Monday, February 28, 2011


First of all, if you know anything about Marty, you know he probably isn’t speaking…

…he’s "air barking."

But he’s definitely got something to say.

Right now I’m babysitting with Marty…at the beach.

I know!! Marty, and the beach! The beach, and MARTY!!

It’s a tough gig, but somebody’s got to do it!!

Oh, he’s such a buddy.

My son has this great big recliner in the living area. It’s so comfortable. It hasn’t quite reached "duct tape" condition yet, but it is well-worn and squishy in all the right places.

I love to sit in it…and so does my partner in crime.

He just adores cuddling right up next to me – on my left side, mind you. Never, ever the right side. If you try to fake him out, and scoot to the left, he just looks at you like you’ve lost your mind. And if you don’t scoot over at all, he has perfected the "stare down" technique of intimidation. In the end, you scoot over. Oh, never underestimate the force of a dog staring at you – it just wears you down…

OK, so you’ve got the picture? Me and Mr. Marty, all tangled up on a recliner. Heaven…

Until I inevitably have to get up for some reason. Like I’m thirsty. Or hungry. Or I drink too much iced coffee when I’m thirsty…ahem. (Yes, iced coffee, not tea – java junkie here).

I have to extricate myself from the jigsaw puzzle of limbs, and like a well-executed tango, I finally scoot on out of the chair.

When I return, my little friend has rearranged himself in the recliner, in a position that totally hogs the whole chair and makes it impossible to sit down.

Now, when Marty was younger, he would stay like that. And make you move him. I have yet to be able to figure out how a dog that weighs (by the scale) 33 pounds, could become such a ton of dead weight. He was also very good at rearranging his molecules so that ALL of that weight leaned into the back of the chair – thus making it a circus act trying to remove him so you could sit down.

But, Marty has matured.

Now all I have to do when I return is sorta back my backside into the chair, politely say, "Excuse me, sweetie," and he gets up. He walks to the outstretched foot rest, and waits patiently until I’m all re-settled – and then he scoots in next to me again…on the left side.

Martin has become a gentleman.

I am always so impressed with how quickly he moves for me. He makes me feel welcome, and needed, and loved. He makes me feel important…

Of course, you know that this is teaching me something about God.

Isn’t that recliner kinda like our lives?

It’s so easy to get all comfortable and cozy – to feel all settled in, just the way we like it. To fall asleep, oblivious to anything else but the droning snore of our status quo.

Until Jesus makes an appearance.

When I was younger in the faith, I often acted just like Marty used to.

I’d see Him approaching, and I’d settle in even more.

I’d become an immovable object.

I’d fight against being jostled or rearranged.

I’d lean into the farthest corner of my heart. I’d make it impossible to move me.

I'd sigh in frustration that I was being inconvenienced by the Lord.

It was a ridiculous tug-of-war. Jesus, waiting to settle in – and me, refusing to let go of my position.

But maturity has come into my life, too.

I have grown in my understanding of Him. I have grown to appreciate His companionship. I have grown to move when He wants into my heart.

No matter what I’m doing – when He shows up, I want to make room for Him.

And then tuck myself right up next to Him – real close – on His left side, maybe, next to His heart.

Are you making room for Jesus?

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Sunday, February 27, 2011

BIBLE PICK 'EMS - Time to Build!


A new "BIBLE PICK 'EMS" devotion is now posted on my other blog:

(For the complete story about "Bible Pick 'Ems," see my blog entry dated June 29, 2010)

(Scripture references for "Bible Pick 'Ems" will continue to be posted on this blog)


"When in doubt, search God out!"

Saturday, February 26, 2011


Welcome to "Quaint Words!”

These posts will contain thoughts, poems, and prayers from old books that I have found at antique stores, flea markets, and garage sales (with an occasional treasure from a bookstore).

I love the rhythm and sound of the older English language, and am blessed by other believers who have gone before me!

"You have now begun, dear reader, the life of faith. You have given yourselves to the Lord to be His wholly and altogether, and you are now entirely in His hands to be moulded and fashioned according to His own divine purpose, into a vessel unto His honor.

Your one most earnest desire is to follow Him whithersosever He may lead you, and to be very pliable in His hands; and you are trusting Him to 'work in you to will and to do of His good pleasure.'

But you find a great difficulty here...[you] are therefore in great doubt and perplexity as to what really is His will concerning you...

Settle this point then, first of all, and let no suggestion of doubt turn you from a steadfast faith in regard to it, that Divine guidance has been promised, and that, if you seek it, you are sure to receive it."

(From "The Christian's Secret Of a Happy Life" by Hannah Whitall Smith, c. 1888.

(A listing of books and authors, and also dates of individual postings from those books, will be found on my "QUAINT WORDS" page)

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Friday, February 25, 2011


Welcome to "Fan the Flame" Friday.

This is a weekly post that will be "short and sweet" (kinda like me...)

Just a word and a phrase, a sentence or a question...just a little something to "fan the flame" of your creativity!

Today's word: rest

What do you think is meant by a Christian's rest?

Do you think rest necessarily means an absence of anxiety?

Is it for this life or the next?

Let me know what you think!!

"This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you…For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:6-7)

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Thursday, February 24, 2011



It’s almost 2:30 in the morning, and I can’t sleep.

I hate when this happens.

It makes me tired the next day, and crabby. It gives me bags under my eyes. It makes me have a headache. It upsets my stomach.

But, here’s why I really hate it.

Because I’m really vulnerable late at night. The enemy is right here – I can feel him. He is busy…

Telling lies to my heart – "You’re so worthless. You’ll never amount to anything."

Planting worries in my head – "What if, what if, what if…"

Making me doubt things – "Are you sure God is really good?"
"Are you sure He's really there?"

Every single thing that has bothered me for the last week comes knocking on the door – "Excuse me, but we understand that you’re very tired. Would this be a good time to come in and pester you incessantly?"

Like a broken record, the thoughts and feelings, doubts and fears, go over and over in my mind.

Lord, I feel so alone right now – and scared.

I’ve got the TV on just to have some noise. I’ve tried talking to You, but it feels like my voice is stopping at the ceiling.

Have any of you ever had this problem?

In desperation, I open my Bible. A "Bible Pick ‘Ems" on a Wednesday night (actually, make that a very early Thursday morning…)

And here’s what I read:

"I [Nehemiah] replied, ‘There is no truth in any part of your story. You are making up the whole thing.’ They were just trying to intimidate us, imagining that they could discourage us and stop the work. So I continued the work with even greater determination." (Nehemiah 6:8-9)

Oh Lord, what a perfect word for me – right now – in this moment!

Satan, you terrible old liar, there is NO truth in any part of your story.

You are making up the whole thing.

You’re just trying to intimidate me – thinking that you can discourage me, and stop the work of the Lord.

Ah ha! NO WAY!

I will continue the work with EVEN GREATER determination!

Nehemiah prayed for strength. He showed tremendous character, and remained steadfast. He did not give in to opposition. He refused to be cowed by taunting voices.

