Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Last week I took a lovely drive down “Memory Lane.”

It’s been heavy on my heart lately to do more with my aging parents. So, I planned a little “day trip” with them.

My dad spent part of his childhood living in Hermosa Beach – only two blocks from the Pacific Ocean. He has many fond memories of those years…

And then, years later, he and my mom returned to the same area.

So, early last Wednesday morning, I drove down to pick them up at their house at the beach (are we detecting a theme in their lives??) We piled into my Explorer, Eddie(I’m not the ONLY one who names her car – you know who you are!) – and headed up the freeway. Took the proper exit…and began our nostalgic trip.

We drove from street to street, house to house, as we re-traced the recollections of my dad. Where his friend lived – the one who everyone picked on, but whom my dad befriended. Oh, over there was another friend – the one who figured out how to rig a tin-can telephone between the houses, until the parents found out they were talking until 1:00 in the morning! There’s where the nice man and his wife would sit with him on the swing, and tell him Bible stories. And there’s the house where the retired Naval officer lived – the one who procured an old searchlight off of a destroyer, and put it on his balcony pointed at the ocean – so the kids could swim in the waves until 9:00 at night.

Quite frankly, I was enraptured.

It sounded like a perfect Huckleberry Finn upbringing. Idyllic, slow-paced, a perpetual summer.

We went into the old grocery store – the TINY grocery store – that hadn’t changed a bit!! I bought some Advil, just so I could say I got something from “The Green Store.”

We walked out on the pier, and looked at the birds, and the sand, and the beautiful ocean.

We talked…endlessly.

I had been afraid of this day in some ways. My dad’s a little cantankerous nowadays. He can talk…on and on…and it’s hard to “escape.” But today, as he wove a beautiful tapestry of his childhood, I listened to every thread – and enjoyed it!

But here was the “highlight” of the day for me.

And here’s where my MOM got excited.

Evidently, when she was about five months pregnant with me, my dad got transferred down to Torrance…and they moved to Palos Verdes (just a little further down the coast from Hermosa Beach). They wanted to find the house that they had been living in when they brought me home from the hospital.

We snaked around streets, looking for the right house – was it even going to be there anymore? (Gotta hand it to my folks – their memories and sense of direction were SHARP that day!)

One last turn…and then my mom’s finger came flying from the back seat, “THERE IT IS!” she squealed.

And sure enough, there it was.

My parents’ faces glowed. They smiled. They chattered excitedly.

“Oh I wish we could go knock on the door,” my mom said.

“Let’s go!” I replied.



Dad decided to stay in the car. But my mom and I, arms linked together, walked up to the little house. Just as we approached the driveway, a car drove up – wouldn’t you know it! It was the owner! We explained why we were there. They let us come in!

I can’t explain the feelings that washed over me as I stood in that living room, holding my mom right next to my side, as she breathlessly sighed, “It hasn’t changed at all…”

I realized something at that moment. Obviously, I couldn’t remember a single minute from that time in my life. But my mom did. There is a part of me that will always belong to her…just her. And somehow, that knowledge made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Close to her – in a way that I can’t explain.

It made me feel SPECIAL.

It reminded me of God. How He knew me before I was even born. And how a part of me will always belong to Him…just Him. And somehow, that knowledge makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Close to Him – in a way that I can’t explain.

It makes me feel SPECIAL.

You’re special too. He knows you that way. He loves you that way. Isn’t that the most AWESOME thing of all?

“Even before the beginning of the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ…” (Ephesians 1:4)

If your parents are still alive – call them, send them a card, go see them if you can. Take a trip down “Memory Lane”you’ll be so glad you went along for the ride.

Oh Lord, thank you for my parents. For the way they love me. Thank you for the privilege of spending time with them. And thank you forever, for the love You show me. The love that knows me. The love that died for me. The love that gave me life – and gave me Life Everlasting…

BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”

Monday, November 29, 2010




What do these words even mean anymore?

Our pastor has just finished a series entitled, “Why Jesus Hates Religion.” His over-arching point was this: Jesus hates religion because it’s all about MAN’S efforts to reach God. It’s all about our good works, and our little rules and regulations. It’s all about…well, all about US.

Jesus hates religion…because it blinds us to HIM.

I wonder how many conversations go like this:

“What religion are you?”

“Oh, I’m Christian.”

And how often is “Christian” defined as non-Catholic, non-Jewish, non-"a host of other things"? How often is “Christian” defined as flag-loving, apple pie, I’m an American? What does it mean beyond a title, a definition, a label?

My son is leading a small group. On Monday nights they meet to discuss the weekend message. On one particular Monday, a couple of weeks ago, one of the women in group said something like, “Well, in our religion, Christianity…”

My son stopped her.

With a smile on his face, he said, “We’re not a religion, remember? We’re having a relationship.”

“Well, what should we say instead?” she asked.

My son said the answer popped into his head before he even formed a thought! (I informed him – welcome to the still, small Voice!!)

“We’re walking with Jesus!”

Everyone loved this. So much so, that they have adopted the phrase almost like a motto for the group.

“How’d your week go? Are you walking with Jesus?!”

I glow inside at this.

I like the phrase “Christ-follower” or “Follower of Jesus.” But there’s a simplicity to what the Spirit gave to my son.

I’m walking with Jesus…

Yes – on a life stroll, on a difficult hike, slow at times, fast at others, sometimes up, sometimes down, sometimes smooth, sometimes not, crooked or straight – but all the time, walking WITH Jesus.

I’ve always found it easier to do my “exercise walking” with a buddy. Maybe it’s just the “yakker” in me. I don’t think about my tired little legs when I’m “chatting.” I think that’s why I like this phrase.

Walking WITH Jesus – having Someone to talk to, Someone who makes me forget my tired little legs.

Remember the men on the road to Emmaus? All of a sudden, they were joined by the resurrected Lord.

“As they walked along they were talking about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things, Jesus himself suddenly came and began walking with them.” (Luke 24:14-15)

They didn’t recognize Him.

But what a turn that discussion must have taken!

Can you even imagine the Creator, the Messiah, GOD Incarnate explaining the Scriptures? Revealing the truth about HIMSELF?

