Friday, December 31, 2010


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: wisdom

How would you define the word wisdom?

As we head into 2011, in what area of your life are you lacking, or need the most wisdom?

Let me know what you think!!

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

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Thursday, December 30, 2010


We’re coming up on the end of the year.

That wonderful time of year when we give ourselves permission to have a

That diet for 2010? Start again…

That exercise program? Do-over…

Clean out the garage (hey, this is mine…)? No better time than the present.

Give away those old clothes you haven’t worn in 5 years (and if we’re being honest, should NEVER wear again)? Goodwill, here I come.

Make a budget, fix the plumbing, get that physical – whatever it is, here’s the time to make those “New Year’s Resolutions.”

You’ve got your own list – we all do.

I don’t know about you, but I approach this time of year with the same feelings, every year – a little (sometimes a lot) of chagrin, regret, embarrassment, guilt “just didn’t get “x-y-z” accomplished…”

And yet, it’s a NEW year!

I feel excited, invigorated, motivated, disciplinedit’s a chance to start over again – and this time “I really mean it!”

Are you with me?!

So, here’s the thing.

As you’re thinking over the things you did and didn’t get done in 2010 – and making a list of the things you want to get done in 2011 – I’m throwing another suggestion into your pretty little heads…

I’m issuing what I’m calling, “The Great Bible Reading Challenge of 2011!”

Yup, I’m exhorting all of you to take this year and commit to reading through the Bible. I’m doing it again – we can do it together!

It’s a wondrous thing.

You’ll learn things you’ve never known. You’ll see the whole story of God’s love unfold through history. You’ll hear God talking to you.

Does it require discipline? Sure.

ALL good habits require discipline.

Does it have rewards? You bet.

And that’s why I’m challenging you to join me. Because I truly believe that time is beginning to wind down on this old planet of ours. Wickedness is growing, the enemy is afoot. We believers are being called to take our stand against evil.

And we cannot fight without our greatest weapon – the Word of God.

So, does this seem like a daunting task?

Don’t be fooled. That’s just what Satan wants you to think.

It’s like looking at the scale, and thinking you want to lose 25, or 35, or 45, or more pounds. It’s a HUGE undertaking! But, those pounds don’t come off all at once. They peel away, one pound at a time, as we dedicate ourselves to a goal.

It’s the same with reading the Bible.

A lot of people start the year all “gung-ho” about this. And then…they get behind. And then…they get really behind. And then…they give up.


It’s just like losing those pounds. If you have a bad day, or even a bad week or two, don’t give up. Just start where you left off – and KEEP ON GOING!

Zechariah 4:10 says, “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin…”

Ask God for discipline – ask God for strength. He’ll help you.

He’s SO eager for you to meet Him in His Word. He’s so excited to tell you His WHOLE story. He will reveal Himself in NEW ways.

There are plenty of one-year plans out there. Some are even two or three-year plans. Pick one. Start reading. Keep at it. Don’t give up – even if you get behind.


It’s time to pick up our “swords” and do battle it’s time to go on the offensive. It’s time to use the weapon that Jesus Himself used in His battle “against all the strategies of the devil.”

Satan isn’t going to like this one single bit…that in itself just makes me smile!

Are you with me?!

Look at it this way…What could it hurt?

What could it HELP?!

(And to help you along, at the bottom of my blog I will have the Scripture passages for a one-year reading plan, updated each Sunday!)

BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


I know You can do anything, and no one can stop You.
You asked, "Who is this that questions My wisdom with such ignorance?"

I won't believe it unless I see the nail wounds in His hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in His side.

It is I - and I was talking about things that I knew nothing about, things far too wonderful for me.

The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them.

You said, "Listen and I will speak!"

Peace be with you.

Let the Almighty answer me.

Put your finger here, and look at My hands.
Put your hand into the wound in My side.
Don't be faithless any longer.

I had only heard about You before, but now I have seen You with my very own eyes.

I take back everything I said...

My Lord and my God!

Sometimes things happen that we just can't understand. Sometimes we doubt that God cares. Sometimes we wonder if He's even there...

Job had questions - Thomas had doubts.


Job encountered God in a whirlwind.
Thomas met a risen Christ.

Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity.

You believe because you have seen Me.
Blessed are those who believe without seeing Me.

I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!

You love Him even though you have never seen Him.
Though you do not see Him now, you trust Him.

And you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy.

(Scriptures taken from the books of Job, John, 1 Corinthians, and 1 Peter)

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


“I’ve gotta be me…”

Remember that old song?

If you’re too young to remember, please DO NOT flaunt that fact to us oldies in the audience…just sayin’

I am a product of the “ME” generation – when the driving force in life seemed to be “find yourself” and “do your own thing.”

And so, self-fulfillment became the goal in life.

Even if you’re not a product of the 70’s, we all try to discover who we are. Who am I really? Why do I act and think the way I do?

I’m the oldest of three children in my family. I don’t know if that’s the reason why this is true – but I’m an awful lot like my dad, and I’m an awful lot like my mom.

Some of the “good stuff” – and some of the “bad!”

I’m a little hodge-podge of their genes, their personalities, their thoughts and values, and their character traits.

Evidently I’m so much like the two of them that my sons see it. My husband of only 5 years sees it. My brother and sister see it.

Occasionally, I ask – is there any “ME” in here at all?

There is – quite a bit actually. I’m a blended coffee drink.

Dad’s coffee, Mom’s sugar – and a healthy dollop of my creamer…

Stir it all up together – and you get ME!

But I’ve been thinking. There’s an awful lot about me that I don’t like. There’s a lot of tinkering I need to do. Some hammering and chiseling. A few areas for touch-up paint. And a portion of the “house” that needs a complete “overhaul.”

I can’t do it myself.

“I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate…And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway…I have discovered this principle of life – that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong…” (From Romans 7)

Can anyone relate?!

What a mixed-up person I am.

Helpless in the shackles of being “me.”

