Thursday, July 29, 2010


For those of you who think Southern California is always sunny...THINK AGAIN!

Let me tell you, it's NOT! Especially in June. There is this lovely phenomenon called "June Gloom." The name pretty much sums it up. It's a phrase that should be read with a scary, horror soundtrack in the background. Basically, just about every morning in June we wake up to overcast, gray, dismal skies. Sometimes, the cloud blanket lasts all day...especially at the beach.

What causes this?

It's something called a marine layer. We live about 30 minutes inland from the Pacific Ocean. And our warmer temperatures cause fog to roll in onshore. It's a pretty weird thing. My folks live at the beach, and sometimes when I visit them, their house is "socked in" with cold, foggy weather - but then if you drive, literally only a few blocks away, there is a bright shining sun and blue skies.

I remember when I was a kid - my dad would often rent a place at the beach for our vacation. Yup, it was awesome! When I was younger, it was great - I just enjoyed swimming and bicycling, building sand castles, and getting to stay up late. But when I got to my teens, something happened...I started worrying about how I looked. Then, going to the beach meant getting a tan!! It was still "PC" in those days to sit for hours, baking in the sun, to get that browned-toast look that we all thought was so sexy!

Sorry, Coppertone!

However, more times than I can count, I would wake up at the beach, looking to go out and get that tan - only to find "June Gloom." Picture me sitting on the beach, shivering, with a towel wrapped around me, muttering under my breath, "I could be getting my tan at home right now...GRRR!" My mom tried to encourage me by telling me that you could get sunburned even through the fog - yes, that CAN happen - but it has to be a THIN marine layer!

So, as you can see, "June Gloom" is not a friend of mine!

I'm also one of those people, even to this day, that finds my moods affected by the weather. Some souls LOVE rainy, gray weather. (DISCLAIMER: I'm not trying to throw anyone or any state "under the bus" here - my apologies to Seattle, Portland, and anywhere else I couldn't live!) I just seem to get gloomy right along with those thick clouds. And...this year we have had some weird weather..."June Gloom" has lasted all the way to the end of July!

Yes, we even had rain and thunderstorms last week!

So, almost every day for the last two months (can you hear the frustration?!), I wake to find myself looking out the window at gray drizzle. I try to force myself not to crawl back into bed and pull the blankets over my head. Keep the sweatshirts out, put away the bikini (tried to sneak that one in there - but those of you who know me, won't buy the idea of a "Change-of-Life Empty-Nester" in a bikini!) But then, it hit me the other day. Isn't this all so WRONG as a follower of Jesus?

Oh, Lord - forgive me for allowing my surroundings, especially the weather, to dictate the way I FEEL...

Have I become like the Israelites - complaining about manna? Yes, I think I have. God provided those Israelites with HIS VERY OWN FOOD...each and every single day. And they complained. I, too, have become a "weather whiner." I have focused on an EXTERNAL circumstance, and allowed it to determine my INTERNAL focus. Oh, dear...

Lord, time to re-adjust...what do YOU have to say about our days?

"A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else!" (Psalm 84:10)

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

"Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed." (Psalm 139:16)

"Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life..." (Psalm 23:6)

"Give us each day the food we need..." (Luke 11:3)

"That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day." (2 Corinthians 4:16)

"Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning." (Lamentations 3:23)

Yes, this is what the Lord has to say:

Each day is a GIFT from Him.
We should be glad and REJOICE.
He PLANNED our days before we were born.
His goodness and love are EVER-PRESENT.
He has DAILY BREAD to sustain us.
He is RENEWING us every day.
His MERCIES are fresh each morning.

You know, it's not the WEATHER that matters, it's WHETHER I'm ready to serve Him - TODAY!!

"And the LORD came and called...'[Sharon! Sharon]!"
And [Sharon] replied, 'Speak, your servant is listening!'"
(From 1 Samuel 3:10)

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Remember that old saying, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do?"

I can relate.

When I started this blog (only a month ago, can you believe it?!) I really didn't know too much. I just knew that I felt the urge from God to start writing. But I quickly learned that there was a whole new world out there. And I wasn't quite sure how to negotiate it. Indeed, I felt like I'd gone to another country, complete with a brand-new language to learn. I was in Rome now, and I had to learn Roman quick (or is it Italian...or maybe Latin? Hmmm...) I thought you might get a kick out of my "pre-blogging days" dictionary (and like the good "BA degree in English" person that I am, I have used each word in a sentence!)


1. weblog: what one screams when they are terribly afraid of spiders in the fireplace (while pointing a finger at the fireplace):
"EEK!! WEB!! LOG!!!"

2. blog: an ogre that lives under a bridge and scares away billy goats:
"The baby goats were terribly afraid of the blog, even though he looked like Shrek."

