Monday, January 31, 2011

"BUT LORD..."

Servant.

What does that word really mean?

I know we all have a general idea – most of the time, if we’re honest, we think of someone "stooping down" to do something for someone else. We think of self-sacrifice. We think of putting aside what we WANT to do, to do something we SHOULD do.

If you’re like me, you think of Jesus – the ultimate Servant.

And I’m not Jesus…

Can I share a battle I’ve been having lately?

I’ve mentioned on this blog before, that I’m part of a weekly ministry to an assisted living facility called Freedom Village. Every Friday, four of us go and present a "worship service" for the elderly residents. We sing hymns, we pray, we share. My contribution is to prepare a 10-minute message as part of the program.

For the last two months or so, I’ve been having a REALLY difficult time. It’s been VERY hard to get myself up and go.

I’ve got my reasons.

One, our ministry has now moved down to the first floor of the Health Center. And this means that the people that attend are different than they used to be. They’re much more invalid, in much worse condition physically and mentally than they used to be.

My anxieties are being challenged. I have a fear of germs – and I’m seeing some scary stuff.

Two, it’s hard to speak something "relevant" to an audience whose average age is probably in the late 80’s. Many are asleep, several are senile, most are hard of hearing – and to those who are able to listen, what can I say that MEANS anything to them?

After two years, I’m running out of ideas.

Three, there are SO many distractions to overcome. People are wheeled in late all the time. If someone starts coughing, ALL eyes go to that person. Oxygen tanks are rhythmically pumping. The PA system "pages people," and we have to stop in the middle of what we’re saying because it’s too loud to speak over. Last week, they had music piping over the PA system for the first time. I had to give my little "talk" while trying to speak louder than Frank Sinatra singing, "Come Fly With Me" and "My Way!" (I know, a little bit funny - but a lot irritating, to tell the truth...)

This isn’t quite the picture I have in mind when I think about wanting to be a "speaker."

However, does this strike anyone besides me, that I sound like an Israelite whining in the wilderness???

I’ve been struggling…

And I’ve been praying about it – a lot.

So, last Friday I’m at home, getting ready to go. And here’s the conversation I had with Jesus.

"Lord, I don’t feel like going anymore."

"I know, Sharon. But I need to be there, and you’re the only one who can drive Me there."

"But Lord, it’s not easy."

"Yes, being a servant costs something. I know that more than you."

"I don’t know what to say anymore."

"I do."

"Lord, they scare me sometimes. The stains on their clothes, the way they smell, their bruises and cuts, the things attached to them. It’s hard to touch them."

"Sharon, I touched lepers. It’s the "untouchables" that need to be touched the most."

"But there’s so many distractions, and I don’t know if anyone’s listening."

"Their hearts are. My message never goes out without bearing fruit."

"Oh Lord," I whispered quietly, "I want a bigger audience."

"Do you need a bigger audience than Me? Shine for the Audience of One, Sharon. Shine for ME."

"Oh Lord, then help me be a servant."

"I am. I’m teaching you to be MY servant."

So, I went – feeling better.

At the end of our worship service, I always go and greet each person. I shake their hands, I say their names, I look into their eyes and say how glad I am that they are there…

And last week, one woman, a woman who has never come before, grabbed my hand like a life preserver. Her mind was completely sharp. She thanked me for being there, and for the things I had said. She told me how she had studied "religion" all her life, but didn't really know too much about it. I said to her –

"But, Frances, that’s what’s different about what I believe. It isn’t a religion. It’s a RELATIONSHIP with God."

Her eyes sparkled, her mouth went wide. She looked at me like she had won the lottery. And she thanked me for telling her something she had NEVER heard before (and she’s 90). I wrote down what I had said on a piece of paper for her, and added how this relationship was possible with Jesus – nothing long, just a few sentences about God’s wonderfully "simple" Good News.

She kissed my hand, and asked if she could kiss my cheek – she was so grateful – and I was so blessed.

I don’t share this story to brag on myself. Goodness, NO! I say this only to boast on Jesus! He is so faithful…

And He is teaching me what it means to be a servant.

He’s showing me that He can change my "I don’t want to" into the desires of His heart and then He makes them MY desires…

The One who washed the feet of twelve dirty disciples, and then died a criminal’s death on an object of shame, is teaching me the glorious privilege of serving HIM.

How is Jesus calling you to be a servant?

Will you go?

After all, you just never know who HE wants to talk to!!


"And the King will say, 'I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!'" (Matthew 25:40)


BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Sunday, January 30, 2011

BIBLE PICK 'EMS - God's Top Ten List

CHECK IT OUT!

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)


THANKS!


"When in doubt, search God out!"

Saturday, January 29, 2011

QUAINT WORDS

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)

"Our weeping night soon turns into joyous day...

Come, my heart, begin thy hallelujahs! Weep not all through the night, but wipe thine eyes in anticipation of the morning. These tears are dews which mean us as much good as the sunbeams of the morrow. Tears clear the eyes for the sight of God in his grace; and make the vision of his favour more precious.

A night of sorrow supplies those shades of the picture by which the high lights are brought out with distinctness. All is well."

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


BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Friday, January 28, 2011

"FAN THE FLAME" FRIDAY - Excellence

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: excellence

How would you define the word excellence?

How are excellence and perfection different?


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, January 27, 2011

A FUN BIRTHDAY QUIZ

Today is my oldest son’s birthday.

He’s turning 28.

Which is quite a feat when you consider the fact that I am only 29…

He’s a great guy. Both of my sons are. (I guess it just goes to show you that even feral mothers are able to raise decent human beings…)

And so, in honor of both of my sons, and my joy at their presence in my life, I wanted to have some fun today.

So, I’ve got a quiz for you.

Here’s a list of some of my favorite "MOM memories" – try to guess
which son each question applies to – youngest or oldest. (IF you want to, you can leave your answers in the comments section, put #1 for my oldest, or #2 for my youngest – I’ll respond back with the answers. Or, you can just read along – but c’mon, you know you really want to play…)


1) This SON recently bought a kayak – for OCEAN kayaking, mind you.