I don’t know about you – but I am greatly consoled by the fact that these words came from Paul – the Apostle Paul – the great warrior of God.

He felt the “me” inside of him that he didn’t like.

Are we stuck?

Of course not!

Because you see, in a spiritual sense, we are blended coffee drinks!

I’ve come up with this example – see what you think.

Take a clear glass. We’re going to pretend that that’s our body. Then fill the glass with water. That’s going to be our spirit.

That’s a picture of the “me” in all of us.

Now, when you come to salvation, when you become a follower of Jesus, something happens.

Take some red food coloring. That’s the blood of Jesus – shed for us on the cross. Put one drop in that glass of water, and stir it up.

What happened?

Is there still a glass? Yes. Is there still water in the glass? Yes. Is the water the same? No – it’s been CHANGED. It’s impossible to tell where the water stops and the food coloring begins.

We are blended – completely and totally.

A new product – a new “me” has been formed.

We have the Spirit of the Living God within us, my friends. Power and Strength and Peace and Victory.

“…the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin…you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you…through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature…” (From Romans 8)

So, I’ve been thinking. There’s an awful lot of me that I don’t like. But God has promised to TRANSFORM me, to make me something new.

That’s what I want – to let God tinker, hammer and chisel, paint – and yes, even do a complete “overhaul.”

“I’ve gotta be me…”

No, Lord. I don’t want that.

I want to be YOUR “me.”

BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”

Monday, December 27, 2010


I love the outdoors.

And my favorite place to be is in the mountains.

Several years ago, “The Hub” and I went on vacation to Colorado. We love staying in a place called Ouray. It’s an old mining town from the 1800’s. It has survived through the years. It’s got some tourist shops and restaurants, and yet, it still keeps a quaint image of its beginnings.

One of our favorite things to do is rent a jeep and travel into the high, high mountains above Ouray – exploring all the old mining sites that lie as silent monuments to a bygone day of golden dreams.

I am fascinated by it all. The history – my mind soars with imagination.

And if that wasn’t enough, the scenery is breath-taking…literally.

On portions of the bumpy, hard-scrabble trail, we are over 13,000 feet. We are in the heights – where snow is everywhere, even in the middle of July.

Oxygen is sparse, and it’s difficult to walk around. Huffing and puffing has nothing to do with blowing any piggy houses down – just sayin’… And it’s easy to get tired, quickly.

On this one particular trip, everything was swell – until we started coming back down.

That’s when I got sick – really sick.

I had the most awful headache – I can’t even describe it. I’ve had headaches all my life. And this was by far the worst. At first, the pain was more than enough. But then the nausea set in. Oh boy…

By the time we reached our campsite again, I was almost speechless – it hurt to talk, and my stomach started flipping – literally.

“The Hub” was quite worried.

We waited it out. And by mid-morning of the next day, I was feeling slightly better. I gingerly ate a few pretzels, and tentatively sipped on water.

A few days later, we talked to a couple of people and told them what had happened. One of them had had the same thing happen. It was definitely altitude sickness.

But here’s the weird thing –

The cure for altitude sickness is to get to a lower altitude quick. The odd thing about what happened to me is that I didn’t get sick UNTIL I hit the lower altitudes.

ODD, huh?

I got thinking about that fact last week when I was in the mountains with my sons. I felt fine up there. But when we returned home, I started to get a headache. And a little queasy. Not at all like my Colorado experience, but the same phenomenon. Going to lower altitudes…

I’ve determined that I suffer from low-altitude sickness.

I seem to thrive in thin air, far above the murky haze of sea level realms.

I think it’s like my soul.

I wasn’t made for the murky haze of earthly realms.

Caught up in the concerns of daily living. Mired down in the troubles and worries that surround me. All stuffed up in my heart with sin. Getting a headache trying to figure out my life. Feeling queasy about the future…

No, I wasn’t made for low altitude.

I was made for the heights. I was made in the image of the Almighty God. I was made to soar.

“But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles.” (Isaiah 40:31)

Are you suffering from low-altitude sickness?

BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”

Sunday, December 26, 2010

BIBLE "PICK 'EMS" - Victory in a Manger!


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

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

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


"When in doubt, search God out!"

Saturday, December 25, 2010



Yet a ruler…will come.
And He will stand to lead His flock with the LORD’S strength, in the majesty of the name of His God.
He will be highly honored around the world.
And He will be the source of peace.
(From Micah 5)

For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine.
For a child is born to us, a son is given to us.
The government will rest on His shoulders.
And He will be called:
Mighty God
Everlasting Father
Prince of Peace.
His government and its peace will never end.
(From Isaiah 9)


The virgin will conceive a child!
She will give birth to a son, and they will call Him Immanuel, which means "God is with us."
(From Matthew 1)

"Don’t be afraid, Mary…for you have found favor with God!
You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus.
He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High.
And He will reign…forever; His Kingdom will never end!"
And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born.
She gave birth to her first child, a son.

Glory to God in highest heaven,
And peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.
(From Luke 1 and 2)

So the Word became human and made His home among us.
He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness.
And we have seen His glory.
(From John 1)


Then everyone will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds with great power and glory.
And He will send out his angels to gather His chosen ones from all over the world – from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven.
(From Mark 13)

For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God.
Then we will be with the Lord forever.
(From 1 Thessalonians 4)

I am coming soon.
Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take away your crown.
(From Revelation 3)

Look, I am coming soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds.
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.
(From Revelation 22)


Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne and from the Lamb!
And He who sits on the throne will give them shelter.
They will never again be hungry or thirsty.
For the Lamb on the throne will be their Shepherd.
He will lead them to springs of life-giving water.
And God will wipe every tear from their eyes.
(From Revelation 7)

Praise the name of the Lord!
Praise Him, you who serve the Lord.
Praise the Lord, for He is good.
Your name, O Lord, endures forever!
(From Psalm 135)

AMEN! Come, Lord Jesus!

May the wonder of a starlit night,
The power of our Savior’s might,
The glories of His merciful love,
Bring blessings to you from above.

