Thursday, March 31, 2011


Faith is tough sometimes, isn’t it?

And yet, we need to have tough faith.

Faith that stands against the enemy’s attacks.

Faith that stands strong…

But are you like me? Sometimes I struggle with faith – struggle with what it requires.

You know that little red-and-white bullseye logo for a certain company? (Target…of course)

Paint one of those right on my back.

I talked about these targets last week – how the enemy seeks us out when we step out for the Lord. It’s like the fire of the Holy Spirit draws him in – like a heat-seeking missile.

He zeroes in – waiting for the perfect, vulnerable moment to strike.

And strike he does…over and over…

I’m being bombarded.

Suffice it to say – the attacks are coming on various fronts – financial, emotional, physical – my friends and family have had more things happen in the last month than has happened in the last year…

You know what it’s like – it’s happening to all of you, too.

Sometimes it makes me feel like I just want to run and hide. It was easier flying "under" Satan’s radar.

It is so easy to doubt God’s presence and His plan, when our eyes are so short-sighted, our minds so limited by human understanding.

Sometimes we have doubts and fears – and they seem overwhelming.

After all, we’re still walking through "the valley of the shadow of death."

And it is in that valley that the devil whispers one of his worst taunts…

"Is God really good?"

Sometimes, the evidence seems to point otherwise.

I think this is the believer’s greatest battle – to believe, no matter what.

My pastor calls it "two-fisted faith."

He uses this Scripture to explain what he means:

"O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power…" (Daniel 3:16-17)

That’s one fist…

"BUT EVEN IF HE DOESN’T, we want to make it clear to you…that we will NEVER serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up."
(Daniel 3:18)

That would be the second fist – I’d say it’s the one that delivers the knock-out punch.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego trusted God to deliver them. BUT, they were determined to be faithful regardless of the consequences.

This is crucial – we should be faithful to serve God whether He intervenes on our behalf or not.

OUCH – that’s such a tough one for me.

But I am asking the Lord to increase my faith muscles. To strengthen my shaky legs, and restore my spirit. To enable me to stand strong, in spite of the attacks. To give me a sense of His presence and peace.

We are never alone.

There will always be that fourth person in the fire…standing alongsidekeeping the fires of adversity from burning us up.

God is good.

He has a Master Plan that is unfolding, though it may be unknown to us. We must ground ourselves in the faithful promises of God, not in our feelings. We have to allow our doubts and fears to lead us closer to Him.

So, with that target on my back, I’m asking the Lord to help me raise two little fists in faith…

Will you join me in the fire?

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


O LORD…may you be praised forever and ever!

Yours, O LORD, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty.

Everything in the heavens and on the earth is yours, O LORD, and this is your kingdom.

We adore you as the one who is over all things.

Wealth and honor come from you alone, for you rule over everything.

Power and might are in your hand, and at your discretion people are made great and given strength.

O our God, we thank you and praise your glorious name!

But, who am I, and who are my people, that we could give you anything?
Everything we have comes from you, and we give you only what you first gave us!

We are here for only a moment, visitors and strangers in the land…
Our days on earth are like a passing shadow, gone so soon without a trace.

I know, my God, that you examine our hearts and rejoice when you find integrity there.

O LORD…make your people always want to obey you.
See to it that their love for you never changes.
Give [us] the wholehearted desire to obey all your commands, laws, and decrees…

Give praise to the LORD your God!

And the entire assembly praised the LORD…and bowed low and knelt before the LORD and the king.

(1 Chronicles 29:10-20)

Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, c. 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation.

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Thorn in the flesh.

An annoying, compelling problem that just won’t go away.

The Bible tells us that Paul had such a problem.

And He asked God three separate times to remove it from his life.

But God didn’t – He had a reason for it.

Now most of us have probably heard that the reason for it to remain was to shape Paul’s character. To teach him to rely completely on God. After all, God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness.

The Lord Himself said, "My grace is all you need."

And there can be no other reason that is more necessary, more powerful than this. That we are to learn humility, total dependence on God. That we are unable, in our own strength, to live a righteous life. We have to rely on Spirit-filled power.

But sometimes I wonder…

Is there maybe another reason?

In the book of Job, we have a unique glimpse behind the curtain of this life. We see a dialogue between the enemy and God.

Satan basically says, "Oh sure, Job worships You because You have blessed him with health, wealth, and happiness. Well, with all those gifts, who wouldn’t worship you?"

And then, the challenge begins.

Of course, in the end, Job learned a mighty lesson. He learned that the answer to "Why?" is really a person – a Someone – the Almighty I AM of the universe.

He learned humility, and dependence, and obedience. He learned what it means to trust God, even when – especially when – He doesn’t make sense.

Yes, a mighty lesson indeed.

But, I think there’s something else going on. Because I think someone else learned a lesson.

The devil.

God does not need to be defended. He does not need to be proven right. His victory is not in question.

But Scripture makes it clear that there is a war raging in the unseen realms. And we play an integral part.

"For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places." (Ephesians 6:12)

We must engage in the struggle until Jesus returns, for the enemy is constantly battling against all who are on the Lord’s side.

And so, I think powerful victories are won when God’s children stand when they stand in the middle of suffering, and tribulation, and persecution, and hardships.

I have a picture in my mind – a huge battlefield.

And the devil’s army is pushing strong into our ranks – some of our troops might be in retreat.

But when we stand up, when we stand strong in the Lord’s power, something happens.

Can you see the surge reverse?!

Thorns in the flesh.

Who knows what happens when we fight on in spite of them?

I think the devil does – and he doesn’t like it one bit.

"Lord, Your grace is sufficient. Therefore, I claim my weaknesses for Your sake. I trust that fighting on in spite of them, in Your Spirit’s power, is accomplishing mighty victories. I will wear my thorns like medals of honor."

I hear enemy soldiers falling…

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Monday, March 28, 2011


A couple of weeks ago, I was in Chicago.

Very cold, very windy, Chicago.

On Saturday, after a very long day of meetings (held in a very warm conference room) – it was time to venture back to the hotel. Our group decided to brave the elements, and walk the three blocks.

