Monday, April 30, 2012


The silence of God.

Philosophers and theologians have wrestled with this issue for centuries.

Job lived with it - for awhile.

Even regular old human beings like me have had times when they've looked to the sky and been greeted with the resounding sound of...nothing.

Why is it that God seems silent sometimes - especially when we seem to need Him the most?

I know you all know the feeling.  Those times when our prayers seem to fade in an echo chamber - bouncing around in our own heads, but never going past the ceiling.

My son and I were talking about this the other day.  Evidently he's inherited the *ponder* gene - and we get into all sorts of discussions about stuff.

His life has been full of activity lately.  Lots of things going on.  Some are great - some are confusing, bewildering, frustrating.  He's talked to me lately about the difficulty of hearing God.  I have so identified and empathized with his heartfelt dismay - "I just can't hear Him..."

So, as we were catching up on stuff, I told him that from my perspective, even though God wasn't saying much, He sure was busy in his life!  And my son said this:

"Mom, it really isn't that God is silent, it's that He's not saying what I want to hear.  He's not giving me the answers I want to have."

OK, I had to laugh.

"Son, you are an honest person," I chuckled.

"Well, you know that that's the truth," he replied.

Yes, indeed I do.

What a profound insight.

So often the silence of God is *us-induced* - we have pushed the mute button on God's broadcast.

When we're watching a show on television, if we don't like it, we simply turn to another station or turn the TV off.  As *good* little Christians, we don't want to do that to God - so we just push *mute* - and wait until the program changes.

Way back in the day there used to be this saying:  "If you feel far from God, guess who moved?"

A bit simplistic maybe, but there's truth in that statement.

When God is silent, more often than not it's our fault.

Yes, I do believe that God chooses to be less verbal sometimes for His own very good reasons.

Sometimes I think God wants us to grow up.  He wants us to move past the spiritual "toddler" stage where He has to constantly pat us on the back.

Sometimes I think God has other reasons - reasons that I won't understand - just because He's God.

But this is the wonderfully amazing truth.

Even if the heavens seem silent - God is never, ever far away.

James puts it this way:  "Come close to God, and God will come close to you."

I know what he's trying to communicate here.

But more often than not, when we feel far from God, it's just exactly that - we FEEL far from God.  The FACT of the matter is that He is still right close as a breath, as near as a heartbeat.

I have a story to illustrate.

My dad and I used to ride our bikes from Arcadia to my grandparents' house in Pasadena - it was a very long bike ride for a girl of about 12...on a *me-speed* Schwinn.  My dad had a three-speed bike - and at 6'3" tall, around 210 pounds, he had a lot more *foot power* than me!

So, there was this one part of the journey when we had to cross a very busy street, and then go up a very big hill on the other side.  We always hoped we'd hit the green light so we (me) could get a "running start" on climbing that other side.

This one time, we missed the signal.  While we waited for it to change, my dad told me his strategy.

"Just pedal as fast as you can and don't stop.  And don't worry - I'll be right behind you."

Well, the signal changed and I started pedaling to save my life.  As I crossed the busy street, I looked behind me.  My dad was about 20 feet away from me, going really slow.  But I kept pedaling.  Towards the top of the hill, I got kinda scared.  I was afraid that I was too far away from my dad.  I thought he wasn't next to me anymore.

So I chanced a quick look behind.

Well, as I turned to look behind, my hands also turned the handlebars - just a little bit.  Lo and behold, my dad was right next to me, perhaps only a couple of feet away.

He plowed into me.

Bikes and limbs went flying.

Needless to say, we both arrived at my grandparents' house fairly banged up.

The lesson?

My dad had been right there next to me all the time - even though I hadn't *felt* his presence.

THAT is the truth - just the facts, ma'am.

Because of what Jesus did for us on the cross - (and not so incidentally, Jesus was the only one who ever fully suffered the silence of God) - we can have the presence of God WITHIN us every moment of every day...forever.

The cross was when God spoke quietly - and the Resurrection was when He shouted.

When He seems silent, He's busy.

When He seems silent, He's right there.

When He seems silent, open up your heart to hear what HE wants to say to you.

What is God saying to you today?  Are you listening, or have you put Him on mute?