Wishing each of you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”

Friday, December 24, 2010


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: hope

I can think of no greater word to ponder on this Christmas Eve than the word hope!

What hope does the birth of Jesus bring you?

Let me know what you think!!

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

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Thursday, December 23, 2010



The hands
that made the universe
were born –
In a manger
that day.
The eyes
that had seen
the edge of eternity
at an unfamiliar world –
The great voice
that thundered “I AM”
to generations past,
and made the foundations
of the world
cried out,
totally dependent
on the dust
He had made –
In a manger
that day.
It was a miracle
of humility,
A wonder
too wonderful
to understand.
A moment
that made heaven
stand still…
The angels
looked down
on the Master
who knew them by name,
As He lay helpless,
unable to speak
or walk…
A baby.

And yet
the devil and his demons
in fright,
as their judgment
lay quietly –
In a manger
that day.
Most of the earth
woke up
that morning,
None the wiser
that Wisdom
had been born –
For who could comprehend
that the Eternal One
had entered time
and space –
In a manger
that day.
A moment
of joy
of awesome
Shepherds came
and wise men too,
Knowing something
but yet
not knowing yet,
that their Creator
was now with them
right there –
In a manger
that day.
As the bright
Star in the sky
shone down
on the face of Love,
The shape
of a cross
in the shadows
A dark day
coming –
In a manger
that day.

And yet,
a triumph
had also
The desperate
of mankind
was given
The chasm
that had separated
from His creatures
was bridged,
And every person
who had ever been
would ever be,
was given the chance
to be rescued
and saved –
For it only
an open heart,
a moment of belief
to see
with the eyes of faith,
that God
came for you –
In a manger
that day.

© Sharon Kirby
December 24, 2007

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


It came upon a midnight clear…

A beautiful, cloudless, starlit night –

Angels we have heard on high…

What’s that? Can you hear it? It sounds like heavenly music –

Hark, the herald angels sing…

It IS music – it’s a heavenly choir! Oh my heart, be still. What are they saying?

O holy night. O little town of Bethlehem. Away in a manger, round yon virgin mother and child…

Oh, look! A young mother who has just given birth to her first child. And it’s – it’s a boy!

What child is this…

She and her husband have called him Emmanuel – God with us. His name is Jesus –

For unto us a child is born…

Oh my, this is THE CHILD. The One prophesied from centuries ago. This is HIM – the Messiah!

Holy infant, so tender and mild…

Look at His sweet baby face. His tiny hands and feet, His soft cheeks, His precious mouth, His shining eyes –

I have no gift to bring…

I have nothing – I am poor, lowly in spirit. But He should have something from me – there must be something I can give Him.

O come, all ye faithful. Joyful and triumphant…

Yes! I can give Him my heart! I can be faithful and joyful. He is bringing my victory!

Joy to the world. The Lord is come...

The Lord of lords and King of kings has come to earth! He has brought Light to the darkness, and Life to the dying! He has brought redemption –

Oh come, let us adore Him!

Oh Lord Jesus, how I adore You. Thank you for loving me before the world began. Thank you for coming to earth, to live as one of us. Thank you for understanding what it means to be human. Thank you for dying, for sacrificing Your life – for me. Thank you, Lord – for everything –

O Holy Night...

"And His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace."

BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Jesus was like us - a human.

Such a profound and comforting thought.

So I’m wondering…

How did Jesus know it was time to leave home and start His ministry?

Was He out hammering away in the shop, tinkering on a neighbor’s kitchen table?

Was He out taking a walk?

Was He in the local synagogue worshiping His Father?

What happened?

I have these thoughts – they have no answers – I just wonder sometimes. Especially at this time of year.

As I look over Scripture, it seems that God could have revealed the timing to Jesus in three ways.

First, He could have done a “Moses Appearance.” He could have told Jesus in an audible Voice – like when He spoke to Jesus when He was being baptized by John.

“This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.”

That would have been a direct, unmistakable message. It would have been abundantly clear to Jesus.

NOW’S the time, Son!

Or could it have been an appearance by an angel?

God could have done an “Abraham Appearance.” He could have sent a heavenly messenger to proclaim to His Son that the appointed time had come.

Angels are great at announcing.

They had even spoken to Jesus’ parents, Mary and Joseph, about His arrival. It would have been an honored privilege to tell the Messiah Himself that God’s time had arrived. I’m thinking Gabriel might have had the “inside track” on that one.

Or was the call more subtle?

Was it the still, small Voice of the Holy Spirit?

Just a quiet prompting in Jesus’ heart – just a confirmation in His inner being that God was calling.

And then what did Jesus do?

Did He pray about it? Did He search the Scriptures? Did He talk to his mother about it? Did He doubt, even for a second, that He had heard correctly?

And once the call was clear, did He quickly and excitedly spring to His feet and pack His bags?

Or did He have a pre-Gethsemane moment? Knowing where this path would lead – to His death.

Did He know it would be only a short time away?

Regardless, these are all idle speculations of a person who loves to idly speculate (that would be me!) But, I think it’s valuable to wonder, to ponder – exactly WHO is this wonderful Messiah, this Jesus, who came to earth as a human, just like you and me…

Except He was perfectly obedient to God.

Every moment, every challenge, every decision, every emotion, every thought – He turned the right way. He listened well. He didn’t give in to temptation. He wouldn’t allow Himself to be distracted. He wasn’t deterred by suffering. He never once got side-tracked.


However the “call” came to Him – “Now’s the time” – Jesus HEARD, He TRUSTED, and He OBEYED.

Are we doing the same?

BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”

Monday, December 20, 2010


This time of year we talk a lot about the birth of Jesus.

At Easter, we talk a lot about His death and resurrection.

What about the time in between His birth and death?

What about the rest of Jesus' life?

The Bible is remarkably silent on this matter.

Except for one small incident when Jesus was twelve years old.

It’s found in Luke 2:41-52.

