Saturday, March 31, 2012



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

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

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

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


God's Word - and some words...

As He rode along, the crowds spread out their garments on the road ahead of Him.

Others cut branches from the trees and spread them along the ground.

In many lands in the ancient Near East, it was customary to cover in some way the path of someone thought worthy of the highest honor. The palm branch was a symbol of triumph and victory in Jewish tradition.

Jesus was in the center of the procession, and the people all around Him were shouting.

Center of attention: the object upon which interest and attention focuses; something interesting that stimulates conversation; something that strongly attracts attention and admiration; a striking person or thing that attracts attention

When He reached the place where the road started down the Mount of Olives, all of His followers began to shout and sing as they walked along.

The Mount of Olives is frequently mentioned in the New Testament as the route from Jerusalem to Bethany and the place where Jesus stood when He wept over Jerusalem. Jesus is said to have spent time on the mount, teaching and prophesying to His disciples, returning after each day to rest, and also coming there on the night of His betrayal. At the foot of the Mount of Olives lies the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus ascended from the Mt. of Olives as recorded in the book of Acts 1:9–12.

They praised God for all the wonderful things they had seen.

Praise God for the Son of David!
Blessings on the coming Kingdom of our ancestor David!

Hail to the King of Israel!

Jesus was called the "son of David," which is a clear reference to His right to inherit David's throne. This is the "royal line" and it shows the legal right to David's throne being passed down all the way to Joseph who adopted Jesus, thus making Him the heir of David's kingdom. Since the right to the kingdom always passes from the father to the son, we can conclude that Matthew's genealogy lists Jesus' ancestors through His "father," Joseph.

Luke's genealogy must list Jesus' ancestors through His mother. Jesus was the natural son of Mary, who conceived by the Holy Ghost and therefore He becomes the Son of God. Reading through Luke's genealogy, we can see how Jesus, through His blood relationship with His mother and her ancestors, becomes the true son of God.

Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the LORD!
Praise God in highest heaven!

Blessings on the King who comes in the name of the LORD!
Peace in heaven, and glory in highest heaven!

The entire city of Jerusalem was in an uproar as He entered.

The dusty roads leading into Jerusalem were anything but quiet. Excitement filled the air! Passover, the biggest holiday of the year, was only one week away. It seemed that everyone from everywhere was coming to Jerusalem to celebrate. The roads were crowded with donkeys and camels – most people also brought other animals with them. The mood was boisterous and joyous.

Many in the crowd had seen Jesus call Lazarus from the tomb, raising him from the dead, and they were telling others about it.

That was the reason so many went out to meet Him – because they had heard about this miraculous sign.

Christ can and shall raise all the dead at the last day. Consider this statement: "Don't be so surprised! Indeed, the time is coming when all the dead in their graves will hear the voice of God's Son, and they will rise again. Those who have done good will rise to experience eternal life…"
(John 5:28, 29).

The one who raised Lazarus also died, but was raised to die no more – "But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died." (1 Corinthians 15:20)

But some of the Pharisees among the crowd said, "Teacher, rebuke your followers for saying things like that!"

Despite all the miraculous signs Jesus had done, most of the people still did not believe in Him. Many did believe, including some of the Jewish leaders, but they wouldn’t admit it for fear that the Pharisees would exclude them from the synagogue. For they loved human praise more than the praise of God.

Jesus replied, "If they kept quiet, the stones along the road would burst into cheers!"

Oh Lord, don't let the stones shout out instead of me!

Hear my voice among the multitude:

Hail to Jesus, my King, my Savior – my Friend!

(Selections from Matthew 21, Mark 11, Luke 19, and John 12)

What celebration do you have planned for Palm Sunday?

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Friday, March 30, 2012


Welcome to "Fan the Flame" Friday.

This is a weekly post that will be "short and sweet" (kinda like me...)

Just a word and a phrase, a sentence or a question...just a little something to "fan the flame" of your creativity!

Today's word: fair

What does it mean to be fair?

Is there a difference between being fair and being just?

How do you reconcile God's perfect justice with things that don't seem fair?

Let me know what you think!!

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

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


On Monday, I talked about the little two-bedroom place that I lived in many years ago.

Lots of stories from the four years that I was there.

Including this one.

The house had no air conditioning, and I doubt very much if it was insulated. It was a very old little house.

And one summer, there was an oppressively hot heat wave. (Yes, I know – hot heat wave…but it was especially VERY hot!)

Inside the house, even with every window thrown wide open, it was probably about 85 or 90. We were slow-roasting.

Sleep wasn't easy to come by. Fits and starts, tossing and turning. Sweaty bodies, and feverish brows.

I had finally managed to doze off, when all of a sudden I heard the most horrific sounds right outside the bedroom window.

Unearthly sounds.

It took me a second to comprehend what was going on. It had to be a huge fight between two undetermined creatures from the animal kingdom.

A random "woof" identified one as a neighborhood dog. A second later, a random "whiff" identified the other one…


Well, I sprung up to close those windows just as fast as I could – but it was too late. The smell had permeated every pore of my skin, and every chip of paint, and every loop of carpetalmost instantly.

The whole place stunk.

And was about 10 degrees hotter with everything shut up.

Let me tell you, you haven't lived until you've spent an entire night awake, slow-roasting in a bed of skunk odor marinade.

Stick a fork in me, I was done.

Next day we had to deal with the *carcass*I was somewhat consoled when I realized that someone else was dealing with one very smelly dog.

Good lesson here.

Stinky sin stuff happens in our lives.

And it can happen very quickly.

Its disgusting odor can invade every part of our lives before we even know it.

No wonder the Bible encourages us, implores us, warns us to be on the alert for the devouring enemy. He's always looking for a fight.