At the end of the journey – (I love that Jesus stayed with them UNTIL THE END…) – they suddenly realized who their traveling companion was.

And that changed their lives - forever...



Titles. Definitions. Labels.

You can have ‘em –

I’m walking with Jesus!

BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”

Sunday, November 28, 2010

BIBLE "PICK 'EMS" - Let's Get Spiritual!


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, November 27, 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)

"Let us then cut every cord, and remove every barrier, that our souls may find no hindrance to their mounting up with wings as eagles to heavenly places in Christ Jesus.

We are commanded to have our hearts filled with song of rejoicing and to make inward melody to the Lord. But unless we mount up with wings this is impossible, for the only creature that can sing is the creature that flies...

Do you know anything of this life on wings, dear reader? Do you "mount up" continually to God out of and above earth's cares and trials, to that higher plane of life where all is peace and triumph; or do you plod wearily along on foot through the midst of your trials, and let them overwhelm you at every turn?

...It depends only upon the facts of an entire surrender and an absolute trust.

The lark soars singing from its nest,
And tell aloud
His trust in God, and so is blest
Let come what cloud.

He has no store, he sows no seed,
Yet sings aloud, and doth not heed.
Through cloudy day or scanty feed,
He sings to shame
Men who forget in fear of need
A Father's name.

The heart that trusts, forever sings,
And feels as light as it has wings;
A well of peace within it springs.
Come good or ill,
Whate'er today or morrow bring,
It is His will."

(From "The Christian's Secret Of a Happy Life" by Hannah Whitall Smith, c. 1888)

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Friday, November 26, 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: praise

What does the word praise mean to you?

What is one thing you want to praise God for today?

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, November 25, 2010


Today we are thankful, Lord – for blessings we don’t deserve.

For Your everlasting love.

For Your unconditional forgiveness.

For Your undeserved mercy.

For Your unmerited grace.

For Your unchanging faithfulness.

For Your unwavering promises.

For Your immovable presence.

For You…

G lorious
R edeemer
A lmighty
T rustworthy
E verlasting
F aithful
U nchanging
L ord

“Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.” (Colossians 3:16-17)

“Praise God from whom all blessings flow,
Praise Him all creatures here below,
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host,
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.”

Happy Thanksgiving, my dear brothers and sisters. Have a wonderful day.

HOLIDAY NOTE: Though I will still be posting every day, I am taking a few days off from responding to your comments (but please leave them anyway!) I'll be back Monday.

I’m going to miss you – BOO HOO...

BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Shout joyful praises to God, all the earth!
Sing about the glory of His name!
Tell the world how glorious He is.

Creation, can you not see? The LORD is glorious. He is amazing, majestic, almighty. Praise Him.

Say to God, “How awesome are Your deeds!
Your enemies cringe before Your mighty power.

You do such wonderful things, LORD. How can anyone stand up to You? You have won every victory. You have defeated every enemy.

Everything on earth will worship You; they will sing Your praises, shouting Your name in glorious songs.”

Let the animals know, let the people know, let the nations know – let the whole world know – Your name is worthy to be worshiped.

Come and see what our God has done, what awesome miracles He performs for people!

Read His Word! Time after time, He rescues those He loves, in supernatural miracles.

For by His great power He rules forever.
He watches every movement of the nations; let no rebel rise in defiance.

Oh, be careful, mighty nations. Beware, mighty rulers. You are not sitting on the throne of Heaven. You must answer to the Sovereign LORD, the Everlasting Ruler of the Universe.

Our lives are in His hands, and He keeps our feet from stumbling.

We belong to Him. Every day was ordained before we were born. He watches over us, and straightens the path before us.

You have tested us, O God; you have purified us like silver.

Find in us, O LORD, anything that needs to be melted away. Burn the sins that keep us from following You. Make us gleam with the purity of Your righteousness.

Come and listen, all you who fear God, and I will tell you what He did for me.
For I cried out to Him for help, praising Him as I spoke.

Oh, LORD – I love You, You alone are worthy. Help me.

If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.

Against You, and You alone, have I sinned.

But God did listen!
He paid attention to my prayer.
Praise God, who did not ignore my prayer or withdraw His unfailing love from me.

Thank you, LORD, for hearing me!
Thank you for bending down to listen to my prayers.
Thank you for not ignoring me.

And thank you, forever, for NEVER withdrawing Your love.
For being my faithful Father – even when I didn’t deserve You.

Praise God!


(Taken from Psalm 66)

BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Hidden Talents.

The Bible makes it expressly clear that each believer is given a spiritual gifta gift given so we can help each other.

“Now there are distinctive varieties and distributions of endowments (gifts…due to the power of divine grace operating in their souls by the Holy Spirit) and they vary, but the [Holy] Spirit remains the same…All these [gifts, achievements, abilities] are inspired and brought to pass by one and the same [Holy] Spirit, Who apportions to each person individually [exactly] as He chooses.” (1 Corinthians 12:4, 11 – Amplified Bible)

The spiritual gifts given to each person by the Holy Spirit are special abilitiesto be used to help people, to spread the Gospel, and to minister to the needs of the Body of Christ.

There are many gifts – people have different gifts, some have more than one – but one gift is not superior to another. All spiritual gifts come from the Holy Spirit.

“God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.” (verse 6, NLT)

God is completely involved in the giving, using, and empowering of these gifts. He creates a unique place for each believer – a specialized, designed-by-God role.

We can take no credit for what God has freely given us.

But what are we doing with what He has given us?

Hidden talents.

Are we hiding them?

We are called to invest our talents in helping others. We are to use them wiselyto reach others with the Gospel, and to build up the body of believers.

There is a reward waiting for those who use their time, talents, and treasures diligently in order to serve God completely.

And there are consequences for those who don’t. We cannot call ourselves servants of God, and then have little to show for it. If our gifts are not being utilized, it means we are essentially living a selfish lifestyle.

There is a principle of truth in this – one that runs throughout the Bible.

Negligence of spiritual truth is punished and diligence is rewarded – rewards are given according to faithfulness, and chastening is brought on by lack of faithfulness.