Jesus was found in the Temple, sitting among religious leaders, listening and asking questions.

“All were amazed at his understanding and his answers.”

The passage ends with a rather cryptic and succinct sentence – “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God all the people.”


That’s it – until the Bible picks up with John the Baptist preparing the way for Jesus.

Why mention this ONE incident only?

And what happened during those years between 12 and 30?

I’d like to share a few thoughts about the first question.

It seems important to establish that Jesus knew who He was at an early age. He knew He was the Son of God. He makes the distinction between His earthly father, Joseph, and His heavenly Father.

He undoubtedly knew that He was the Messiah – the long-awaited One, the Promised One, the Deliverer.

Did He also know that He was going to die?

At the time of the Passover, the greatest and wisest rabbis would assemble to teach and to discuss great truths. The coming Messiah would have been a popular discussion topic, for everyone was expecting Him soon.

The fact that these leaders, so versed in the Holy Scriptures, were astounded at the depth of Jesus’ wisdom, makes me believe that Jesus knew.

He evidently knew Scripture well, He understood all the prophecies about the Messiah, He knew He had a unique relationship with God – and He knew the mission of the Son of God.

Can you imagine your average 6th or 7th grader knowing this?

It’s mind-boggling.

Of course, Jesus did not reveal anything. He obediently returned to Nazareth with his parents, and lived under their authority for another 18 years.

He was obedient – to His Father in heaven, and to His earthly parents.

But, to the second question…

What happened during those intervening years?

Jesus was undoubtedly learning and maturing. He was the oldest in a large family – He most likely assisted Joseph in his carpentry work. Perhaps Joseph died during this time, leaving Jesus to provide for the family.

Though the Bible is not clear on the details of these intervening years, a sure truth shines through.

Jesus was a man, a human – just like you and me.

He went through childhood and adolescence. He developed with the same progression we do. He related to other people in the “normality” of life. He worked, He played, He enjoyed family and friends – He gained a solid understanding of the joys, sorrows, frustrations, irritations, frailties of being a person – ALL the normal things encountered in daily living.

That’s why He understands everything about us.

He LIVED life.

“This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses…” (Hebrews 4:15)

What do you wonder about Jesus’s life before He started His ministry?

BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”

Sunday, December 19, 2010

BIBLE "PICK 'EMS" - A Son is Born


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

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

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


"When in doubt, search God out!"

Saturday, December 18, 2010


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)

"And remember...the King whom you are seeking is not to be found in a palace, nor among the rich and powerful...the light for which the world is waiting is a new light, the glory that shall rise out of patient and triumphant suffering. And the kingdom which is to be established forever is a new kingdom, the royalty of perfect and unconquerable love.

I do not know how this shall come to pass, nor how the turbulent kings and peoples of earth shall be brought to acknowledge the Messiah and pay homage to Him. But this I know. Those who seek Him will do well to look among the poor and the lowly, the sorrowful and the oppressed."

(From "The Story of the Other Wise Man" by Henry van Dyke, c. 1899

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Friday, December 17, 2010


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: glory

How would you describe the word glory?

If you'd like to, share one glorious moment in your life.

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, December 16, 2010


Ever think of what certain words mean?

Like the word “bustle.”

What’s that?

Not the noun – the fancy little bundle at the back of a woman’s skirt way back when…

No, the verb – the ACTION word!

Dictionary definition:

“To move briskly and often ostentatiously (fond of conspicuous, vain display); to be busily astir; noisy, energetic, and often obtrusive (forward, undesirably prominent) activity.”

Some words that are like "bustle"?

Ado, flurry, fuss, commotion, agitation, disquiet, hubbub, tumult.

You get the idea.

Why on earth did I come up with this word – and why now?

Because I am reminded of this word at this very busy holiday season. People are just plain “bustling.”

I don’t think “bustling” occurs just at Christmastime. It’s just a little more apparent now. Because more of us are out. In malls and stores – searching, hunting for those perfect presents.

The snow might be crunching, and the kids might be bunching – but most of us are bustling.

It’s a human thing.

We are enamored with activity. We love busyness. We are compelled to pay attention to the urgent. We are driven…

I think of Shakespeare’s great play, “Much Ado about Nothing.”

Really – what are we doing?

We are chasing after silliness – fortune or fame. Desiring money and earthly security, we are eating crumbs when we should be feeding on the Bread of Life. Craving recognition or approval, we are sipping at puddles when we should be drinking Living Water.

We are replacing Eternity with Activity.

The “eyes” of our hearts are not working right. We’re out of focus – we’re nearsighted.

Jesus warned us against this human tendency toward spiritual myopia.

“Do not love this world or the things it offers you…For the world only offers a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions…And this world is fading away…”
(1 John 2:15-16)

The world offers only a temporary “fix” to that longing in our hearts. God placed eternity in us – and only eternity will fulfill that spiritual yearning. Activity will never do it. Activity is only running away, avoiding and evading the TRUTH.

Are we so busy living FOR the moment that we've forgetten we’re supposed to be living IN the moment?

What does Jesus want in our moments?

He wants us to focus on the important, not the urgent.
He wants us to see people, not things.
He wants us to be faithful and fruitful, not frantic.
He wants us to grow deeper, not be shallow.
He wants us to be intentional, not just busy.
He wants us to live with purpose, not frivolous pursuit.

He wants us to remember, not forget…

“Where your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”
(Matthew 6:21)

Are you living like there’s no tomorrow – or living in today?

Are you bustling? It’s not a holiday problem – it’s a human problem.

Activity or eternity?

What’s your choice?

BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God.”

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


A poem from me to you:


It’s Christmas again, but something is wrong
The days are frantic, the lines are long,
We’re caught up in the frenzy, the mad dash for stuff
Even though every purchase is never enough.

Like mice in a maze, we scramble the floors
Spirits sinking, while our credit debt soars,
We fret over shopping, getting just the right gift
While forgetting that inside, our hearts are adrift.