My dad, who’s bent over with age, and a little "shuffly" on his feet, couldn’t make the trek.

So, we decided to hail a cab.

I have never hailed a cab in my life. And let me just tell you, "short and sweet" does not help when trying to flag down a taxi!

So, I placed myself strategically on a corner where I could work two sides of the street –

And we waited…and waited…and waited…

Was there a lack of taxis, you might ask? No, there were plenty. However, on this particular Saturday, there had been a huge St. Patrick’s Day parade downtown. And evidently, our meeting let out just about the same time that the parade ended.

So, I am competing with be-jeweled, be-loud, be-tipsy crowds of pesky revelers.

Every taxi that zipped by was occupied.

Or, as soon as an unoccupied taxi crested the hill, a random group of leprechauns snagged it before it reached me and my dad.

I felt so bad for him.

I had him bundled up like a toddler going out for the first time in the snow. I could barely see his face.

"It’s OK, Dad. I’ll keep trying."

I started to look enviously at the lucky occupants of each taxi as it flew by us. Then I started to glare. Then I was tempted to start throwing stones…

Finally, an empty taxi arrived – after about 15 minutes. A long, long time when you’re standing on a frigid, tornado zone street corner.

Dad and I clambered into our Cinderella’s coach, and enjoyed our 3-minute ride back to the hotel.

I looked over at him, he looked over at me, and we both chuckled. When we got out, I said, "Well, that was some adventure!" He smiled.

Later, at dinner, it made for a great story.

But here’s the lesson I learned.

Do you ever feel like other people’s "taxis" are zipping by you? Fully occupied, they fly on their way to their destiny, while you’re getting left behind?

Is it cold and lonely waiting?

Do you see a possibility looming on the horizon, only to have someone else snatch "your" chance out of the air?

I would encourage you with these words – God knows.

He knows exactly which "vehicle" is the right one for you. He knows just the right time for it to arrive. He sees you out there, waving frantically, trying to make something happen.

And perhaps at just the moment when you’ve lost all hope – that one opportunity will drive right up to the curb, the door will fly open…

…and you’ll hop in.

Are you ready?

It’s coming – it really is.

And when you finally arrive at your destination – when you see Him face to face – you’ll look at Him, and He’ll look at you – and you’ll both chuckle. You’ll say to Him –

"Well, that was some adventure!"

And He’ll smile.

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Sometimes God’s Word contains painful lessons.

Because sin has painful consequences.

Today’s "Bible Pick ‘Ems" tells about one of those lessons:

"But when they arrived at the threshing floor of Nacon, the oxen stumbled, and Uzzah reached out his hand to steady the Ark. Then the LORD’S anger was aroused against Uzzah, and he struck him dead because he had laid his hand on the Ark. So Uzzah died there in the presence of God." (1 Chronicles 13:9-10)

Let’s start our lesson with some background.

The Ark had been in Kiriath-jearim for many years. The Israelites took the Ark from the tabernacle at Shiloh to the battlefield when they were fighting with the Philistines (1 Samuel 4). The Ark was captured by the Philistines, and subsequently taken to Ashdod, then to Gath, and finally to Ekron before they decided to get rid of it. It was finally returned to Beth-shemesh (1 Samuel 4-6).

At some point, the men of Beth-shemesh sent messengers to the residents of Kiriath-jearim and asked them to take the Ark to their town. And there it remained until King David decided to return it to Jerusalem.

I’ve always kinda struggled with this passage. How it seems unfair and cruel.

Why did Uzzah have to die?

But, I am not God.

And God had directly given very specific instructions about how the Ark was to be carried and moved (Numbers 4:5-15).

It was to be carried by the Levites – and only them. It was to be carried on their shoulders. Transporting the Ark on a cart imitated the Philistines. And it was never to be touched.

These instructions had been ignored.


In his zeal, David had forgotten to consult God, and he had taken it upon himself to determine what God would want done.

He had the best intentions, and probably very good motives. But, he left out one very important particular – what did God want?

David’s enthusiasm was quickly dampened, and the Bible tells us that he had two rather dramatic reactions.

One, (verse 11) – "David was now angry…"

And, (verse 12) – "Now David was afraid of God…"

Has anything like this ever happened in your life?

Has there been something that you were so sure was God’s will? Some way of honoring Him or serving Him? Some job change, or location move, or relationship – a financial decision. It could be anything…

And you just KNEW that it was "from the Lord."

And then, it all blew up in your face…

Why, Lord?

Have you ever found yourself angry at Him, and afraid?

"I was trying to do the right thing, and this is what I get??"

I think it’s important to realize some very important facts – which David himself later learned.

Sometimes, we can do the right thing in the wrong way or at the wrong time.

Sometimes, we forget to consult God in the matter.

Sometimes, we subtly imitate the ways of the world when trying to accomplish something. We are smudged with sin, but we don’t see it.

Sometimes, we need to be reminded that our obedience is more important than our enthusiasm.

God is not cruel or unfair. But He is God. And He is to be feared and worshiped.

So, how can we know what He wants? How can we determine His will?

First and foremost, consult His Word – God gives very clear instructions on certain matters. Often, our decisions are easier than we realize. If it goes against the Word of God, it’s never His will.

Second, pray about the matter. Ask for wisdom. The Bible promises that God will give us His wisdom if we seek it with single-minded purpose. Often that translates – He will tell you what to do, if you single-mindedly obey what He says.

Third, consult other believers – they are often a very good benchmark to weigh our decisions against. Sometimes God offers His counsel through the words the Holy Spirit speaks through others. And ask them to pray for you, too.

And last but not least, don’t give up.

God might not be saying "No" – He might just be saying, "Not now" or "Not in this way."

David tried again.

He had learned a mighty lessonwhen God gives His instructions, it is wise to follow them precisely (even if we don’t understand them!)

So, my friends – step out in faith, following after God in obedience…

…trusting that at the right time, in the right way, He will reveal His will.

(Linked with Super Sunday, hosted by Peggy - Spiritual Sundays, hosted by Charlotte and Ginger - and Bible Pick 'Ems)

"When in doubt, search God out!"