So again, I ask – are we hiding our talents?

And why would we do so?

I can think of several reasons – because at some time or the other, I have used them for my own excuses.

1) “I don’t have time.”
2) “I don’t have the energy.”
3) “I don’t know where to start.”
4) “I don’t have any gifts or talents.”
5) “I don’t know what my gifts or talents are.”
6) “I don’t have the courage.”
7) “I don’t want people to criticize or reject me.”
8) “I don’t want to fail.”

On and on…

But every excuse has one thing in common – the phrase “I DON’T…”

We are focusing on our INABILITY, our LACK, our WEAKNESS. We are focusing on our SELVES.

We have a callingto proclaim the Gospel of the Kingdom to others. We have a callingto build up the church. We have a callingissued to us directly from God.

We have a calling…

And we will be held accountable for the stewardship that has been entrusted to us.

We are to bear fruit.

True faith always results in a changed life.

So, my friends, let’s stop hiding our God-given gifts and talents. Let’s stop making excuses. Let’s stop being selfish…

“No one lights a lamp and then hides it or puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where its light can be seen by all…” (Luke 11:33)

Let your light shine – in a dark and lonely world that needs God.

BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”

Monday, November 22, 2010


When I was a little girl, I loved to play “jacks.”

I think I loved it for several reasons:

One, it was fun.
Two, it involved strategy and concentration.
Three, it was challenging.

Did I mention it was FUN?!

In case I have any readers who are too young to remember playing “jacks,” here’s a simple explanation –

What you need to play jacks: Set of jacks and ball. Smooth surface to play on.

Object of Jacks: Be the first to go from “onesies” to “tensies.”

Set up the game: Begin by throwing your jacks onto the ground in front of you. Try and make the jacks land not too far apart or too close together.

Playing Jacks: You then throw the ball into the air … pick up one jack … then catch the ball after it bounces one time. Continue picking up the jacks one at a time. When you have collected all the jacks, throw them again and start picking the jacks up two at a time (twosies). When you get to threesies, you have to pick up the three sets of three first, then pick up the left over jack. Continue on until you are at tensies. You can then declare the winner as the first one to tens, or go back down again to onesies.

Your turn continues until you either: miss the ball, fail to pick up the jacks, move a jack, or drop a jack that you have picked up. Your turn is then over and the next person goes.

Doesn’t that bring back memories?

I loved this game.

I can remember a period of time when my dad would play with me after work!!

I would sit at the kitchen table, and ask my mom about a hundred times, “When’s Dad going to be home?” She always answered, “Soon.”

And then, he’d be there. He’d change his clothes, and come back and sit on the floor, and we’d start our epic “Battle of the Jacks.”

Now, I had fun playing with my dad. And I respected the fact that he didn’t pull any punches. He didn’t “let me win.” That was OK by me. I’m a rather competitive little thing – and I didn’t want an easy victory. However, there was one thing that made playing with my dad a little lopsided…

He had BIG hands!

My dad was 6’ 3” tall, and he had hands to match! So, I kept up with him pretty well until about “sixies.” Then, his “basketball player” hands were much better than mine at scooping up all those jacks.

I learned to toss my jacks a little softer – “Oh look, what a coincidence, they’re all bunched together…”

That worked on the one hand – it made it easier to grab larger numbers of jacks. However, it also made it more difficult to NOT touch other jacks.

Very often, my dad and I were “neck and neck.” My little girl hands were dexterous and nimble. His big dad hands were…well, big.

One very blisteringly even-matched game, my dad and I both arrived at “tensies” together. I made my toss – a closely-knit grouping of jacks tumbled out on the kitchen floor.

I tossed the ball, and went to scoop…I JUST MISSED getting that old #10!


Dad’s turn…

He made his toss – those jacks were spread out! I’m thinking, “Ah ha! I just might have another chance here!”

He threw the ball into the air, and BOOM! His giant hand came thundering down and scooped up ALL ten jacks as fast as you could say, “WOW!”

He won.

I didn’t even feel that bad. Because I had seen an amazing feat. I had seen the wonder of big hands at work.

You know, our Heavenly Father has big hands, too.

And they are AMAZING when they’re at work. They form galaxies, and stars, and planets. They hold the earth in its orbit, the moon in its cycle. They contain the Sun. They govern the tides and the winds. They tell the ocean where to stop. They create towering mountains, and move glaciers. They rule over continents.

“…God made the earth by his power, and he preserves it by his wisdom. With his own understanding, he stretched out the heavens. When he speaks in the thunder, the heavens roar with rain. He causes the clouds to rise over the earth. He sends the lightning with the rain and releases the wind from his storehouses…He is the Creator of everything that exists.”
(Jeremiah 10:12-13, 16)

He’s got the whole world in His hands…

…and He’s got you and me.

“The gracious hand of our God is on everyone who looks to him…”
(Ezra 8:22 NIV)

Are you looking to Him?

BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”

Sunday, November 21, 2010

BIBLE "PICK 'EMS" - The Long Fall from Grace


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, November 20, 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)

"In order that we may be successful in our fishing [for men], let us ask Christ to give us attractive bait - His ways, His manner of doing, His tact, His patience, His forgiveness, His forbearance, His generosity, His strength.

No matter the cost, no matter the weariness, no matter the discouraging moments, no matter what comes our way, provided we gather in souls for Christ.

It is the good we have done on earth that we shall find in Heaven - nothing more; and this good is done only through our individual goodness - our union with God - not through any notice or consideration that may be shown us.

Let us then strive to be holy."

(From "Spiritual Pastels" by J.S.E. c. 1918)

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Friday, November 19, 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: accountable

What does the word accountable mean to you?

Do you think being accountable to God is different than being accountable to people? Why or why not?

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, November 18, 2010


True confession time –

I’m afraid of the dark.

Yup, if you looked up “scaredy-cat” in the dictionary, it would say –
“see Sharon.”

I’ve had this fear since I was a child. I was one of those “jump into bed from three feet out so someone doesn’t grab your legs” kind of girls.