(SIDENOTE: One of my favorite authors, Philip Yancey, wrote a wonderful book on this subject - "Disappointment With God")

Linked today with Joan at SHARING HIS BEAUTY

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Sunday, April 29, 2012

BIBLE PICK 'EMS - The Last Shall Be First

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?

Linked today with Charlotte at SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Saturday, April 28, 2012



In these posts I will be interacting with Scripture – making it a conversational walk of faith.

Sometimes we'll be talking with Jesus, sometimes God will be talking with us.

There might even be *guest appearances* by some of our beloved characters from the Bible!

So put on your walking shoes – you know we can all use the exercise!


If racing against mere men makes you tired, how will you race against horses?  
If you stumble and fall on open ground, what will you do in the thickets?

Oh Lord, these questions stop me.

I ask myself – if I am exhausted by my relationships with the people around me, how am I going to fight against Satan?

If I am wearied by racing around in a human (and frail) body, how am I going to race against the spiritual forces that rise against me?

How often I get mired in the *daily rut* of living ordinary life.  How often I get overwhelmed by the tedious things that life requires of me.

But, if I struggle when things are going well, what will I do when things get tough?

There is this saying – "When the going gets tough, the tough get going" – but I am stalled by difficult circumstances.

If my sinful nature plagues me when the way is smooth, what will I do in the thickets of temptation, discouragement, and suffering?

They have worn themselves out, but it has done them no good.

Yes, Lord.  That is what has happened to me. I have worried, and fretted, and manipulated, and finagled, and tinkered, and attempted to influence everything in my life.

I am worn out.

Listen and pay attention!

Do not be arrogant, for the LORD has spoken.

I ask myself…

Lord, am I tired because of my pride?

By trying to run my own life have I just succeeded in running myself ragged?

This is how the LORD responds:

If you return to Me, I will restore you so you can continue to serve Me.

The enemy, MY enemy will fight against you like an attacking army, but I will make you as secure as a fortified wall of bronze.

You will make my feet of clay firm and strong and immovable?


He will not conquer you, for I am with you to protect and rescue you.

Yes, I will certainly keep you safe.

I will rescue you from his cruel hands.

LORD, You are my strength and fortress, my refuge in the day of trouble!

Oh LORD, if You heal me, I will be truly healed.  If You save me, I will be truly saved.

My praises are for You alone!

You alone are my hope in the day of disaster.

The LORD says:

Now I will show you My power.

Now I will show you My might.

At last you will know and understand that I am the LORD.

Blessed are those who trust in the LORD and have made the LORD their confidence.


(From Jeremiah 12, 13, 16, and 17)

"The Lord is my light and my salvation – so why should I be afraid?  The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?  When evil people come to devour me, when my enemies and foes attack me, they will stumble and fall.  Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will not be afraid.  Even if I am attacked, I will remain confident."  (Psalm 27:1-3)

"'Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life.'" (John 6:68)

How is God YOUR fortress today?

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God"

Friday, April 27, 2012


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: angry

What makes you angry?

How is it possible to be angry and not sin?

What do you think makes God angry?

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!"

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


The first time I heard about C.S. Lewis was when I was about 22. 

I was at a summer College camp. 

I've been a Christian all my life. But I'd always felt a little bit guilty because I never FELT the horror of the crucifixion. I had head knowledge that it was awful, and I believed it (and all that it stood for) with my whole heart. 

But it hadn't reached my emotions. 

One night, at that college camp, the speaker told us the story of Aslan - and he told us how Aslan had been taunted, shamed, humiliated - how his majestic mane had been shorn. When he was done, I was in tears. 

I FELT the tremendous depth of what Jesus' death had been like.

I ran out, got a boxed set of The Chronicles of Narnia, and read them all in a week.

They changed my life.

I loved the books themselves, yes, but there was something else at work.  The Spirit of God was speaking to me deeply.  I suppose that The Chronicles touched my life in such a profound way because their message "snuck up on me."

God used delightful stories to teach me inner truths.

Sometimes without realizing it, I learned a Biblical lesson through a particular character.  Was I desiring "Turkish delight" in my own life?  Was I falling under an enchanted trance?  Was I starting to doubt that Aslan was real?  Was I questioning His methods?  Did I really and truly, completely and fully, trust a God who "wasn't safe?"  