3. blogroll: what above-mentioned ogre eats for breakfast:
"The blog ate a blogroll for breakfast because he didn't feel like eating toast."

4. blogging: what a blog does for exercise (blog jogging):
"On the days that the blog wasn't on his elliptical trainer, he went blogging."

5. blogosphere: the area of the world where a blog lives:
"One blog lives in California, but his cousin lives in Australia, in the southern blogosphere."

6. header: what happens when one trips and falls:
"I took a header the other day when I tripped over the sprinkler head."

7. javascript: writing that is done at a coffee business:
"I think I'm going to go over to Starbucks, and do a little javascript in my journal."

8. html: a language that is "Hard To Master & Learn" ("textspeak" - like LOL):
"I can't understand any of this computer stuff. It's just too HTML for me."

9. post: the thing that holds up a fence:
"I've got to go repair that post now, Bessie. See ya before sundown."

10. gadget: a handy tool (see synonym: doohickey):
"I've got to use the gadget to fix this leak in the faucet."

11. widget: what you use when you can't find a gadget:
"Where is that dumb gadget? Oh well, I'll just use this widget."

12. button: something on a shirt, blouse, or jacket:
"Can you sew this button on my shirt before it falls off?"

13. badge: something a police officer wears:
"I put my hands up in the air when I saw the officer's badge."

14: blinkie: a cross between a blintz and a twinkie:
"The blog didn't feel like eating a blogroll or toast, so he ate a blinkie instead."

15: sidebar: a place where lawyers can speak to the judge during a trial:
"I will speak to the lawyers at the sidebar so all of you can wonder what we're saying."
NOTE: sidebar should not be confused with salad bar - even if the salad bar is located on the side of the restaurant

16. label: something on the inside of designer clothing:
"Oh, I see you're wearing a Calvin Klein label. How very chic!"

17. tag: something on the inside of un-designer clothing:
"Here, let me tuck that tag back inside your blouse."

18. wallpaper: something that is difficult to put on walls, and impossible to remove:
"Couldn't we just have painted?! This wallpaper is a real pain!"

19: skins: one side in a basketball game:
"I'm going to play with the Shirts. You play with the Skins."

20. permalink: short-hand way of saying permanent black ink:
"Sissy, get that Sharpie away from Junior. He's going to draw permalink all over the dog."

21. monetize: when you're so rich you can use money instead of Lysol to clean the bathroom:
"Honey, I think I'm gonna go monetize the sinks and toilet. Hand me a pile of those $20's, will you?"

22. jpeg: abbreviation for the neighbors down the street, Jay and Peg:
"Why don't we invite ol' Jpeg over for dinner? Haven't seen them in ages."

23. linkback, pingback, and refback: cousins of Snap, Crackle, and Pop:
"At the family reunion, Linkback, Pingback, and Refback won the three-legged race."
NOTE: Yes, I know there's usually only two people in a three-legged race. It's best not to ask questions...

24. trackback: their last name:
"This year, Linkback, Pingback, and Refback Trackback were all in the same class."

Did I make you smile?!

But, the truth of the matter is this - every area of interest seems to have its own "speak." A jargon that is unique to that pursuit. Sports, video gaming, advertising, the Internet, the whole cell phone culture, etc etc etc!

What's the point, Sharon?

It's this - we Christians seem to have our own language too. We sometimes forget that.

Let's be mindful of those who don't speak "Christianese" - and let's make our message simple and clear.

"For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life." (John 3:16 - The Amplified Bible)

"This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life." (John 3:16 - The Message)

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


OK, I know you're asking...what is a half-birthday?!

Well, it's exactly that - the day of the year that is exactly 6 months after your birthday (or before your next birthday if you're one of those "glass half-full" types!) And today is my oldest son's "half-birthday!" Today he is halfway between 27 and 28 years old. I don't know how he achieved that milestone, because his mother is too young to have a child that age! HA!!

We started this little "tradition" in our family a long time ago - I'm not really sure how it evolved. I guess it just sorta came up - it became another chance to celebrate someone.

My son is a special person.

I have had the privilege of being his mom, and enjoy the honor of being his friend. He is everything a mother could hope for - someone to be proud of, someone to treasure. He has brought me more joy than I could ever express! He is funny, intelligent, creative, thoughtful, loyal, genuine - he's a real "people person." And he loves the Lord! What more could a mom ask for?

So, "Happy Half-Birthday, Blake!" I LOVE YOU DEARLY!

Birthdays are important days, aren't they? I think they're great. Some people don't like them because it reminds them that they are getting older. But I tend to think of my age as a "medal" - I am proud of reaching another year! And I like to be treated special on that day! I know, the world didn't drastically change on that day in 1954 - but my parents' world did! I venture to say that there was NO OTHER NEWS that compared to my arrival. I don't say this in an egotistical way - I just know what it feels like to have a child! Earth-moving!