We’re supposed to be happy, full of good cheer
But something is missing at this time of year,
We’re angry, and stressed, and oftentimes sad
And we end our days just feeling bad.

Isn’t it time that we learned to stand still
And ponder the things that truly fulfill,
So look beyond the holiday ado
And open your mind to the world around you.

There are greater things on earth than things
There is beauty that makes the empty heart sing,
There’s the sun that warms your smiling face
The wind that brings a soft embrace.

The mighty ocean, and mountains tall
Sunsets, wildflowers, an eagle’s call,
There’s the joy of touch, the gift of laughter
These are the treasures we’re truly after.

All good things come from above
From the Creator of all, the God who brought love,
He is the one who gives Christmas its meaning
With His wonderful work of man’s great redeeming.

So amidst the holiday toil and strife
Remember the importance of one newborn’s life,
And while frantically buying those presents to give
Remember He came so that you could live.

There are greater things on earth than things
There is Someone who makes the empty heart sing.

© Sharon Kirby
December 21, 2004

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


The last couple of weeks have been fun (read sarcasm here, folks).

About a year and a half ago, “The Hub” and I did a major remodel job on our 33-year old house. He did a lot of the work – he’s really so handy.

However, to accomplish everything we wanted to do, we had to “empty” the house of just about everything.

Last Tuesday, I admitted that I have had the “hoarding disease.” So, there was a LOT of stuff to get rid of to empty out the house.

And I’m not good with getting rid of things…

Because to me, they’re not just things – they’re memories! I’m sentimental to a fault. I have trouble letting go. And I insisted on looking at EVERYTHING before it went out the door to the Goodwill store, the garage, or Dumpster Land.

It was a pain-staking process. That’s how I looked at it anyway. “The Hub” said it was more like a pain-TAKING process. But I digress…

The remodel job took just over 8 months – perhaps a little slower because we did a lot of the work ourselves.

But it finally got DONE!

It’s been a privilege to have a “new” look in a home that I’ve owned for 27 years!

And so, for a year or so, we’ve been relaxing and enjoying “Kirby’s Kabin!”

All was good with the world…

Until “The Hub” came up with this novel idea.

“Hey, wouldn’t it be nice if we could park at least ONE of the cars in the garage?”

Rumor has it, that’s what garages are for – they are not large storage spaces – who knew?!

So, the Great Garage Clean-Out Project has commenced…

I’m not having a good time.

It was VERY, VERY hard doing this in the house. And the garage represents “all the other stuff that wouldn’t fit in the house but I just couldn’t part with…” And I am NOT wanting to go through all the trials and tribulations of sorting it all out again.

But…it has to be done.

So, armed with a face mask (it’s dusty out there) and surgical gloves (it’s filthy out there) and the proper cleaning outfit (it’s dusty and filthy and yucky out there), “The Hub” and I have been attacking The Pile….

Of stuff, and more stuff.

It’s almost as hard as it was when I dug through the Hoarding House. There’s still a lot of things that aren’t things – they’re memories. And I still have to fight my urge to “hold on” to things of the past.

For instance, there’s the bedroom set that my dad and mom took me out to buy. I was 14 at the time. I’d spent the past six years sharing a bedroom with my sister. But we had just moved to a new home, and I was going to have my OWN room. As if that wasn’t great enough, they decided that it was time to buy my OWN furniture!

I can remember wandering through the furniture store, looking at all the lovely bedroom sets. And then, there it was – MY furniture, MY bedroom set. It was a pale green, with nice little white accents. (We’re talking the 1960’s here…) We bought the set, and I anxiously awaited its delivery.

I set all the pieces – a twin bed and headboard, a night-stand, a dresser, a desk and chair, a mirror – in all the places I had planned out. It was wonderful!

And now it was time to say goodbye – after 42 years – to an old friend.

There’s just no one in our family, or anyone we know, that wants an outdated, well-loved bedroom set. And I just know that somewhere there will be someone who can use it, who needs it…and it isn’t me anymore.

So, “The Hub” graciously took pictures of it, so I could hold on to the memories, and we packed it off to Goodwill.

This hasn’t been fun – I’ve already determined that this is the stuff I NEED to keep. And yet, I have to get rid of more. There have been plenty of tears…

It reminds me of my life.

How I’ve done a major “re-model” of my heart. Gotten rid of a lot of non-spiritual stuff. Let go of a lot of sinful things. Refinished and repainted – turned an old, prodigal heart into a faithful follower once again.

And it was hard.

But I’ve enjoyed the new life, the renovated life of faith.

However, there’s still the garage…

The secret, inner places where I put all the “stuff” I didn’t want to give away. The things that I’ve insisted holding on to. The things that are stashed away in shelves and drawers. The things that aren’t in my main house – the house that everyone sees on the outside. The things that are dusty and filthy and yucky…

But God is saying to me, “It’s time to empty the garage.”

Oh no. It’s going to be painful. These are the things I DON’T want to give away, Lord. The things I WANT to hold on to. I’ve done this once, wasn’t that good enough?

“No, My child, I want to dig deeper.”

And so, lately I’ve been “suiting up” – girding myself with His Word, praying my heart out – and entering into the garage of my heart.

And it’s hard.

Because some of these things aren’t things…they’re ME.

But I’m not alone in this process.

HE IS WITH ME – every painful step of the way.

Helping me make MORE room for Him…

And that is completely worth it – even though there have been plenty of tears.

Is it time to work on your garage?

“Create in me a clean heart, O God…” (Psalm 51:10)

BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”

Monday, December 13, 2010


OK, a couple of weeks ago “The Hub” and I were in the mountains.

But you knew that…

We spent four days in beautifully cold and snowy weather. (Hey, listen – when you live in California, and you’ve worn shorts in the middle of November “90-degree” heat-wave weather – a little snow and a down jacket are a treat).
Just sayin’…

So, our final day arrives.

The day to “head down the mountain” and return to the city.

We pack the car, and head out.

Just one short stop in town to pay for the propane we used, and we’re outta there!