2) This SON’S favorite "cuddly" thing was one of those cosmetic sponges.

3) This SON took a 14,000 mile road trip all around the U.S. with his college roommate – hitting ALL 48 contiguous states – in a month.

4) This SON is nick-named "The Internet Ferret" because he can find ANYTHING on ANY subject on his computer.

5) This SON still drives the same car he had in high school - he calls it
"The White Zombie."

6) This SON used to "sculpt" his food at Sizzler’s restaurant – using mashed potatoes as a base.

7) This SON, after crawling for months, suddenly stood up one day and starting walking – no, not ATTEMPT to walk – just WALK, like he’d been doing it all his life.

8) This SON hates condiments – of all kinds – but especially mayonnaise (Sidenote: Other son loves to squirt entire ketchup packets into his mouth just to BOTHER this son.)

9) This SON is a sports FANATIC, and has played soccer, basketball, roller and ice hockey!

10) This SON once played the clarinet – because he thought the "mandatory" violin requirement in school was just too boring.

11) This SON used to collect tigers – of every shape and size.

12) This SON used to get up at 3:00 or 4:00 AM in high school to do his homework so he could "have the night off for what I WANT to do!"

13) This SON was standing stark naked in the front yard when I came home from the market one day, because after all, MOM, "Bugs Bunny doesn’t wear clothes…" (Sidenote: This was quickly followed up by, "Where’s your father???")

14) This SON used to have a "bowl-cut" (thoughtfully provided by Mom) and wore Hawaiian shirts – and was nicknamed "Thomas Magnum" for a while. He also did a mean rendition of "You Belong to the City" ala Miami Vice.


OK, here’s a bonus question for extra credit:

Which mom is SO proud of her sons she could just pop, and loves them EVEN MORE today than when they were born?


If you’ve got children, ask God today to take care of them. Ask God to guide them and direct them on His pathways. Pray for their wisdom in these crazy times.

Tell them today how much they mean to you – tell them you love them.

And if you don’t have children of your own – tell a kid in your family (maybe a niece or nephew), or in your classroom, or at the market, or anywhere – just tell a kid that you notice them, and that God loves them.

They need to know that – it’s a tough world out there…


BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

COME LORD JESUS!

The Lord you are seeking will suddenly come.
But who will be able to endure it when He comes?
Who will be able to stand and face Him when He appears?

For He will be like a blazing fire.

The LORD says:

"At that time I will put you on trial.
But, on the day when I act in judgment,
you will be My own special treasure.
I will spare you.

Then you will see the difference between those who serve Me
and those who do not.

The day of judgment is coming.

But for you who fear My name, the Sun of Righteousness
will rise with healing in His wings.
No longer will there be a curse on anything.
For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there.

Look, I am coming soon.
And I am bringing My reward with Me
to repay people according to their deeds.

You will worship Me.
You will see My face.
And you will go free..."

The LORD God will shine on them.
They will reign forever and ever.

Praise the LORD!
Praise Him for His mighty works!
Praise Him for His unequaled greatness!

"I am the Alpha and the Omega - the First and the Last - the Beginning and the End.

I am the bright morning star!"

Amen!
Come, Lord Jesus!


(From Malachi 3 & 4,
Revelation 22, and Psalm 150)


BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

"FOREVER..."

Time.

It’s a funny thing.

It’s bendable.

Albert Einstein proved it with his Theory of Relativity.

No worries. I’m not going to launch into a dissertation discussion on physics here. No lengthy lecture on the puzzle of the space-time continuum. (Did anyone really think I COULD do that??)

After all, I’m not "science chick" – I’m "word girl!"

But think about it. We know from experience that time is "fluid."

First of all, think of the way time behaves. Sometimes it goes really slow…and sometimes it goes really fast.

Here’s a list of some of the instances when time goes really s-l-o-w:

Sitting in the dentist chair…for anything, but especially for a root canal.

Waiting for lab test results.

Waiting for a loved one to call and let you know they’ve landed safely.

Listening to over 500 kids have their names read at a high school graduation (except for that 10 seconds when YOUR kid’s name is read, and you let out your loudest parental "WOO HOO!")

Trying to drive home from Los Angeles on the 405 freeway at rush hour – (non-Californians out there? Trust me – a 55-mile trip has been known to take almost 3 hours – think, "parking lot.")

Sitting in a crowded restaurant waiting for a table.

Waiting for Christmas morning when you can finally open that ONE gift under the tree in the little "jewelry-type" box.

"The Hub" will just HAVE to forgive me on this one – a baseball game.


And here’s a list of some of the instances when time goes really fast:

When you have to leave the house in 10 minutes or you’re going to be really late.

How long it takes for your "roots" to start showing.

The year in between tax time – (seriously…is it already LESS than 3 months away???)

Your childrens’ lives from infancy until college – (though sometimes slow during the actual years – looking back, it goes by WAY too fast.)

The time it takes to spend money – (saving money goes in the s-l-o-w category.)

Vacation.

The interval between hitting the "snooze" button and when you actually have to wake up – (I just read somewhere that the average person hits the snooze button 3 times before they get up. Me – I’m about a 4 or 5’er.)

The time it takes for a signal to turn from yellow to red – ("Honestly, Officer – it looked kinda orange to me…just sayin")


Bendable time.

And today I’m thinking about the word "forever."

When I was a little girl, I used to try to understand the word "forever." After all, I knew I was going to live with Jesus "forever."

Truthfully, the concept used to freak me out. I’d lie awake trying to get my head around the idea. (Don’t ask me why – I’ve just always been a "ruminating" kind of person). At the time, a year seemed like a l-o-n-g time. And then, trying to go beyond that, and think of a never-ending time – yikes!

I can remember sneaking down the hallway, and crouching down by my mom’s side of the bed. I’d gently say her name, and maybe jostle her a little bit. Finally she’d wake up.

"Mom, I can’t sleep."

"Thinking about forever again, sweetie?"

Yup, she knew me…

I’ve got to admit, I still don’t get the idea of "forever" – it still kinda freaks me out – but now, it’s in a good way!