You know, someone else celebrated the day I was born. God did!

He had planned my birthday.

"You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed." (Psalm 139:15-16)

What a glorious thought! The Creator of the very universe watched as I WAS BEING BORN! He did the same for EACH one of you! You are special to Him - He loves you beyond understanding, beyond comprehension.

How do I know this?

Because He sent His Son to die for us - just so He would never have to be separated from us again.

"For God loved [insert your name here] so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16)

There's only one thing we have to do to make this possible. We have to have another birthday.


Yes, we have to be born again.

How to do this? It's simple - God paid the cost for our sin. He sent His Son to die for us on the cross. And then He raised Jesus from the dead, conquering sin and death once and for all. All we have to do is believe that He sent His Son to die for us, confess our sins to Him, ask for His forgiveness, and invite Him into our hearts as Lord of our lives.

I've done this - have you?

If you haven't, I would encourage you to do this today, this moment. God is right here, waiting to save you, to give you the gift of His eternal life.

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

So...on the occasion of my son's "half-birthday," let's all celebrate our other "birthday" - the day we were born again into the Kingdom of God, the day we became His children!!

P.S. My other son is pretty terrific, too!!

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Monday, July 26, 2010


Well, my dear friends...I've been moving around the furniture!

You'll notice I've changed some things on my blog. I feel like a typical woman right now - like I'm compelled to keep fiddling with my hair to get it "just right!" But, let me explain...

First of all, I wanted to add some more features, and decided that the sidebar area wasn't the best place to do it. I didn't want the sidebar to end up looking like my bookshelves - OVERFULL! So, I have added PAGES. This is a pretty neat feature - Here you can click on an individual page, and it contains all the "stuff" I still want to share with you, but don't want to "stuff" into the sidebar!! You'll find the following:

A BIT OF BIBLE KNOWLEDGE (Facts and lessons from Scripture) - this used to be located at the bottom of my blog.
QUAINT WORDS (Words and poems from old books I've found at antique stores and flea markets) - this also used to be at the bottom of my blog.
BOOK REVIEW (A summary and review of the latest book I've read) - the list of all the books I recommend will still be on the sidebar.
QUIPS AND QUOTES (This page is coming soon - it will just be interesting sayings I find).
FAVORITE VERSES (This page is a listing of my favorite verses - ones that I treasure like gold).
THE BIBLE (This is a wonderful little paragraph that I found on a bookmark - it's too bad the author is unknown - but I was so blessed by it, I just HAD to share it!)

At the bottom of the blog, I've added a lovely picture of Jesus that I just adore! I really like the subtle colors of it, and for some reason, this portrayal of Jesus really captures something for me - His love, His concern, His watchful care, His peace. And I've also added a section called "How Great Thou Art" - just a few verses reminding us of the majesty of our Almighty Lord! Hope you enjoy!

OK, now to the infamous sidebar!

I've added a link to a website where you can explore the Scriptures (what could be better, eh?!) I've also added a calendar - this is probably more for me than you! I have those "COLEN" (Change-of-Life Empty-Nester) moments ALL too often! "What day is it?" is a question that now ranks in my top three, along with "Where did I put my reading glasses?" and "Do I look old?" (This last question is almost always directed to my husband, and God bless him, he ALWAYS says NO!!) But, I think the little calendar is a fun way of remembering that we are to be THANKFUL for every day the Lord brings, and to rely on Him for our "daily bread."

Now, to explain the rest!

Lately I've felt a little bit like Alice in Wonderland - chasing "rabbit holes" all over the Internet. There are just so many things to explore! I have so enjoyed checking out other blogs - you'll see that I've added several of my favorites. And many of these blogs have "buttons." These are the "links" to these various sites. "The boys" (my sons!) tell me I'm like a little monkey - show me a bunch of "shiny things" and I go crazy - "Oh wow, lookie here...TRINKETS!!" Plus, adding buttons to my blog is like shopping! Yes, I know, a VERY dangerous prospect. But please know that I have added all my cute "buttons" intentionally, and with some thought. They all represent someone who has put together a site that is definitely worth visiting. And I think the colors add something...don't you?!

My next goal is to get a digital camera, and begin to add photographs to my blog. I guess, however, that "one thing at a time" is the way I'm going to have to operate for now.

I hope that you like all these changes (because I'll probably do more!)

Let me close with a word about our Lord, the One who NEVER changes...