And did I believe that He was good?

I loved all the books, but my favorite was probably The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.  And here's the reason why – I really related to Eustace becoming a dragon.  Because, after all, aren't we all really *dragons* in some way?  

We're all sinners.  And like Eustace, we can't save ourselves.  

I thought about how often I had tried to "scratch the scales off" in my own life.  How I tried to make myself "good enough," or tried to do *better* or how many times I promised to be a more "faithful" Christian.  

All to no avail.  I was still a dragon.

I related to Eustace's sense of frustration and sadness – his discouragement and defeat.

And then, he met Aslan – Aslan who showed up – Aslan who cared.  

When Eustace describes that first moment when Aslan starts to remove the scales, I felt his pain.  That's what Jesus asks of us.  To be true disciples, we must die to self, we must experience that tearing at our souls - we must yield to the cleansing claw of a Savior.  

And yet, what freedom afterwards!!  

We are made human again – the way we were supposed to be in the first place.  

Children of the Lion!

Reepicheep is one of my favorite Narnians.

Why?  For one, he is little.  I've always been short, so I relate.  But I also just LOVE an underdog character that has a warrior's heart.  

I want to be like Reepicheep – brave, valiant, full of faith armed to the teeth with God's armor – and ready to fight in any battle to defend the cause of the Gospel.  He stands as my faithful example.  To be a follower of Aslan – no matter what – until I meet Him face to face.

I've read most of what C.S. Lewis has written.

I would encourage you to read his books, if you haven't yet discovered him.

And if you have, read some of his stuff that you haven't read before! Each book brings meaning and practical knowledge to the reader.  

However, Lewis' greatest contribution to Christianity, in my opinion, is that he turns people toward the heart of Jesus, our Aslan.  

He inspires love, commitment, courage, and faith – to a God who isn't safe, but He's good…

GOD BLESS – and Aslan lives!!

Who is your favorite Christian author?  How have they influenced your spiritual journey?

Linked with Joan at the GRACE CAFE

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Monday, April 23, 2012


Sometimes I like to get my *think* on.

I like to think about the stuff that I can't understandthe things that literally boggle my mind.

The other night a friend and I went out to coffee. We talked about life – but we always seem to end up talking about important spiritual stuff, too. Last week we yakked about the concept of God's omnipresence.

Yeah – heavy duty.

I'm not sure what they put in those *grande frappucinos* – but it sure spurs us on to a "latte" deep conversation. (Groan...)

Omnipresence is a mind-boggler, for sure. So is the eternal existence of God – no beginning, no end. I used to lose sleep thinking about the concept of forever, too.

But our discussion led me to think about three other things that I ponder from time to time.

Ready for some science??

First of all is the existence of what scientists call "junk DNA."

DNA is the *stuff* that we're made of – the unique and individual "signature" of every cell in our bodies.

But, scientists only understand the function of about 2-5% of our total DNA:

"Presently, only the function of a few percent of the DNA is known, the rest has been believed to be "junk". The most exhaustive knowledge is about the genes responsible for the bodily structures, the structural genes, which are the simplest part of the system. But the knowledge about the most important part of this system, the regulator genes, is incomplete. The genetic code language of these genes is only partially known.

More than 98 percent of all DNA, was called "Junk DNA" by molecular biologists, because they were unable to ascribe any function to it."

So, I ponder.

Of course I have NO idea what the purpose of this DNA is – but I wonder. Could it be that something actually happened to our biological makeup after The Fall? We know all about the spiritual ramifications – but what if something happened to our bodies, too?

And someday when we are raised into incorruptible bodies – will this "junk DNA" have something to do with the process?

I don't know, but I wonder.


Another thing I wonder about is gravity.

A force that no one can deny exists – but no one really understands at all.

"But there are questions for which even Einstein had no answers.

For example, if gravity is a force that causes all matter to be attracted to all other matter, why are atoms mostly empty space inside? (There is really hardly any actual matter in an atom!) How are the forces that hold atoms together different from gravity? Is it possible that all the forces we see at work in nature are really different sides of the same basic force or structure?

We don't really know. We can define what it is as a field of influence, because we know how it operates in the universe. And some scientists think that it is made up of particles called gravitons which travel at the speed of light. However, if we are to be honest, we do not know what gravity "is" in any fundamental way - we only know how it behaves."