We pay the bill, come back to the car (Eddie the Explorer), put the key in the ignition, and…


Yup, absolutely NOTHING. A few sputters, a few Eddie coughs – and then, silence.

OK, we’re knowing it’s not a dead battery. The battery is new, and the sound Eddie’s making just isn’t “that kind of sound” if you know what I mean. Something else is wrong.

I immediately hit “panic button.” (Glass half-empty girl here – remember?!)

“The Hub” – Mr. Calm in the Storm – says, “Don’t panic.”

(Wives out there – don’t you just love/hate how your spouse knows you???)

We try again.


This lovely little scenario plays out over the next 10 minutes or so. The lady from the propane store comes out, and stops at our window.

“Need some jumper cables?”

“No, it’s not the battery. But thanks!”

We try everything. Wait short amounts of time in between turning on the key. Wait longer amounts of time. We try whistling, and singing, patting the steering wheel – “C’mon, Eddie, you can do it!”

We open the owner’s manual for probably the 3rd time in almost 12 years.

FINALLY (why are men so stubborn?) after about 45 minutes of trying this, we give in.

It’s time for Auto Club.

Now I start having visions of having to have the car fixed up there ($), or having to have it towed down the hill ($$), to have it fixed down here ($$$) – because now, in my mind, it’s a broken fuel pump, or something wrong with the fuel injection system, or the car’s computer ($$$$$). Honestly, why does a car need a computer? Does it stay up late at night after I’ve gone to bed to “surf the Web” in the driveway?

We walk over to the gas station.

Nice guy helps us – lists all the things that COULD be wrong – including many that I’ve mentioned to Mr. Calm in the Storm.

“Or it could just be the cold weather and the altitude…”

I’ve already thought of this simple cause, and tossed it out the window – because my acutely wicked sense of logic has determined that if this was the problem, it would have happened on Day One, or any of the OTHER days while tooling around town, or that very morning when we started the car in the driveway of the cabin and it started JUST FINE(whew! Need to catch my breath here...)

“Let’s try the simple thing first,” Auto Man says.

We open the hood, take off some do-hickey (I think it was a gadget…or maybe a widget)…and while he sprays some starter fluid into something, I turn the key…


Instant turnover.


“The Hub” and I thank the man, hop in the car, and take off. We look at each other – my eyes say, “Don’t say it!” His eyes say it anyway, “See, I told you so.”

We’ve had no problems since – it was a simple problem.

Here’s the God lesson.

Sometimes in our spiritual lives, our walk of faith – we hit a snag…

Our engine stalls –

And we sit.

But often we have the same problem as Eddie the Explorer had. And it’s a simple problem.

Though there’s plenty of fuel in the tank – the fuel just isn’t getting to the engine.

We have the VERY PRESENCE of God living in our hearts! We have the POWER of the Holy Spirit! We have DIRECT ACCESS to the throne of God, who tells us to approach BOLDLY. We have CONFIDENT salvation, a LIVING HOPE for eternal life in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ!

My friends – the tank is FULL!

Sometimes the fuel just isn’t getting to the engine, and we need a little “starter fluid.”

God provides that “starter fluid” – He gives us many ways to get started after stalling out. He provides His Word, the conduit to every answer we need. He provides the community of believers, the conduit to strengthening fellowship. He provides faithful friends, the conduit to encouragement. He provides the privilege of prayer, the conduit to communication with a God who listens, a God who sees.

Are you stalled?

What do you need to “start” your engine again?

BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”

Sunday, December 12, 2010

BIBLE "PICK 'EMS" - Like a Deer


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

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

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


"When in doubt, search God out!"

Saturday, December 11, 2010


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)

"To full obedience how large the blessing! The Lord enters into a league with his people, offensive and defensive. He will bless those who bless us, and curse those who curse us. God will go heart and soul with his people, and enter in deepest sympathy into their position. What a protection this affords us!

We need not concern ourselves about our adversaries, when we are assured that they have become adversaries of God...

In this sacred war we are allied with the eternal God, and if we carefully obey the law of our Lord Jesus, he is engaged to put forth all his power on our behalf. Wherefore we fear no man."

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

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Friday, December 10, 2010


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: success

What does the word success mean to you?

Do you think it's wrong to have/want success in this world?

What about having ambition?

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, December 9, 2010


Today I am NOT resting.

I am fretting, worrying, stewing, ruminating, obsessing, thinking incessantly about a particular problem that has bothered me for quite a while now.

Why is it that there are some situations that are easy to hand over to the Lord? And there are some that are nearly impossible??

This particular situation is one that I feel partially responsible for – I suppose that’s one reason why it’s hard to let go. And this situation causes pain for people I care about – that’s another reason I can’t let go.

It’s one of those situations I want to FIX!

Here, let me get out my little toolbox – I’d just love to use my trusty hammer to pound some sense into people. Maybe I could wrench some reactions here and there to make things better. I’ve got some pliers to twist around some emotions. Oh, I’m sure I could screw up everything if I tried hard enough.

And don’t even get me started with my Sawzall!

Feeling impotent – out of control – useless. Not feeling good.

Where are you, Lord? Where ARE You?? Where are YOU???

I am NOT resting today.

You know, there was this other guy, a long time ago, that I think really understood what I’m talking about.

He was hiding in a cave at the time.

Here’s what he had to say:

“Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy!
I look to You for protection.
I will hide beneath the shadow of Your wings
until the danger passes by.
I cry out to the Most High,
to God who will fulfill His purpose for me.
He will send help from heaven to rescue me…
My God will send forth His unfailing love and faithfulness.”

Did you recognize the voice of David?

Cowering, surrounded, troubled?

Feeling powerless against his circumstances?

I am moved by the image of hiding in the shadow of God’s wings.

One of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen was an eagle gliding over snow-dappled mountains, high in the mountains of Colorado. I was well above sea level – probably at about 10,000 feet – and yet, this eagle soared.

He was strong, majestic, powerful.

Those are the wings I want to hide under.