Are we always looking to fight back?

I know I get a little complacent sometimes. I'm a little too clueless sometimes to the subtle ways he works his wiles.

But he is one stinky fellow.

And I have NO desire to let my white-as-snow (thank you, Lord) Robe of Righteousness get all smelly.

So, I'm putting on some armor today – suiting up for battle.

No skunky Satan for me.

How do fight against the stink of sin in your life? Are you winning?

Linked today with Joan at the GRACE CAFE

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Monday, March 26, 2012


Her name was Henny Penny.

A cute little black-and-white-feathered chicken.

Let me tell you how she and I became friends.

Many years ago after I was first married, I lived in a small, two-bedroom rental. It was a quaint little placeI really liked it.

Except it was on the corner of an intersection that had all kinds of activity.

Evidently, we were the unknowing tenants who resided on "Dead Man's Curve." In the four years that we lived there, we had at least two bad car accidents, and many near misses.

But I digress.

Suffice it to say, we were used to random *bustle* outside our door.

But one morning, we heard all this shouting. Looking outside the window, we saw several children, yelling and throwing rocks into our yard!

Of course, like an avenging angel, I swooped out and shouted (paraphrased to keep it G-rated), "What are you DOING?"

Amidst a cacophony of high-pitched screeching, we were able to determine that their chicken had "escaped" their backyard up the street, and landed in the tree in our side yard.

They wanted it back.

Well, it didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that these kids were hooligans, and that that poor chicken had barely escaped with her life.

We told them that she was in our backyard, and they weren't allowed on our property.

Grumbling threats(did I hear someone say *cherry bomb*?) – they stomped off. Only to return about half an hour later with a couple of dads in tow.

More shouting, more threats.

However, we basically told them that we weren't about to let anyone climb a ladder on our property (liability), that they’d better stop their kids (brats) from throwing rocks at our house (let alone the chicken), and if she had a mind to stay – well, that was her choice.

I think they came back another time or two. We held our ground. And they gave up.

Well, there she was – Henny Penny – firmly roosted in our tree.

I felt sorry for her.

She'd stay out there all night – in the dark and the cold.

Every time I woke up, I'd see her in the tree. Every time I'd come home after dark, I'd see her in the tree. Even when it rained and stormed, I'd see her in the tree.

A few times I saw her on the ground, but as soon as I opened the back door and went outside, she'd fly back up to the tree for safety.

I remember thinking, "How can I get her to trust me?"

Well, of course it's no surprise that she didn't. After all, who knows what terrible treatment she received at the mercy of those other (horrible) people??

So, I launched a campaign to win her trust.

I'd go out every day and talk to her. I'd say good night every night. I'd put chicken feed out for her on the ground.

After a long time, several weeks as I recall, she'd finally stay on the ground when I was outside. Then, she'd let me get closer and closer to her.

And then…one day…I left the back door open when I went back into the house. She walked up the steps and looked in. But, as soon as I stepped toward her – back to the tree.

Finally, one day she didn't leave. She walked right into my house and let me pick her up!!!

It was so very cool.

From that day forward, she would come into the house every day. I can remember picking her up and putting her on my lap, where she'd nestle in and take a nap while I stroked her little red comb and feathers.

It made me so very happy.

I had finally been able to communicate to her that I wasn't like all the other people she had known. I wasn't mean and vindictive. I was kind and gentle and loving – I could be trusted.

I was thinking about Henny today.

And about trust.

Sometimes, in my relationship with God, I'm just like she was – skittish, unsure, scared, distrustful.

Sometimes I base my trust on my past experiences. I judge God's character by the various "characters" that have peppered my past. I rate His trustworthiness by the people in my life who have hurt, disappointed, rejected, and criticized me.

I stay in the tree.

But isn't there a HUGE part of God's heart that is desperate to show me that HE is not those other people? That He is kind and gentle and loving? That He is eminently worth every ounce of my trust?

It seems to me that in some ways, God is always wooing us "into the house" to rest in His arms. He is always seeking to show us that He is a very safe place to land. He wants us to hide in the shadow of His wings – secure, with no thought of fear.

Yes, I finally won Henny's heart.

But God did an amazing thing to prove His love – He gave up His Son.

Today, I hear Him calling me. I see Him standing in the doorway, beckoning me inside where it's warm and safe.

"Sharon, won't you please come down from that tree?"

I think I will.

It's better than sitting out here in the dark!

Do your past experiences ever keep you from trusting God completely today?

Linked today with Joan at SHARING HIS BEAUTY

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Sunday, March 25, 2012

BIBLE PICK 'EMS - The Defense Rests

The judge peered down at me.

"Do you have anything to say in your defense?"

What could I say? I was guilty of every sin that had been brought against me.

My Adversary was good…very good.

He had used witnesses against me…He had used Scripture against me. And he had used truth – I couldn’t deny one word of his accusations. I was guilty…

"No, Your Honor. The defense rests."

"Then I suggest you begin your closing arguments."

I had no closing arguments. How can you argue, when you know you're guilty of every wrongdoing, every errant act, every thoughtless word – I had SINNED!

I was about to stand up and plead guilty, when a note was passed to me. It read: "Someone is here to speak for you."

I turned and looked into the softest eyes of the strongest face I have ever seen.

And He began to speak for me.

He used His own witness…He used Scripture. And He used truth. He finished with a simple, yet profound, statement:

"So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus." (Romans 8:1)

"Agreed," said the judge, as he pounded his gavel. "Not guilty."

I thought of this little courtroom drama when I read this week's "Bible Pick 'Ems." It comes from the book of I John:

"My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous." (1 John 2:1)

John offers reassurance to us when we're feeling guilty and condemned. We know we have sinned. And Satan wastes no time in pointing fingers at us.