Saturday, March 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!


Enlarge your desires and your prayers. Do not ask merely for mercies and favours and common gifts. Do not ask God merely to give you bread, and health, and home, and friends, and prosperity; or, rising yet a step higher, do not content yourself with asking for grace to help in temptation, or for strength to fill up your weakness, or for wisdom to guide you in perplexity, or for holiness and purity and power.

Ask for God himself, and then open your heart to receive him. If you have God, you have all other gifts and blessings in him.

And it is him himself that God is willing to give for the asking, not merely the favours and benefits that his hand dispense. Ask most largely."

(From "In Green Pastures" by J.R. Miller, c. 1840-1912)

(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, March 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: meek

What does the word meek mean to you?

Do you think it's a strong word or a weak word?

When you think of Jesus being meek, what comes to your mind?

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, March 24, 2011


Today my girlfriends and I are presenting our talk on understanding family relationships to a group of young moms.

Yeah, like we’ve got all the answers to that one!

I have a feeling they think we know what we’re talking about just because we’ve got a couple of decades on most of them. But, *mileage* should count for something, right? So, in our ignorant bliss, we’re presenting four aspects of what makes us who we are, and influences the way we interact with others and our world.

I’m doing birth order, "L" is doing personality types, "T" is doing introversion vs. extroversion, and "J" is doing the five love languages.

Just in case you’re interested, this is how I break down:

Birth Order: Firstborn

Personality Type: Melancholy

Temperament: Introvert

Love Language: Quality Time and Words of Affirmation

I think we’re going to be brilliant (at least in our own minds!) Seriously, if you’re reading this between 9:30 – 10:30 AM (PDT), we’d REALLY appreciate your prayers!

Right now, I’m putting the finishing touches on my part, and then it’s time to PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE(Is there anyone else out there that detests the sound of their own voice?)

However, before I go do that – I had to write a post. I do have my priorities – yes, I do – and my blogging friends are right there at the top of the list.

So, here’s what I’m thinking. I’m all for learning and understanding why we "tick." It's a good thing when we’re armed with a little knowledge. I think it can make us better people, better spouses, better parents. I think it allows us to give ourselves, and others, a little grace – a little room to be the unique blend that all of us are.

But there’s a danger in all of this.


It’s all too easy to smack a quick label on someone, and put them in a little filing cabinet. Relationships aren’t so messy if we can just "slot" them into some mold if we can hammer their dear little square pegs into that ubiquitous round hole.

And you know what’s even worse than doing it to others??

Doing it to ourselves.

Because when we do it to ourselves, it becomes a two-fold danger zone.

One, we start to make excuses for the way we think, or the things we say or do. "Oh, that’s just the way I am." We rationalize away the need for change. Or we beat ourselves up over our shortcomings. "Oh, I’ll never be... I’m really no good at… I hate myself because I’m…"

Or, the other trap, we brag on our strengths.

We think we’re better than the next person. Instead of seeing some of our strengths as natural inborn tendencies, we start to think we’re "all that" because we’re responsible for them. "Oh, I’m wonderful because I’m (fill in the blank) – deep, or organized, or funny, or mellow."

And self-judgers become other-judgers.

It’s a real mess, isn’t it?

Only if you’re looking at things from a human perspective.

But God sees in a totally different way.

He sees us – the real us – the hidden heart of us.

He sees the *us* He made.

And He doesn’t label us, or file us away. He doesn’t slot us into a mold. He doesn’t try to hammer us into a round hole.

He shapes us – He molds us – from the inside out.

Enhancing the strengths, and mending the weaknesses.

IF we turn our lives over to Him – completely.

So, here’s how we all break down:

Birth Order: Born Again

Personality Type: Spirit-filled

Temperament: Focusing inward on Jesus, and going out to share Him with others

Love Language: The blood of Jesus, shed for all

If I’m picking any label – I’m slapping a big ol’ "CHILD OF GOD" on myself!

How about you?

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Honor the LORD.

Honor the LORD for His glory and strength.
Honor the LORD for the glory of His name.
Worship the LORD in the splendor of His holiness.

The voice of the LORD echoes above the sea.
The God of glory thunders.
The LORD thunders over the mighty sea.

The voice of the LORD is powerful.
The voice of the LORD is majestic.

The voice of the LORD splits the mighty cedars.
The LORD shatters the cedars of Lebanon.

He makes Lebanon's mountains skip like a calf.
He makes Mount Hermon leap like a young wild ox.

The voice of the LORD strikes with bolts of lightning.
The voice of the LORD makes the barren wilderness quake.
The LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
The voice of the LORD twists mighty oaks and strips the forests bare.

In His Temple everyone shouts, "Glory!"

The LORD rules over the floodwaters.
The LORD reigns as king forever.

The LORD gives His people strength.
The LORD blesses them with peace.

The LORD tells His children, "Remember who I AM."

Lord, though I do not understand Your ways, I trust You. And I believe that You still sit on Your throne. Nothing happens outside of Your sovereign control.

My life is in Your hands.

(From Psalm 29)

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Another day, another dollar – so goes the old saying.

For me?

Another day, another headache…

Yes, the Enemy is having some fun right now.

On Thursday, my friends and I are giving a presentation to a local MOPS group – (Mothers Of Pre-Schoolers). It’s my first "professional" speaking engagement. We’re going to be speaking about the Lord.

Paint the targets on our backs.

I won’t go into the details of the fun fiery arrows that are flying their way. Suffice it to say – they’re flying fast and furious(Hey, did you notice all the clever alliteration??)

My arrow today?

A migraine headache.

I’ve suffered from headaches most of my life. And yes, I’ve been checked out – and there’s nothing there. (Seriously, my skull is one empty, echoing cavern…)

So, no worries –

It’s just another distraction. Because today I needed to work on my talk. I needed to concentrate. I needed to have my wits about me. I needed to be funny and insightful and profound. I needed to be on my game.

Instead, I’ve been in bed most of the day.

My head’s hurting so bad I can hardly see straight. And the screen on my computer, even though it’s muted, feels like a beacon right now – and it’s piercing right through my eyes into that one little nerve that’s completely frazzled…

Lord, a little help here, please?