Whenever I see something that scientists can't explain, I think of God. Is gravity in some way the actual hand of God holding everything together?

I don't know, but I wonder.


And then, the thing that really blows my mind is something else recently discovered.

We all know from our rather rudimentary understanding that all things are made up of molecules, and their smaller counterparts, atoms. But atoms are made up of even smaller stuff, and science has been discovering even smaller (and weirder) stuff like particles, strings, and quarks.

Do not ask me to explain – just trust me that it's weird even to the people who DO understand that stuff!

But even the scientists have been puzzled by the discovery of dark matter in the universe – and its even stranger partner, dark energy.

"But recently some experts have been wondering out loud if it is time to rewrite Einstein's version of the law as it applies to the other end of the length scale, to very long distances. The motivation comes from the predominance of what is sometimes called ''the dark sector'' in the universe.

According to what has recently become a highly celebrated ''standard model,'' ordinary atoms make up only 5 percent of the ''stuff'' of the cosmos. Some kind of mysterious dark matter, perhaps consisting of elementary particles left over from the Big Bang, makes up 25 percent, while the rest -- a whopping 70 percent -- consists of something even more mysterious, known as ''dark energy.''

Obviously a theory that leaves 95 percent of the universe unexplained is less than a complete triumph.

Neither dark energy nor dark matter has been observed or detected directly. Each has been inferred from its gravitational effects on the tiny fraction of stuff we can see. As a result, some scientists have suggested that what astronomers have discovered in the last 20 years is their own ignorance of gravity.

In particular, the discovery, five years ago, that the expansion of the universe is apparently accelerating, under the influence of that dark energy, has occasioned a re-evaluation of the old certainties."

Is our great and awesome God the *energy* that explains it all? I think He is – but do I understand how? NOPE!

I don't know, but I wonder.


God has created a world and a universe that can be discovered and studied and understoodto a point. God does allow us a peek into the mysteries of creationto a point.

But there will always be something "unknowable" about our God. That's what makes Him God.

What I love about Him – (among the other million things I love) – is that He humbly chooses to reveal Himself to us.

I find it incredibly awesome that God chose to inhabit DNA, to be subject to the force of gravity on earth, to become atoms and molecules in observable matter…

God chose to be just like us, in order to save us.


Last night my friend and I didn't come up with an explanation for the concept of omnipresence(shocking, huh?!). Nor do I understand a thing about junk DNA, or gravity, or dark matter and dark energy.

But I do understand what Jesus was all about – Jesus was God choosing to reveal Himself.

So, for all the things I "get" about God – and all the things I don't understand I am grateful that He cares enough about me to show me enough to believe in Him, to trust in Him, and to live with the hope that someday I will see Him face to face.

I love His mystery, I love His revelation.

And I will spend the rest of eternity learning to know Him better and better.

What glory!


When I contemplate the mysteries of God

Almighty God,

If your nature and knowledge were not beyond human understanding, you would cease to be God. My human heart longs to know you and understand all your ways. But the truth is, I can't ever claim to fully understand you. If I did, I would be making myself equal to you in my own mind.

God, your mysteries are opportunities for faith. If I knew everything about you or your plans for my life, I wouldn't need faith. You have given me everything I need to know to believe in you and obey you.

As I contemplate your mysterious nature, please remind me of all that you HAVE chosen to reveal about who you are. You will not hold me responsible for what I don't know about you, only for what I do know - and I know that following you is a life-long adventure of discovery.

(From "365 Pocket Prayers" by Ronald A. Beers, c. 2010, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.)

"Truly, O God of Israel, our Savior, you work in mysterious ways." Isaiah 45:15

What are the mysteries about God that you ponder?

Linked today with Joan at SHARING HIS BEAUTY

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Sunday, April 22, 2012

BIBLE PICK 'EMS - Let's Get Busy!

I get by with a little help from my friends.

Oh, how true that is –

We're not supposed to live this life on our own. Of course, we have God with us, every step of the way. But we also have each other.

Today's "Bible Pick 'Ems" comes from the book of Nehemiah.

I just love it when God brings me a message in the middle of the Old Testament.