"For the accuser of our brothers and sisters…[is] the one who accuses them before our God day and night." (Revelation 12:10)

He is good…very good.

But don't give up hope!!

We have the best defense attorney in the universe!

And He is pleading our case!

Jesus is our Advocate, our Defender – and He speaks His truth. He has already suffered the penalty in our place. We can't be tried for a case that no longer exists.

"Who then will condemn us? No one – for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God's right hand, pleading for us." (Romans 8:34)

“He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.” (Hebrews 7:25)

So, don't be afraid to ask Jesus to plead your case – He has already won it!!

What is the biggest "case" that Jesus has won for you?

Linked today with Charlotte at SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Saturday, March 24, 2012



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

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

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

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


All the pieces fit together...

So all of us who have had that veil removed…

"Ears to hear and eyes to see--both are gifts from the LORD." (Proverbs 20:12)

"No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father's heart. He has revealed God to us." (John 1:18)

can see…

"So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father's one and only Son." (John 1:14)

"For God, who said, 'Let there be light in the darkness,' has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ." (2 Corinthians 4:6)

and reflect the glory of the Lord…

"Jesus responded, 'Didn't I tell you that you would see God's glory if you believe?'" (John 11:40)

"I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one." (John 17:22)

And the Lord--who is the Spirit…

'"And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised.'"
(Luke 24:49)

"For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." (2 Corinthians 3:17)

makes us more and more like him…

"Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think." (Romans 12:2)

"For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers."
(Romans 8:29, NIV)

as we are changed into his glorious image…

"Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life…let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy."(Ephesians 4:21-23)

"This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!" (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Jesus speaks on our behalf:

"'Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began!'" (John 17:24)

And we are given these promises:

"Dear friends, we are already God's children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is." (1 John 3:2)

"Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely." (1 Corinthians 13:12)

Now all glory to God our Father forever and ever! Amen.

(Verse study: 2 Corinthians 3:18 / Benediction: Philippians 4:20)

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Friday, March 23, 2012


Welcome to "Fan the Flame" Friday.

This is a weekly post that will be "short and sweet" (kinda like me...)

Just a word and a phrase, a sentence or a question...just a little something to "fan the flame" of your creativity!

Today's word: redeem

What does the word redeem mean?

Besides salvation, how does God redeem things?

What is one situation in your life in which God directly worked to redeem something?

Let me know what you think!!

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

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


I was having lunch with a good friend the other day.

We were talking about the many ways that we're alike (poor thing – I don't envy any resemblance to some of my foibles…just sayin')

Especially in our thought life.

We talked about how we're always having this "running dialogue" in our heads (another good friend calls it "the committee in her head") – and we're always analyzing things.

Oooo – some of my old English professors would be so proud. Remember way back in the good old days when they actually taught grammar? C’mon, it ain't that long ago…

Remember how we had to diagram sentences? Draw that line – place the subject on the line, and then put a slash, and then put the predicate (look it up if you don't remember!!). Then, there were all these little *offshoots* for adverbs and adjectives and the like.

Well, that's what I seem to do with my life.

I parse it.

OK, I'll give you a definition for that one (this is the general, not just grammar, definition):

Parse - To examine closely or subject to detailed analysis, especially by breaking up into components; To make sense of; comprehend

Yup, sounds just like what I do.

So, OK, a little self-analysis isn't entirely a bad thing. Other people run through their lives without thinking about anything they do or why they do it. That can be a trap, too!

But, here's the deal.

It's the danger of over-thinking.

Because, you see, I think the enemy is a real pro in that whole Battlefield of the Mind.

He has a lot of good tactics.

Yes, in my case, a full frontal attack is often effective. But not for long. You know why? Because I recognize it for what it is. An attack.

No, he's a (whole) lot more effective in the area of subtle subterfuge. He's very, very sneaky. And that's where he does his best (infernal) work in my life.

I'm always thinking (parsing). And I always think that what I think is coming from me. Does that make sense? My thoughts must be my thoughts because I think them, right?

However, I happen to think that there's a real Scriptural basis for the fact that Satan can wield some influence in our thought life. He can manipulate and twist and hint and turn and suggest thoughts. He can fan the flame of an errant notion, he can encourage a wayward inkling. He can lead an idea down the pathway to sin.

And, all too often, I let him.

Because I'm not on the alert.

When he comes to the door of my mind and knocks, I not only open the door – I very often invite him for a cup of coffee.

Sometimes he even gets a meal.

How ridiculous.

I don't open the real door of my house to many people. Few ever cross the threshold. So why am I so cavalier with my mind? Since when am I a full-service inn?

My friend and I had an interesting discussion about this.

And I determined that I need to be much more suspicious of my own thoughts. I need to be more diligent in what I allow myself to think. I must be aware of and vigilant over the enemy's wily ways.

Because, after all, there's really only one person knocking on my door that I care about. There's only one person that I desire to invite in. Only one person that I really want to move in, and dwell in my mind.

The Lord.

May He help me hold my errant thoughts captive – and stop them at the threshold before they sit down and make themselves at home.

I need to turn that "Open for Business" sign over…



How do you grapple with the errant thoughts in your mind?

Linked today with Joan at the GRACE CAFE

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God"

Monday, March 19, 2012


Yup, I have sung karaoke.


In my entire lifetime.

In my defense, I was coaxed, cajoled (forced??) by an unruly mob of elementary school moms *cutting loose* after school was over for the year. (No worries – it was a pretty tame crowd…mostly…)

Truthfully, it was fun – though the audience having to listen to me might have used other words like ear-splitting, painful, woefully off-key, embarrassing…

Let me tell you, karaoke brings something out in people – most of it isn't good!!