He stood tall and firm.

I want to do the same. I WILL do the same.

God’s Word has slapped my sword back in my hand.

So, I’m going to go shut my eyes now. After all, a warrior needs her sleep.

"I lay down and slept…for the LORD was watching over me…In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O LORD, will keep me safe."
(Psalm 3:5 and 4:8)

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


People know where to mine silver and how to refine gold.

They know where to dig iron from the earth and how to smelt copper
from rock.
They know how to shine light in the darkness and explore the farthest regions of the earth as they search in the dark for ore.

They sink a mine shaft into the earth far from where anyone lives.
They descend on ropes, swinging back and forth.
Food is grown on the earth above, but down below, the earth is melted
as by fire…

People know how to tear apart flinty rocks and overturn the root
of mountains.
They cut tunnels in the rocks and uncover precious stones.
They dam up the trickling streams and bring to light the hidden treasures.

But do people know where to find wisdom?

Where can they find understanding?

No one knows where to find it, for it is not found among the living…

It cannot be bought with gold.
It cannot be purchased with silver.
It cannot be purchased with jewels mounted in fine gold.
The price of wisdom is far above rubies.

But do people know where to find wisdom?

Where can they find understanding?

God alone understands the way to wisdom –
He alone knows where it can be found.

For He looks throughout the whole earth and sees everything
under the heavens.

He saw wisdom and evaluated it.
He set it into place and examined it thoroughly.
And this is what He says to all humanity:

"The fear of the LORD is true wisdom; to forsake evil is real understanding."

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and He will
give it to you.

(From Job 28 and James 1)

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


I was talking to my mom the other day.

About how tired I am – how I’m feeling a little burned out.

How my clever writing ideas feel like they’re drying up.

I said something to her, without even thinking about it – (do you ever do that, say something and then realize, after the fact, that you’ve spoken a great truth?)

"Sometimes I feel like I’m so busy doing things for the Lord, that I can’t even hear Him."

She said, "Maybe you just need to take some time and sit at His feet for awhile."

All of a sudden, I stopped.

"Sharon, are you still there?"

"Yeah, Mom – you just said something really profound…"

And I’ve been thinking about it ever since.

When did I put on Martha shoes?

I’m the oldest child in my family – just like Martha. And sometimes I have a tendency to take charge, a habit that probably developed in childhood – an irritating habit!

And in my own sweet way, I like having control.

I, like Martha, can get fretfully obsessed with details.

Yes, I really desire to please the Lord, to serve Him, and to do the right thing. But sometimes, I get overly concerned with my own expectations. My perfectionism drives me – and my priorities get a little mixed up.

Now I know that the things I’m involved in – Bible Study, my small group, my ministry at Freedom Village, church and Sunday school – are all good things. And I’m convinced in my spirit that God wants me to be part of each and every one.

But, have I gotten so caught up in the details that I’m forgetting the main reasons I’m doing these things?

Oh, how Martha’s story speaks to me.

Am I so busy doing things for Jesus, that I’m not spending enough time just being with Him?

My Life Application Bible has a Personality Profile of Martha. I was interested to read about her weaknesses:
  • Expected others to agree with her priorities – Oh boy, am I doing that? Do I also expect God to agree with my priorities, my timing?
  • Was overly concerned with details – Goodness, do I fail to see the reason, the person I’m serving, the One I'm serving, by getting caught up in the details of doing service?
  • Tended to feel sorry for herself when her efforts were not recognized – Yes, I admit it, I can be a whiner. I all too often need affirmation – and when I don’t get it…boo hoo.
  • Limited Jesus’ power – Oh Lord, I do this. I get tired because I’m relying on my own strength. I’m doing it in my own power, my own way – flustering and fretting away.

Dear Lord, forgive me. I do not want You to be an afterthought. I want You to be my first concern.

I want to sit at your feet.

I am greatly comforted by how Jesus treated Martha. He was patient and kind. He addressed her as, "My dear Martha…"

This is what I hear Him saying to me.

"My dear Sharon, you are worried and upset over all these details! I love that you want to serve Me. And I know that you love Me. But have you lost sight of how much I just want to be with you? After all, there is only one thing worth being concerned about. And that is Me…just Me. Come, put aside these things for just a while. Sit at My feet. Listen to Me. Let’s just spend some quality time together…"

Jesus didn’t blame Martha for being concerned about serving – He just wanted her to set some priorities. Actually, to align her priorities with His.

There is a proper time to listen to Jesus and a proper time to work for Him.

I’m asking for His wisdom to sort this all out for me.

Because truthfully, these Martha shoes are a little too tight.

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Monday, February 21, 2011


My friend, Debbie, issued a challenge to me last week.

(At least that’s how I interpreted it – because I’ve always considered her challenging…ahem).

The whole fiasco started because she evidently thinks I’m "stylish" – (there’s just no accounting for taste!)

She asked me to share seven random things about myself. That didn’t sound too challenging, I thought. Seven interesting random things? OK, that’s a bit harder. But here’s the real "gauntlet" throw-down:

"Sharon would somehow manage to turn it into a devotional."

Ooooo, I just love it when she gets sassy.

So, here we go…

I’m going to share seven – yes, count ‘em – seven random things about me. And since Debbie is a teacher, I’m going to make them all school-related.
Fun? FUN!

1. When I was in kindergarten, one day at recess there was this pesky fly that wouldn’t stop landing and crawling around my forehead. I kept swatting at it. My horrified friends persisted in telling me to stop, because (they said) it was a bee. I didn’t believe them. Consequently, I "smacked" a bee sting right into the middle of my forehead.

Lesson: Be careful to listen to the still, small voice. And when He tells you to avoid something, you’d better believe Him. He’s probably trying to protect you from something that’s going to hurt you.

"He guards the paths of the just and protects those who are faithful to him." (Proverbs 2:8)

2. When I was in 2nd grade, my teacher put me in the remedial reading group because she didn’t think I was a good reader. My parents promptly set her straight. Evidently, I was just shy and didn’t like to read out loud. When she discovered my actual reading level, she wanted to "skip" me ahead to 3rd grade (my parents said, "No").

Lesson: Don’t worry about what others think of you. Know that God sees you as you really are – and He loves you. With His power, you are capable, and strong, and well able to accomplish His good purposes.

"For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him." (Philippians 2:13)

3. When I was in 4th grade, I was in a spelling bee. My whole class voted for me to represent us, because I was an "ace" speller. I remember getting up in front of ALL the upper grades to await my word. "DELICIOUS." That was the word - my word. I smiled to myself, because I KNEW how to spell it. I said it slowly, out loud – with a smug, satisfied smirk. I waited for the applause of my class. I only heard groans. Yup, in my cockiness, I had been careless, and spelled – "D-E-L-I-C-O-U-S." The irony of it all? The one letter I left out in my moment of pride? "I."