Have you ever had a moment when your spirit touched eternity?

When time seemed to stand still, and you were overcome with such a deep sense of wonder and joy that it felt like the moment could go on forever?

Let me tell you about one of mine.

"The Hub" and I had gone on a little 4-wheel excursion, up a very winding dirt road. We had heard about a property that was for sale. We couldn’t afford it, not by a long stretch, but the realtor had told us to go take a look.

"The view is to die for," she squealed.

So we did.

It took almost an hour to go 4 miles. We parked the car, and scrambled up a leafy, rocky slope.

At the top of the ridge, we wandered through a grove of aspen trees, and then we broke out into the open. And I saw one of the most beautiful sights I’ve ever seen in my whole life.

A huge snow-capped mountain stood in front of me. A long, green valley stretched away as far as the eye could see. Trees stood like sentinels in every direction. Overhead was a crystal clear blue sky, with white puffy clouds. A bright, shining sun beamed down its warming rays.

I turned to my husband with tears in my eyes, and he said quietly, "I get it."

I spread my arms wide, threw my head back, and smiled at the God I knew was there.

"Thank you, Lord, for the glory of this moment. This taste of what eternal joy will feel like. I could live like this forever…"

And He whispered to my spirit, "You will."


When’s the last time your spirit touched eternity?

"Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God's work from beginning to end." (Ecclesiastes 3:11)


BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”

Monday, January 24, 2011

GOT A FEVER?

98.6

Normal.

That’s the average temperature of the human body.

For some people, "normal" might be a little cooler – for others, "normal" might be a little warmer.

Me?

I’ve always been "hot" – (NO comments from the peanut gallery out there!)

A thermometer is such a useful tool. Because knowing the temperature of a person’s body is invaluable in judging whether they are sick or well – it can even provide a clue to how sick one is.

The highest fever I ever had was 105.2 – a childhood case of the "bad" measles made that happen at age 2! (Perhaps that would explain the fried brain cells –
just sayin’…)

But, on the serious side, the Bible talks about temperature, too.

Really? – I can hear you saying to yourself.

Yes, it does…

It talks about spiritual temperature.

In the beginning of the book of Revelation, Jesus addresses 7 churches. He applauds them for their godly ways, and judges them where they fall short.

But He is particularly harsh when he addresses the church in Laodicea:

"I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!" (Revelation 3:15-16)

A little background on Laodicea –

It was the wealthiest of the seven cities mentioned in Revelation. It was known for its banking industry, its wool manufacturing, and its medical school. But the city always had a problem with its water supply. At one time, an aqueduct was built to bring water to the city from hot springs. But by the time the water reached the city, it was neither piping hot nor refreshingly cool. It was lukewarm – tepid.

I can’t stand the word tepidit even sounds disgusting!

The dictionary defines it this way - moderately warm; lacking in passion, force, or zest; marked by an absence of enthusiasm or conviction.

It makes me think of words like limp, timid, bland, tasteless – YUCK!
(From Sharon’s Dictionary of Synonyms)

I’m one of those people who has to have things REALLY cold (think a plethora of ice cubes) or REALLY hot (think "burn your tongue").

Because, after all, tepid things are ineffective in either refreshing us or warming us up.

And Jesus does NOT want us to have a faith like that.

The believers in Laodicea didn’t take a stand for anything. Their marked indifference led to idleness. They became hardened and self-satisfied.

Are there many other things more disgusting than a half-hearted, nominal Christian who’s self-sufficient?

I think not.

Jesus does not want us to follow Him halfway. He does not want timid believers.

He wants people who are "on fire" for Him. People who have the Spirit "burning" within them. He is looking for hearts "ablaze" with passion.

He wants disciples who have a "fever"who are fervent in their commitment, and passionate in their pursuit of godliness.

What are the lukewarm, tepid areas in your life? The areas where you are neither hot nor cold.

Will you allow Jesus to help you "spit them out?"


BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”

Sunday, January 23, 2011

BIBLE "PICK 'EMS" - Do Not Grieve the Lord

CHECK IT OUT!

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)


THANKS!


"When in doubt, search God out!"

Saturday, January 22, 2011

QUAINT WORDS

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!

"For, be assured, all the evil which the Spirit reveals, has been put away by the cross of Christ, out of God's sight for ever. And that which He has put away can never be brought up against you. When this blessed truth is seen, instead of being cast down, and questioning your forgiveness and salvation, you will, every day, be learning more and more of the fulness, perfectness, and blessedness of Jesus and His finished work...You will be taught, not to think less of sin, but more of Christ...

Does He not testify, by His presence in the believer's soul, that He who was on the cross, is now on the throne for us, and that He left all our sins behind Him in the grave? Blessed truth!

...The great thing is to get the eye off self...and to be wholly occupied with a risen, ascended, and glorified Christ at God's right hand."

(From "Things New and Old" by Anonymous, c. 1859)

(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, January 21, 2011

"FAN THE FLAME" FRIDAY - Discipline

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: discipline

What does the word discipline mean to you?

Which of its two definitions came first to your mind? Why?
  • chastening, correction, enforcing obedience; punishment
  • training and/or teaching that develops self-control and self-improvement

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, January 20, 2011

EN-COURAGEMENT

Encouragement.

What do you think of when you hear that word?

I have a picture of a kind friend or family member sympathetically listening to my woes, giving me a hug, and saying they’ll be praying for me.

All wonderful, yes – but I think encouragement means so much more than a comforting word. It’s something more than a "warm fuzzy."

Grammar lesson time - (please don’t run away – there will be NO pop quiz!)

The word encouragement starts with the prefix "en." "En" means this – to put into, to go into, to cause to be.

Here are just a few of the words that start with the prefix "en."

Enable – To make able
Enoble – To make noble
Encode – To make coded

So, in this sense, encouragement means to make courageous to put courage into someone, to cause them to be courageous.

Quite literally, encouragement is to inspire with spirit or hope. To raise the level of confidence. To spur on. To imbue with resolution and tenacity. To give someone the mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.