I really and truly want to speak about You – I want to speak in truth, and I want to do it well. I want to have the right words. I want to be funny and insightful and profound. I want the moms to like what I have to say. I want to "hit one out of the park!" I want...


"Yes, Lord?"

"There were an awful lot of *I’s* in those last several sentences."


"Don’t you want to leave some room for My Holy Spirit to work?"


He’s right – so right – I know. And so I am humbled by His words.

If I frantically work, all on my own, trying to make the perfect speech – my speechthere’s just no room for Him. I don’t want that…

And maybe, just maybe, that’s why He let the Enemy have his way today.

To stop me, to settle me, to redirect my thinking – to make me still enough to listen.

"So don’t worry in advance…for I will give you the rights words and such wisdom…" (Luke 21:14-15)

"'…the Holy Spirit – he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.'" (John 14:26)

"…don’t worry about how to respond or what to say. God will give you the right words at the right time. For it is not you who will be speaking – it will be the Spirit of your Father speaking through you." (Matthew 10:19-20)


God is so good – so very good.

My headache, that one fiery arrow, wounded me just enough to send me running to the only place I could get help…

…the arms of the Lord.

And He laid my sore little head down on a pillow, and He spoke to my heart.

I think my talk – ahem…HIS talk – is going to be great.

Because He is.

"And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words…that I will keep on speaking boldly for him, as I should." (Ephesians 6:19-20)

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Monday, March 21, 2011


My dear blogging buddies.

My understanding, compassionate, long-suffering blogging buddies.

I am just arriving home from 5 days in Arizona – "The Hub" and I went to another one of our western festivals – Yee Haw!! But, traveling out-of-state twice in less than two weeks has been a bit - (a whole lot) - challenging for these old bones.

So, I’m sitting here watching basketball – MARCH MADNESS!!

And I’m relaxing…

When, all of a sudden, I realized something – I don’t have anything written for tomorrow’s post! "Senior moment" – are these becoming the new norm???

Lord, what should I write about?

I’ve decided to write about distractions.

Spiritual distractions…

Distractions that the Enemy brings into your life to derail you from God’s purposes.

Why are they so effective?

"He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour."
(1 Peter 5:8)

Lions attack sick, young, or straggling animals. Lions choose their victims carefully. They pounce when their prey is most vulnerable they pick on the weak.

So, here’s the deal. God is bringing some new opportunities into my life – new avenues to speak about Him, to spread His truth, to reach others for His Kingdom. He’s really stretching me – moving me outside my comfort zone.

And it’s painted a big, huge target on my back.

"Here, devil – kick me."

You know one of the worst distractions?


Doubts that God hears me when I pray – or if He does, doubts that He really cares about my little life. Doubts that He is good. Or the worst of all, doubts that He even exists at all…

I haven’t had these doubts since high school (eons and eons ago). I’m embarrassed to admit that these thoughts have even crossed my mind. I’m convicted that I allow them to sit down and have a cup of coffee…

Am I alone in this?

"Stand firm against [the devil], and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are." (1 Peter 5:9)

Are you?

But, are you also like me – a little mad? A little disgusted at the fiery arrows of distraction?

I don’t have time for this. I have work to do!

And I DO have a God who hears me, and cares about mea God who is really and truly there – a God who is good.

A God who has proved faithful, over and over again.

A God who is bringing me to a new landa land that I cannot enter unless He goes before me. A land that I will never occupy unless He conquers it first. A land that He will open up to me, one step at a time.

Let’s en-courage one another with words of truth. Let’s be fortified by the Word of Truth. Let’s carry our swords into battle, and fight strong.

Let’s take a good long look at that cowardly old lion hiding in the bush – and let’s call his bluff...

"I see you. I know what you’re doing. And this time, it’s not going to work."

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Sunday, March 20, 2011

BIBLE PICK 'EMS - Who's The Best?

Everyone loves a winner.

And we live in a competitive world, don’t we?

What is it about human nature that makes us want to finish on top, to beat out the next guy, to endlessly compare ourselves to others?

Unfortunately, winning can be a relative term.

Especially when the issue of popularity is thrown in there.

When I was in high school (ages and ages ago…), I decided to try out for the flag team. Back in my day, the flag team was a little group of girls who twirled flags (basically batons with flags attached) – as they marched in parades and performed at football games.

So, I practiced and practiced. I got pretty good at it.

Finally the day came for tryouts. Yikes! I was really nervous. We tried out in groups of four. My best friend was right next to me. I only made one minor mistake, but my friend performed flawlessly.

There was one girl in our group who flubbed several moves – she even dropped her flag two or three times (BIG no-no).

I remember feeling pretty good afterwards. I thought I had a chance – but for sure, my girlfriend was gonna get in – she did great.

A few days later, we went to see who had made the team. I remember feeling sorry for the girl in our group who performed so poorly.

We looked at the names…the girl who had messed up, and dropped her flag, made the team. I should have known…

She was popular.

Sometimes we can get caught up in the same sort of competition within the Body of Christ. Sometimes we can get preoccupied with who’s the "better" Christian. Sometimes we compare ourselves, and jockey around for position – assigning value to our serving, and rating our sins.

It’s not very attractive – but it’s all so human.

Today’s "Bible Pick ‘Ems" shows us that this is not a new phenomenon. A long time ago, a motley crew of twelve men did the same thing:

"About that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, 'Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?'" (Matthew 18:1)

I can almost hear the disciples kibitzing –

"I found the boy with the fish and loaves."

"Yeah, but I went up to the mountaintop with Him."

"I went, too, you know."

"Boys, boys – I walked on water."

Someone mutters in the background – "Yeah, for like two minutes."

Jesus must have rolled his eyes in frustration.

At this point in His ministry, His disciples were wasting time engaging in personal competition? They were concerned with whom He liked best? They were consumed with petty issues like performance and position?

The Kingdom of Heaven was a popularity contest?

Had they learned nothing?

"Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them. Then he said, 'I tell you the truth, unless you…become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.'" (Matthew 18:2-4)

The disciples had totally lost sight of what was truly important. They were caught up in winning. Instead of seeking a place of service, they sought positions of advantage.

Painful, but true – it is easy to lose our eternal perspective and compete for promotions or status in the church.

It’s easy to play the comparison game.

It’s tempting to want to "win" a faith popularity contest.

But Jesus doesn’t want winners – He wants servants.

He wants people who have childlike faith. Who are weak and dependent on Him. People who do not boast in their own abilities – but rely on only Him.

Jesus told us that we might be surprised in the end – for He turned the world’s values upside down. He promised that "many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then."

I think we can believe Him.

After all, He proved it Himself by dying a humble death on a criminal’s cross – and then was raised to the highest glory in His Father’s Kingdom.

You know, I don’t think I care so much about popularity anymore…

I just want to be His child – and seek His approval.

How about you?

(This post is linked with my other blog:

"When in doubt, search God out!"

Saturday, March 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)

"The promise of blessedness God has made to believers is from God's eternal purpose...These promises of God may safely be depended upon...Here observe, those to whom God has given full security of happiness, have title to the promises by inheritance.

The consolations of God are strong enough to support his people under their heaviest trials. Here is a refuge for all sinners who flee to the mercy of God, through the redemption of Christ...

We are in this world as a ship at sea, tossed up and down, and in danger of being cast away. We need an anchor to keep us sure and steady. Gospel hope is our anchor in the storms of this world.

It is sure and steadfast, or it could not keep us so."

(From "Daily Readings by Matthew Henry" by Matthew Henry,
c. 1662-1714)

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Friday, March 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: silence

Are you comfortable or uncomfortable with silence?

Have you ever experienced the silence of God?

Do you think there's a purpose for His silence?

If so, what do you think it could be?

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, March 17, 2011


Because I said so.

Arguably the four most dreaded words in the history of childhood.

It is the "go to" response for a million questions that start with the question, "Why?"

My dad was a master at it. And it was effective – I’m not gonna lie to you. But I hated it.


(Did you catch the irony there?)

When I was growing up, I was known as the "Why Girl." I wanted to know everything about everything. I was insatiably curious.

I never asked my why’s in a belligerent way – like "Why should I?" – I sincerely wanted to know things.

So when my dad would answer, "Because I said so," I always interpreted that as a shutting-down response. It made me be quiet, yes, but it also hurt. I wasn’t questioning his authority – I just wanted to know…

This tendency toward being the "Why Girl" also carried over into my walk with God. I’ve believed in Him since before I can remember. And I’ve questioned Him almost as long…

"Why, Lord…"

It was the beginning of a million questions to Him.

And I just dreaded the answer – "Because I said so."

It always sounded so arbitrary, so controlling, so sovereignyou know?!

But, this morning as I was writing this post, another thought came to my mind. I tried picturing an actual in-person dialogue with God. A face-to-face meeting. A Job-like encounter.

Here’s how it went –

"So, Lord, I have a question for you. It’s really the question behind all of my other questions. Why, Lord? Just why?"

There was a moment of silence – I waited for the inevitable answer.

"Sharon, do you not know?

Heaven and earth were madebecause I said so.

The sun and the moon and the stars came into being – because I said so.

Suddenly, at a moment in time, there was light – because I said so.

Land and oceans were formed, animals were created – because I said so.

Humanity came into existence – because I said so.

A baby was born in a manger – because I said so.

A young man died on a cross – because I said so.

A miracle of victory, life over death, a resurrection occurred – because I said so.

And you were saved when you believed – because I said so.

Eternal life awaits you in My Presence – because I said so.

Any more questions?"

Now I was silent. I decided that there were no words to say, but echoing in my mind were the words of Job –

"I am nothing – how could I ever find the answers? I will cover my mouth with my hand. I have said too much already. I have nothing more to say. I know that you can do anything, and no one can stop you. Your ways are too wonderful for me."

And then, He said one last thing.

"Sharon, I love you and I will never leave you – because I said so."

You know, the more I think about it, those are some of the most beautiful words I have ever heard…

I can rest in the promise that to every "Why?" in life, there is a God in heaven who says, "Because I said so."

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Lord, I get so tired…

In my weariness, I cry out to You.

Lord, do You even hear me?

And now the LORD speaks – the One who formed me to be His servant, who commissioned me…

He says –

"I will make you a light, and you will bring salvation to the ends of the earth.

At just the right time, I will respond to you.
On the day of salvation I will help you.
I will protect you.

Come out into freedom.
Come out into the light.

You will be My sheep, grazing in green pastures.
You will neither hunger nor thirst.
The searing sun will not reach you anymore.

For in My mercy I will lead you.

I will lead you beside cool waters.
I will make your mountains into level paths for you.
I will make high ways above the valleys.

I will comfort you and have compassion on you in your suffering.

I have written your name on the palms of My hands.

I will not forget you!

I will fight those who fight you.

I will teach you how to comfort the weary.
I will open your understanding to My will.
I will give you My words of wisdom."

And I respond –

"Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced.
I will set my face like a stone, determined to do His will.
And I know that I will not be put to shame.

All my enemies will be destroyed.
The Sovereign LORD is on my side!


The LORD has honored me, and my God has given me strength.

(Words taken from Isaiah 49 and 50)

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


I’m so frustrated right now.

Wanna hear why???

First of all, I’ve been out of town for about 5 days, on family business.

Notice I said business, and not family fun!

Meetings all day, decisions to make – mainlining coffee to try to stay awake.

I finally arrived home Sunday night, absolutely exhausted – thanks to jet lag, and a wonderfully well-timed "spring forward" time change.

Today (I’m writing this post on Monday, by the way) has not been a red-letter day. By the way, what exactly IS a red-letter day, anyway? I’d sure like to have one…

First thing this morning I had to take my car into the shop. Yes, Eddie the Explorer is getting a little creaky – he’s 12 years old right now. But I thought he’d be OK for a while when I got a brand-new fuel pump for him in January ($$$).

