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 ~~

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