I remember one time when this fear was severely challenged – about 5 years ago.

It was the first camping trip for my newlywed husband and me. I wanted to impress “The Hub” with my ability to “rough it.” I wanted his “Jeremiah Johnson” to think he had rightly married his match – “Pioneer Woman.”

Now, as I have mentioned before, I LIKE “roughing it.” And I mean, getting dirty and grimy – sleeping on the ground – no shower – no appliances – no makeup – no problem.

We were going to stay at a remote area. Only four “campsites” – with just a firepit and a bear box (to store the food) per site – just the bare minimum. And we were totally alone. No problem.

“The Hub” thought I was great at helping to set up the tent. He was amazed at my “roll with the punches” attitude. He noticed that I didn’t use the waterless soap five thousand times. He was proud of me.

Well, into every good camping story, nighttime must fall. It got dark, VERY dark that night. And, at some point, as the embers in the fire were fading out, it came time for that last “pit stop” of the evening. It was time for me to visit the “outhouse.”

About 1,000 feet away…

Did I mention that it was VERY dark?!

“The Hub” did his newlywed hero thing – “Sweetie, do you want me to go with you?”

And, wanting to make him SO proud of me, I answered, “No, I’ll be fine.”

Uh, right…

I took off, already nervous, and began the long trek to the outhouse.

Within 30 seconds, and maybe 100 feet away from the campfire, it was very cold – and VERY dark!

I was terrified.

OK, I’m thinking – “There’s a bear behind that tree, a mountain lion over there, and little mice everywhere just itching to crawl up my pants. And then, waiting for me at the outhouse is some guy in a mask.”

Oh…and my worst fear…there are all kinds of evil spirits lurking in the shadows.

However, the one saving grace was that I had brought along my friend – my flashlight Mr. Maglite. Now this isn’t one of those delicate little jobbers – no, this is one of those foot-long, heavy metallic, super bright, “just-like-the-cops-have” flashlights.

I held Mr. Maglite in front of me like a beacon in a lighthouse. I held him in front of me like a weapon. I held him in front of me for dear life…

Was I scared? YOU BET!

Did I make it back safely? OF COURSE!

Was I comforted by my trusty friend, Mr. Maglite? ABSOLUTELY!

I learned a great lesson that night.

I have another friend who comforts me in the darkness of this world – Jesus.

C.S. Lewis called this world “The Shadowlands.” It’s an accurate description.

Shadows of sin, shadows of sickness, shadows of suffering, shadows of death.

It’s dark out there.

And there are all kinds of evil spirits lurking in the shadows.

But I am never alone. I have a companion – Jesus. He is the Light of Life – the One who shines like a beacon. The One who illuminates every shadow. The One in whom there is NO darkness.

“Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night…” (Psalm 91:5)

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.” (John 1:5)

“Put your trust in the light…” (John 12:36)

“We now have this light shining in our hearts…” (2 Corinthians 4:7)

“God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all.” (1 John 1:5)

“I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” (John 8:12)

I need not be terrified – Jesus is my friend.

BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


My Child,

Listen to what I say, and treasure My commands.
Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding.
Cry out for insight, and ask for discernment.

Search for them as you would for silver.
Seek them like hidden treasures!

Then you will know what it means to fear Me.
And you will gain knowledge of Me.

For I grant wisdom!

From My mouth come knowledge and understanding.
I will grant a treasure of common sense to the honest.

I am a Shield to those who walk with integrity.
I guard the paths of the just.
I protect those who are faithful to Me.

I will help you understand what is right, just, and fair.
I will show you the right way to go.

For wisdom will enter your heart.
Knowledge will fill you with joy.
Wise choices will watch over you.
Understanding will keep you safe.

Stay on the path of the righteous.
Develop good judgment.

My child, never forget the things I have taught you.
Store My commands in your heart.

Write them deep in your soul.
Let them penetrate your very being.

Then you will find favor with both Me and people.
You will earn a good reputation.

Trust in Me with all your heart.
Don’t depend on your own understanding.
Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom.

Seek My will in all you do.
I will show you which path to take.

Honor Me with your wealth.

Don’t reject My discipline.
Don’t be upset when I correct you.
I do this because I love you, as a Father loves His child.

Take My words to heart.
Follow My commands, and you will live.

Guard your heart above all else – for it determines the course of your life.

Look straight ahead.
Fix your eyes on what lies before you.
Mark out a straight path for your feet.
Don’t get sidetracked.

Trust and obey Me – it’s really that simple.

I am your security.
I will keep you.

And never forget – I love you with an everlasting love!


(From Proverbs, Chapters 2-4)

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Marty has another lesson!

Back when my son was considering buying a dog, he researched many different breeds. He settled on a beagle. Everyone we talked to said that was a BIG mistake. Why?

Beagles bark…loudly…a lot.

It’s true. Beagles have a reputation for being a noisy breed. After all, they were bred to be hunters. Look at any painting of a good ol’ English foxhunt and what will you see? A pack of beagles…

Barking…loudly…a lot.

My family is not known for caving in to the crowd’s opinion – so, a beagle is what we bought! We bought Marty…

Who barks…NOT AT ALL!

Yes, you read that right. Marty has channeled Casper the Friendly Ghost. He is a very quiet dog. Remember President Calvin Coolidge? (Not that we’re that old – but you remember the name...) Well, he was known more for what he didn’t say, than for what he did say – earning him the nickname of “Silent Cal.” Marty takes after him, too.

Marty makes more noise when he’s asleep than when he’s awake. He snores…loudly…a lot. He chuffles, and gruffs, and yips, and yelps. But once those little peepers of his are open again – MUTE button.

I remember when we tried to train him to “Speak.” He’s got such a cute little voice, we wanted to hear it once in a while! The training books told us to reward him with a treat as soon as he did a semblance of the desired behavior. Soooo…as soon as Marty moved his lips, we tossed him a treat.

Great idea, right???

Not so much.

Because now when Marty hears the command, “Speak!” – he does this weird little “air bark” thing. His lips move, yes – but it’s not a bark. It’s actually more of a canine version of “Harumph!”

It’s cute, but not as cute as his voice.