No, now his ball joints and arms have to be replaced – (I don’t know a thing about cars, but this just sounds sad. Like an old man going in for hip replacement…)

And, of course, there’s also the mysterious "droning" noise that started about three weeks ago.

Eddie’s "handwriting on the wall" might be saying – Help me, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.

We can’t swing a new car right now – it’s bad enough that replacing Eddie’s joints are going to be expensive – and we still don’t know what’s causing the drone ($$$$$).

OK, ready for the next thing?

I forgot to schedule my blog post for this morning. So when I got up, luckily I remembered, and published it – 4 ½ hours late. I like to publish it early in consideration of my buddies in the east – but today, I had another one of those "senior moments" that I’m so fond of. Maybe I should blog about it – oh wait, I did…

Then I had to go to the DMV to renew my driver’s license. Seems at my age (29), they require you to come in for a vision test. "What chart? There’s an eye chart up there? Oh, that fuzzy white thing?" "The Hub" and I had an appointment to avoid the loooonnng lines – even arrived early. Had to wait because all their computers were down!

I took the time to practice the eye chart…

I passed. I get to be a road hazard for another 5 years!

Finally, I got home and started to catch up on all that I’ve missed in Blog Land since I’ve been gone. Don’t want any of you guys to think that I’ve been ignoring you…

And then, right in the middle of trying to leave a pithy, well-thought-out, insightful, profound comment on someone’s blog – poof! My computer refused to load pages. GRRR!! Doesn’t anyone understand?!?!? I’ve got work to do!

Called the computer tech line – it’s not the computer. Called the cable company – lovely automated voice told me, "We’re sorry. We’re experiencing a service outage in your area. We are dispatching technicians to the area to work on the problem. However, we do not know when service will be restored. Is there anything else we can help you with?"

Yes, but I don’t think what I want to say should be recorded!

So, now I’m writing a post (a rant, a tantrum, a diatribe) about the whole sordid mess.

But, I’ve got to turn this into something about God.

Lord, could you help me out here?

So I turn to my Bible and open it – a Monday "Bible Pick ‘Ems" – to see what He has to say.

"And everyone who has given up…for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life." (Matthew 19:29)

Thank you, Lord, for giving me a little (a lot) vision correction. Thank you for providing some much-needed heavenly perspective.

His words to me:

"Sharon, why do you get so upset about things that don’t really matter in the end? Why do you try so hard to make things work, and then get so frustrated when they don’t? Don’t you believe that I know about your car and your finances? Yes, you passed your vision test at the DMV, but you failed the faith vision test miserably today. And I’m asking you again, why are you so consumed with blogging? Are you really in Blog Land for Me, for My purposes?"


So, I’m confessing to you all – my red-letter day was a big, fat, red "F." And I’m really embarrassed by it. And convicted…

Lord, forgive me for being superficial and shallow – for forgetting about the eternal things, the important things – the things that I’m really working for. Teach me to give up these petty annoyances and irritating frustrations in life. Help me to focus on the hundred-fold reward!

And never, ever let me forget – Your greatest gift – eternal life…


How are you doing on your vision test? Are you focusing on the eternals?

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Monday, March 14, 2011


Last Sunday, our church had a guest speaker.

He was from Kenya.

And he gave a mighty message.

He talked about dreams.

And he began by asking a rather startling question –

"Does serving God make you afraid?"

Interesting thought, isn’t it? What exactly are the things we’re afraid of? Failing, looking foolish, losing our safety or security, giving something up? Fear keeps us from following our dreams.

But fear also keeps us far from God.

It’s like we’re saying to Him – "I want to be close to you, Lord, but not too close – because You might disorganize my tidy life."


Pastor Muriithi went on to tell a story about Moses. It’s found in the beginning of the book of Exodus. Moses is having a discussion with God about what God is calling him to do. Or rather, Moses is protesting what God is calling him to do!

"But Moses protested again, 'What if they won’t believe me or listen to me? What if they say, 'The LORD never appeared to you?'

Then the LORD asked him, 'What is that in your hand?'

'A shepherd’s staff,' Moses replied.

'Throw it down on the ground,' the LORD told him. So Moses threw down the staff, and it turned into a snake!"

God asked Moses a powerful question.

What is that in your hand?

To Moses, his staff represented three very important things:

His identity
His income
His influence

And that is precisely what God was asking Moses to lay down – for HIS sake.

God was saying to Moses:

"Let ME define you."

"Seek ME first, serve only ME, and I will add all the other things you need."

"Let ME decide how high you rise."

Moses’ reluctance and fear were caused by worrying about the outcome. He was afraid of how people might respond to him. He was afraid to let go of his lifeafraid to let God have His way.

But, God turned Moses’ staff, a simple shepherd’s stick, into a living thing.

God takes joy in using ordinary things for His extraordinary purposes!

What are the ordinary things in your life – your voice, a pen, a hammer, a broom, a musical instrument, your car, your job – the things that are like a simple shepherd’s staff? God uses all these things. It is wrong to assume that He can only use special skills. We must not hinder His use of the everyday contributions we make.

God doesn’t want what you don’t have – He wants what He’s already given you.

God has a purpose for each one of us – a purpose that He had in mind before we were ever born. In fact, God intended that purpose and then He created you to fulfill it!

And if you’ve got dreams, my friend – even big ones – trust me, God’s dreams for you are much bigger than the ones you have. He is calling you to an extraordinary life – an abundant life.

He has a Kingdom dream that is perfectly matched to who He created you to be.

He delights in saying to us, "What’s that in your hand? Great, I can use that!!"

So, what are you afraid of?

Are you ready to stop living a comfortable life?

Will you trust God for a God-sized dream?

After all, little did Moses imagine the power his simple staff would wield when it became the staff of God!

Ready, aim…aim…aim…aim…

Isn’t it time to fire??

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Sunday, March 13, 2011

BIBLE PICK 'EMS - Promises, Promises


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, March 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)

"Wait! Wait! Let your waiting be on the Lord! He is worth waiting for. He never disappoints the waiting soul.

While waiting keep up your spirits...The promise which should cheer you...'He shall strengthen thine heart.' This goes at once to the place where you need help...The heart wants calming and cheering; and both of these will come if it be strengthened...