I vividly remember when I found out that "The Hub" used to sing karaoke. I was shocked! Honestly, this was like finding out that John Wayne used to dance ballet.

And, he had a favorite song – "El Paso."

It's a song that was made famous by Marty Robbins. The lyrics tell quite a story, let me tell you! I try to picture "The Hub" up there wailing away – I can't quite wrap my mind around the image. I think I'm gonna add a request to my "bucket list."

So, where am I going with this idea of Christian karaoke, you might ask?

Here's what popped into my head.

Lately, there has been a LOT of stuff going on in my life. I have felt winded by the things that have come up. And again, I find myself striving to make everything work out trying my best to take care of everyone – attempting to run my own little life on my own.


Most of the time I don't even realize I'm doing it it's become such a habit. It's usually when I feel exhausted that it dawns on me that I just might have left the Lord behind in my frantic frenzy.

But here's the deal with karaoke.

It isn't songwriting.

Basically, the melody and the lyrics have already been written. It's a song, whole in its entirety, long before I make my attempts to sing it.

Just like life.

The Lord knows.

From beginning to end.

Every high note, every low note – the sharps and the flats – the rests – the chorus that repeats itself.


"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 139:16)

And God is not only the Master Songwriter – He is also the Maestro of the Orchestra. He is the one with the baton who conducts the music.

"And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them."
(Romans 8:28)

I think I'm learning that I am not the composer of my life.

I have not written the melody or the lyrics.

I do not hold the baton.

In some ways that scares me – yet, in many ways it's a tremendous relief.

All God wants out of me is some Christian karaoke.

To sing along with Him…

His tune, His words, His arrangement.

On my own, about all I could do is write a simple rendition of "Chopsticks." But if I truly turn things over to God, I have a feeling that Handel's "Messiah" might be what He's teaching me.

So, I think I need to learn to sing HIS song.

To trust where the music leads me.

To understand that my singing is just one voice in a great multitude of voices, in heaven and on earth, that sing to the glory of God.

"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 5:13)

Oh! It's time to sing a new song of praise and thanksgiving!

Can someone please hand me a microphone?!

Are you singing along with God, or are you trying to write the music?

Linked today with Joan at SHARING HIS BEAUTY

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Sunday, March 18, 2012

BIBLE PICK 'EMS - The High Cost of Pride

Today's "Bible Pick 'Ems" lands us in the middle of Ezekiel, a very interesting book.

Ezekiel was one of the Major Prophets in the Old Testament. He had clear and vivid prophecies and visions. However, very little is known about his personal life. He was one of the thousands of young men deported from Judah to Babylon. Up until those tragic days, Ezekiel was being trained for the priesthood.

Like Isaiah, Ezekiel had a shocking encounter with God.

He was never the same!

Whereas Isaiah had warned Judah of the coming storm – Ezekiel spoke in the middle of it. He prophesied in the middle of terrible defeat.

God described Ezekiel as a watchman on the walls of the city, capturing the personal nature of his ministry. Dangerous, responsible, crucial…

A central part of Ezekiel's message was the importance of each person's accountability before God. He taught the exiles that God expected personal worship and obedience from each of them.

Today's verses are a reminder of what happens to the disobedient:

"…you sinned. So I banished you in disgrace from the mountain of God. I expelled you, O mighty guardian…Your heart was filled with pride because of your beauty. Your wisdom was corrupted by your love of splendor. So I threw you to the ground…All who knew you were appalled at your fate. And you have come to a terrible end, and you will exist no more." (Ezekiel 28:16-17, 19)

Some of the phrases in this passage describe the human king of Tyre. Tyre was the powerful capital of Phoenicia. It was a highly prosperous and beautiful city. However, pride caused its ruin.

At times, though, Ezekiel describes the king in terms that could not apply to a mere human. Therefore, he may have been condemning not only the king of Tyre, but Satan, who had tempted and motivated this king to sin.

And we all know that pride caused his ruin.

I take two messages out of this passage.

First of all, there will be an end to prideful ways,and haughty people. There will be an end to Satan's rule. The long fall from Heaven is only the first judgment of God against our enemy. He has a final judgment day ahead of him. And after that day, he "will exist no more." I take comfort in that fact.

God cares about justice. Wickedness will not win out in the end.

The second message I take out of this passage is a warning. God exacts punishment against those who proudly set themselves up. He will not tolerate those who do not yield to His Sovereignty. He demands fearful worship, and a heart yielded to His purposes. Pride will cause ruin.

"Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall." (Proverbs 16:18)

Proud people are rarely aware of their weaknesses. They think they are above the frailties that plague others. However, in this state of mind, they are easily tempted – they are easily tripped up.

Proud people seldom realize that pride is their problem.

So, it's time to take inventory. It's time to let Ezekiel speak to us.

Are we proud of our *beauty* our accomplishments, our success? Do we love splendor and money more than God? Have we sacrificed our wisdom in favor of wealth?

Listen to the warning – return to true worship.

Avoid the long fall from grace.

"I will not endure conceit and pride. I will search for faithful people to be my companions."(Psalm 101:5-6)

Oh Lord, count me among the faithful…count me among the humble.

It's time to do some personal accounting - are you *overdrawn* in the pride column?