"I am the LORD, and I do not change." (Malachi 3:6)

"And he who is the Glory of Israel will not lie, nor will he change his mind, for he is not human that he should change his mind!" (1 Samuel 15:29)

"So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie." (Hebrews 6:18)

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." (Hebrews 13:8)

"I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End." (Revelation 22:13)


= "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

BIBLE "PICK 'EMS" - What to Do?


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!"

Thursday, July 22, 2010


The human body is truly an amazing thing. Psalm 139 says we are "fearfully and wonderfully made." God knit us together in such complexity, and there is order and purpose to every part of our bodies. No, there is nothing "insignificant" about us.

Now some might think that the brain or the heart are more important than other parts of our bodies.

But I would challenge you to think again!

I'd like to share with you a little story about one of those seemingly "unimportant" parts of the body.

When my youngest son was in high school, I traveled around to various places with his varsity team. I would stay with my "mom friends." One night, we decided to try a new restaurant - which one mom assured us was "right around the block." Needless to say, it wasn't! At one point, we had to run across a wide boulevard. Yes...a dumb idea. Especially because halfway across the street was a large median bump that I did not see!

Yup, I ran into that bump full speed, and fell flat on my face!

Luckily, I did no damage, except that I injured one of my toes. Now here's my point - you might say to yourself, "OK, one toe, no big deal." Let me tell you, that "insignificant" toe cause me so much grief. It was so painful I couldn't sleep that night, and it was probably three weeks before I could walk properly again!

You know what I learned?


In God's Word, believers are called the Body of Christ. God decided to show Himself to the world THROUGH us. Doesn't that sound like a crazy plan?! We are His body - His voice, His hands, His feet. WOW! What a wild proposition, God - and what an honor and privilege, and also what a responsibility.


What if you don't feel like you are an important part of the Body of Christ? What if you don't feel like a brain or a heart?

What if you feel like a toe?

Listen to what GOD says in 1 Corinthians 12:

"The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one body. So it is with the body of Christ...God has put each part JUST WHERE HE WANTS IT...In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary...All of you together are Christ's body, and EACH OF YOU is a part of it."

To sum up:

We are the Body of Christ - made up of MANY PARTS, but UNITED in the person of Jesus.
We REPRESENT God to the world.
Each part of the body has PURPOSE.
No part is insignificant - God has a REASON for everything.
God will use EACH ONE OF US as the unique part of the Body of Christ that He created us to be...

...even if we're just toes!!

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


I've got to start by telling you a little something about me. I am sooooo careful with my personal information. I'm actually a little paranoid about it. "The boys" say I could be a character in the book, "1984" - you know, the whole "big brother is watching" thing!

I shred EVERYTHING - yes, even the mail delivered to resident!

However, a few months ago, I got a frightening phone call. Evidently, someone had stolen my credit card information from a website, and fraudulently ordered about $250 worth of computer games. (FYI - I'm not a "gamer" - definitely NOT my purchase!) Fortunately, someone called me before processing the order, and I did not lose the money. But...


Getting new credit cards, phoning the credit unions to put out a fraud alert, calling all the other companies that use that card for various bills, canceling other accounts, etc, etc, etc! I felt violated and afraid.

But God taught me a few things through this experience.

A long time ago, there was a young man who was born without a birth certificate. He didn't possess a social security number, never had a driver's license - or any other kind of personal ID. He never punched a time clock, never had a checking account, never filed income tax forms, never drove a car, never owned a home. In fact, He Himself said, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but [I have] no place to lay [my] head." By modern standards of identification, this man had no identity. And so, how was He known?

He was known by His words and by His deeds!

Jesus was the Son of God, known by the miracles He performed, by the good deeds and perfect love He demonstrated, and by the words He spoke. He died for our sins, and was raised again to life as the first-fruit of all those who believe in and accept His atoning work. Jesus had His identity firmly rooted in God, and 2,000 years later, the world still knows about Him. what does the identity of Jesus have to do with us?

Who are we without our documents and our numbers?

We are God's children - deeply loved by Him, and bought at a great price. Our names are written in His book of life, and we will spend eternity in His presence.

I want to be identified with the crucified and risen Christ - in this life I want to glorify His name, by what I say and what I do. I want to enter heaven and hear God say, "Well done, good and faithful servant!"

Don't you want that, too?!

John 1:12 says, " all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the RIGHT to become children of God..."

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Today I'm going to do something different. I'm listing ten of the things I saw on my hike down the Virgin River. And then I'm giving a verse that these things reminded me of. Ready for the journey?!