No one else can get at that secret urn of life, the heart, so as to pour strength into it. He alone who made it can make it strong...

O, be brave; for the Lord will impart his strength to you, and you shall be calm in tempest, and glad in sorrow."

(From "Daily Readings by C. H. Spurgeon, by Charles Haddon Spurgeon, c. 1834-1892)

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Friday, March 11, 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: broken

Have you ever felt broken in the presence of the Lord?

Do you think being broken is necessary to repentance? To obedience?

How has God ever healed your broken spirit?

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, March 10, 2011


"What’s that you have, little girl?" asked the stranger with the kind eyes.

"It’s a tiny seed," she replied.

"What are you going to do with it?" he asked.

"Well, at first I just put it on a shelf, but then it got all shriveled and dried out. Then I decided to hold it really tight in my hand, all the time, but then it got all soggy and limp. So, I’ve decided I’m going to plant it."

"That sounds like a wonderful idea!" said the kind stranger. "Where are you going to plant it?"

The little girl looked puzzled.

"I’m not sure."

"Well, I know a great place to plant it!" he said with a smile.

"Really?!" she squealed.


So the kind stranger led the little girl to a tiny patch of dirt, in an obscure little field, and pointed to a place next to a large tree.

"Here is the perfect place for this seed to be planted."

The little girl looked doubtful.

It didn’t seem like the area was very conducive to growth. It looked rather inhospitable, and dry. The ground was hard, and the little patch of dirt was in the shade. But, too embarrassed to disagree with the kind stranger, she started to dig up the dirt.

And then, when the little hole was dug, she glanced back up at the stranger.

"Should I put the seed in the dirt now?"

"Yes, absolutely. It’s exactly the right time for it to be planted."

So she did.

For days, the little girl would come and check where she had buried the seed. She saw nothing happening…nothing at all.

The dirt looked even drier, the ground looked even harder. There were weeds growing everywhere. The shadow of the tree was blocking out the sunlight.

One day, very discouraged, she just sat down and started crying.

Almost instantly, she became aware that she wasn’t alone.

She looked up and saw the silhouette of the stranger.

"What’s wrong?" he asked kindly.

"My seed isn’t growing," she sniffed. "I didn’t think this was a very good place for it to grow."

"It’s the perfect place for it to grow," he reassured her. "It just needs a gardener."

"Well, I don’t know anything about how to grow seeds, and I don’t know any gardeners," she sighed.

"Ah, but that’s where you’re in luck," he said. "I am a master gardener. Will you let me help grow your seed?"

With no other alternative in mind, the little girl said, "Yes."

And the stranger got to work.

He cultivated the surrounding dirt, he yanked out the weeds, he spread fertilizer, and he watered the area around where the seed had been planted.

"There, that should take care of it until tomorrow."

"Tomorrow?" the little girl asked in surprise. "You mean you have to do this every day?"

"Yes," replied the stranger. "Seeds need tending every day if they are to grow."

Day after day, the little girl watched the stranger work. Every day he tended the seed. And before she knew it, under his watchful care, a sprout broke through the surface and began to grow.

She was delighted.

One day, the stranger approached her. He still had the kindest eyes.

"So, what do you think? I told you that seed would grow!"

"Yes, you did. But it only grew under your care," she replied.

"But that’s how it’s supposed to happen. Only a master gardener knows how and when and where to grow a seed."

"Will it grow very big?" she asked him seriously.

He paused for a moment…

"Time will tell. But see that large tree right next to your growing seed?"

She looked to where he was pointing.

"Yes, I see it."

"Well, I planted that one, too."

And with that, he winked at the little girl, as she stared at the tree in amazement!

Are you giving your seed to the Master Gardener?

Letting Him do His work of cultivating and weeding – fertilizing and watering?

Can you trust that in His timing, your seed will become a mighty tree?

Plant your seeds, my friends – and have faith…

"You don’t have enough faith," Jesus told them. "I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it would move. Nothing would be impossible." (Matthew 17:20)

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


I gave these words to Moses a long time ago.

But I think you need to hear them, too!

I AM the LORD, your God.

I Myself will go ahead of you.
So be strong and courageous!
Do not be afraid and do not panic before your enemies.

I will personally go with you.
I will neither fail you nor abandon you.

Again, I say, do not be afraid or discouraged.
I will be with you.

I am your Rock.
And My deeds are perfect.
I am a faithful God who does no wrong.

I am like an eagle that hovers over her young.
I spread My wings to take you up.
I carry you safely on My pinions.

I alone will guide you.

Look now!
I Myself am He!
There is no other God but Me.

Indeed, I love all My people.
All My holy ones are in My hands.

Follow in My steps and accept My teaching.

I surround you continually.
I preserve you from every harm.

There is no one like Me.
I ride across the heavens to help you.
I move across the skies in majestic splendor.

I am the eternal One.
And I am your refuge.
My everlasting arms are under you.
I drive out the enemy before you.

How blessed are you!
You are a people saved by the LORD!

I AM your protecting shield!
I AM your triumphant sword!

I will delight in you if you obey My voice.

Keep my commands.
And turn to Me with all your heart and soul.

You are My own special treasure...

I will do everything I have promised.

Because I love you.

(From Deuteronomy 30, 31, 32, and 33)

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Tuesday, March 8, 2011



That was my oldest son’s season record one year – the year he played Club Roller Hockey.

And one of those "wins" was actually a forfeit. Seems that 12 and 13-year-old boys can’t grow full beards and look like college linebackers. Who knew? Turns out that "Mr. Actually 15-years-old" had done a little creative math – and his coaches had pulled some shenanigans with his birth certificate – (don’t you just hate it when the adults cheat???)

So, chalk one up in the wins column.

We traveled all over Southern California for games. Picture about twelve middle-school-aged boys, two coaches, and a host of family members along for the ride…

I remember eating at a restaurant in Thousand Oaks one night – "Table for 30, please…maybe in the back."

But I digress.

The traveling was fun.

The losing was not.