The wings that understand the shifting air currents of life. The wings that fly where there is hardly enough oxygen to breathe. The wings that glide above a cold and forbidding landscape.

The wings that soar.

I want to learn the lesson of resting in the shadow of His wings.

A place of refuge and safety. A place where calamity can blow like crazy around me - but all I feel is the warmth of His wings, where I am stilled by His heartbeat, and all I hear is His breathing - steady and sure and reassuring.

OK, Lord – maybe today I’m not resting too well – but I can hide.

And I will.

I will tuck myself into You. Lean into Your strength. Trust Your power and goodness. Listen to Your heartbeat – its steady, strong beat. I will synch my breathing with Your own.

I will be reassured by the confidence I have in Your love and faithfulness.

“Clink, clink, clink…”

Oh, don’t mind that noise – I’m just putting away my toolbox.

There’s an Eagle waiting for me.

“He will cover you with His feathers.
He will shelter you with His wings.
His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
Do not be afraid…” (Psalm 91:4-5)

BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Friends and Followers of Jesus,

I understand that Peter wrote you last week.

I’ve got some things to say to you also.

You have an Advocate who pleads your case before the Father.
He is Jesus Christ, the One who is truly righteous.
He Himself is the Sacrifice that atones for your sins.

Those who obey God’s Word truly show how completely they love Him.

God’s Word lives in your hearts, and you have won your battle with the evil one.

Do not love this world nor the things it offers you.
For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions.

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

And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave.
But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever!

The last hour is here.
So you must remain faithful to what you have been taught from the beginning.

For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what He teaches is true.
So just as He has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ.

All who do what is right are God’s children.
See how very much God loves you, for He calls you His children, and that is what you are!

He has not yet shown you what you will be like when Christ appears.
But you do know that you will be like Him, for you will see Him as He really is!


Blessings from the one “whom Jesus loved,”


(Taken from 1 John 2)

BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”

Tuesday, December 7, 2010



It’s not a pretty sight.

For many years, I suffered from the “hoarding” disease. I wasn’t quite as bad as the people on the television show, but things were highly messy, very disorganized, and extremely cluttered.

It’s really kinda ironic – I have a mind full of steel filing cabinets.

Everything gets ordered just perfectly because there is a place for everything. Emotions go over here, after being analyzed and sorted. Thoughts here, problems there – divided up into solved ones and ones to be solved. Got more than one filing cabinet for worries. It might be overflowing a bit, but it’s organized. Yup, I know just where to put things in my mind – my interior life runs like a top.

My exterior environment?

For all those years in my 40’s?

Not so much.

I could make a bunch of excuses for how things got out of hand. Anxiety problems, a history of “pack rat” tendencies, feeling emotionally overwhelmed, needing to fight off boredom, a nagging sense of loneliness, depression – but in the end, those were all just excuses.

The real problem was trying to fill up a hole in my life.

An aching emptiness.

And the rather desperate attempts I made on my own just led to…dysfunction.

We all have something, don’t we? (DON’T WE?!) We all have something we’ve done or we do to try to stave off that nagging sense of loneliness or despair. Things we do to fill up the hole in our lives.

We all have areas where we are dysfunctional.

You know why?

Because we’re all broken…

We don’t work like we’re supposed to work. Our original design got messed up. The blueprints were perfect, the Architect was a Master – we just thought we knew how to make a better building.

Am I still a hoarder?

No – and I have to give some credit to “The Hub” – he’s a neatnik. And he rescued me from myself in many ways.

But even though he helped me clean up my house, even though he helped me put things in order, even though he loves me –

He couldn’t fix the basic problem – he couldn’t fill up the empty hole.

Because it was God-shaped.

We are made in God’s image.

Yes, we are. And because of that, nothing can fill us up like the God who created us. He is the ONLY One who can make us whole again.

He can remove dysfunction – and restore “His-function.”

He’s still got the original blueprint. He knows what we’re supposed to look like. He can make a better building…

It might not get finished in this life – but oh boy! What a glorious piece of handiwork we will be in eternity!

Are you tired of spiritual dysfunction?

Are you weary of trying to fill up that hole on your own?

Are you ready for some “His-function” in your life?

BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”

Monday, December 6, 2010


The “What If Game” –

Ever played it?

It’s really pretty simple. There are two versions of the game. Let me explain.

First of all, there’s the “Game of What If Past.”

Basically, you think about all the things you should have done, but didn’t.
Or think about all the things you did do, but shouldn’t have.

What if I had gone to a different college? Or gone to college? What if I’d married someone else? Or hadn’t gotten married? What if I’d taken that other job? What if I hadn’t made that investment? What if I hadn’t bought this house? What if I hadn’t had that relationship? What if I hadn’t made that choice? What if I’d done this instead?

You get the idea.

The word “should” is really important in this version of the game. I looked up the word “SHOULD” in Sharon’s Acrostic Dictionary:

S tubbornly
H olding
O n
U ntil
L iving in
D efeat

The other version is the “Game of What If Future.”

Basically, you think about all the things that could happen.

What if I lose my job? What if I lose my house? What if I get cancer? What if my spouse leaves me? What if I never get married? What if I never find that ideal job? What if I do, and it isn’t great? What if my car breaks down? What if I get hurt? What if my plans, dreams, goals don’t work out?

The word “could” is really important in this game. I looked up the word “COULD” in Sharon’s Acrostic Dictionary:

C oncentrating
O n
U ncertainty
L iving in
D efeat

Living in Defeat.

That’s the key objective of the “What If” Game. The rules are simple:

1) Always think (obsess) about things you cannot change and/or have
no control over.
2) Allow yourself to be consumed with this miry thinking.
3) Keep playing until you have exhausted yourself – until you are
emotionally paralyzed.
4) Play until you are unable to be any good whatsoever for the
present moment.

That’s when you’ve won the game.

Except you haven’t…

The enemy has.