Lesson: Don’t be wise in your own eyes. Don’t think you’ve got it covered alone. Don’t lean on your own understanding or your own wisdom. It is often when we think we "know it all" that we make the dumbest mistakes.

"Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom."
(Proverbs 11:2)

4. When I was in 5th grade, I starred in a school play. My role? A clumsy cousin from out of town. My first moment on stage? I was to walk on from the wings, say hello to my relatives, trip over a table, knock over a lamp, and fling dishes and magazines everywhere (on purpose!) Everyone gasped when it happened, until they realized that it was part of the act. I was very quiet in 5th grade, but I LOVED playing this boisterous, comical role. Evidently, the "ham" in me was just waiting to be born.

Lesson: The Holy Spirit has given each one of us special gifts. We need to discover them, and ask God for the courage and wisdom to use them. Others might not see our gifts – sometimes we get slotted into other peoples’ perception of us. But, fear not, God has a stage for you, a role for you to play. Get out there – don’t be content to "stay in the wings."

"A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other…Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part…and God has put each part just where he wants it." (1 Corinthians 12:7, 14, 18b)

5. I was on the drill team in junior high and high school – back when it was actually a "drill" team – as in marching routines – not fancy little dance numbers. I logged many, many miles marching behind the school band in crazy little outfits. In junior high I was a Spartan (complete with golden slippers and a laurel wreath) – and a Highlander, after we moved (complete with tartan skirt and a fancy little Scottish tam). In high school, I was an Apache (complete with feathers, fringe, and tomahawk). Not to mention moccasins – can you imagine marching for 2-5 miles in moccasins?! I had calves of steel.

Lesson: It is important to learn how to follow – how to obey the rules and regulations of God. It’s important to stay in line, and march in formation. It’s important to practice and be disciplined. And most of all, it’s crucial to keep on going, even when you’re exhausted and feel like quitting. There are awards to be won at the end!

"But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it." (James 1:25)

6. In junior college, I once got an "F" in volleyball for ditching class so many times - (a boyfriend – long, sordid story). I panicked. My mom somehow finagled a medical excuse for me (said boyfriend had mono – she got our doctor to agree that I had been exposed to it - awkward – and he wrote a note excusing me.) Though I don’t agree that this was the most "upstanding" thing to do, I was grateful I didn’t have to suffer the consequences of this one.

Lesson: Oh, isn’t this one so obvious? Because of our dear Jesus, we don’t have to accept the consequences of our many sins. He gave His life for us, to "excuse" us from all unrighteousness. He wrote over the big, fat "F" of our lives with His blood. We were freed from the "blot" of sin on our report cards.

"But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness." (1 John 1:9)

7. I graduated from Westmont College with a B.A. degree in English Literature. Finally. After four years of "messing around" in junior college – (including an ill-advised year trying out the dental assistant program…another story, another day). So, six years after high school, I finally had that diploma, and my parents finally got do the family "WOO HOO" from the stands.

Lesson: Persistence pays off – even if you mess up along the way. God teaches us many things when we meander – yes, that’s true. But oh, if we just follow the right path in the first place, we’ll save ourselves a LOT of time!

"Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised." (Hebrews 10:36)

That’s about it – phew, hope it wasn’t too long-winded.

Oh, and for the record…

…be careful what you ask for, Debbie!!

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Sunday, February 20, 2011

BIBLE "PICK 'EMS" - Our Hero!


A new "BIBLE PICK 'EMS" devotion is now posted on my other blog:

(For the complete story about "Bible Pick 'Ems," see my blog entry dated June 29, 2010)

(Scripture references for "Bible Pick 'Ems" will continue to be posted on this blog)


"When in doubt, search God out!"

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Welcome to "Quaint Words!”

These posts will contain thoughts, poems, and prayers from old books that I have found at antique stores, flea markets, and garage sales (with an occasional treasure from a bookstore).

I love the rhythm and sound of the older English language, and am blessed by other believers who have gone before me!

(A listing of books and authors, and also dates of individual postings from those books, will be found on my "QUAINT WORDS" page)

"No one, I repeat, may assert that he [the devil] might not use the basest means to ensnare a minister of Christ, and thus mar his testimony and destroy his usefulness. But it cannot be asserted too often or too plainly that his normal effort is teach us how weak we are; deaden or destroy our sense of dependence upon God.

For sin may humble a Christian; but human philosophy and religion can only foster his self-esteem. And pride is the "snare of the devil"; not humility."

(From "The Silence of God" by Sir Robert Anderson, c. 1897)

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Friday, February 18, 2011


Welcome to "Fan the Flame" Friday.

This is a weekly post that will be "short and sweet" (kinda like me...)

Just a word and a phrase, a sentence or a question...just a little something to "fan the flame" of your creativity!

Today's word: popular

What does it mean to be popular?

Do you think Jesus was popular in His day? Do you think He's popular now?

Let me know what you think!!

"This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you…For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline." (2 Timothy 1:6-7)

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Thursday, February 17, 2011


OK, so…senior moments.

Used to be "few and far between." Now, they’re a regular, daily occurrence.

Of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most.

Some days are better than others. I would tell you about them, but I don’t remember them! But I DO have a story about a particularly acute "senior moment" day –

It happened a couple of weeks ago – I think…

A Monday – not the best day of the week for "rapid-firing brain cells." Mondays are not my friends. Weekend lethargy does its best to place me in a bit of a brain stupor – and I’m just not quite awake until…oh golly…maybe Wednesday.

However, this particular Monday, though groggy, I realized that I had neglected to do the bank balancing for awhile.

I have a system for this – it’s rather ingenious, I think – I write down every ATM purchase, every credit transaction, every check, every automatic payment, in this little stenographer’s notebook I have. It’s really helped me keep track of spending. Used to be that when I checked the balance in our account, I was shocked. "Where did all the money go?"

Well, now I know.

So, "balancing" is just a matter of checking off items that have cleared the bank, factoring in outstanding amounts, and reconciling my balance with the bank’s.

I usually do this about once a week.

Except that since about November, the speed at which the Earth orbits the Sun has increased. At least that’s MY explanation for why time is going SO MUCH FASTER lately!!

Bank balancing had not been done for about a month.

Not a problem. I have a little "running total" that I keep in my head – and I’m usually pretty right on. So, I’m not in any danger of bouncing any checks. OK, balancing done. I might as well attend to the bills…

I’m leafing through the bills – wait a second…

Why do I have two copies of my property tax bill?


Yup, the first installment should have been paid by December 10 – LAST YEAR!

Total oversight. Total "senior moment."

Called up, paid the bill, (with the lovely late fees added in) – what a dummy I am.

OK, bank balancing done, bills paid – Check.

Decided to treat myself by going and reading my new emails. That should be fun. Oh, here’s one from the Women’s Ministries Director at the church where I attend Bible Study.

"Dear Sharon, We’re so glad to have you join us for Bible Study! I got your check for the registration fees, and the study book. Would you mind just stopping by the check-in table and signing it for me? That would be great!"

