front cover:  More Discipline ~ Less Distraction.
     The Lord brings some wonderful thoughts & revelations in my own life to blog about, but I tend to get Distracted with something else, whether it is important or just a time waster.  Yes, I need to relax and enJOY  down time, but I know in my heart that I waste more time than I should.  Because of some other things in my life that I am sorting through, the Distractions seem persistent & the Discipline seems elusive.
     Let's not forget two other D words - the devil who is the great Deceiver.   It is his intention to keep Christians Distracted by bombarding us - even with important issues: sanctity of marriage, sanctity of Life, ungodly leadership throughout our nation, loss of purity & morality in our society, struggling to raise children with a knowledge of God ....
     In the midst of it all, those of us who feel the "need" to give to every cause, save the world, who never do enough for the Lord will get Distracted, becoming over-whelmed, sometimes losing hope & the assurance of God's peace.
     Keep in mind that we need to begin with habitual acts of faithfulness/Discipline.  It's not what we Do every now & then, but what we Do everyday, that changes everything.  Find 10 minutes of stillness everyday - no cancellations.  Be still & cease striving.
     Where do we turn ?  To the only place we can be released from our Distractions - God's Word.  When He is our focus, the Discipline will follow.
       Commit to the Lord whatever you do & your plans will succeed. Proverbs 16:3
       Delight yourself in the Lord & He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord. Trust also in Him, and He will do it.       Psalm 37:4,5

Here is a great book (also e-book) that encouraged me Do What You Can Plan by Holly Gerth.  A quick & encouraging read.  Blessings.

Friday, January 11, 2013

What will they say?

     Having celebrated another birthday, the older I, and maybe you, get, the more reflective we become.  Ever since my father passed away in 1992, funerals are something I'd rather avoid & did for a few years after his death. I recall speaking at his funeral but not what I said.  Some friends experienced the passing of a relative in the past year.  A few were not unexpected due to age & illness, but it doesn't make it any easier.  The other was the father of f Amanda's high school friend, Anna, who I treated much like a daughter.  He left behind a wife, a son, 2 daughters & their husbands, grandchildren & other family members.  Words are never enough at times like those & my heart grieves for them.

     I attended the funeral of Dick, age 88, who was a friend & attended church where I do, as do most of his family.  He had been a widow for 25 years, but often talked of his wife in his emails to his family. He had a great smile, a special wink, & kept butterscotch candy in his pockets.  Often you could hear him unwrap them in church a few rows back.  I enjoyed, yet cried, at the testimonies of his children & grand-children.
     It made me give thought to my own funeral & what would be said.  I hope there is laughter among the tears.  I hope that it might be said, "She was kind, generous & compassionate."  One of my daughters might say with a grin: "although she was a compulsive-A personality which could be annoying, she kept things organized.  If you needed something, she knew where it was."  But most of all, I hope it is said, "She was far from perfect, but you knew she loved the Lord & wanted others to know Him as she did.  Her deepest desire & prayers often focused on raising her grand-children in the Love & Knowledge of the Lord."  If that's all that was said it would be enough.   I have no idea when that day will be, so until then I need to MUST be living out the things I believe.  Some days it's harder if I let a bad attitude or pity party, for whatever reason, creep in.  Most days it's a  JOY because the Lord has been gracious & merciful to me & my family.

An epithet with an added ending:
Pause, stranger, when you pass me by,
For as you are, so once was I.
As I am now, so will you be.
Then prepare unto death, and follow me.
(Pushing the grass aside a bit more, he found the following scratched on the stone, done with a crude instrument: To follow you I'm not content until I know which way you went!)

Matthew 5:16  Jesus said, "... let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."
 John 14:1-3  Jesus said "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in Me. In My Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am."