Therefore, conversely, being discouraged is more than just feeling bad, or a little down. It is literally being "un-couraged" having one’s courage taken away. It is being powerless, afraid, and defeated.

I don’t want to be defeated – I want to be made courageous.

It’s like this – (here comes the crazy English major with her word picture analogies – you’ve been warned!)

Out on a muddy battlefield, I’ve been fighting the good fight. But then, I fall down, losing my sword in the process. Laying in the mud, I am too exhausted to get up. I am discouraged. The truly encouraging comrade-in-arms is not the person who comes over, pats me on the back, and says, "Things will get better. Hang in there."

NO!

The EN-courager is the one who picks me up, wipes the mud from my face, finds my sword, slaps it back into my hand, grabs my arm, and says, "C’mon. We’ve got no time to waste. We’ve got a battle to fight, and we can do this! WE ARE CONQUERERS!!"

That person has made me courageous again.

So, I want to EN-courage you today. I don’t want to pat you on the back and tell you that things will get better. They might not. In fact, if you really choose to step out for the Lord, I’ll bet they get worse. The enemy doesn’t like an offensive warrior.

But, pay no attention to him.

He desires nothing less than to dis-courage you. Turn a deaf ear to his lies.

Listen instead to the ultimate EN-courager – God Himself.

"This is my command – be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."
(Joshua 1:9)

That’s the secret. God tells us over and over again – I AM WITH YOU!

So, let Him make you courageous again. Let Him give you His Sword.

Go to the Word of God and let it EN-courage you today. And then go out and EN-courage someone else.

We’re all in this fight together!

C’mon.
We’ve got no time to waste.
We’ve got a battle to fight.
We can do this.

WE ARE CONQUERERS!


BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

AMEN - LET IT BE SO!

Let every created being give praise to the LORD.
For He issued His command and they came into being.
Let them all praise the name of the LORD.

For His name is very great.
His glory towers over the earth and heaven!

He has made His people strong, honoring His faithful ones - the people who are close to Him.

Watch, for the day of the LORD is coming!
Then the LORD will go out to fight.
The LORD my God will come, and all His holy ones with Him.

And the LORD will be King over all the earth.
On that day there will be ONE LORD.
His name ALONE will be worshiped.

PRAISE THE LORD!


We should lift our praise to the LORD - for what He has done, and for who He is.

When's the last time you let yourself be carried away with a swelling tide of praise?

Are you singing your part well?


(From Zechariah 14 and Psalm 148)


BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

CLIMBING A MUD MOUNTAIN

I’m a pretty good hiker.

I did just fine on my 17-mile hike this past summer, thank you very much!

There’s just one thing – I’m a TERRIBLE uphill climber.

I get all sweaty (oh, that’s right – women don’t sweat – OK, so I get all "glowy"). I huff and I puff. I get a side ache. I get hot and bothered. I complain. I stop…a lot.

Not a pretty picture, huh?

Downhill, I’m Mt. Everest material. I often breeze past "The Hub" – with a spring in my step and a rather self-satisfied smirk on my face. I’ve even been known to stop at the bottom of the hill and look at my watch…

"Hmm, where have you been?" I’ll ask him sweetly.

Flat hiking? Yup, pretty good at that, too. I can go for long distances, a little out of breath from time to time – but able to hide that from "The Hub." (Pride, thy name is me…)

But once a dreaded incline appears on the horizon…

OH NO.

My heart beats faster, just in anticipation.

I’m not good at uphill.

It’s the same way with life.

Oh, I’m just great at going downhill. When everything’s a breeze. When things seem to flow, and unfold so amazingly perfect, that it’s like I’m coasting through life. I can skip, I can jump, I can run ahead and look back at Jesus – "Hmmm, where have You been?"

Terrific at the flat parts, too. When everything’s status quo. When things seem to flow, and move so predictably, that it’s like I’m floating through life. I step along evenly, a little out of breath from time to time – but able to hide that from Jesus.

But once a dreaded incline appears on the horizon…

OH NO.

I have to start to climb.

Sometimes it feels like I’m climbing a mud mountain.

Slippery, mucky, nowhere to get a good grip or sturdy foothold. Often, I’m taking one step forward, and two (or three or four or ten) steps back.

S-L-I-D-I-N-G…

Never making progress. Huffing and puffing in spiritual exhaustion. I get a heartache. I get hot and bothered. I complain. I stop…a lot.

I look up at Jesus…

"Where have You been?"

Climbing a mud mountain.

It’s so silly, really. Trying to climb alone. Slipping down – making no progress. Complaining. Stopping…a lot.

Isn’t it time we take a look at Jesus and say, "Where have I been?"

Ask for His help.

He’ll climb down to meet you. He’ll grab your hand in His. And before you know it, you’ll be making your way uphill.

A mud mountain…

It’s not so tough when you’re climbing with Him.


He’s the Sturdy Foothold…


BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”

Monday, January 17, 2011

THE PRINCESS AND THE PEA

"This is the most uncomfortable mattress I’ve ever slept on," thought the lovely young woman, as she tossed and turned – just as she had for hours.

She had hoped to make it all the way home on her own.

But, fading thoughts and heavy eyelids had forced her to stop.

It had been a lonely stretch of highway. There were no towns anywhere. It took many miles before she finally saw a small sign at the side of the road:

GOLGOTHA
"Where All Crossroads Meet"

What a strange name, thought the woman. But she couldn’t afford to be choosy. If she drove another mile, she’d fall asleep at the wheel, and…well…you know.

So she pulled into the small town.

It was only one block long. And there was only one place to stay –

LET ME INN
Proprietor: J. E. Sus

How odd.

She had checked in with no trouble. Mr. Sus was a very nice man, with kind eyes and a soft voice. He had given her the key to her room, and wished her a good night.

Everything was perfect in her room, except…evidently…the mattress.

"I can’t do this anymore," she thought to herself. "I’ve got to do something or I’m not going to be able to get any rest at all."

Finally, she got up, and headed to the office.

Mr. Sus was already at the desk, waiting for her.

"Having trouble sleeping?" he asked sympathetically.

"Yes, I am," replied the woman. "I’ve never slept on a more uncomfortable mattress."