I found the verses He had led me to, but I read the chapters before to get some background information.

Jerusalem lies in ruins. The exiles have returned to their land, but it is in a decimated and ravaged condition.

But God laid a message on Nehemiah's heart – He told him an audacious plan. He wanted Nehemiah to rebuild…

So, in the middle of the night, Nehemiah snuck out with a few other intrepid souls, to inspect the broken walls and burned gates of the city. Rubble was everywhere…

But Nehemiah did not see the impossibility in the ruined heaps –

Because he had heard the Voice of the One who could turn it into a "Him-possibility." And now, in the quiet, wee hours of the night, he whispered to those few souls surrounding him…

"Psst. You know very well what trouble we're in. But God has spoken to me. Let's rebuild the wall and end this disgrace!"

And I just love how the friends replied…

"YES! Let's rebuild the wall!"

So they began the good work…

No hesitation, no doubting, no committee meeting, no vote – unbridled enthusiasm and God-sized faith.

And boy oh boy – did they get busy!!

The entire 3rd chapter of Nehemiah is a listing of people who worked –
a Who’s Who of some of the faithful…

…each one working on "their section" – taking care of their responsibility.

Now Sanballat was very angry about this.

Sanballat was the governor of Samaria. He may have hoped to become governor of Judea as well, but Nehemiah's arrival spoiled his plans.

Listen to his rant – "What does this bunch of poor, feeble Jews think they're doing? Do they actually think they can make something out of stones from a rubbish heap – and charred ones at that?"

Well, yes – evidently that's exactly what they thought – because God was with them.

Today’s "Bible Pick 'Ems" comes from Nehemiah 4:4-6:

"Then I [Nehemiah] prayed, 'Hear us, our God, for we are being mocked. May their scoffing fall back on their heads…for they have provoked you to anger here in front of the builders.' At last the wall was completed to half its height around the entire city, for the people had worked with enthusiasm."

Friends, we are the Body of Christ – we are the builders. And we must work with enthusiasm and dedication.

We must work without fear –

We must work side by side, determined…each doing his or her part.

The enemy will be outraged by this – (isn't that kinda motivation in itself?!)

He will mock us – but He will not stop us.

Let's get out there and work on our section of the wall – doing what God has called us to do – our part. We’re working next to each other, alongside our brothers and sisters…

…and we have God with us, every step of the way.

Are you guys with me?

What "impossible" task is God asking you to get to work on?

Linked today with Charlotte at SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Saturday, April 21, 2012



In these posts I will be interacting with Scripture – making it a conversational walk of faith.

Sometimes we'll be talking with Jesus, sometimes God will be talking with us.

There might even be *guest appearances* by some of our beloved characters from the Bible!

So put on your walking shoes – you know we can all use the exercise!

A psalm of David, regarding the time the Philistines seized him in Gath.

Notice how his words could be ours as we talk to God –

Notice how his words could be those of Jesus as He talks to His Father…

O God, have mercy on me, for people are hounding me.

Father, I am surrounded by crowds of people. So many of them want something from Me. They clamor for healing, for attention. O Father, My heart goes out to them. They're so lost.

My foes attack me all day long.

Father, already my enemies begin their attack.

I am constantly hounded by those who slander me, and many are boldly attacking me.

They are always twisting what I say; they spend their days plotting to harm me.

They come together to spy on me – watching my every step, eager to kill me.

Father, already they are plotting, already they are looking to work against Me. Give Me strength – for behind their words lies our Enemy.

Don't let them get away with their wickedness – O God, bring them down.

Father, this battle is Yours.

But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you.
I trust in God, so why should I be afraid?

What can mere mortals do to me?

Father, I know what they will do. I know that this is Your plan. Father, they will not kill Me – I will give up My life for them.

My enemies will retreat when I call to you for help.

This I know: God is on my side!

Yes, Father! You will give Me victory. And at the moment when it seems our Enemy has won, You will shock him with conquering power.

You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
You have recorded each one in your book.

Father, Your eye is on the sparrow. Your eye is on Me.

I praise God for what he has promised.

I will fulfill my vows to you, O God.

Father, not My will but Thine be done.

For you have rescued me from death; you have kept my feet from slipping.