1. water = "Jesus replied, 'Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.'" (John 4:13-14)

2. rivers = "I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry my chosen people can be refreshed." (Isaiah 43:19, 20)

3. skies = "There is no one like the God of Israel. He rides across the heavens to help you, across the skies in his majestic splendor." (Deuteronomy 34:26)

4. mountains = "Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains...You care for people and animals alike, O LORD. How precious is your unfailing love, O God!" (Psalm 36:6, 7)

5. rock = " 'Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock.'" (Matthew 7:24)

6. meadows = "He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name." (Psalm 23:2, 3)

7. trees = "But they delight in the law of the LORD, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do." (Psalm 1:2, 3)

8. deer = "As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God. I thirst for God, the living God." (Psalm 42:1)

9. sun = "For the LORD God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The LORD will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right." (Psalm 84:11)

10. stars = "How good to sing praises to our God!...He counts the stars and calls them all by name. How great is our Lord! His power is absolute! His understanding is beyond comprehension!" (Psalm 147:1, 4, 5)

Amen and AMEN!

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Monday, July 19, 2010


Well, my friends, sometimes you just have to “live and learn.” My husband, “the boys” (my sons), and I just returned last week from a backpack trip down the Virgin River in Zion National Park.

The most important thing to do when launching on this kind of adventure is to PREPARE. Well, we diligently did our research, scoped out all the pertinent information, and decided that it was a trip we could do. Everything we read stated it would take about 13 hours for “leisurely hikers” to make the trek. (I’d like to know how these people define “leisurely.” In my case, I think maybe other words would be more accurate – sluggish, plodding, lumbering…) OK, 13 hours over two days…hard, but possible. Right?! Yeah, same mistaken thought pattern as, “Hey, want to take a stroll up to Mt. Everest?”

We over-packed, and under-trained – BUT…we did complete the trip. A little (read, a LOT!) worse for wear, sore and tired, mentally and physically spent – but, in one piece. No injuries, no fights, no lasting damage – (except a stomachache from eating a huge helping of “humble pie!!”)

I gotta tell you something, though. It was a good lesson in many ways. I think we all learned what you can really do when you HAVE to – how you can push yourself beyond your limits when you have NO OTHER CHOICE!

As I was hiking, (in between prayers that were short and sweet – you know, the “Help me, Lord” variety) I spent a lot of time thinking about the spiritual parallels of this most arduous journey. The apostle Paul likened this life to a race. I’d like to share the things he had to say about running that race:

“Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win!...we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step.” (1 Corinthians 9:24-26)

“…let us strip off every weight that slows us down…And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus…” (Hebrews 12:1-2)

“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.” (Romans 5:3-4)

You know, we DID make it out of that canyon – we’re going to make it out of this life, too. So, in the meantime, let’s run with patience, perseverance, and purpose.

A few closing thoughts:

As followers of Jesus, we are running toward our heavenly reward.

Patience will make our final victory sweet.

We do not struggle aloneGod is ALWAYS with us.

How’s your race?

BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”

BIBLE "PICK 'EMS" - Light of Hope!


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!"

Wednesday, July 14, 2010



Two little words that strike terror into the hearts of many. I once read a poll that said public speaking was the number one fear for most people. Yup, it ranked right up there with the fear of dying or being caught without your make-up on!

When I was in elementary school, I was a good student – very often, one of the teacher’s “pets.” I was that mousy little nerd that everyone got mad at for raising the class grade curve. I’m not bragging, just trying to tell you that I wasn’t one of the A-list kids! But, for the most part, school assignments were easy. Except when the teacher said those horrible words…


There wasn’t much I was more afraid of than standing in front of the classroom and giving a book report. (Maybe frogs – but that’s a long story!) I often missed school on the day I was supposed to give my report. Mom was kind and understanding about it – but she usually drew the line at missing two days in a row! So, inevitably, the dreaded day would arrive. I would pray that my name wasn’t called, or that the teacher would forget I hadn’t given my report. No such luck. It was finally my turn – “ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.”

SHARONyou’re next.”

Ever feel like that now? Like it’s your turn, and you’re just plain scared?

Let me tell you about Gideon. The story of Gideon, which is found in Judges, chapters 6-8, was my grandpa’s favorite. I guess he liked an underdog. Me, too. Gideon was working in his threshing floor when God sent him a challenge. But Gideon feared that his own limitations would prevent God from working through him. I love their conversation (read it in Judges 6:11-16). However, I want to focus on the three key phrases that God used to calm Gideon’s fears:

“Mighty hero, the LORD is with you!” (6:12)
Go with the strength you have…” (6:14)
I am sending you.” (6:14)

Gideon had his weak moments, and I’m sure he was scared – but he obeyed God.

The lesson for us?

God uses us in spite of our limitations, our failures, our fears.

He is with us – He is sending us. We don’t have to worry about how strong we feel (or don’t feel)! He’s just telling us to GO!

He will prepare us for tomorrow when it comes!