One weekend, a couple of months ago, I’m babysitting him. And it’s time for our morning walk. My son had warned me about this weird man and his dog – a giant black poodle. Evidently, one morning, a few weeks prior, this dog got away from his owner and attacked Marty! No one was hurt, but needless to say, there’s no love lost between these two dogs.

So, we’re heading out the driveway. All of a sudden, Marty freezes. Figuring he wasn’t doing his impression of a “pointer,” I look up and see…the dreaded black poodle.


Two sets of “owner eyes” glare at each other. Two sets of “dog eyes” squint at each other. And then, the most amazing thing occurred. I heard the loudest, deepest, scariest, baying sound I have EVER heard in my life…

And it was coming from MARTY!

I jumped. The man jumped. The giant black poodle jumped. Those two took off in the opposite direction quicker than you could say, “Harumph!”

I looked down at Marty, who was once again silent and wagging his tail, and said in total awe, “Good boy!”

This moment reminded me of Jesus.

We often think of Jesus as being meek and mild. Gentle, kind, sweet. Many pictures almost make Him look effeminate. He certainly doesn’t look intimidating.

The Bible calls Him the “Lamb of God.”

A sacrificial lamb, quietly led to the slaughter. As He is accused, He is silent. As He is crucified, He barely speaks.

But oh, my friends, BEHOLD!!

This Lamb is also called the “Lion of the tribe of Judah!”

Jesus is also a roaring, fierce, awesome lion! His Word is piercing, divisive, and convicting. He conquered sin. He defeated death. He is strong, and powerful, and mighty! He opens His mouth, and all of creation bows down.

He carries the thunder of wrath – He sends the lightning of judgment.

Those who know Him need not fear Him. Those who don’t, beware indeed.

He is not someone to be messed with!

Aren’t you glad?!

“Look, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the heir to David’s throne, has won the victory. He is worthy…
And then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea. They sang:

Blessing and honor and glory and power
belong to the one sitting on the throne
and to the Lamb forever and ever.”

(Revelation 5:5, 13)

BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”

Monday, November 15, 2010


“Flower Hitter.”

That was my nickname in elementary school.

It’s not meant to be flattering.

You see, every Friday afternoon in 6th grade, we would take time off from our studies, we’d leave the stuffy confines of the classroom, and go outside to play softball.

I had kind of a love/hate thing with Fridays.

I loved it because we girls got to wear pants to play softball. Yes, these were the days when wearing anything other than a dress or skirt to school was taboo (if you were a girl – somehow, because of the current trends in fashion, I felt that I needed to clarify that…)

So, the teacher would dismiss the girls about 10 minutes before “softball time” to go and change into PANTS!!

Fun, right?

Yes – but I also hated Fridays.

Why? Because I was terrible at softball.

Every time I would get up to bat, EVERYONE would "play shallow." The outfielders would move WAY in – almost to the baselines. The shortstop would pull up even with the pitcher. All of this “jockeying around” was unnecessary really. I almost ALWAYS struck out.

It was customary to do a little “trash talking” – hence, I became “Flower Hitter.”

“Hey, batter, batter – C’mon, “Flower Hitter” – see if you can get it to me. Swing, batter, batter. Awww, “Flower Hitter” struck out…”

Evidently, in those un-politically correct days, such heckling was not considered bullying, hazing, or cruel.

But, it hurt…a lot. (Got your hankies out?!)

This stigma stuck with me. I love sports – I really am a fanatic – but to this day, I’ve never been much of a baseball fan.

Fast forward to college.

A bunch of people in our college group at church thought it would be great fun to play…softball…on Sunday afternoons. Oh boy… I thought my “Flower Hitter” days had been pressed tightly between the pages of the past – never to be resurrected again!

What to do?

I asked my best friend, Jim, if he would meet me at the park a couple of hours ahead of time. He agreed. And, special friend that he was, he patiently pitched ball after ball at me – coaching me on the intricacies of hand-eye coordination.

I started connecting – I started to have confidence.

And then…it was game time.

My first “up” was scary. Everyone scooted in. I started hearing the voices again from my past. “Flower Hitter” was here…

I whiffed the first two pitches…

Oh no.

But then I looked over at my friend, and he gave me a “thumbs up” and a great big ol’ smile.

I steeled myself, I squared my shoulders, I planted my feet – the ball came in – and I SWUNG…


The sweetest sound ever heard!

I ran like a banshee around first, and came into second base standing up! A solid DOUBLE!!

I glowed…

I can’t remember my hitting average that day, but I do know this. No one played shallow anymore when I came up to bat. “Flower Hitter” meant something different now. It meant I could hit a ball to where the flowers grew in the outfield!

My spiritual lesson in all this?

It’s the lesson of how to approach life. There are many challenges we face as believers. We’re called “up to bat” so often. And the enemy is right there – heckling, jeering, taunting, bullying. He tells his little devil team to "play shallow." This one’s a “flower hitter,” he cackles.

But we can beat this guy!

Do what I did –

1. Ask for help. “I will strengthen you and help you.” (Isaiah 41:10)
2. Practice, practice, practice. “Forgetting the past…I press on to reach the
end of the race…” (Philippians 3:13-14)
3. Have a buddy to cheer you on. “The church…became stronger…And with
the encouragement of the Holy Spirit, it also grew…” (Acts 9:31)

Before you know it, we’ll be “hittin’ taters!”

BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”

Sunday, November 14, 2010

BIBLE "PICK 'EMS" - Shaken, But Not Stirred


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, November 13, 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)

"Do we give always our best and give it with a smile? The big things of life we gladly give or would gladly give to God were He to ask; but are we quite ready always for the little sacrifice?

Jesus, you know that I have told You time and time again that I love You and would love You daily more and more. I mean it all, dear Lord, yes, every word...I will give You just whatever You may ask, be it little or be it great, be it myself or what I call my own.

Only give me Your nerving grace, that when the hour of sacrificing comes, my courage and my love may not grow frail and spoil the work I promised."

(From "My Changeless Friend" by Francis P. Le Buffe, c. 1921)

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Friday, November 12, 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: trust

What does the word trust mean to you?