"Others have said the same," replied Mr. Sus. "Some people choose to leave. Others say this is the most peaceful place they’ve ever stayed."

"Well, that certainly isn’t my experience. I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask for another room."

"There isn’t another room. Your room is the only one."

Great, thought the woman. I should have figured as much.

"I’m too tired to go on. I have to stay. What should I do?"

"Let’s go to your room together," suggested Mr. Sus.

When they got to her room, Mr. Sus quietly lifted up the mattress, and there, sitting right in the middle, was a tiny green pea. At least that’s what the woman thought it was – it was hard to tell, the pea was so shriveled up.

"This is the problem," said Mr. Sus, as he pointed at the pea.

"Well, I’ll just get rid of it then," the exasperated woman said.

"You can’t," answered Mr. Sus.

"OK, then you do it."

"I can’t unless you tell me to remove it."

This was the dumbest conversation the woman thought she’d ever had.

"Fine, just do it then."

"It’s going to hurt…a lot." Mr. Sus looked at her intensely. "But afterwards, you’ll have the best sleep of your life." He smiled.

Was she caught in a Twilight Zone episode? She could sell this story to Stephen King and make a million. Not understanding, but so completely exhausted that she just had to sleep – she looked at Mr. Sus and said quietly…

"Go ahead, remove the pea."


Are you tired, my friends? Completely exhausted?

What’s the "pea-sized sin" that makes you uncomfortable, that you keep hidden deep inside your heart? The one that won’t let you rest?

Jesus can remove it, but you have to let HIM do it.

It’s going to hurt…a lot.

But afterwards?

Oh, glorious peaceful freedom!

LET HIM IN.


BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”

Sunday, January 16, 2011

BIBLE "PICK 'EMS" - You Must Be Holy

CHECK IT OUT!

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)


THANKS!


"When in doubt, search God out!"

Saturday, January 15, 2011

QUAINT WORDS

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 silent Heaven! Yes, but it is not the silence of callous indifference or helpless weakness; it is the silence of a great sabbatic rest, the silence of a peace which is absolute and profound - a silence which is the public pledge and proof that the way is open for the guiltiest of mankind to draw near to God.

When faith murmurs, and unbelief revolts, and men challenge the Supreme to break that silence and declare Himself, how little do they realise what the challenge means! It means the withdrawal of the amnesty; it means the end of the reign of grace; it means the closing of the day of mercy and the dawning of the day of wrath."

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


BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Friday, January 14, 2011

"FAN THE FLAME" FRIDAY - Wrath

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: wrath

How would you define the word wrath?

What is the difference between God's wrath and our anger?


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, January 13, 2011

WHAT’S YOUR PIN?

PIN.

Personal Identification Number.

We all have them. They’re our secret little passwords – they give us entrĂ©e into a host of things.

I have several for various bank accounts. My husband has his own. The cable company gave us one. So did many other companies and institutions. My PIN allows me to use my ATM/Debit card like a happy bandit.

Easy cheesy…1, 2, 3.

It’s personal to just me(and no, it’s not 123).

I hold it very "tight to the vest." I have it written down in only one spot besides my brain. I’m not telling where that is…HA!

Whenever I have to use it on a keypad, I put one hand over my other hand, pretending like I can’t see the little numbers. But I can see just fineI’m really just guarding, protecting my PIN.

When I use the drive-up ATM window, and if "The Hub" is driving, I tell him the number before we get to the window. If he forgets it, I whisper it to him. Never can tell who’s listening…(I know, a little paranoid!)

But why am I so careful?

Because knowing that one little number would allow anyone to BE me. They could steal all kinds of things – my money, my credit, my identity.

Wouldn’t want that…

The process of picking a PIN is interesting. We’re assigned one initially, but many of us then make up our own. Oh, that’s when every clever gene we have goes to work!

Some of us make up words, some of us just use numbers – some of us make up a combination of both.

A funny little side story on that – "The Hub" has a word for one of his PIN’s. One time, he went to use his ATM card at a keypad. Oh no, the keypad only had numbers! After explaining his dilemma to the cashier, she handed him her cell phone. "The Hub" then proceeded to "translate" his PIN into numerical language!

PIN’s – they’re important.

That little number – (or word, which is really a number, if you know what I mean!) – gives me the freedom to "enter" into many places, to do many things – anywhere and anything that requires my PIN. The gas pump, the market, various accounts, my bank, restaurants, stores – the list goes on and on.

These are important things – yes – but they are earthly things.

The only place I really care about entering is Heaven.

And there’s only one way to get there.

At some point, every single person that’s ever lived will have to stand at the foot of the throne of the Almighty God. He will look down on us, and ask why we should be allowed to enter into His Kingdom. He’s asking for our "PIN"…

Here it is:

53787

(Look at a keypad with letters – you’ll understand…)

J E S U S…

The ONLY way to enter…the ONLY way to identify ourselves that counts.

And this PIN we can SHOUT at the top of our lungs!


“Jesus [53787] told him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)


BLOG = “Blessed Leaning On God!”

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

HAIL THE ALMIGHTY ONE

The LORD says:

I will bring them through the fire and make them pure.
I will refine them like silver and purify them like gold.

They will call on My name, and I will answer them.
I will say - "These are My people."
And they will say - "The LORD is our God."

Praise the LORD!
Salvation and glory and power belong to our God.
His judgments are true and just.

Praise our God, all His servants, all who fear Him, from the least to the greatest.

For the LORD our God, the Almighty, reigns!

Let us be glad and rejoice.
Let us give honor to Him.
How good to sing the praises of our God.

He heals the brokenhearted, and bandages their wounds.
He supports the humble.

For the LORD has arrived to look after His flock.
He will make them strong and glorious.
Since the LORD is with them when they fight, they will become like
mighty warriors.

They will pass safely through the sea of distress.
He will lift up those who are weighed down.
By His power, God will make His people strong.

Joyful are those whose hope is in the LORD their God.

How great is our LORD!
His power is absolute!
His understanding is beyond comprehension!
He keeps every promise forever.
He will reign...