Father, give Me courage. I praise You for the power that will raise Me from the dead! Though I die, yet will I live! I will strike the heel of the serpent!

So now I walk in your presence, O God, in your life-giving light.

Father, through My death, You will bring all of the lost sheep to You. And they will dwell with us eternally.

I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life!

I am the Light of the World!

(From Psalm 56)

When you are afraid, do you put your trust in God?

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Friday, April 20, 2012

"FAN THE FLAME" FRIDAY - Omnipresent

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: omnipresent

What does the word omnipresent mean?

Does the concept that God is omnipresent - always with you, all the time - give you comfort or make you feel unsettled? (Or are you like me, a little of both?!)

What are some of the ways that you feel the reality of God's omnipresent 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!"

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


For any of you out there walking through a valley right now - may these words be an encouragement to you.


Head spinning, Satan winning
The valley lies so low,
Stomach churning, my back is turning
Because the valley lies so low.

Sometimes it's easier to melt into darkness
Than it is to turn toward the light,
Sometimes it's easier to lose the battle
Than it is to wage the fight.

Fear invading, my faith is fading
The valley lies so low,
My spirit's groaning, I can't stop moaning
Because the valley lies so low.

Sometimes it's easier to give up and give in
Than it is to look above,
Sometimes it's easier to shut down my heart
Than it is to cry out for love.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of death
No evil will I fear,
Easier said than done I think
When no voice on High I hear.

Silence makes the valley low
And evil beckons there,
Because the empty shadowland
Is filled with my despair.

Hands shaking, body quaking
The valley lies so low,
No more sleeping, only weeping
Because the valley lies so low.

Sometimes it's easier to curl up inside
Than it is to reach out for Jesus,
Sometimes it's easier to accept the chains
Than turn to the One who frees us.


I am the Light, the Life of the world
I am not silent or dead,
Come out of the dark, the valley so low
To green pastures where you will be fed.

So with the slightest turn of my heart
I crack open one hopeful eye,
And reach out my hand to the One who has said
In the valley, salvation shall not die!

© Sharon Kirby
November 2, 2001

Rest assured...

We never walk alone, the way is never completely dark.

The Light, the Life walks each step beside us.

He makes the valleys shine...

How have you felt the presence of the Lord in your valleys?

Linked today with Joan at the GRACE CAFE

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Monday, April 16, 2012


That is the question.

Seriously, this is what I've been pondering the last few days.


Lots of reasons – I'm busy, I'm tired, I'm dried up with ideas…

I feel prunish, raisinly, jerkified…(yes, these are all new words in Webster's Dictionary – Sharon Webster, that is).

So, I've been sorely tempted to stop blogging. Maybe for a little bit, maybe for good.

But, I can't.

You know why??

God doesn't seem to want me to stop.

I get the (very) distinct feeling – it actually feels more like a prodding – that I am to continue on. Mostly so God can keep speaking to ME through this venue.

So OK, God – since I'm sitting here with nothing to talk about, what is it YOU want to say today?

Why don't you share that verse you read on someone's blog this morning?

Ah, yes…let's do that.

"I will watch over and care for them, and I will bring them back here again. I will build them up and not tear them down. I will plant them and not uproot them." (Jeremiah 24:6)

Why did this verse jump out at me so much?

Well, because I applied it to my sons.

Both of my guys are stepping into new leadership roles this week at our church. And I can see the enemy coming up against them. It's been hard to watch.

I want to step in there and fight for them.

After all, they're not as *seasoned* in the faith as I am. They're a bit more taken aback by the devil's full frontal assaults. And they're more susceptible to his more subtle weapons like deceit and discouragement.

I want to do their battles.

But, painfully, I have realized that their battles are theirs to fight.

If truth be told, sometimes I can barely fight my own battles. And sometimes I don't even put on my own armor – I often stay in my spiritual pajamas.

Warrior Mom would be a great example – Wimpy Mom, not so much.

So, I've spent some time on my knees this week. It's the only place I know where to go.

How I've prayed for my boys, how I've groaned with the Lord over their hurts and disappointments. I've celebrated their new opportunities, but ached over the spiritual growing pains that come along with God's purposes.

But…this morning…I read that verse.

And found peace.

This past week I have been learning at a deeper level that God really can and will take care of my sons. And I can rest in that fact.