Is it harder for you to trust God or obey Him?

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, November 11, 2010


Today is Veteran’s Day.

It is a day when we remember…

All those who have served – all those who were injured, or captured, or tortured – all those who are missing – all those who have died. And all those who are serving now.

We have so much to be grateful for…


Last week, I votedThank you.

Last week, I attended churchThank you.

Last week, I bowed my head and said “grace” before a meal, in public Thank you.

Last week, I attended a Bible StudyThank you.

Last week, I drove my car, with a Jesus sticker on it Thank you.

Last week, I carried my Bible with meThank you.

Last week, I spoke to someone about my faithThank you.

Last week, I did so many things that would not have been possible if someone hadn’t fought for this country – for my country – for your country.

We have the glorious freedom to worship our Lord – freely and publicly. We are not in danger of being thrown in jail, or tortured, or killed. And our veterans have sacrificed so much in order for us to have that freedom.

Today I don’t think it matters whether we agree or don’t agree with political policy. Today it doesn’t matter if we are “hawks” or “doves.” Today we simply focus on people real, live people who served our country, or are serving now – who did this for our sakes – because they believed in freedom.

Thank you.

May we take today to remember what they have fought for – what they have sacrificed for – what they have believed in…

One nation…under GOD.

If you know someone who has served, or is serving, this country in the armed forces, I would encourage you to reach out to them today. Tell them how much you appreciate them. Tell them we will always remember them. Tell them…

Thank you.

Remind them that God sees He upholds them – He will never forget what they have done – in the name of…


El Roi. The God Who Sees Me.

“You are the God who sees me.” (Genesis 16:13)

"Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9)

BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Some days are great – some days are…well, not so great.

Some days we feast at the table of blessings…some days we nibble at crumbs of despair.

Feast or famine.

That’s how life seems to go.

Some people would tell you that it’s all how you look at it. That’s true. (I’m a “glass half-empty” sorta girl…FYI). But even the most “rose-spectacled optimist” in the crowd would have to acknowledge that sometimes life throws curveballs. And sometimes, we get hit by a pitch…hard…and it hurts.

Up and down – we travel an uneven path.

I saw on a blog last week, lovely pictures of a young girl’s perfect wedding day – she had cancer – 5 days later, she died.

I have a friend who got the best news, and the worst news, of her life – on the same day.

I know another friend who celebrated her child’s birthday – and then was told by her husband that he didn’t love her anymore.

These stories could go on and on…

Someone asked me the other day, “When does it get any easier?”

It doesn’t…

Jesus knew how life waxes and wanes. He knew it was happy and hard. He knew it was lovely and loathsome.

“Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows…”
(John 16:33a)

Oh Lord, what do You have to say to a “glass-half-empty” person? How can You bring comfort to the aching soul that’s afraid to enjoy happiness, for fear that tragedy is lurking right around the corner? What do You say to the ups and downs of life?

Help me…

“I am your Shepherd.
I will give you all you need.
Learn how to rest…in Me.
I will give you peaceful streams of Living Water.
I will renew your strength.

I know the path is uneven – but I will guide you, if you let Me.
I will show you how to bring honor to My Name.
I know that life has very dark valleys – I’ve been through them Myself.
But even when you walk IN them, I will help you walk THROUGH them.

You don’t have to be afraid.
See, I am here, close beside you.
You can trust My rod to correct you.
You can lean on My staff to comfort you.

I will protect you in the presence of the enemy.
He will not conquer you.
I will give you a purpose in life.
I will fill that half-empty glass to overflowing!

My goodness and unfailing love will be with you.
In fact, I’ll pursue you if you wander.
And I’m going to do this every day of your life.
For you are going to live with Me forever.”

Feast or famine…

…He still feeds me.

“…But take heart, because I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD!” (John 16:33b)

BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


“Are we there yet?”

Oh...the four most dreaded words on a family road trip. Actually, the second most dreaded words. I’d have to give first place to, “My tummy feels funny…”

“Are we there yet??”

Now, there’s a childhood “art” in saying these words. There are many rules for a proper delivery:

1. Use your whining voice.

2. Make the word “yet” at least five syllables long.

3. Have an appropriately scrunched-up, semi-mad, pouting face.

4. Kick the back of the seat in front of you while saying it.

5. Hit your sibling(s) while you say it (only child? See #4, and throw something).

6. And never, ever forget this one – Wait five minutes, and then say it again!

(Alternative to the five-minute thing – you can say it several times, right in a row – Are we there yet, are we there yet, are we there yet...)

Is there any parent out there knowing what I’m talking about???

I can’t blame kids – time passes slowly when you’re anxious to get to a destination. Their excitement is hard to contain. It’s hard to be cooped up in a car, mile after mile – an eternity in their eager little minds.

But, we’re not so different…

Do you ever tire of waiting for the “Day of the Lord” to come? Do you sometimes feel impatient for God’s perfect eternity to arrive? Does it seem like it’s such a long, long wait?

Are we there yet?

Even in the first century, people were waiting. They thought Jesus’ return was imminent. Imagine how surprised they would have been if they had known that two thousand years later, we’d be joining them in the long, long wait.

Do you ever lose hope – just a little bit?

What’s taking God so long?

He’s waiting – He’s graciously, lovingly, wisely waiting…

“The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent…our Lord’s patience gives people time to be saved.”
(2 Peter 3:9, 15)

And we have a job to do while we’re waiting…

We must not just sit around. We must realize that time is short – and our work is important.

“And so, dear friends, while you are waiting for these things to happen, make every effort to be found living peaceful lives that are pure and blameless in his sight.” (2 Peter 3: 14)

Be ready to meet Jesus anytime, even today…yet, plan your life, your course of action, your ministry as though He may not return for many years.

Are we there yet?

No, but we WILL BE…and then the long, long wait will have been worth EVERYTHING!

BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”

Monday, November 8, 2010


I can remember this day as if it happened yesterday.

I was in 6th grade – a quiet, well-behaved, studious, serious, little girl. I had been home sick for a few days – it was my first day back…

And there was a science test!!