Linked today with Charlotte at SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Saturday, March 17, 2012



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

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

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

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



Entrust, consign, hand over, assign, transfer the responsibility to, let go of in trust…

to the Lord…

The Sovereign Ruler of the Universe, the Author of Divine Providence, the Master Planner, the Omnipotent and Omniscient One…

whatever you do…

Actions, thoughts, feelings, prayers, your coming and your going, the good stuff and the bad stuff…

and He…

Not you – not in all your ways of attempting to manipulate life, of trying to control circumstances and situations, of struggling to influence and change people or relationships…


In His power, His might, His complete ability to do more than we can ask or think…


Confirm, cause to grow, sustain, support, affirm, strengthen, make more certain…

your plans…

Your dreams, your hopes, your expectations – for your plans will become HIS plans, and your desires will align with HIS will.

Proverbs 16:3 (NIV)

"It is a very desirable thing to have our thoughts established, and not tossed, and put into a hurry, by disquieting cares and fears,—to go on in an even steady course of honesty and piety, not disturbed, or put out of frame, by any event or change,—to be satisfied that all shall work for good and issue well at last, and therefore to be always easy and sedate. The only way to have our thoughts established is to commit our works to the Lord. The great concerns of our souls must be committed to the grace of God, with a dependence upon and submission to the conduct of that grace; all our outward concerns must be committed to the providence of God, and to the sovereign, wise, and gracious disposal of that providence. Roll thy works upon the Lord (so the word is); roll the burden of thy care from thyself upon God. Lay the matter before him by prayer. Make known thy works unto the Lord (so some read it), not only the works of thy hand, but the workings of thy heart; and then leave it with him, by faith and dependence upon him, submission and resignation to him. The will of the Lord be done. We may then be easy when we resolve that whatever pleases God shall please us." - (From commentary by Matthew Henry)

"…for I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until the day of his return."
(2 Timothy 1:12, NLT)

"Trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) in the Lord…Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord [roll and repose each care of your load on Him]; trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) also in Him and He will bring it to pass." (Psalm 37:3-5, AMP)

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Friday, March 16, 2012


Welcome to "Fan the Flame" Friday.

This is a weekly post that will be "short and sweet" (kinda like me...)

Just a word and a phrase, a sentence or a question...just a little something to "fan the flame" of your creativity!

Today's word: curious

What does it mean to be curious?

Is being curious a good thing, or a bad thing - or can it be both? Explain.

If you could ask God one question, what are you most curious about?

Let me know what you think!!

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

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


My Bible Study group is studying "Experiencing God" by Henry and Richard Blackaby, and Claude King.

This week our chapter was entitled, "The Crisis of Belief."

May I quote them to explain:

"When God tells you what He wants to do through you, you will face a crisis of belief.

When God invites you to join Him in His work, He has a God-sized assignment for you. You will quickly realize you cannot do what He is asking on your own. If God doesn't help you, you will fail. This is the crisis of belief when you must decide whether to believe God for what He wants to do through you."


My Bible Study leader called me the other night, asking me to share some of my thoughts and feelings about this – knowing what I've been going through lately.

When she first asked me, I was honored.

But then, on second thought, I was pretty sure she had misdialed.

You see, when I hear the phrase "crisis of faith" I have a bit of a problem. Not with the idea of having a crisis, but with the idea that I am unqualified to talk about it when I don't seem to navigate my crises very well.

However, knowing that my leader – (who is also a very good friend) – probably wouldn't accept the idea that her invitation to speak was also a crisis (!!), I decided to give it a shot.

When preparing to talk about something, I always find it helpful to look up a word in the dictionary (English major genes die hard). This is the meaning of crisis:

A crucial or decisive point or situation; a turning point
An unstable condition involving an abrupt or decisive change
An emotionally stressful event or traumatic change in a person’s life
A point in a story or drama when a conflict reaches its highest tension and must be resolved

Boy, I can identify with those definitions. Especially the "unstable condition" part – which I also think can be found in the dictionary under "Sharon."

This past year has brought so many crises of faith – last week was the pinnacle of a pretty steady parade of health issues that has plagued my family in the last year. I have been poked and prodded in this area – and it's forced me to take a good, long look at myself.

I haven't been too happy with some of the things I've seen.

But I've been honest.

You know that if you've read my last few posts.

Yes, I did ultimately receive some very good news. But I didn't battle too well. However, I am giving myself some grace – because I think there's something more important going on here than my *faith performance.*

The point is what GOD is up to with all of this – and whether or not I'm holding on to Him – even if it's with weak and worried arms.

And that brings me to the big decision that "The Hub" and I are facing.

Crisis – an impending abrupt or decisive change. Yup, that would pretty much sum it up.

I can't share the details with you – (not just yet) – but this decision would bring many changes to our lives. It would definitely be a major *push out of the nest.*

However, this decision doesn't feel like something that just "popped into our heads" of our own volition – it definitely feels like God has spoken.

So, we've stepped out in faith – and all of a sudden, the story has taken off.

Let me tell you, it's been quite a wild ride. There has been plenty of opposition. But lately, that is beginning to feel like pathetic attempts to halt God's story. Even my recent cancer scare…

…someone is shooting arrows.

In my own power, I feel woefully unable to follow through on what God is asking. I am often unsure that I can leave the comfort zone I'm so used to. But I truly believe God is calling –

I loved these words from our study:

"When God tells us what He wants to do through us, it will be something only He can do."

Yes, indeed.

I'm telling you – He's gonna have to do this one. It's awfully big.

So, a crisis of faith.

What have I learned?

I have learned that a crisis of faith brings us to our knees. But only on our knees can we look up.

Into the eyes of the one who loves us – the One who died for us and lives.

The One who's writing an epic story, and who invites us to be part of the plot!

Yes, Lord – I believe, please help my unbelief!

Have you had a "crisis of faith" lately? Have you said "Yes" to the story God wants to write in your life?

Linked today with Joan at the GRACE CAFE

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Monday, March 12, 2012


Those Israelites.