By the way, just ignore that noise…

Because though my knees are knockin’, my feet are gonna keep on walkin’…

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God"

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


If all goes according to plan, I will be on a grand adventure when this entry posts. I will be hiking a 16-mile, two-day journey down "The Narrows" in Zion National Park. This hike travels along the Virgin River - an apt name for a river that is crystal clear, and as pure as the snow-melt it comes from.

For many people, this would be an adventure. For me, who has done the "day-hike" version, but never an overnight backpack trip, this will be a GRAND adventure!

So many questions - will my little "get-away sticks" (my husband's name for legs) be able to make the trek? Will I be warm enough? Will I have enough to eat? Will the little water purifier work so I can actually drink the river water safely???

Legitimate questions? Probably so. But let me tell you, once I'm on the hike, all these concerns will fade away as quickly and as easily as images of the "concrete" world I left behind in the city. The Narrows is a breathtaking hike. Over millions of years, the river has carved out a deep, narrow canyon of dramatic color and beauty. You can stop and look up at the sky - a thin strip of blue that looms hundreds of feet overhead. Awesome!

Much of the hike, you are actually IN the river - crossing back and forth, forging ahead through strong currents, and sometimes just floating along when there is no place to walk! There is no way to describe the cold, refreshing feel of this pure water. It makes me feel like I am part of it. I become one of the rocks that lay at the bottom of this endless river - at peace with the timelessness of nature.

It all reminds me of the Creator - my wonderful and precious Lord. The Master of creativity, beauty, and eternal glory.

What a joy to spend time in His natural sanctuary!

"For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature." (Romans 1:20)

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Monday, July 12, 2010

BIBLE "PICK 'EMS" - Victory!

Today’s “Bible Pick ‘Ems” comes from the book of Joshua.

Moses, the great leader of the Israelites, handpicked Joshua to be his assistant. God later confirmed his choice when He instructed Moses to commission Joshua as his successor (Numbers 27:15-23).

Joshua was a hero. He was smart, confident, brave, and faithful to God.

Today’s verses are inspiring. They talk about courage – courage that comes from complete trust in a powerful God, a God who assures us of victory.

Joshua 10:8, 25, 42

“ ‘Do not be afraid of them,’ the LORD said to Joshua, ‘for I have given you victory over them. Not a single one of them will be able to stand up to you.’

‘Don’t ever be afraid or discouraged,’ Joshua told his men, ‘for the LORD is going to do this to all of your enemies.’

“…for the LORDwas fighting for his people.”

Who are our enemies?

Temptations, struggles, failures, suffering – so many earthly circumstances threaten to steal away our peace. They can lead us into the dark valleys of discouragement, destruction, and despair.

And there is another enemy – a very real enemy – Satan. He is described in the Bible as a “devouring lion.” He is constantly on the hunt, looking for ways to ruin us – to steal away our trust in a good God. He has clever and effective weapons. He knows how to get to us at our weakest point. He delights in our vulnerability.

But, we too can claim the promise of God“Not a SINGLE ONE OF THEM will be able to stand up to you.”

The very same God who empowered Joshua, is the same God who will help us with ALL of our needs.

He ALONE gives us victory – He ALONE delivers us from our enemies.

“No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.” (Romans 8:37)

"If God is for us, who can ever be against us?" (Romans 8:31b)

How goes your battle?!

NOTE: For future updates on "Bible Pick 'Ems" please check out my new blog:

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


BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Monday I went to a barbecue given by one of my friends. It was the first time that I had met any of her family. They were wonderful. They treated me as if they’d known me all of their lives – they treated me like…well, like family! I felt the same way.

My friend comes from a large family. I enjoyed my time visiting with her sister, and brothers, and all the others. And yes, OK, the food was delicious!! I ate enough for a small battalion – a small battalion of giants, maybe! But the highlight of my evening was spending time talking with my friend’s mother. What a precious woman of God, what a delightfully happy soul.

She and I talked about many things – and the name of Jesus wove through our conversation like a thread pulling all our thoughts together. She had a phrase that she kept repeating – it was like her little faith motto. And I just loved it

“You know, Sharon, God’s gonna get you where He wants you to be!”

When I got home that night, I couldn’t get that out of my mind. Sometimes I fret about my future (read…most of the time). I have so many expectations, hopes, dreams, and yes, fears about what’s going to happen. I can get really worked up about it all. I feel impatient sometimes – sometimes excited, sometimes anxious. I feel everything but peace it seems. Like it’s “all up to me!” Like I’m a human “Garmin” – I am in control of the direction of my life. Turn here, turn there, speed up, slow down…go, stop…merge, pass, and whatever you do, DON’T CRASH!!

How silly!

I’m not really in control of my life at all. And truth be told, I don’t really want to be. I liked it better when I was a little girl. My parents took responsibility for me. They made my decisions. They fed me and clothed me. They took care of my needs. They loved me freely, and all I had to do was love them back – because I trusted them.