I panicked!

I remember asking my teacher if I could take it another day. He politely said, “No, why don’t you give it a try?”

Well, since I had used up ALL my courage asking him if I could skip the test, I just nodded my head meekly, and slowly walked back to my seat.

The test was a disaster! I didn’t know much of anything. I’d missed days when they had covered some of the material, and some of it just wasn’t in my head because I hadn’t studied. I remember waiting all day until I could go home and cry on my mom’s shoulder…

I knew I hadn’t done well.

A couple of days later, the teacher handed those tests back. I was scared to death to see my grade – I should have been. It was worse than I had thought. I stared at the big red "D-" at the top of the page like it was written in another language. I was stunned. I looked around quickly to see if anyone had seen it, too. No, everyone was looking at their own tests.

So, OK – damage assessment.

Only two classmates knew about the grade. The one who had graded it for the teacher, and the one who had passed it out. But that was the least of my problems. You see, I was very sensitive about my grades…I was a “good student.” And I had messed up…BIG TIME!

At recess, I went to talk to my teacher. I handed him my test, and then I started crying – sputtering out to him all the reasons why I had failed, and could I please have another try, and I was just so sad to fail the test, and I want to do better…etc. I think you get the picture.

Then he handed the test back to me and said, “I don’t know why you want to take this test again. Looks like you did quite well on it.”


“But I didn’t (sniff, sniff)! I got a D- (sniff, sniff)!”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said, as he handed back my test with a giant "A" written at the top with his initials next to it.

“Looks like someone made a mistake grading your paper,” he said with a smile and a wink.

It took me a few minutes to figure out what he had done. I finally just said, “Oh, thank you!”

It’s the same way with God.

I’ve gone through some times in my life where I really messed up. I didn’t even come close to “passing the test.” I got a really bad grade.

And then the reality sinks in – I’ve failed miserably.

I go to the Lord, crying, and sputter out my regrets, my remorse, my shame – “Oh Lord! I’ve failed. Can I have another chance?

And He says, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

And He hands me back my heart, with a giant cross written on it, with His initials next to it – J.C. (Jesus Christ).

“Looks like someone made a mistake grading your paper,” He says with a smile.

“Now go and sin no more.”

I am so grateful for the grace of God grace that ERASES confessed sins – and counts them against me NO MORE.

“Then he says: ‘I will NEVER AGAIN remember their sins and lawless deeds.’” (Hebrews 10:17)

“Oh Lord, thank you!”

Have you ever had a “failing grade” changed into an “A”?

BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”

Sunday, November 7, 2010

BIBLE "PICK 'EMS" - Do You Believe...Really?


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, November 6, 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)


I want to live near Jesus,
And never go astray,
To feel that I am growing
More like Him every day;
That I am always laying
My treasure up above,
And gaining more the spirit
Of His gentleness and love.

I want such steadfast purpose
My mission to fulfill,
That it may be my meat and drink,
To do my Father's will,
To follow in His footsteps,
Who never turned aside
From the path that leads to Heaven
Though often sorely tried.

Oh! that in His humility
My spirit may be clad!
That I may have the patience
My suffering Saviour had,
A heart more disengaged
From earth and earthly things,
Which through life's varied trials
To Jesus simply clings.

Oh! I shall live near Jesus
And never go astray,
And every sin-defiling stain
Shall soon be washed away;
And I'll bear my Master's image
When I see Him face to face,
Then earth shall lose the power
Its brightness to deface.

(From "The Changed Cross" by Henry Altemus, c. 1897)

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Friday, November 5, 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: guilt

Do you think guilt is a good thing or a bad thing? Explain.

Do you think there's a difference between guilt and conviction?

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, November 4, 2010


My grandmother was a beautiful person – inside and out.

And she loved the Lord.

One thing I remember about her was how she loved to create and tend her gardens. She especially loved flowers. They were colorful – just like her!

I have a certifiable “brown thumb” – rumor has it, I’m not the only one (you know who you are!) So I appreciate someone who can bring the beauty of a well-tended garden to life!

That was my grandmother.

But my mom tells a story about my grandmother. About a lesson she learned long ago.

One time she planted a bunch of flower seeds in her yard. She carefully cultivated the soil, tenderly placed the little seeds in the ground, and faithfully watered every day.

And waited…

And waited…

Finally, she just couldn’t stand it any longer. She thought it was taking too long. So, she dug up one of the little flowers, just to take a peek at what was going on…(it was just a little peek, what could it hurt?)

There was the little seed, with a green sprout growing out of it. My grandmother took the little seed out of the ground, and put it in her hand, and poked it around a little bit.

Feeling a little encouraged, she put the seed back in the ground, and covered it up with dirt again.

About two weeks later, all the flowers bloomed…and they were beautiful!!

Except one…

The one my grandmother had dug up, and handled, and fiddled with – it was stunted, and it never fully blossomed.

My mom said my grandmother saw a “God Lesson” in that.

Prayers are like those seeds. We cultivate a right spirit within our hearts. We plant our petitions in the heart of God. We faithfully water them, reminding God of our needs.

And we wait…

But sometimes we don’t think that our prayers are being answered fast enough. Maybe we don’t see the proper results. So…we meddle. We insert ourselves into the “growth process.” We try to help God along…

It’s just a little bit of help…what could it hurt?

It could keep a beautiful flower from blossoming. It could “stunt” the end result. We could thwart God’s FULL plan from developing.

Plant your prayers…and wait.

God will work HIS purposes, in HIS timing, for HIS results.

Thanks, Nana, for your wonderful lesson!

“Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.” (Romans 12:12)

“I waited patiently for the LORD to help me…” (Psalm 40:1)

“Let all that I am wait quietly before God…” (Psalm 62:5)

“Blessed are those who wait for his [God’s] help.” (Isaiah 30:18)

“As for me, I look to the LORD for help. I wait confidently…” (Micah 7:7)

Confidently plant, faithfully water, patiently wait…and watch the Lord grow!

BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


This is what I, the LORD, have to say:

Preach My Word.
Be prepared.
Patiently correct and encourage people with good teaching.