I've got a great story to explain to you how that feels.

Many years ago, both boys had hamsters for pets. Hampton and Snugglebunch. Well, one day we noticed that Snugglebunch had a weird skin "thing" on his back. It kept getting bigger…fast.

This, of course, happened the week before we were to go on vacation.

I remember calling my mom, who was going to take care of feeding the hammies while we were gone.

"Mom, what am I going to do?"

I can vividly remember her telling me – "Just give the hamsters to me, and I'll take care of everything."

I can so remember the total sense of relief that I felt. I knew that my mom would do everything that needed to be done, and that everything would be done perfectly – I could trust her.

I left on vacation with a light heart, and not a second thought that all wouldn't be well.

I'm beginning to feel that way about God.

It's hard enough letting go of your own *stuff* and trusting God to take care of it all. But releasing those little offspring of mine, even though they're all grown-up – well…you moms know what that's like.

But reading this verse brings such comfort, such promise.

Here's how I break it down.

"I will watch over and care for them" – Sharon, it is Me, the great I AM who will do the watching. I will care for them. Remember, I love them even more than you do.

"I will bring them back here again" – I will make sure that they return to a place of strength and power and hope again. I will not let them be taken by the enemy.

"I will build them up and not tear them down" – I may test them, but I will not destroy them. I will do what it takes to build their faith, but I will not give them more than they can endure.

"I will plant them and not uproot them" – Sharon, they are firmly held in My hand. I will cause their roots to grow deep. I will not let their faith be choked out by the weeds of this world.

Sharon, let go.

Yes, my sons have their own journeys to follow. Their faith is becoming their own relationships with their Heavenly Father.

And I can trust God to take care of them – every step of the way.

Hmm…looks like it's important for me to keep blogging. God does indeed have things to say to me!

(Sidenote: The end of the hamster story? When I returned home from vacation, my mother had spent a couple of hundred dollars to have the vet remove the growth! Only my mom would pay for a hamster to have surgery! That is love…)

What (or whom) is God calling you to release to His care today?

(Much thanks to Peggy, my dear friend, for her dedication to the Word of God. Read her post of promises here)

Linked today with Joan at SHARING HIS BEAUTY

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Sunday, April 15, 2012

BIBLE PICK 'EMS - The King Still Reigns

Have you ever just been terrified out of your mind?

Then I'm sure you have something in common with Habakkuk.

Habakkuk lived under the threat of the Babylonians. Babylon was becoming the dominant world power, and Judah would soon feel Babylon's destructive force. The LORD had promised to use the Babylonians to punish Judah for their rebellion.

I'm sure Habakkuk was afraid.

He asked questions – difficult questions – and he diligently sought answers.

He asked God why He would use the wicked Babylonians to punish His people.

He asked why the wicked in Judah were not being punished for their sins.

He asked why a just God could allow such evil to exist.

He asked the questions we ask.

He asked why...

God responded to Habakkuk.

And Habakkuk praised God.

He knew that God was going to discipline the people of Judah and that it wasn't going to be pretty!

But Habakkuk acknowledged God's Sovereign Control, yielded to His Divine Providence, accepted His Perfect Will, and asked for His Help and Mercy.

Today's "Bible Pick 'Ems" comes from the very end of Habakkuk's prayer to God.

"Even though the fig trees have no blossoms,
and there are no grapes on the vines;
even though the olive crop fails,
and the fields lie empty and barren;
even though the flocks die in the fields,
and the cattle barns are empty,
yet I will rejoice in the LORD!
I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!
The Sovereign LORD is my strength!
He makes me as surefooted as a deer,
able to tread upon the heights."

(Habakkuk 3:17-19)

Habakkuk affirmed that even in times of fear, he would still rejoice in the Lord. He didn't let his feelings be controlled by the events around him. He trusted God's ability to give him strength.

He let his "even though" turn into "yet I will..."

When nothing makes sense, and you're AFRAID, remember God.

Look to Him, only Him –

He is alive and in control of the world. He is working, and He WILL accomplish His purposes.

So, run like surefooted deer, my friends – across rough and dangerous terrain.


"I have heard all about you, LORD. I am filled with awe by your amazing works." (Habakkuk 3:2)

What is the "even though" that you want to turn into a "yet I will" in your life today?