The LORD delights in those who fear Him, those who put their hope in His unfailing love!

Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb!

I will praise the LORD as long as I live!



(From Zechariah 10 & 13, Psalm 147, and Revelation 19)


BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

GONE FISHING - FOR REAL

Slap…slap…slap.

The man listened to the sound of the waves gently lapping against the side of the boat. The sun was shining above in a crystal clear blue sky. He had a good feeling about today. He felt a stirring in his spirit that he couldn’t quite explain.

Of course, just the other day, he and Andrew had met this Jesus fellow. Andrew had said that He was the Messiah. Simon had to admit, Andrew could be right…just this once. Jesus had very compelling eyes. His voice spoke with authority. He had the aura of truth about Him.

And He had told him that his name would be Peter. That was a little puzzling.

The rock?!

OK, I’ve got a strong personality, thought Simon. But I’m not really known for being rock-solid. Why would Jesus say that?

At any rate, Simon was interested in hearing more of what Jesus had to say. But that was for another day. Today they had work to do –

"C’mon, Andrew. Help me throw this net out."

Just as they were throwing the net into the water, a figure appeared on shore. The sun was at the back of the person, so all Simon saw was a silhouette.

"Hello," called out the man on shore.

Simon looked up.

Andrew exclaimed, "It’s Him, Simon. It’s the Christ."

Simon thought to himself, "What does He want?"

"Come, follow Me, and I will show you how to fish for people!"

And then it happened.

The stirring in Simon’s spirit exploded, washing over him in a rush of devotion, of unmitigated love, of excitement and anticipation…

He turned to his brother – and with eyes gleaming, he said, "Let’s go!"

And in that moment, Simon became Peter – and his life was forever changed.

Jesus was calling these men to leave behind everything that was familiar to them. He was calling them to sacrifice security for an unknown future. He was calling them to a life of uncertain adventure. He was calling them…

Leave behind what you know. Leave behind what you control. Leave behind yourself.

Follow Me.

Jesus’ call motivated these humble fishermen to get up and leave – immediately. They didn’t make excuses. They didn’t hesitate. They didn’t complain why it wasn’t a good time. They left at once…

Jesus is standing on the shoreline of your life. Can you see His silhouette?
He’s calling out to you.

"Come, follow Me."


Will you obey Him?

Will you throw down your net, and make your way to His feet –
at once?

Will you…


BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”

Monday, January 10, 2011

GONE PHISHING

Phishing…

A fun new word in our Internet vocabulary.

Here’s the definition:

The practice of using fraudulent e-mails and copies of legitimate websites to extract financial data from computer users for purposes of identity theft – from fishing in the sense of catching the unwary by offering bait.

Do you have an inkling of where this is going?

Yup, earlier this year, I got caught by a phishing scam.

Fell for the bait – hook, line, and sinker.

These people are good.

Or else I’m just incredibly gullible – which would mean I’m bordering on "How could you be so dumb"– so, I’m picking that they’re just VERY good.

Here’s how it happened.

It was in July. We were planning for our tremendous trek down The Narrows in Zion National Park. 17 miles of rocky, slippery hiking – only one night allowed in the canyon. There was a LOT going on, trying to get everything all situated.

Did we have EVERYTHING we could possibly need?

First-aid kit, hiking poles, sleeping pads and bags, WATER…knee braces…stamina.

So, I was already harried and nervous.

The morning before we were supposed to leave, I was doing my LAST check on emails. And there it was – an email warning me that my PayPal account had shown fraudulent use of a credit card, and was being blocked for further usage. "Here’s the case number, please attend to this as soon as possible."

HOOK in place.

I freaked out – which is the first thing I think they count on.

Here we are, ready to go on a HUGE trip, and someone’s stolen our credit card information.

So, I click on the link to the website. Log in. And proceed with the instructions I’m given on the screen.

LINE being pulled in.

It asks me to verify who I am. Please insert a credit card number, expiration date, and security code. For a brief second, I think this is strange, but I am so anxious about this "terrible situation right before vacation" that I comply.

SINKER.

To my credit, as soon as I logged out, I had a bad feeling. So, I went into my PayPal account (the REAL one) and quickly saw that there was NO report, NO case number, NO problem…

Except for my "How could you be so dumb?!"

I spent half of that day contacting PayPal, closing my account with them, changing all my credit cards, updating all the accounts connected to those cards, changing passwords – the list goes on and on. A thousand little things that I hadn’t planned on doing, just because I had "bit" on an effective lure.

So what’s the lesson? (BESIDES "How could you be so dumb?")

The devil is out there phishing.

He’s trolling for you.

And he’s very good.

He is an expert at making his fraudulent website look just like the real thing. He takes the perfect truth of God, the absolute goodness of what He has created, and twists it just so.

Love becomes lust and immorality.
Joy becomes a hunt for happiness at any cost.
Peace becomes compromising the truth.
Patience becomes asserting your "rights."
Kindness becomes apathy and selfishness.
Goodness becomes a thousand little "bad-ish" things.
Faithfulness becomes "Sunday"worship.
Gentleness becomes political correctness and meek acceptance of sin.
Self-control becomes pious pride and righteous rules.

He makes the perfect lure tailor-made just for you. He baits it with what is most tempting. And then he casts it out there, and waits…

…for you to bite.

He’s got all the time in the world.

We must not get caught up in his scam!

He’s subtle – oh you bet! He’s deceptive – for sure! He’s successful – all too often!

But we have a better weapon. We have the Truthboth through the Spirit living inside of us, and in God’s Word.

Wise people know when to fight, and when to run. Knowing when to run is as important in spiritual battle as knowing when and how to fight!

"And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so you can endure."
(1 Corinthians 10:13)

We must be smart!

The devil lies, he attacks, he deceives, he discourages, he entices, and he makes us doubt.


He goes "phishing" – but just hit the "delete" button.

After all, he’s really just "SPAM!"


BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”

Sunday, January 9, 2011

BIBLE "PICK 'EMS" - Have You Ever Been Lost?

CHECK IT OUT!

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)

THANKS!


"When in doubt, search God out!"