Keep a clear head in every situation.

Don't be afraid of suffering for My sake.
Work at telling others the Good News.
Fully carry out the ministry I have given you.

Each day proclaim My Salvation.
Publish My glorious deeds.
Tell everyone about the amazing things I do.

Recognize that I am glorious and strong.
Worship Me in all My Holy Splendor.
Come to Me with praise and thanksgiving.

Fight the good fight, run your race, and remain faithful.

I will reward you with a Crown of Righteousness.
I will bring you safely into My Heavenly Kingdom!

For I am a great God.
Who is like Me, and who can challenge Me?
Listen to My Voice...today!

For you are the people I watch over - the flock under My care!

I am the Rock of your Salvation!

Love you all,

(Taken from Jeremiah 49, Psalm 95 & 96, and 2 Timothy 4)

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


It was a special day.

I can’t remember how old I was – I was young, probably ten, and I had just started going to “grown-up” church with my parents. It was a great privilege, and a great responsibility. And I was expected to BEHAVE…

I was a good girl (for the most part), and quiet. I knew how to BEHAVE!

And just in case I forgot – I knew I could count on the “low-brow” from my dad. You know the look – the one that’s kind of a frown, mixed with a little bit of menace – the one that says, “Just keep going in that direction, young lady, and there will be consequences to pay…”

I rarely needed the “low-brow” –

But I digress.

This Sunday was especially special because my mom had given me a nice, new $5 bill to put into the offering plate! FIVE WHOLE DOLLARS! And I had brought my very own wallet just for this auspicious occasion.

I remember waiting for the offering prayer, and the offering hymn.

I remember waiting for the plate to be passed.

I remember waiting for MY turn…

And then I reached into my wallet…and pulled out my money…and put it into the plate. So proud, so grown-up, so…


As I stared at the plate, all I saw was a nice, new $20 bill. TWENTY DOLLARS! My brand-new, birthday gift, first-ever TWENTY DOLLAR bill. (Did I mention…$20?!?!) I held on to the offering plate, and held on, and held on. I couldn't let go. I felt my mom nudge me – I saw my dad give me the “low-brow” – I felt the person next to me take the offering plate from my frozen little hands…

I started to cry…quietly, but so, so, sad –

My mom noticed my tears (she always noticed me…she still does) – she did the “shush” sign, and took my hand. She didn’t know what was wrong, but she knew I was upset. She whispered, “We’ll talk about it later…”

After church, I told her what had happened.

“Mom, I accidentally put my $20 bill in there, instead of the $5 you gave me. What am I going to do?”

She paused a moment…

And then, in a wonderful moment of “Mom Wisdom” she said, “Sweetheart, maybe God just knew that someone needed $20 today, instead of $5. You had a chance to be a blessing.


“Yes, really.”

I’ll never forget that moment. My sadness turned to joy. I felt HAPPY! God had taken my mistake, and changed a little girl’s mind about giving.

2 Corinthians 9 has some wonderful things to say about giving generously. It's worth reading. But I will share just a few verses:

Verse 6: “…the one who plants generously will get a generous crop.”

Verse 7: “And don’t give reluctantly…For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”

Verse 8: “…God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.”

Verse 9: “Their good deeds will be remembered forever.”

It truly is better to give than to receive!


(P.S. My mom made sure that my birthday “gift” was paid back – just like God will return a blessing to those who give!)

BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”

Monday, November 1, 2010


Yes, I know, Halloween was yesterday…

A day late, a dollar short – what can I say?!

Many (many, many, many…) years ago, when I was a teenager, I took my little sister and her friend out trick-or-treating.

Well, we didn’t get far before we ran into a group of boys, teenage boys (marauding rabble-rousers) – the kind that are out to cause trouble in the neighborhood. We were scared. I told the girls (and myself) “Don’t make eye contact, don’t say anything, and just walk quickly past them.”

Uh huh – great plan.

At first, the boys just taunted us as they approached. But then they reached into their bags for something. I didn’t know what to expect! Just as we neared them, cans of shaving cream magically appeared.

We were assaulted in a full-on blitz attack!

After the boys passed us by, and just when we thought the worst was over, they began to pelt us with water balloons. That’s when we started to run! All the way home…

We were a mess…

Crying, wet, soapy messes! And the worst part – we had only gone to about four houses before meeting the “Wild Bunch.” We poured out our "sob stories" to my mom.

Then my dad appeared – my dad, all 6’3” tall of him, all 220 pounds of him…

(Side note: Not sure how I ended up at 5’4” and about half that weight – took after mom’s side, I guess – the pygmies…)

You know what my dad said? Get cleaned up, we’re going out again.
So we did just that.

It didn’t take long before we saw those boys off in the distance. We turned to my dad, scared, not quite knowing what to do. He told us to keep walking and not to worry.

The boys got closer…

At some point they realized we were the same girls they had picked on before. Oooo…they thought – second helpings. I turned around – I couldn’t see my dad. Where was he???

They started reaching into their bags…

Then my dad appeared out of the shadows. I’ve never seen faces change like that!!

“Good evening, sir.”

“Good evening, boys.”

“Don’t worry, we’re not going to do anything.”

And my dad simply said, “No, you’re not.”

I will NEVER forget the feeling I had in that moment.

My dad was a HERO!

He protected us, and he shut those boys’ mouths! We felt INVINCIBLE in the presence of my dad.

This is such a great parallel to the way God looks out for us.

He walks along with us during every step of our journey. However, sometimes He might linger in the shadows, and sometimes we might doubt that He’s really there. But the truth of the matter is that He is ALWAYS there, always close by.

He tells us to just keep walking, and don’t worry. He watches over us. He never takes His eye off of us. He protects us.

Our Heavenly Father is a HERO!

We can walk with a spring in our steps, and joy in our hearts. For God has shut the mouth of our “enemy,” and disarmed him of his weapons. We need not fear…

Yes, my friends, we can feel INVINCIBLE in the presence of our Almighty God!

“…I am convinced that NOTHING can EVER separate us from God’s love…the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord…If God is for us, who can EVER be against us?” (From Romans 8)

BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”