I want to be like that with God.
Total trust, total peace – totally free to just love Him back.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good…to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

OK, Lord. After all, You’re gonna get me where You want me to be!

BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


The other day my friend and I were discussing the difficulties of loving an invisible God. It’s hard sometimes to feel His presence. After all, we live in a physical world, where matter is tangible – we feel things by touch. But God is Spirit, and we must relate to Him on a different level.

But, sometimes don’t you wish He had arms?

I’d love to sit in His lap, just curl up like a little girl and feel His strong arms hold me, hug me – I’d do anything to feel Him touch my face, or stroke my hair, or pat me on the back. I KNOW He’s there – I believe that with all of my heart. And I feel His Spirit inside of me. But oh, there are days when I’d do anything for His physical touch.

Where are Your arms, Lord?

And then I hear His Spirit speak to me, and tell me this wonderful truth. God was never closer to me than when His Son stretched out His arms – His earthly, physical, human arms – on a wooden cross. There is no human hug that can match that love!

But we are not alone in wanting Jesus’ physical presence.

A doubting disciple named Thomas would not believe the Savior had risen until he could physically touch His hands.

“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.” (Gotta love Thomas!!)

Eight days later, Jesus appeared to the disciples again, and this time Thomas was there. Jesus told Thomas to touch His wounds, and finished by saying, “Don’t be faithless any longer. BELIEVE!

Needless to say, Thomas did just that!

And then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”

You know what?! That’s you and me He’s talking about!! WE are the ones He calls blessed, because we believe with the eyes of faith. Because of the Holy Spirit, who is present with us at all times, God can be as real to us as His Son was to Thomas.

(read the story of Thomas in John 20:24-29)

“Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” (Hebrews 11:1)

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Just the other day, my friend informed me that an email I had sent to her was flagged as SPAM. To which I rather plaintively asked, “Do I always come to you as SPAM?”

She chuckled, and told me that no, I don’t usually come across as SPAM – just this one time her cable company had deemed me “junk mail.” I tell you what, I’d like to meet this “Wizard of SPAM” who sits blustering away, and arbitrarily decides who gets through and who doesn’t! I would love to pull aside that curtain and expose him for the imposter he is – HA!

But it got me thinking…Do I come across to God as SPAM?

Sometimes it’s easy to think that He doesn’t pay attention. He seems hidden, or distant, or silent. Does He really care about me and my silly little life? I am reminded of those words from Psalm 8:

“…what are people that you should think about them, mere mortals that you should care for them?”

Yup, in the bazillion people that populate this planet, I bet I do get lost in the shuffle sometimes. I’ll bet God is a lot more concerned about world leaders, or powerful rich tycoons, or which team LeBron James is going to sign with. In the grand newspaper of life, I’m probably just a classified ad.

It was kind of depressing, you know?!

So I searched my Bible, because I always say: When in doubt, search God out. And here are some wonderfully amazing things that God has to say about EACH one of us:

“You saw me before I was born…Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” Psalm 139:16

“…not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; YOU are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” Matthew 10:29b, 30-31

“You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I am far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I doHow precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered!” (Psalm 139:2-3, 17)

No, I’m not SPAM to God…I’m just SPECIAL!

So are you!!

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Monday, July 5, 2010

BIBLE "PICK 'EMS" - Woe is Me!

Times are tough, aren’t they? It doesn’t seem like you can count on anything anymore. The earth is quaking and shaking, the environment is being poisoned, the economy is falling apart, and governments can’t be trusted. It’s a time of great upheaval.

Our world is filled with poverty, injustice, rebellion, and uncertainty.

Where can we turn for help – where can we turn for hope?

Today’s “Bible Pick ‘Ems” comes from the book of Lamentations. The prophet Jeremiah wrote this book, during a time of great sadness for the nation of Judah. The Babylonians had destroyed Jerusalem, and her people had been killed, tortured, or taken captive.

But Jeremiah affirmed that there was hope in the midst of affliction.

He knew that God would bring future restoration and blessing. He banked on God’s faithfulness, always trusting in the unshakeable promises of a loving and merciful Lord.

“Peace has been stripped away…Everything I had hoped for from the LORD is lost. The thought of my suffering…is bitter beyond words. I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. YET I STILL DARE TO HOPE when I remember this:


His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, ‘The LORD is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!
…I called on your name, LORD, from deep within the pit. You heard me when I cried…Yes, you came when I called; you told me, ‘DO NOT FEAR.’”
(Lamentations 3:17-24, 56-57)

What causes your tears?

God knows about them – every single one.

“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” (Psalm 56:8)

Rest assured, God is there – in every moment, every day. He will never fail you; He will never forsake you. His plan and purpose for your life is being worked out, even in times of suffering and hardship.