Uh huh – wrote a check, didn’t sign it.

Total oversight. Total "senior moment."

Later that evening, exhausted, I tumbled in next to "The Hub" at about 11:00 PM. He mumbled a sleepy good-night. I sighed a big sigh, turned on my side, and made a mental note to stop by and sign my check – right after I drop off my fruit for snack…


Oh no!! I bolted upright. "The Hub" bolted upright.

"What’s wrong?"

"I forgot the fruit for tomorrow."

"Do you need it?"

"Yes. I’m one of only three ladies bringing fruit for over 60 women!"

So, we started rummaging through the phone book to find a market still open. We did. And my precious husband and I bundled ourselves up, and went to buy fruit. He even helped me cut it up when we returned home.

We were back in bed – for good – about midnight.

"Is there anything else you’ve forgotten?" my husband thoughtfully said. (It’s a credit to him that there wasn’t even an OUNCE of sarcasm in this statement…)

"No," I sighed. "I think 3 for 3 is good enough for today."

Senior moments – forgetting.

It happens.

And most of the time, we can laugh at our mistakes.

But, there are certain things that I don’t EVER want to forget.

"Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things he does for me. He forgives all my sins…He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things…the love of the LORD remains forever with those who fear him." (Psalm 103)

"Give thanks to the LORD and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done…Tell everyone about his wonderful deeds…Remember the wonders he has performed, his miracles, and the rulings he has given…Remember his covenant forever – the commitment he made to a thousand generations." (1 Chronicles 16)

Yeah, THAT'S worth remembering!!

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


O God, have mercy on me, for the enemy is hounding me.
He attacks me all day long.

I am constantly harrassed by him.
He slanders me – saying things that are false, and damaging.
He attacks me boldly.

But when I am afraid – most afraid – I will put my trust in You.

Thank you for what You have promised.

I trust You, so why should I be afraid?
What can the devil really do to me?

He is always twisting what I hear – always telling me lies.
He spends all his energy plotting to harm me.

He spies on me.
He watches my every step.
He is eager to devour me, to destroy me.

Don’t let him get away with his wickedness.
In Your righteous anger, O God, bring him down.

You are the One who keeps track of all my sorrows.
You have collected my tears in Your bottle.
You have recorded each one in Your book.

When I call to You for help, the enemy retreats.

This I know!


I praise You for all that You have promised.
I know that You always keep Your word.

I trust You, so why should I be afraid?
What can the devil really do to me?

I will fulfill my vows to You, O God.
I will follow You in devotion and loyalty.
I will offer You a sacrifice of thanksgiving for Your help.

For You have rescued me from death.
And You will keep my feet from slipping in this life.

Because of You, and all You have done – now I can walk in Your presence, O God.

I can walk in Your life-giving light…

(My paraphrase of Psalm 56)

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


I have some wonderful videos of "The Boys" when they were young.

I can vividly remember the summer when we bought our first video camera. It was a JVC – and it was bigger than a small dog! (For the record – it’s a good thing when technology makes things smaller and cheaper…just sayin’)

It was the Summer of 1987.

Son #1 was 4 ½ years old – and already, quite a ham. (He takes after his father that way – his mother is a demure little thing…)

We were crazy video "addicts" – hooked on capturing "every" moment on camera. We spent hours taping – and it was fun! (Not to mention the sheer joy of having these "memories" recorded for posterity…and "son blackmail," if the need arises…)

The boys’ dad was never on camera. He was a disembodied voice, the director behind the scenes – with an occasional hand appearing onscreen, motioning for the "actors" to perform.

Do any of you remember Soupy Sales – and White Fang? The guy who you never saw EXCEPT for his big paw appearing? Dad was like that…just a giant hand.

So, one summer afternoon we’re outside relaxing, enjoying the sun. Until, Otto Preminger and Mr. JVC make an appearance.


In this one video, Son #1 is onscreen. His dad is trying to get him to do something, to film a little action sequence. The dialogue goes a little like this:

"B, do something."

"Like what?"

"Like run around."


Big "White Fang" hand appears –

"Like run over there to the tree."

Hand points in one direction.

"Over there, Dad?"

Little hand pointing in the same direction that "Dad hand" did.

"Yes, over there."

More pointing.


And then, Son #1 runs in precisely the OPPOSITE direction!!

We still laugh at this today. Son #1 is a kind-hearted soul, yes – but underneath that mild exterior, he has a mind of his own!

My women’s Bible Study group is studying the book of Jonah.

And this whole little family scenario just reminded me so much of the beginning of the book of Jonah.

Settled in to his routine, prophet life – Jonah was comfortable. Then God made an appearance – and told Jonah to "go over there" to Nineveh.

"Over there, Lord?"

"Yes, Jonah."

And Jonah promptly ran in exactly the opposite direction.

He ran as fast and as far away from God as he could get. Jonah had a mind of his own.

But his life didn’t belong to him – and he soon found that out.

One little ocean journey, one stormy sea, one big fish later – Jonah returned to where he started in the first place.

At least the same location.

For Jonah was deeply changed in his heart.

How many times have I been guilty of hearing God tell me to go "this way" – just to run in exactly the opposite direction?

Sometimes I’ve even been so reticent to do His will that I go looking for a fish belly to escape in.

"This way, Lord? Really???"

But here’s the miracle of grace. God gave Jonah a second chance.

"Then the LORD spoke to Jonah a second time…" (Jonah 3:1)

When you know God wants you to do something, don’t run.

Arise and go – and go in the direction His hand points!

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Monday, February 14, 2011


I almost didn’t go.

It was 2002. The year of my 30th high school reunion.

I didn’t really have a good reason not to go. It’s just that high school hadn’t been the "best" time of my life. I had friends, yes – but I was far from being one of the popular girls.

And so, I wasn’t sure if there would be anyone to talk to.

But then I found out some of my friends were going to be there – so, why not?

By the time I made this decision, it was only about a month away.


Hadn’t gotten "too" chubby – so, OK on that. Well, at least I THOUGHT I was until I went out looking for a new outfit. Nothing fit – or if it did, it made me look worse. So, opted for a short little number in my closet. (OK, I’m claiming it – I’ve still got cute little legs!)

Color the roots. Yeah, got that covered.

No time to get contacts – so, wearing glasses was just going to have to do.

What is it about high school that still does this to us – even 30 years later? Compare, compare, compare – all my insecurities came raging back.

However, at the ripe old age of 48, somehow they didn’t quite matter as much.

Fast forward to the night of the reunion.

I’m having a great time with my friends. And then, across a crowded room…

…I saw him.

The most handsome man I’d ever seen.

I kept surreptitiously glancing at him (translated: subtle, sneaky STARING). After a few minutes, it began to dawn on me that I thought I recognized him – remembered him from the past.

I told my friend to check him out.

"I think I know him," I said.

"Who is it?" she asked.