It’s his game, you see –

Distracted, ineffective, discouraged, anxious, weak, intimidated…

We become nothing but little pawns of his fiery arrow thoughts – moved around on his game board, subject to his whims.

Why are we playing this game?

Why are we not fighting this battle?

It’s a subtle game. It’s not always easy to see who’s moving the pieces.

After all, these are just MY thoughts…right? I’m in control of my mind…right? If I have a thought enter my head, I have to think it…right?

“Sure, absolutely,” the devil says.

And don’t just think it. Invite it in for a meal. Let it have a sleepover. Hey, why not let it be a permanent houseguest –

My friends, the “What If” game is not harmless! It is an insidious inroad for the enemy’s work. We have to be aware of it. We have to be on guard. We have to fight against it.

And we need help.

Jesus won this game.

Satan played a great game of “What If” with Jesus in the wilderness.

“Hey, you’re tired and hungry…WHAT IF you turned these stones into bread?”

“I know, WHAT IF you jumped off the Temple – you could call a bunch of your angel buddies to save you.”

“You know, WHAT IF I gave you all the kingdoms of the world to rule over, right now?”

Jesus did not give in.

He used a failsafe strategythe ONLY effective strategy in this game. He used Scripture.

We must do the same.

The “Game of What If Past” –

“…I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past…I press on to reach the end of the race…” (Philippians 3:13-14)

The “Game of What If Future” –

“Can all your worries add a single day to your life?...[God] will certainly care for you…So don’t worry about tomorrow…” (Matthew 6:27, 30-31)

The final move in the “What If” game?

“Give us TODAY the food we need…” (Matthew 6:11)

THIS is the day the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.”
(Psalm 118:24)

“You go before me and follow me…I can never get away from your presence…Every day of my life…every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” (Psalm 139:5, 7, 16)


Game Over.

We win.

BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”

Sunday, December 5, 2010

BIBLE "PICK 'EMS" - The Season of Discontent


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

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

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


"When in doubt, search God out!"

Saturday, December 4, 2010


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)

"[Prayer] is conscious outreach in reverent thought and feeling to God, expecting a response. It is perhaps not so much a reaching out as it is a reaching in to the depths of the soul, for it is in those depths, in the very heart of a man, that the energy of God touches him most vitally.

It follows from this that prayer is by no means exclusively an effort to get something from God. The best moments...are often those restful moments in which there is a free interplay of feeling and interchange of thought, a thinking and feeling back and forth...

If there is a getting from God in response to an asking, the asking must be for what God has and is."

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

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Friday, December 3, 2010


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: justice

How would you define justice?

Do you think justice and fairness are the same thing? Explain.

Let me know what you think!!

“This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave youFor 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, December 2, 2010



It happened so fast…

“The Hub” and I just spent five days up in the mountains. Not camping this time – we stayed in a rental. Cold weather, warm fireplace…perfect!

So, as we’re leaving Monday morning, I do a “perimeter check” on the outside of the house – just to make sure that all the lights are turned off, and all the doors are locked. (I come from a looonnng line of people with OCD “Check, check, check” is our family motto. Just sayin’…)

Anyway, it had snowed one night when we were up there, and the ground was VERY icy. (Read slippery, treacherous, “fall on your behind” icy…)

So, I’m watching my feet – and hurrying a bit because non-OCD husband is in the car (with the engine running), just barely tolerating my check-check-checking. I quickly whip around a corner of the house, and WHAM!!!

I ran right into a thorn bush!

I immediately felt this sharp pain on my face. I tentatively felt where the branch had whipped into my face, looked at my hand, and was surprised at the sight of blood!

Goodness…MY blood!

I quickly made my way back to the car, and holding my hand up to my face, said to “The Hub” – “I’m hurt…”

He instantly turned into “Mr. Hero Man” and brought several Kleenexes over to me. We assessed the damage. Somewhere in between stitches and a paper cut – but boy, did it bleed for the longest time. And it was PAINFUL…

I recovered after placing pressure on my “wound” for about 10 minutes – (a little waterless soap was helpful too – extremely painful – but helpful).
I survived the ordeal. I can’t say the same for the thorn bush. Let’s just say it gave its life for the cause of mulch…

Actually, there isn’t much to see beyond a couple of really nice cuts by my nose. They are easily covered up with makeup (vanity, thy name is me…). But, boy oh boy, it still stings REALLY badly…

This pain reminded me of Someone else’s pain…

It reminded me of a crown made out of thorns.

I imagined going back to that awful day. I pictured some smart-aleck yanking out a thorn bush branch. Taking his rough hands and crudely fashioning a makeshift crown.

“Oh, this is perfect,” he chuckles to himself. “A ‘crown’ for the King of Jews!”

I can see him showing it to his buddies – everyone getting a laugh out of how funny it was going to be to see it on the head of the Innocent One.

They laugh at the irony – never seeing the mockery they were making of the Truth.

And when they jammed it on the head of Jesus – I can only imagine how much it must have hurt!! I have an inkling of that pain, because of my two small cuts. It had to have been excruciating.

A crown of thorns.

Only one of the horrors, the humiliations suffered by our Savior that day.

And yet, He has taken that crown of thorns and used it for another purpose for the purpose of His healing salvation.

I can picture Him calling me to His side.

“Come. Hold out your arms, and don’t be afraid.”

I hold out my arms. And Jesus takes a drop of blood from the crown, and traces letters on one arm with His finger.

“This spells RANSOMED. I came and ransomed you. May you always know that you were purchased with great cost.

And then He takes another drop of blood from the crown, and traces letters on my other arm with His finger.

“This spells REDEEMED. I have freed you from the consequences of your disobedience. I have made good a promise. May you always know that you are no longer obligated to pay your debt of sin.”

And then Jesus places the crown of thorns on His head, and an amazing, miraculous thing happens. It turns instantly into a golden crown.

Jesus, the King, the Everlasting Rescuer, the Bearer of our Pain…

A crown of thorns.

When was the last time you thanked Him, really thanked Him, for His pain?

BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”