Gotta love 'em.

I do.

You know why? Because they're just like me.

I haven't always felt this way about them. I used to judge them, scoff at their faithlessness. Condemn their complaining. Belittle their weak spirits and lack of fortitude.

I used to "critique" their faith.

For heaven's sake, they had the VERY PRESENCE OF GOD there with them in the desert. How could they be so foolish?

Well, turns out that I'm just as human as they were.

I'm currently in the book of Numbers the last couple of weeks in my One-Year Bible reading plan. It's kinda boring – sorry, Lord. (At least Leviticus is behind me – did I say that out loud??) And I have found myself doing that same old judging thing as I've read along. Until one day last week.

I read this:

"Why have you brought us out of Egypt to die here in the wilderness?" (from Numbers 21:5)

I stopped dead in my tracks.

I realized that I had said very nearly the same thing that very same day.

As you know, last week was a tortuous week for me. A valley of fear, a quagmire of anxiety and desperation.

And at one point I said this to the Lord:

"Things were so much easier when I wasn't following You closely. Have You brought me this far just to give me unending trouble?"

The implication, of course, was just what the Israelites were saying…

"God, why are You picking on me?"

I even told someone that sometimes I feel like God is one of those terrible schoolboy troublemakers who pulls the wings off of flies. (Now, THAT is true confession…)

I'm ashamed that I ever thought – let alone gave voice – to those words.

As soon as I read that passage in Numbers, I hung my head, and started to weep.

And then God began to speak.

"Don't you realize that before you were following Me you were in SLAVERY to sin? That you were being ruled by a tyrant? Don't you realize that you are now covered in My LOVE? Even when, especially when, you're in the wilderness?"

Oh, Lord.

And then, I realized the truth. Those Israelites, whom I so easily condemn sometimes, did indeed have the very presence of God alongside them in the wilderness.

But I have the very presence of God WITHIN ME.

In some ways, I am far greater blessed than they were.

It was a rather humbling moment for me. I'm not proud of the thoughts and feelings that drove me to utter such terrible things.

But I know that God can handle it.

I know He forgives me for my honesty. I know His Love covers my multitude of imperfections and weaknesses.

And I know He had a lesson for me in all of this – (many lessons actually).

I realized this one great truth – God was bringing those Israelites through the desert for one very good reason. Yes, He was rescuing them from slavery. But He was also preparing them to take over the Promised Land.

You see, He wasn't satisfied with a motley bunch of whining wilderness wimps. He was grooming mighty, victorious warriors. He was preparing His people to be a nation. He had work planned for themand they needed to be made into sterner stuff.

I think maybe He's doing the same thing with me.

So, in the aftermath, I'm pondering some deep things. Wondering what God has in store. Asking for more courage as He wrestles the "Egypt" out of me. Praying for His power, His strength, His victory.

As Janette so eloquently said in a beautiful post last week – (see the link here) – "I had to cross a the fight started to be won, because He has already won the war on my behalf…my feet started to jog with a lighter heart."

OK, this little *Israelite* is starting to walk again.

And I'm putting on my fighting shoes – even if today they're just sandals.

How are you learning to fight?

"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." (Galatians 5:1)

(SIDENOTE: Praise God! My tests results were benign. I can't thank you enough for your warm friendships, your heartfelt prayers, and your wise words of comfort and encouragement. I have been truly humbled by your outpouring on my behalf. I am grateful for every single one of your adorable little faces. I am part of an awesome band of believers!!)

Linked today with Joan at SHARING HIS BEAUTY

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Sunday, March 11, 2012

BIBLE PICK 'EMS - The One and Only

Today's "Bible Pick 'Ems" comes from the book of 1 Kings.

The verses are taken from the beginning of King Solomon's prayer of dedication for the newly-built Temple in Jerusalem. After hundreds of years, a permanent home for the presence of God was finally completed!

It was a joyous time of celebration.

Solomon's Temple was a glittering spectacle, displaying the riches of a prospering nation. As a dwelling place for God, it was fitting for the Temple to be beautiful.

In the final climactic moment, when all the building was complete, the Ark of the Covenant was brought into the Most Holy Place, and "…the glorious presence of the LORD filled the Temple." (1 Kings 8:11)

Then Solomon gathered the people of Israel together to dedicate the Templebut he also wanted them to rededicate themselves to God's service.

I can almost hear his voice resounding across the centuries:

"Then Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in front of the entire community of Israel. He lifted his hands toward heaven, and he prayed.
'O LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like you in all of heaven above or on the earth below. You keep your covenant and show unfailing love to all who walk before you in wholehearted devotion…
(and to the people of Israel)…And may you be completely faithful to the LORD our God. May you always obey his decrees and commands, just as you are doing today.'" (1 Kings 8:22-23, 61)

Solomon declared that even the highest heavens, the far reaches of the universe, could not contain God. His majesty shines brighter than any light in the sky, and His riches far surpass any man-made structure.

Can you imagine what it was like when the glory of God filled the Temple?

But have you ever stopped to think about your own heart?

Isn't it amazing that God is willing to live in the hearts of those who believe in Him and love Him?!

We are blessed indeed.

So where is God's presence?
He's here, in my heart,
Directing my pathways
As He has from the start.

Where is God's presence?
He's here! Don't you see?
The Most High of the Universe
Dwells within me.

© Sharon Kirby, October 4, 2000

Let us walk in wholehearted devotion to Him – obeying Him always, just as we are doing today…

What does it mean to you to have the presence of God within you?

Linked today with Charlotte at SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Saturday, March 10, 2012



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

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

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

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

Just this past week, God answered a very big prayer. My gratitude to God is overwhelming.