I told her. She IMMEDIATELY leaped up from her seat and dashed off, while her voice lingered in the air, "I’m going to go find out."


Fortunately, she didn’t say anything to him. She just walked by him about 20 times. No, that’s not obvious AT ALL!

She came back from her recon mission.

"His name tag’s hidden underneath his coat. I think I saw a D and a K for his last name."

That confirmed it. It was the same "boy" I had gone to elementary school with. The same boy who was in my 4th, 5th, AND 6th grade classes with me. The same boy who I had had a GIANT crush on back then…

He was surrounded by women.

You know, I had a little internal wrestling match with myself. Should I go talk to him, should I not? I was nervous…

But then I decided that I was NOT in high school anymore – I was a fully-grown, 48-year-old woman, and I could do this.

So, I made my way across that crowded room.

I regressed quickly, and by the time I reached him, I barely squeaked out (in my 4th grade voice, mind you), "Hi, you probably don’t remember me, but I went to elementary school with you. I’m Sharon…"

And then I stared at my shoes.

Well, something must have made an impression on him. We talked for quite awhile that night. He said he wanted to see me again. (I think it was the cute little legs…)

Fast forward one year later…

The same night that the reunion had been on, the same place – a lovely meal, holding hands, a quiet walk…

And, a four-page letter – a stunning, and unexpected proposal!

I said, "YES!" – and almost eight years later, we are very happily married, and still very much in love.

It’s a wonderful thing when someone says, "Be mine!"

"The Hub" is a wonderful sweetheart. He is the perfect Valentine.

But my heart also beats for another.

I am shamelessly in love with Jesus. The One who came to earth to rescue me. The Lover of my Soul. My Knight in Shining Armor – who rode into my world in a manger, and died for me on a cross. He is the Perfect Hero…

And one day, so very many years ago, He said to my heart, "Be Mine!"

I said, "YES!" – and almost 54 years later, I love Him more than ever.

Valentine’s Day is the perfect day to remember the One who loves you more than anyone else does. He is the One who loves you more than you do yourself.

Won’t you rush into His arms today, and tell Him how much you love Him back!

"I have called you by name; you are mine…you are precious to me…and I love you." (From Isaiah 43)

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Sunday, February 13, 2011

BIBLE "PICK 'EMS" - Hear Ye! Hear Ye!


A new "BIBLE PICK 'EMS" update is now posted on my other blog:

(For the complete story about "Bible Pick 'Ems," see my blog entry dated June 29, 2010)

(Scripture references for "Bible Pick 'Ems" will continue to be posted on this blog)


"When in doubt, search God out!"

Saturday, February 12, 2011


Welcome to "Quaint Words!”

These posts will contain thoughts, poems, and prayers from old books that I have found at antique stores, flea markets, and garage sales (with an occasional treasure from a bookstore).

I love the rhythm and sound of the older English language, and am blessed by other believers who have gone before me!

(A listing of books and authors, and also dates of individual postings from those books, will be found on my "QUAINT WORDS" page)

"A loyal servant suffers cheerfully with his master. Paul felt a kind of exaltation of spirit, a kind of high courage and keen joy in the thought that he might in some measure share the suffering of his Lord, might have "fellowship in his sufferings."

Fellow-sufferers are bound together by peculiarly strong ties...

The secret satisfaction of fellowship with Jesus gives something more than a mere grim endurance to him who suffers. It puts a kind of stern, virile joy into his suffering.

It was what Paul meant when he spoke of "patience and long suffering with joy."

(From "Christ in Everyday Life" by Edward Increase Bosworth, c. 1910)

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Friday, February 11, 2011

"FAN THE FLAME" FRIDAY - Discernment

Welcome to "Fan the Flame" Friday.

This is a weekly post that will be "short and sweet" (kinda like me...)

Just a word and a phrase, a sentence or a question...just a little something to "fan the flame" of your creativity!

Today's word: discernment

How would you define the word discernment?

Do you think there's a difference between discernment and wisdom?

Let me know what you think!!

"This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you…For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline." (2 Timothy 1:6-7)

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Thursday, February 10, 2011


"Mom, don’t worry, but…"

No good conversation comes from that beginning.

This phone call from my youngest son came on a quiet, peaceful Saturday afternoon around 5 o’clock.

I braced myself –

"…but you might want to come to the hospital. B (my oldest) fell off a ladder. He’s OK, but I thought you might want to be here."

I drove as calmly as I could to the hospital, thirty minutes away where they lived.

I rushed into the emergency room, told them who I was, and soon (though not soon enough), someone came to escort me to where my son was.

Upon arriving, I found out that B had broken his wrist. And though he was alert, I soon realized that all was not well…

B kept repeating the same questions over and over again.

"Where am I?" – You’re at the hospital.

"What happened?" – You fell off a ladder.

"Which ladder?" – The orange one.

"What’s wrong with me?" – You broke your wrist.

Thirty seconds later – the exact same thing. It was quickly very apparent that B was not thinking clearly – that he had some sort of head injury.

I turned to my youngest, "Why didn’t you tell me?"

"Because," he said quietly, "I wanted you to drive safely."

Over the next couple hours, we realized that B’s short-term memory was not functioning. He couldn't retain a thought past a minute or so. And he had lost about six months of his long-term memories. I asked the doctor if they would come back – he said, probably...

...but he wasn’t sure.

We tried to "casually" talk about things that had happened over the last few months. Some things he didn’t remember were OK – like how we got to tell him over and over how he was getting a tax refund – followed by a big smile, like it was "new" news each of the 30 times we said it. Other things were sad – he teared up a couple of times, saying, "I wish I could remember that. I would have liked that memory."

It was especially awful to have to tell him numerous times that his wrist was shattered and he had a pretty severe concussion. I hated watching him try to process that shock, only to see it happen again within a minute.

We finally left the hospital about four hours later. B’s memory had slowly begun to return – starting about six months out – and then gradually backing up until a day or two before the accident.

When we returned home, his dad and I started to change his clothes. I said something to him, "Do you know why you have a sling on?"

He turned to me like I was crazy and said, "Well, yeah, Mom. I broke my wrist and I’ve got a really bad concussion. Duh…"

My heart thrilled – my spirit cheered. He was back.

To this day, he can’t remember about one hour before he fell, and nothing about the hospital at all (including the cute nurse that came to give him a tetanus shot!!) – but he’s just fine (although it required surgery and weeks of physical therapy to repair his shattered wrist).

It was difficult to have this interruption in our lives.

But something else happened on that day.

What we called an "interruption" was really God’s divine "intervention."

He had a greater purpose to accomplish.

Prior to this accident, there had been a "falling out" in our family. Disagreement, tension, anger, regrettable words - one of those things where people weren’t really speaking to each other.

I wasn’t sure if something basic had changed in us.

Were we going to be one of those families where people didn’t talk to each other for 20 years? I didn’t think so, but my heart grieved

And yet, in that emergency room, all our differences faded – and we realized what really matteredeach other. Bonded by fear and uncertainty, we put aside what didn’t matter, and held on to what did.