Yes, my dear friends, we have a bright hope for tomorrow!

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Friday, July 2, 2010


Fireworks, flags, picnics, parades…these are the hallmarks of the Fourth of July!

It’s a great day for America, isn’t it? It represents a defining moment in the history of this nation. It is the day that the country claimed its freedom. The value of freedom is mentioned again and again in our history. Our national anthem ends with the words, “…the land of the free, and the home of the brave.” Our Declaration of Independence guarantees all Americans the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Freedom is the lifeblood of America. But this freedom came at a cost. It was purchased with the life of many.

Yes, we’re fortunate to be Americans.

But on this special day, I am reminded of another Independence Day. Another day when freedom was won. This freedom also came at a cost. It was purchased with the life of One.

If you were to ask the average person what it means to be free, you’d probably hear something like, “to be able to do your own thing.” Trust me, I grew up in an era when “do your own thing” was not only a catchphrase, it was a way of life. My generation felt ENTITLED to it. And yet, we were not unique. This mind-set goes all the way back to Adam and Eve. It sums up the reason for the Fall. Man wanted to “do his own thing” apart from God. Funny how we seem to view God’s way as “confining” and “arbitrary” and life on our own terms as “liberating” and “free.” However, this is exactly the opposite of the truth.

Romans 7:14 says, “So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin.”

The Bible makes it clear that serving yourself, and running your own life, is not independence or freedomit is SLAVERY!

Romans 6:16 says, “Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God.”

The Bible resonates with the word and the concept of true freedom over and over. Freedom was God’s whole plan when He sent Jesus to die for our sins. His mission was to release us – slaves of sin and prisoners to death. He came to LIBERATE us, to offer us the TRUE path of freedom.

Galatians 5:1 states, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free…”

Jesus Himself was very clear on this point. Read His words from the book of John: “…you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free’...they said, ‘We have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean, ‘You will be set free?’ Jesus replied, ‘I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever. So if the Son sets you free, you are TRULY free.

True freedom only exists in God’s saving grace, when we are freed from the yoke of slavery to sin, and freed to become like Christ – and in doing so, we also become more like the true self God created us to be.

Romans 6:14 states, “Sin is no longer your master…Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.”

God also promises the ultimate freedom to the believer – freedom from death.
Romans 8:21 says this: “But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay.”

God grants us the true freedoms we so desire:
 Freedom from sin
 Freedom from condemnation
 Freedom from death
 Freedom from judgment and eternal punishment

Never forget the wonder of God’s freedom. The freedom He bought for us with the death of His Son, Jesus, on the cross. His atoning work rescued us from slavery to sin, and ushered us into His very presence, both now and forever.

God’s salvation, and His gift of eternal life, is given FREELY to all who receive it.

So, Happy Independence Day, America!

And praise God for His Independence Day – the day His Son died for the sins of the world!


BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Today I get my hair colored…

OK, yes, the secret is out – I color my hair. Actually, it’s not much of a secret – especially if you see me on week 3 or 4. Those old gray roots really start to show. It’s amazing the plethora of hairstyles you can come up with to hide them. My own personal repertoire of “comb-overs” is quite impressive!

For years now (more than I’d like to admit!), “the boys” have given me the lovely nickname of “Pepe Le Pew” – remember the skunk character on Looney Tunes cartoons?! It’s an apt moniker.

Mind you, there’s nothing wrong with gray hair. Lots of women wear their gray with pride. And they look absolutely beautiful. It’s just not right for me. I end up looking like Mrs. Kirby – my husband’s grandmother!!

Aren’t we women funny creatures? We do so many things to hide the fact that we’re getting older. And there’s a lot we can do nowadays. With a tummy tuck here, and a lipo there, here a lift, there a lift, everywhere a botox – E I E I O!! It’s getting easier and easier to “fool” people into seeing a youthful exterior.

But what’s on the inside?

The Bible tells us that we are fallen human beings. We have the stain of sin in our hearts. We all try to hide this fact. Some of us are better at it than others. There’s a lot of “good” people out there. But the truth of the matter is, we can NEVER get rid of that stain by ourselves.

We lament with David, echoing his words from Psalm 51:
“Have mercy on me, O God…Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins…Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of guilt. Create in me a clean heart, O God.”

And God did just that…He sent His Son, Jesus, to die for all our sins – past, present, and future. And with that sacrifice came this wonderful promise:

“…Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool…for I have paid the price to set you free.” (from Isaiah)

So when I’m sitting in that chair at the hair salon today, waiting for the gray to disappear, I’m going to think about what Jesus did for me. He washed away my sin, removing forever its ugly stain.

He made me NEW!

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"