I remember B’s dad, their coach, trying to rally the troops – to keep up their morale. It was like watching a Sherpa tell a pack of exhausted climbers, "C’mon, Mt. Everest is a cake walk!"

I tried to tell my son to just have fun.

He didn’t buy it.

He knew who had the "killer instinct" in the family. And it wasn’t Coach Sherpa. It was the "short and sweet" lady in the stands – who was known to "occasionally" shout out, a la John McEnroe…

"What?! You’ve got to be kidding me! Hey Ref, leave those glasses at home again???"

Yeah, I was one of "those" moms.

But it was hard to watch a group of nice young boys try so hard – just to be defeated.

At one point, I finally gave my son the "Losing Builds Character" lecture.

You know the one. It includes such highlights as:

"Just do your best – that shows your character."
"It takes character to be the bigger man."
"Anyone can win. It takes character to lose well."
"Everyone loves a good sport – it shows character."
"It is better to have played and lost, than never to have played at all." (Actually, maybe that was the talk on love. Hmmm…)

I’ll never forget my son’s dear face, as he finally looked at me, let out a big sigh, and said…

"I think I’ve got enough character to last me for a while. Now I’d like to win."

I had to smile.

Because truthfully, I was having a hard time watching him build character – I wanted to win, too.

Do you ever feel discouraged as you live out your faith?

Does it ever feel like the score is woefully lop-sided?

Do you ever wonder why it has to be so hard?

Here’s some great, (but sometimes dreaded), verses from Romans 5:

"We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment."

Yup, those verses…

But, these words of Paul hold a tremendous message of en-couragement.

We are reminded that in the future we will become, but until then we must overcome. We will experience difficulties – we’re going to lose some games, friends.

But we aren’t suffering in vain.

The difficulties will help us grow.

We don’t have to like hardships and trials – just like my son and I did not enjoy losing – but we can rejoice in them because God is at work in the midst of them.

He is using life’s troubles – AND Satan’s attacks – to build our character.

Because God really cares about our character – and He’s promised that there’s a trophy that awaits us at the end of our season in this lifetime…

So play hard – hang in there – do your best…

Perseverance is learned through difficult times, and perseverance will strengthen us. It will deepen our trust in God, and it will give us greater confidence about the future.

And that is a winning proposition.

Because here’s the only record you need to care about:

God and Me – 1
The Enemy – 0

Are you thanking God for the "tough stuff"?

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Monday, March 7, 2011


Did any of you guys ever go to Snow Camp?

Our church would go every year – just a weekend up in the mountains – just to play and learn about God.

See, if you live in Southern California, the prospect of being in snow is pretty exciting! We’d pray for cold weather and rain "down the hill" – because we knew that meant some serious inner-tubing at camp…

So, this one year, when I was in junior high, we all jumped eagerly onto the bus – and headed out.

I was pretty nervous.

You see, I hadn’t been going to Snow Camp every year – in fact, this might have been my first year. And I was scared…

I had always suffered from separation anxiety. My parents rarely left town, but when they did, I was a wreck. I even crawled through the entire 4th grade with stomachaches every day – because I was really nervous about leaving home, and being away from my mom.

And camp was a BIG DEAL.

Especially because I wasn’t in the popular crowd. I was a social Klingon – a lingering-around-the-border person. Quiet, kinda dorky, smart, shy – you get the picture.

Before we left for camp, we had to fill out registration forms. And on that form, we got to put in the names of two people who we wanted to room with.

OK - I picked two of the popular girls.

The ride up on the bus was everything you could imagine a bus full of junior high kids would be like. And of course, someone got sick – and that ALWAYS threw me for a loop.

Finally, we arrived at camp. And got our room assignments.

I was in a cabin with NO ONE I knew – not one single other person. And of course, all the popular kids were together. They had put each others’ names down – and once again, I felt left out.

Later that night, all unpacked and settled in our cabins, I felt terribly alone.

Until one of the popular girls, who was always nice to me, popped her head into the room.

"Psst. Sharon, we’ve got an extra bed. Why don’t you get your stuff and come on over?"


I was packed and in their cabin in a flash. They were all really nice to me. I felt so much better. I calmed down, and thought to myself, "This might actually be a fun weekend."

Until, a little while later, probably around 10 P.M. – another counselor came to our cabin. The two counselors whispered to each other, and looked worried.

Our counselor came to us and said, "Um. I need to go to a special meeting with the other counselors. Stay here until I get back."


She came back about 45 minutes later. She was ashen.

We asked her what was wrong.

"Well, I’m not supposed to say anything. But, I want you guys to pray really hard. There’s a girl missing, and we’re trying to find her."

And with that, she grabbed her flashlight, and disappeared again.

I cannot tell you how nervous this made me. I had visions of this girl lost in the woods with who knows what – wild animals, scary human predators, evil demonic beings. And all I could think about was how much she must be missing her mom. And how much I was now missing mine –

It must have been after midnight when our counselor finally returned.

She looked around at all our frightened and eager faces. And then she said something I had never expected to hear.

"Is one of you named Sharon?"

Uh oh…

"Yes, I’m Sharon."

"Well, young lady – do you know that we’ve spent the last two hours scouring the woods looking for you? We thought you were lost!! Who told you you could change cabins?"

Oh boy. All eyes went to me. I started crying – and barely sputtered out my story. About all the reasons I had switched cabins…

"Why didn’t you tell someone?" she said.

I didn’t have a good reason for that one…

To her credit, she let me stay that night. The next day they made me go back to my originally assigned cabin (awkward) – and I got a royal "chewing out" from the youth pastor. It was horrible…

But here’s what I learned.

All that time I’d been praying for the "lost girl" – I had never realized that it was really me.

Have you ever ended up where you weren’t supposed to be? Have you ever prayed for all the other misguided people out there, only to learn that you should have been praying for yourself?

Have you ever failed to realize that YOU were the one who was lost?

It’s OK –

God loves to find things…

Especially little sheep that have gone astray.

"And when he has found it [the lost sheep], he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders…In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!" (Luke 15:5, 7)

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Sunday, March 6, 2011

BIBLE PICK 'EMS - All Access Pass


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!"