I was so reminded of Joseph – whose brothers sold him into slavery. I’m sure that he was stunned by this "interruption" in his life.

But God had other plans.

And when all was said and done, Joseph was able to say to his brothers, "You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good."

God took my family’s terrible moment, an unforeseeable accident – a harmful thing – and worked it for His purpose.

God brought forgiveness out of pain.

Just like He did on the cross of Jesus – forgiveness out of pain. Good out of suffering. Reconciliation out of tragedy. Redemption out of death.

Life interruption – or Divine intervention?

You decide.

But I know what God did in that emergency room – and it was for good.

I’m going to trust Him.

"And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them."
(Romans 8:28)

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


You don't need to worry about anything.

Here's what I want you to do instead - pray.
Talk to Me about what you need - physically, emotionally, spiritually - tell me ALL of it.
Be thankful for who I am, and remember the things I have done.
That will help you trust Me with your prayers.

Replacing worry with prayer will give you peace. My peace.
The circumstances won't change - but you will.
MY peace is so much more than just absence of anxiety.
It has power behind it.
It will guard your mind from the enemy's thoughts and taunts.
And it will guard your heart from doubting.
Live in my Son - He is the way to Life!

Just one more thing.
There are so many things in life to distract you from what’s really important.
You have to watch out for that.
It’s important to stay focused.
What you put into your mind determines what comes out in your words and actions.

So here’s what to do. Fix your mind – glue your spirit – to things that are:

True Discard things that are not from Me. Don’t lie or believe lies. Don’t be fooled by false teaching. Be on the lookout for the devil’s deceptions.

Honorable Behave with dignity, and treat others that way, too.

Right Do the right things. Have integrity. Don’t lean on your own understanding to determine what’s right and wrong. Sometimes it’s just not black and white. Life is really full of gray. So, ask for My guidance and discernment.

Pure Keep a clean and clear conscience. Your body is My Temple. My Spirit lives there. So, dirty thoughts or actions have no place in the Most Holy Place.

Lovely There’s so much in the world that’s dirty and ugly. Sin destroys so much. But focus on the beauty that I have put there. It’s all over the place. Look to small things in creation, and big things. Have an eye tuned to "lovely."

Admirable The world admires politicians, celebrities, and athletes. Are they worthy of being admired? Most of the time, no. Follow the example of people who look like Me. BE a person who looks like Me!

Excellent Don’t just settle for good or good enough. Perfection belongs to Me. But make it your goal to strive toward excellence. I want you to be "a cut above" – I want you to put aside all things that don’t shine.

Worthy of praise Yes, this is My desire for you. I want the fruit of My Spirit to grow mightily in you. Be a follower who lives a life that people will praise – for they will be led through your example to praise Me.

You know what I’ve taught you so far.
Keep putting that into practice.
Be a person who "talks the talk" AND "walks the walk."

Look at the life of My Son – Jesus.
He is the example of My perfection.
Look at everything He said and did.
And then, go and do likewise.

I am a God of peace.

And I AM with you.

(This is my paraphrase of Philippians 4:6-9)

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Do any of you remember those guys?

Well, let me tell you – I sure do. My boys watched the show, and loved it. And when some marketing genius decided to make them into action figures – hold on to your hat!

I don’t have daughters, so I never had to participate in the Cabbage Patch Doll "land grab" of the early 80’s – and I conveniently missed the mass hysteria surrounding the collection of Beanie Babies.

But turtles??

It was crazy…

I’m a collector at heart – and I’ve collected an assortment of things over my life. I’m also one of those people who feels a deep-seated need to have the entire "collection" in my possession. So…turtles became my obsession…

Yes, technically I was collecting them for the boys – but underneath that calm mom exterior lurked "Master Collector" – and so "completing the set" became a mission.

What can I say? – "Heroes in a halfshell."

The four turtles were pretty easy to find – although Michelangelo was a little tougher because he was more popular with the kids. (Why is the goofy one always more popular?!) The evil henchmen, Bebop and Rocksteady were usually on the shelves – though Bebop was a little more scarce. Evidently, mutated warthogs were just slightly more popular than genetically altered rhinos.

Casey Jones? Easy. April? A cinch – in fact, I even considered not adding her to the collection – her action figure was mostly "figure," not too much action (just sayin’) – and I was always a fan of Krang. Krang was a little brain with arms – who couldn’t operate without his little robot body. I always kinda felt an affinity with good old Krang…

Splinter, the loyal and wise leader (who was a rat, by the way) – challenging, but findable.

But Shredder??? The evil bad guy??? Next to impossible.

Trolling the aisles of Target became a regular habit for me. And I didn’t stop there – OH NO I didn’t! If I didn’t find what I wanted, I drove all over – to other Target stores, Walmart, Toys R Us, Kaybee Toys, etc – any place where I could find the coveted character. I even had my mom on the hunt.

I soon learned that Target got new shipments on Tuesdays.

So, one Tuesday I made my way to Target (along with a small army of moms) – firmly planted myself at my strategic position in the aisle, and started combing through the display of Turtle figures, hunting for Shredder. None. I looked below to see if any had gotten mixed up with the Turtle vehicles – nope. I was just about to give up and call it a day, when out of the corner of my eye, I saw it…

…the Holy Grail.

An employee carrying a new box of Turtle figures. I didn’t say anything – after all, I wanted "first dibs" – and started to make my way quickly to him. One mom must have seen me leave, and why I was leaving – for she practically yelled out, "INCOMING!"

Like a marauding swarm of bees descending on one flower – we accosted the hapless Target employee. Forget the boxcutter, buddy – we’ve got business to do. WE tore open the box, we rifled through the figures – WHY are there SO many Casey Jones’s??

THERE – towards the bottom…SHREDDER.

I’m not going to go into any of the ugly details – suffice it to say, that on that day my sons’ collection was completed. Shredder, thy name is Mom…

This is a rather long introduction to my point here (but my boys are going to love it!) Thanks for indulging me…

But, here it is.

I was of SINGLE-MINDED purpose in my quest to find something.

Dogged, determined, unswayed, persistent, creative – NOTHING deterred me from my "mission."

Am I that way with God?

The Bible tells us of a certain man who went to his neighbor’s house to borrow some bread. He would not be dissuaded from what he needed…(Luke 11)

The Bible tells us of a certain woman who persistently kept after Jesus to free her daughter from an evil spirit…(Mark 7)

The Bible tells us of a certain man who refused to let go of the angel of the Lord until he was blessed…(Genesis 32)

Single-minded purpose – determined pursuit.

God encourages persistence in every area of our lives – but especially in our pursuit of Him. Persistence changes our hearts and our minds. It helps us understand what’s REALLY important.

Do you want to know God ABOVE ALL ELSE?

Are you dogged, determined, unswayed, persistent, creative in your pursuit of Him?

Will you let NOTHING deter you from this mission?

I think I’m ready – are you?