Saturday, January 8, 2011

QUAINT WORDS

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)

"In the profound religious experience of Jesus' last hours the heart of God was laid open to human eyes. [People] have never been able to turn their eyes away from it. An increasing number of [people] look at it, generation after generation, trying to understand and explain its meaning...

God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself. [People] find God and repent at the cross of Christ.

In that great tragedy [people] see what the real nature of human selfishness is. They see that human selfishness will strike down anything that gets between it and its desire...

[People] see in the suffering of Jesus not simply how far human selfishness will go, but how far the heart of God goes in its reclaiming desire."

(From "What It Means to be a Christian" by Edward Increase Bosworth,
c. 1922


BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Friday, January 7, 2011

"FAN THE FLAME" FRIDAY - Humility

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: humility

What does the word humility mean to you?

Compare and contrast these two words that have the same root -
HUMBLED and HUMILIATED...


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, January 6, 2011

HOLY WINDEX

I don’t know about you, but getting ready for Christmas at our house entailed some “winter cleaning.”

Christmas Day offered a good excuse to clean this place up – stem to stern – and make this home *sparkle*

Housekeeping – my little gift to my husband.

I’ve shared with you before that “The Hub” is a neatnik. And I am not. So, when he gets into Mr. Clean mode, I put on my gloves and jump in with him – and we CLEAN! (Gotta give “The Hub” a little shout-out here – he really helps me with this project – he’s such a KEEPER!)

OK, looked up “cleaning” in Sharon’s Synonym Dictionary (NOT to be confused with the many other Sharon Dictionaries out there…)

Scrubbing, scouring, wiping, waxing, polishing, vacuuming, hanging (I hear you asking – hanging?? That would be hanging as in “hanging up my clothes” – after all, this is Sharon’s dictionary, and Sharon has a BAD habit of NOT hanging up her clothes. Mrs. Messy is a diehard…)

One of my tasks was cleaning the mirrors.

Oh, how I love this task. Really!

Why? Well, for one thing, you can see instant results! You can see the grime come off. You can see the dust particles wiped away. You can see that filmy thing that happens with mirrors disappear. You can see…well, you can SEE!

Windex is my friend.

When I was done, I looked at my reflection in the mirror. I could see myself so much clearer, because the dingy mirror now *sparkled*

It’s the same way with God.

We were made in the very image of God. Beautiful, sparkling, clear reflections of Him. Perfect in every way…

Ahem.

Then we got dirty.

We let the dust of disobedience dim our glow. We let the grime of self and pride accumulate. We let that filmy thing that happens with sin dull our reflection of God.

I don’t want to be a dull reflection. Do you?

I want to reflect my Savior’s glory. I want to reflect His kindness and love. I want to shine forth His image. I want people to look at me, and see Him.
I want to mirror Jesus.

How can we accomplish this?

We give God the cleaning rag, and we let Him “have at it.” Every single part of us. Every hidden corner. Every dusty, grimy, filthy, filmy thing inside.

Holy Windex.

That’s what I’m talking about!


Oh Lord, I just want to be Your reflection. I want others to see You in me. Do what You have to do to clean me. Make me Your image-bearer. Make me sparkle with Your Spirit, and shine with Your Love.


BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

LORD, I'M SCARED...

Lord, when things are fine, I’m fine.

When things are shaken up, I’m shaken.

I’m so tired of being the victim of my anxieties, my fears. I’m so tired of this undercurrent of dread I’ve always felt in my life. I’m tired…

I believe in my heart every single promise You have ever made.

I believe in my heart that You are with me every single step of my way.

I believe in my heart that for the rest of eternity, whether here or there,
I belong to You.


And yet, I’m always so nervous, Lord.


Others do not understand this.

They do not understand the shadow that haunts me – the niggling fear that’s always ready to pounce.

Oh, doesn’t someone know?

"My heart is troubled and restless.
Days of suffering torment me.
I walk in gloom, without sunlight."

Job – a righteous man – he understood.

"My life is poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint.
My heart is like wax, melting within me.
My strength has dried up like sun-baked clay.
My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth…
Have mercy on me, LORD, for I am in distress.
Tears blur my eyes.

Have compassion on me, LORD, for I am weak.
Heal me, LORD, for my bones are in agony.
I am sick at heart…
I am worn out by sobbing."

David – a man after God’s own heart – he understood.

"I have had enough, LORD.
Take my life…"

Elijah – the great prophet – he understood.

He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood.

JesusyesHe understood.

I sit quietly in the darkness of the night, unable to sleep. Worried, fretful, anxious, scared. I’m tired…

I pray.

"Oh Lord, I am poor and needy.
Please hurry to my aid.
You are my Help and my Savior.
Oh Lord, do not delay."

He comes to me.

My child,
I know.
I understand everything you feel.
I am with you – I really am.
And I have a plan – a good plan – I really do.
And someday I’ll make everything right again – I really will.
Believe what I say – really believe.
Rely on what I know – really rely.
Trust in what I do – really trust.

Give yourself to Me – completely – and be not afraid.

I AM here.

The LORD has heard my plea.
The LORD will answer my prayer.

In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O LORD, will keep me safe.

I lay down and slept, yet I woke up in safety, for the LORD was watching over me.

I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies who surround me
on every side.


If God is for me, who can EVER be against me?


(Selections from Job, Psalms, 1 Kings, Luke, and Romans)


BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

THERE WILL ALWAYS BE SHOES

You know, life is tough when problems arise.

We all know that.

But for me, sometimes life is tough when things are going great.

WHY?

Because it seems like I’m always waiting for the "other shoe to drop."

I know that this is a self-defeating thought process. I know that it exhibits my tendency toward negative thinking. I know that it doesn’t say a whole lot about my faith and trust level.

I can make a bunch of excuses for it. In fact, here are a few…anxiety issues, obsessive thinking, a faulty temperament. OK, I feel slightly better doing that. But the truth of the matter is this – it isn’t all that wrong to look at life this way.

There will always be shoes…and they will drop.

It is the one sure thing in this life.

Stuff happens.