Linked today with Charlotte at SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Saturday, April 14, 2012

SATURDAY STROLL - This World is Not Your Home


In these posts I will be interacting with Scripture – making it a conversational walk of faith.

Sometimes we'll be talking with Jesus, sometimes God will be talking with us.

There might even be *guest appearances* by some of our beloved characters from the Bible!

So put on your walking shoes – you know we can all use the exercise!


Dear Ones,

Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you.

For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure…

A craving for everything you see…

And pride in your achievements and possessions.

These are not from the Father, but are from this world.

And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave.

If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first.

The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world.

I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you.

So don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.

Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.


(From 1 John 2, Romans 12, and John 15)

This world is not my home, I'm just a passing thru,
My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue,
The angels beckon me from heaven's open door,
And I can't feel at home in this world any more.

My Savior pardoned me from guilt and shame I know,
I'll trust his saving grace while traveling here below,
I know he'll welcome me at heaven's open door,
And I can't feel at home in this world any more.

Oh Lord, you know I have no friend like you,
If heaven's not my home then Lord what will I do,
The angels beckon me from heaven's open door,
And I can't feel at home in this world any more.

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Friday, April 13, 2012


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: luck

How would you define the word luck?

Do you believe there is such a thing as good luck and bad luck?

What do you think the believer's position should be on the concept of luck?

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!"

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Last Friday – Good Friday.

I love how the worst day in the course of human history actually turned out to be the best.

Yes, the Roman Empire executed (literally) its death sentence on the Savior of the World. And He died.

But, He lives again.

At our church, we have several Good Friday services. I went at high noon. Somehow, I thought that was kinda appropriateespecially considering the "business" I had in mind for this day.

You see, on Good Friday our church has several crosses set up in the sanctuary – where everyone has the opportunity to write some things down on a card and then nail it to a cross.

Two years ago, I can vividly remember what I nailed. Last year, I remember nailing something else.

But for the last two weeks, God has been whispering to my spirit what HE had in mind for me this year.

It was a lot…it was everything.

It was my life.

I've wrestled as I've been thinking about this. You all know that I've shared my particular struggles this past year with health issues. And you all know that I tend to worry about it a lot.

Fear is my worst enemy.

And so, there's always been a part of me that's been afraid to yield my actual, physical life to the Lord. In the back of my mind, I've always been afraid that if I did it, God would make me die. Which is silly really – like I have any control over it in the first place.

So, I felt fearful most of last week as I contemplated this year’s "nailing."

However, by the time I reached church on Friday, I was ready.

And so I wrote on my little card – MY LIFE – and I nailed it quite heartily to the cross.

It felt sorta scary, and really invigorating.

After the service was over, I decided that I wanted something to remember this day. Something to commemorate its meaning. So I went into the little bookstore at our church.

I looked around at gift items – nothing struck me.

I wandered over to the jewelry section.

And then I found exactly the perfect thing. A silver cross. With these words written on it:

"It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me." (Galatians 2:20)


I cried.

I cried at the meaning of what I had just done. I cried at the Lord's gracious gift of salvation the gift that enabled me to give my life to Him. I cried that I found the PERFECT memento to symbolize this day.

And as I looked at my new purchase, I noticed that the horizontal beam of the cross had only these words written on them:


Then I really cried.

For in that moment I realized something. Those words were not a statement of resignation or defeat. NO! They were a resounding war crya joyous confirmation of an inner determination.

It is no longer I.

I find that the most thrilling thing to utter.

And, to the best of my fearful heart, to mean it!

You wanna know the rest of that verse – the other two sentences that surround it like a sandwich?

"My old self has been crucifed with Christ…So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."

Oh, Lord – I am finally learning how to lose my life to find it.

Yes, this last Good Friday there were actually four crosses up on that hill. Two thieves, Jesus, and one scaredy-cat…me.

I am honored to have shared that moment with my Savior.

And I have a feeling that He's pretty excited that I was there, too.

I'm not sure, but I think I just might have heard Him whisper with a wink…

"What took you so long?"


good riddance: a welcome relief or deliverance from something

Riddance = me


What are you nailing to the cross in your life?

Linked today with Joan at the GRACE CAFE

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"