"And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened." (Luke 11:9-10)

BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”

Monday, February 7, 2011


Swimming lessons.

When I was about five years old, my mom and dad wanted me to have swimming lessons.

Let me rephrase that…my DAD wanted me to have swimming lessons. My mother was (and still is) terrified of the water. Because of a childhood incident, she never learned how to swim. My dad? He grew up by the water, swimming in the surf of the Pacific Ocean practically from the time he could walk!

Anyway, Dad overruled Mom’s fears on this one – and I found myself at the local community pool for lessons.

I did quite well.

I listened, I obeyed all the rules – I was a good girl, and a perfectionist.

Until, this one particular day.

You see, the pool was divided into lanes. And each lane had a teacher, and a specific set of skills to learn. When you mastered the skills for that lane, you "graduated" to the next lane.

So, having graduated from Lane B into Lane C, I was eager to complete my training.

"OK, boys and girls," the new teacher barked out. He was a "he," and he was mean. He had "drill sergeant" written all over him. He might as well have said, "OK, you bratty little pool rats…"

The first thing he wanted us to do was swim across the ENTIRE pool from one end of the lane to the other.

Well, my swimming skills were pretty good – but I had never learned how to "breathe" while swimming. And in Lane C, you couldn’t touch the bottom.

I knew this, and I was terrified.

When it came my turn, I started out – thinking that maybe I could just swim REALLY FAST and make it to the other side on one breath.


About 20 feet out, I stopped for air, and started to struggle.

I’m not going to tell you what the kindly "commandant" started yelling. Frankly, I don’t really remember – the brain has a way of blanking out trauma. Suffice it to say, it wasn’t kind.

He finally rescued me, and pulled me back to the side of the pool. I tried to explain to him that I had never learned how to breathe – he told me I was lying, and just not trying hard enough.

"You hold on to the side of the pool until you decide to try," he barked.

I began sobbing.

And then I saw something I will NEVER forget. A sweet, kindly woman (my mom) turned into a swooping, avenging eagle. She practically flew herself over to the side of the pool, and yelled out to my instructor to come over to talk to her.

She gave him the biggest "dressing down" I have ever witnessed in my life. She was self-contained, but the fire in her eyes was a sight to behold!

Every time Mr. Congeniality started to protest, my mom shut him down – "I’m not finished yet, sir."

There was some discussion (argument) between the instructors of Lane B and Lane C. Miss B claiming that she wasn’t supposed to teach "breathing," and Mr. C saying that he wasn’t either.

This drivel was halted by my mother. She informed Miss B that she would indeed teach me how to "breathe" – and she would take extra time after class to do so. And you, Mr. C, will "never again" talk to my daughter like that or I will report you.

"Do we all understand each other here?"

Like errant schoolchildren, both instructors acquiesced to the power and authority that was my mom – "She Who Must Be Obeyed" – and I was treated VERY kindly after that.

I’ll never quite forget how it felt when my mom came to my rescue – when she defended me, when she fought for me.

It’s the same with the Lord.

Sometimes we just don’t have the skills to advance. Sometimes we don’t have the knowledge. Sometimes we find ourselves "out in the deep end" where we can’t touch, and we panic.

And Mr. Lane C himself, our hateful and cruel enemy, is right there to harangue us. To belittle us, to shame us, to shout us down – to take us out of the action, and to tell us to "hang on to the side of the pool" where you belong.


Do you see what I see? A swooping, avenging EAGLE! The Lord Himself!

He puts that old devil in his place. He fights for us, defends us – He tells that devil that he is NOT ALLOWED to talk to His children that way.

"Do we understand each other here?"

And the enemy must acquiesce to the power and authority of our Savior.

Then the Lord turns to us, and teaches us what we need to know with patience and longsuffering – with love.

"Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light." (Matthew 11:29)

Hmmm…with Him by my side, I might just try swimming in the "deep end!"

BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”

Sunday, February 6, 2011

BIBLE "PICK 'EMS" - A Faithful Witness


A new "BIBLE PICK 'EMS" update is now posted on my other blog:

(For the complete story about "Bible Pick 'Ems," see my blog entry dated June 29, 2010)

(Scripture references for "Bible Pick 'Ems" will continue to be posted on this blog)


"When in doubt, search God out!"

Saturday, February 5, 2011


Welcome to "Quaint Words!”

These posts will contain thoughts, poems, and prayers from old books that I have found at antique stores, flea markets, and garage sales (with an occasional treasure from a bookstore).

I love the rhythm and sound of the older English language, and am blessed by other believers who have gone before me!

(A listing of books and authors, and also dates of individual postings from those books, will be found on my "QUAINT WORDS" page)


LORD, hear my prayer!
Turn not thine ear from my distress,
But with thy loving mercy bless,
Lest I despair.

Be gracious, Lord!
My soul is oft opprest and weak;
Oh! aid me when I comfort seek
In thy blest word.

My footsteps stray;
I wander often from the road
That leads to peace and thee my God;
Teach thou the way.

Oh! make me pure,
Clothe thou my soul in spotless white,
That my acceptance in thy sight
Be always sure.

Let me be one
Of all the sinless company
That round thy throne hosannahs sing,
Through Christ thy Son.

Thy will be done
On earth, as by each holy one,
Thy own redeemed, who near thy throne
Bow down the knee!

(From, "The Changed Cross" by Henry Altemus, c. 1897)

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Friday, February 4, 2011


Welcome to "Fan the Flame" Friday.

This is a weekly post that will be "short and sweet" (kinda like me...)

Just a word and a phrase, a sentence or a question...just a little something to "fan the flame" of your creativity!

Today's word: eternity

What comes to mind when you think about the word eternity?

Does the concept of eternity thrill you or scare you?

Let me know what you think!!

"This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you…For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline." (2 Timothy 1:6-7)

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Thursday, February 3, 2011



A leaky faucet – is there anything quite so annoying?

The woman had listened to the steady, rhythmic, dripping for weeks.

At first, it had sounded as loud as a drum – especially at night. She’d lie in bed, trying to ignore it – but the more she tried, the louder it seemed.

After awhile, though, the noise started to fade into the background. She didn’t even notice it during the day. And at night, it began to sound like the gentle ticking of a long-loved grandfather’s clock…

…until one day, she forgot about it completely.


That is, until the day the new water bill came.

OH DEAR! The woman couldn’t believe how high the bill was! It wasn’t possible that all those little "drip–drips" had added up to this much water! The bill had only been a LITTLE higher during all those weeks of dripping – that’s why she had let it go for so long. Now it was almost three times as high. There must be something wrong, she thought to herself. So she called the water department.

"Excuse me, but I think there’s been some mistake on my bill. It’s way too high."

"Do you have a leak?"

"Well, yes," the woman replied, "but it couldn’t have used up THIS much water."

"You’d be surprised how quickly those "little" leaks add up, ma’am."

It’s funny, the woman thought to herself – I never thought such a small thing would cost me so much.