Look up “Murphy’s Law” on Wikipedia. It’s a rather interesting article. The one thing that really struck me was the many fields of study that have found this one basic adage to be true – physics, mountaineering, magic, engineering, medicine, law - to name a few.

Hey, I can even quote some Scripture that supports this idea:

"Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows." (John 16:33)

Those are the words of Jesus Himself – God. They’re written in RED letters in my Bible.

He knew.

Look at His own life.

He’s born – YAY.
Herod tries to kill Him – BOO.

He’s the Son of God – YAY.
His brothers hate Him – BOO.

He gets baptized, and receives God’s blessing – YAY.
He gets tempted in the wilderness – BOO.

He brings the Good News to his hometown – YAY.
They try to kill Him – BOO.

He calls twelve disciples – YAY.
One betrays Him – BOO.

He’s hailed as the King of Jews – YAY.
A week later, He’s crucified – BOO.

I’m thinking that’s why He could say that verse. He knew it from experience. Life is tough. And just when things are starting to look up, just when things are going well, just when you can catch a little breathing room…

BOOM!

Is that that other shoe again???

I don’t mean to be pessimistic, but really – I don’t know why it has to happen this way. It’s just so discouraging. In fact, I can’t understand…

"Psst. Sharon."

As I was saying, I can’t understand…

"Sharon. Listen to Me."

Huh?! Is that You, Lord?

"Yes. I have something to say to you."

Me, Lord? Am I in trouble?

"No, not in a punishment kind of way. But yes, in a forgetting something kind of way."

What have I forgotten?

"The second part of the verse. That’s not all I said, you know."

Oh…

Right…

The second part of the verse. The best part of the verse!


"But take heart, because I have OVERCOME the world." (John 16:33)


It’s a word I have to hear in my head, and believe in my heart, over and over and over again. HIS Word –

Take courage. You will not be alone. I will not abandon you. I understand what you’re going through. “Stuff” happened to Me, too. But I won the victory. I conquered death.

YES!!

He was crucified and died – BOO.
But He rose again – YAY!

And you know what?! In that moment, the “other shoe” dropped on the devil! He thought things were going great. He thought he had killed the Son of God. He thought he owned all the authority on earth now. He thought we belonged to him – finally.

BOOM!

Did his heart quake? Did his knees tremble? Did his snarly little sneer turn upside down? Did he look over his shoulder and see a stone tumbled away? Did he hear the shoe drop?

Jesus won.

In this life, there will always be shoes. But we are not ruled by “Murphy’s Law.” We are kept in the hands of The Lawgiver Himself. He brings victory out of defeat. He brings joy out of sorrow. He brings peace out of turmoil. He brings life out of death.

He wears the shoesand when we are too tired to walkHe carries us.

YAY!


BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”

Monday, January 3, 2011

MARTY’S NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS

MARTY’S NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS

1. Do not chew the couch cushion.

2. Do not chew the couch cushion.

3. OK, do not eat the stuffing after chewing the couch cushion.

4. Do not hog the recliner.

5. Do not steal socks.

6. Do not run away after stealing socks.

7. Learn how to CHEW the string cheese – not swallow it in large chunks
even though it’s my favorite food in the entire world.

8. Do not mess up the blankets to make a “tent” to sleep in.

9. Do not lick my fur for such a long time that I gag.

10. Do not bite my fingernails – (I didn’t used to do this until I joined this
infamous family of nail-biters…)

11. Perfect the “pound puppy” look – it works every time.

12. Try just a little harder to conceal my zeal for treats.

13. Do not place my cold nose on unsuspecting necks of dozing people.

14. Do not jump up on furniture and show off my “mountain goat” imitation.

15. Do not speak when asked to speak – just “Harumph” – or is it the other
way around? Hmmm…

16. Resist the urge to “dog paddle” when I am carried in the rain. (This
“instinct” thing drives me crazy…)

17. Avoid the dreaded black poodle.

18. Try to decide on ONE tree to do my “morning constitution” – and make it
the SAME tree every day.

19. Ignore #18 – (that instinct thing again)

20. Try to stop snoring – even though my people are worse.

21. Try to sleep in just once in a while, like to 7:30 AM.

22. Try to stay up just once in a while, like to 7:30 PM.

23. Ignore #21 and 22 – it’s a dog’s life, and I love to sleep!

24. Do not place my paws on people unless asked.

25. Do not jump on people unless asked.

26. Do not lick people unless asked.

27. OK, put paws on people, jump on people, lick people – ask for forgiveness
instead of permission – easier that way. (Note to self: See #11 - "pound
puppy" look)

28. Remember that there is a body attached to my nose...(we hounds tend to
forget that)

29. Be cute.

30. Be Marty.

31. Do not chew the couch cushion.

Love my people even more than I already do…(I think that’s impossible!)

Love God the most!!


HAPPY NEW YEAR to my four-legged, and two-legged, friends out there!

(P.S. Today is my BIRTHDAY! I am 4! I hope I get some cake...if not, I'm
re-considering #1, #2, and #31!!)


BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”

Sunday, January 2, 2011

BIBLE "PICK 'EMS" - To Tell the Truth

CHECK IT OUT!

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)


THANKS!

(Please see "Update" post just below this one - I've made some changes for the New Year!)


"When in doubt, search God out!"

SOME NEW YEAR "REMODELING"

Hi friends!

Just wanted to alert you to a few new features on my blog!

On the sidebar:

VERSE OF THE DAY - Inspiration from God's Word
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY - A helpful insight
QUESTION OF THE DAY - Something to ponder
PRAYER FOR THE WEEK - To focus your heart and mind

"THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA" - Quotes from my favorite author,
C.S. Lewis

(Hint: This will be located just below the picture of a lion - Aslan!)


At the bottom of my blog:

READ THROUGH THE BIBLE - I'll be offering two plans this year.

1) Daily Scripture plan including a passage from the Old Testament, one
from the New Testament, one from Psalms, and one from Proverbs

2) Daily Scripture plan if you want to read the Bible "cover-to-cover"


Looking forward to sharing our journeys in 2011!


BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"