This lovely passage from Zechariah – which I came across randomly (randomly???) touched my heart. So, I've taken some liberties, and personalized it. Hear what God said to MY heart(and let Him say it to your heart, too):

"I will strengthen Sharon and save her.
I will restore her because of My compassion.
For I am the LORD her God, who hears her cries.

She will become like a mighty warrior.
Her heart will be made happy.
Her children, too, will see it and be glad.
Their hearts will rejoice in the LORD.

When I call her, she will come running, for I have redeemed her.
Though I scattered her, she remembered Me.
She and her children turned to Me.

I will bring her back from the brink of fear, and gather her from her anxious ramblings.

I will resettle her, until there is no more room to be afraid.

She will pass safely through the sea of distress, for the waves of the enemy will be held back.

The deluge of his lies will dry up.

His prideful torment will be crushed, and his rule in her thoughts will end.

BY MY POWER, I will make her strong.
And by MY authority she will go wherever she wishes.

I, the LORD, have spoken!"

Oh Lord.


(From Zechariah 10, NLT)

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Friday, March 9, 2012


Welcome to "Fan the Flame" Friday.

This is a weekly post that will be "short and sweet" (kinda like me...)

Just a word and a phrase, a sentence or a question...just a little something to "fan the flame" of your creativity!

Today's word: lie

What would you say a lie is?

What damage can a lie do?

What is the biggest lie that Satan tells you?

Let me know what you think!!

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

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


I don't want more faith.

I want an easier life.

There, I said it.

The feeling I'm sure we've all had before, and yet were afraid to admit.

But, right at this moment, I need to say it.

On Monday, I received some unsettling news. It involves my health, and it involves waiting for test results…again.

I don't know what to say, you guys – there have been so many health issues in my family these past six months. Most of them have been false alarms, at least in the long-run, but there's been a pretty steady onslaught of *issues.*

And I so need all of you right now to pray for me and my family.

I'm in a cave of fear.

I've spent a lot of time in fear these last few months. I'm tired of it. And yet, quite frankly, I don't really feel like crawling out. I'm dangerously close to that whole "give up" thing that happens in a wearied spirit. Dismay is ruling the day.

I pray for faith.

But, quite honestly, what I really want is for everything bad to go away.

I ask the Lord to forgive me for that feeling.

You see, I'm so sorry that I yearn for comfort more than character. I'm so sorry that I ache for happiness more than abiding joy. I'm so sorry that I want to feel good more than I want to feel faithful.

I'm so sorry, Lord, that I'm not stronger.

See, I need your prayers.

There are many people in my life who watch how I do my spiritual journey. And when I feel like I'm stumbling around, and falling down, and not wanting to get up and fight – well, I feel like I'm letting them down.

I feel like I'm letting God down.

Is it okay to feel scared?

Does that mean that I'm not trusting?

It's funny (ironic, not ha ha) – I just talked about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego on Saturday. About their strong and determined faith – about how they believed that God would save them.

And then, their "stand firm no matter what" statement – BUT EVEN IF HE DOESN'T…

They refused to bow down to the enemy, even if it meant their very lives.

Why am I such a coward?

And yet, it occurs to me that they were not saved until they were thrown into the fire. THAT is when the Lord appeared.

Lord, it feels pretty hot in this cave of fear.

Please help me.

Please restore to me the quiet waters – refresh my soul.

The enemy has stepped up his game.

Dear friends, I ask for your prayers that the Lord will enable me to step up mine.

(SIDENOTE: My youngest son said to me today, "I know that God is with all of us in all of this." Bless his heart, his faith spoke to my heart…)

What do you do when fear overwhelms your faith?

Linked today with Joan at the GRACE CAFE

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Monday, March 5, 2012


OK, I've got a good story for you.

Let's start at the very beginning…

One day last week, "The Hub" and I went out to do our weekly errands marketing, mailing bills, going to the bank, etc.

"The Hub" is really finicky about where he parks his Jeep. (I'm the same way about Eddie, my car). So, we park in the alley behind the market and the stores.

This day, we pulled into our usual place to park, got out of the car, and went and did our errands.

When we started to walk back to the car, through an area between two buildings, I saw *something* lying on the asphalt next to one of the parking spaces.

Upon closer inspection, I realized that it was a pair of fancy black…ahem…undies.

I was appalled.

I called "The Hub" over.

"Look at this," I said as I pointed to the offending dainty.

"Huh," said "The Hub" – rather nonchalantly.

"Don't you think that's disgusting?" I said.

"Someone probably just dropped them on the way to the cleaners," he replied. And then, he continued on his way to the car.

Well, I quickly dismissed the possibility of accidental panty-dropping – because, after all, who has their underwear dry-cleaned? (I apologize if any of you out there do that…)

So, here I am, conjuring up all sorts of nasty mind images of some rude, promiscuous femaledoing her "thing" in the backseat of a car (or, even worse, maybe a truck) in the alleyway behind the market.

My expression morphed from disdain to revulsion to out-and-out contempt. Probably some out-of-control teenager – (redundant phrase) – I thought. Or maybe someone from one of the stores on a *quickie* break. A secret, sin-filled rendezvous, perhaps. Maybe even a torrid, terrible affair.

The longer I stood looking at the pair of *unmentionables*the more judgmental I became.

But then, all of a sudden, things changed.

I thought perhaps I recognized something.

I bent over and looked closer.

"Wait a minute…" I thought to myself. "That little satin bow looks kinda familiar."

"The Hub" called out to me, "Are you coming or what?"

"Come here for a second," I said to him, a bit puzzled.

He walked over.

"I think I recognize these panties," I said to him.

"What?? How could you?"

I whispered quietly to him, "Because I think they're mine."