So, she called the plumber.

The plumber got under the sink, started tinkering around – the woman went about her chores, knowing that the "little nuisance" was getting fixed.

"Uh, excuse me," the plumber called out from under the sink.

The woman walked back into the bathroom.


"We’ve got a problem here."


"What’s wrong?"

"Well, it seems that this leak isn’t your only problem. How long has it been going on?"

"Oh, only a couple of months or so."

The plumber began to explain to the woman that the leak was only the "tip of the iceberg." That hidden behind the wall, there were pipes that were leaking, too. Water had been steadily doing its silent damage.

"I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but we’re going to have to tear the wall out."

Deeply chagrined, the woman gave him permission to proceed.

Several hours later, she heard him call out again.

"Uh, excuse me…"


"Now, what’s wrong?" the woman asked with trepidation.

"Well, it seems that the plumbing isn’t your only problem. You see, the real problem’s up on the roof."

"The roof?"

"Yup, there’s a leak on your roof. And what’s been happening is this – that leak has let water come into your pipes, which corroded them. Then, that corrosion led to those pipes leaking, and then that made your faucet drip. This has been going on for a LOT longer than a few weeks. Let me tell you, if you had taken care of this right away, things wouldn’t have been this bad."

The woman hung her head – now knowing that she had let a small problem hide a huge problem – and knowing that she could have, should have, done something about it a long time ago. Now it was going to cost her a fortune.

"Fix it, please. Just fix it."

It can be the same way with sin.


We let little sins invade our lives. At first, they niggle at our conscience. They bother us. But after awhile, we don’t notice them so much. And before we even know it, they feel like "friends." They’re comfortable, and acceptable.

Until we see the cost.

And the damage…

Sometimes those "little" sins mask a deeper problem. Without our knowledge, those sins are causing corrosion. Our relationship to the Lord is being damaged, and we are blithely unaware.

And those sins are going to end up costing us more than we could have ever dreamed.

Because the real problem is our hearts. When we allow the protective covering of the Holy Spirit to be compromised, when we turn from His guidance and His conviction, we make holes in the "roof" of our hearts. The "water" of unholy actions and unclean thoughts breaks through – and we are being damaged, far more than we can see.

Let’s take the time today to assess our "heart home."

Are there any "leaks" to fix?

BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


But now, O Sharon (put your name in here, too!), listen to the LORD who created you.

The One who formed you says:

"DO NOT BE AFRAID, for I have ransomed you.
I have called you BY NAME - you are MINE.

When you go through deep waters, I WILL BE WITH YOU.
When you go through rivers of difficulty, YOU WILL NOT DROWN.
When you walk through the fire of oppression, YOU WILL NOT BE BURNED UP - the flames WILL NOT CONSUME YOU.

For I am the LORD, your God, your Savior.

Another was given in exchange for you.
I traded His life for yours because you are precious to Me.
I love you.


You are My servant.
You have chosen to know Me, believe in Me, and understand that I alone am God.
There is no other God - there never has been, and there never will be.

I, yes I, am the LORD, and there is NO OTHER Savior.

From eternity to eternity I am God.
NO ONE can snatch anyone out of My hand.
NO ONE can undo what I have done.

But forget what I have done in the past - it is nothing compared to what I am going to do!

For I am about to do something NEW.
See, I have already begun!
Do you not see it?

I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
I will create rivers in the dry wasteland - so you can be refreshed.

I have made you for Myself, and you will someday honor Me before the whole world."

(From Isaiah 43)

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Weren’t we all teenagers at one point in our lives?

Did anyone ever do anything they felt really bad about? (There’d better a resounding "YES" out there in Blog Land…)

Let me tell you about one of mine.

My dad and uncle owned a business together. At one point, they decided that it would be a good idea to lease company cars. My uncle was kind of a "hot shot" – so they decided to get two brand-new 1970 Pontiac Firebirds.

Yeah, I know!

My dad’s was a metallic champagne gold color, with a black hardtop, and awesome rims – (Notice that I said "rims" not "tires" – just making points with the men out there!)

So, one night I needed to borrow a car to go to a church party.

OK, I’m 16, the ink is barely dry on my driver’s license, and my dad offers to let me use HIS car! (I agree – WHAT was he thinking?!)

After the party, several of my girlfriends and I thought it would be "cool" to drive over and see a boy that I had a secret crush on – because I was behind the wheel of a "radically hot" car. We thought this was a great idea because after all, nothing screams "GOOD DECISION" like a car full of 16-year-old girls!

Time ran away.

When I finally headed home, my 10:00 PM curfew had disappeared in a teenage fog…

So now it’s almost 1:00 AM, it’s pouring rain, and I have to park the car in the garage. Our driveway was very steep, and Dad parked his car on the right-hand side of the garage – so you had to make a sharp turn at the top of the driveway, just past a retaining wall.

You KNOW what’s coming, don’t you?

Yup, I made that sharp turn, just a LITTLE early, and heard the most awful sound as "brand-new" Firebird met concrete block wall.

Man, it still hurts today.

I tried backing up…SCRAPE.
I tried going forward…SCRAPE.

The car was sorta stuck on the wall. In a panic, I finally just gunned the engine and the car leaped forward, almost running into the garage! I got the car parked, and looked at it.

There was a HUGE dent, and massive gashes right through the paint, all along the whole side of the car. OH DEAR!

I quietly entered the house, so I wouldn’t disturb anyone’s sleep. OK, OK, yes…I was trying to sneak in – (you guys are awful strict out there…). I was almost to my bedroom when I noticed my mom sitting alone in the dark, shivering with fever and chills from the flu, waiting up for me.

I didn’t get much sleep that night.

The next morning I got up early, bringing my little savings passbook (with all $200 in it), to confess to my dad what I had done to his car.

He told me how disappointed he was in me. But, he told me to keep my money – he would "take care of it." Truth be told, I wanted him to yell at me, to have the reaction that I thought my terrible offense deserved. I wanted him to teach me a lesson.

Well, I DID learn a lesson that night. I learned that sometimes you don’t get what you deserve. I learned that sometimes forgiveness trumps punishment.

It makes me think what it would be like if I was able to sit at the foot of the cross – knowing what I know today. I can picture looking up at Jesus, so very grateful for what He's doing for me – of course. But also sorta wanting Him to yell at me, to tell me what a terrible person I am, to be angry and vindictiveto almost want Him to give me what I deserve.

Because that might be easier than seeing the look of wistful sadness in His face – the forlorn look of disappointment in His eyes. The unexpected, and oh so undeserved, look of kindness…

And my overwhelming sense of guilt.

But Jesus did not condemn – He did not judge.

He forgave me – told me to keep my life.

Whispered to my spirit, “I’ll take care of it.”

Forgiveness has a face,
Mercy is finally understood
in outstretched arms,
Grace is undeserved
and Love
makes no sense.
It is just there
to be embraced.

© Sharon Kirby
January 29, 2011

BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”