Well, "The Hub" picked up the fancy blackahemundies – and sure enough, upon closer inspection, I realized that they were indeed…MINE!

How did that happen, you may ask?

(You can ask – "The Hub" sure did!)

Evidently the night before, being extra tired, I pulled off my jeans and my underwear at the same time. Then, the next morning, I didn't see the "old" pair in my jeans when I put on the "new" pair.

So, as I walked to the market, the underwear snaked its way down my pants leg, only to emerge out of the bottom of my jeans.

Paints a pretty picture, doesn't it??

You think walking out of a bathroom with a random square of TP is embarrassing…can you only imagine what this would have been like if someone had noticed?

"Um, excuse me, Ma'am. You seem to have a "traveling" pair of panties coming out of your pants."


Can you spell awkward?

I knew you could.

"The Hub" erupted into laughter. I broke out in shame.

Because, you see, I had judged this "other woman." I had thought terrible things about her (lack of) character. I had labeled her a tart, a trollop, a floozy, a harlot, a hussy, a slut. (Don't worry – these words weren't at the tip of my tongue – I used my Thesaurus).

In short, I had passed incredible judgment upon the owner of these wanton unmentionables, only to realize that "I was she."

It was a good lesson.

It's so easy to make snap judgments, to jump to conclusions without having all of the facts. We humans (especially we women?) are so prone to deeming ourselves better than the next person. I think there's some inherent tug/pull between pride and insecurity that drives us to the compelling urge to compare ourselves with others.

I know I have that gene.

It's part and parcel of the sin-flawed nature I was born with.

The takeaway of this little incident? (Besides the "knock-down-my-smugness-a-notch-or-ten" lesson???)

Well, of course – as Jesus said, "Do not judge others, and you will not be judged."

He goes on to say why:

"For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged."


I realized that my standard of judgment had come from an almost instantaneous place of condemnation. I assumed the worst, with absolutely no information to assume that.

What does that say about me?

Besides the great laugh that I had at my expense – which I think I rightly deserved – I was chagrined at the ugliness that often lies just behind my "righteous fa├žade."

Though I am a child of God, I've really got a long way to go.

Lord, forgive me for my self-righteous tendencies, and for my quick judgment of others. Teach me how to be more gracious, and to believe the best about people. Don't let me fall into the temptation of making easy assumptions when I don't have all the facts. And most of all, thank you that You don't judge me in the way that I deserve.

The moral of the story?

Be careful whose *dirty laundry* you condemn – it might just turn out to be yours!

"And why worry about a speck in your friend's eye when you have a log in your own?" (Matthew 7:4)

"Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you." (Matthew 7:12)

"Look beneath the surface so you can judge correctly." (John 7:24)

"Don't speak evil against each other…" (James 4:11)

"When you say they are wicked…you are condemning yourself, for you who judge others do these very same things." (Romans 2:1)

"Love…is ever ready to believe the best of every person…"
(1 Corinthians 13:7, AMP)

"So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus." (Romans 8:1)

Have you ever made a *snap judgment* of someone and been totally wrong?

Linked today with:

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Sunday, March 4, 2012

BIBLE PICK 'EMS - Light at the End of the Tunnel

Ever feel just OVERWHELMED?

Like you're in a dark valley, unable to crawl out, surrounded by troubles?

(Please tell me I'm not alone down here - dark valleys love company...)

I feel like that sometimes - I hate to admit it, but I'm one of those "glass half-empty" kind of people! And, to tell you the truth, sometimes I don't even see ANY water in the glass at all!!

Today's "Bible Pick 'Ems" comes from the book of Micah in the Old Testament. Micah was a prophet, a contemporary of Isaiah and Hosea. Amidst his prophecies of doom and gloom, Micah presents a true picture of God - the Almighty Lord who hates sin and loves the sinner.

Micah offers hope to those who turn toward a gracious God.

"As for me, I look to the LORD for help. I wait confidently for God to save me, and my God will certainly hear me. Do not gloat over me, my enemies! For though I fall, I will rise again. Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light...The LORD will bring me into the light, and I will see his righteousness. Then my enemies will see that the LORD is on my side...with my own eyes I will see their downfall." (Micah 7:7-8, 9, 10)

All too often, circumstances and struggles really get me defeated.

I cave in, I fall down, and sometimes I give up. Darkness overcomes my spirit like a shadow. Satan finds a way to gloat over me, accusing me in my weakness, and never letting me forget that I am small. He shouts me down, and I collapse.

(I would NOT make a good contestant on "Survivor" - just sayin')


Micah showed great faith in God. He proclaimed that he would wait on God because He hears and saves us when help is needed. God would bring His people through the worst circumstances, upholding them when times were tough.

We, too, can have a relationship with God that will allow us to have confidence like Micah's.

On Friday, my "Fan the Flame" word was confident.

And a dear bloggy buddy left such a wonderful comment, that I'd like to reprint it here:

"I discovered that I had missed the whole point of confidence by neglecting the heart of the word: confide. We have confidence in God because we confide in him. It's really impossible to have "haughty confidence" in the truest form of the word(s) because the words are scriptural opposites. Both Hebrew and Greek words for confide are all wrapped up in trust. We would never confide in One we didn't trust completely. We tell God the deepest secret places of the heart, because He knows it anyway, and we know that not only will He cover them in silence, but that He is capable to do more than we can even think or imagine with our confidence. With God as my shield, I can fight like a warrior!!"

Oh, AMEN to that!

Yes, Micah, the light at the end of the tunnel is NOT a train!

The Light is the Glorious LORD, who is on my side.

I will not be defeated...

"For though I fall, I WILL RISE AGAIN!"

Linked today with Charlotte at SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"