For Just One

cartoon kids with numbers cartoon7Numbers! I love numbers! I know what you’re thinking, just a few days ago I said the same thing about words. I absolutely love words! But just ask the members of my family, they will tell you, “She loves numbers!”

Numbers are very different than words. The difference is that words have such emotions attached to them while numbers do not. You may feel emotional when you consider the number of zeroes following 16 for the national debt, or you may feel emotional when you have too many or too few zeroes following the 16 in your bank account whether it is $16.00 or $160,000. Either one cartoon9will give you an emotional reaction, but it is actually in response to the words “too high,” “toocartoon5cartoon8 low,” “too much,” or “too little.”

So, it is safe to say that numbers do not have emotional implications; they are just fun. You can move them around, play with them, add, subtract, multiply, divide, and crunch them. You can even draw pictures with them. An “8” makes a dandy snowman by simply adding a hat and carrot nose, while your number “7” can easily become a cliff to fall off or dive from and, well, a “0” can provide an endless number of  opportunities.

I don’t have a favorite number. I love all numbers: odd numbers, even numbers, and round numbers, not to mention decimal numbers, and mixed numbers, square roots and exponential numbers. I have to admit I give reverential respect to the numbers 3, 7, 12, and 40, obviously special numbers to God, but basically I can get excited about any number and its endless possibilities. cartoon 0Take the number “0” for example. It is, without a doubt, the most powerful of all numbers. Why, you can take that one round little number and multiply it by the national debt and entirely erase it. Unfortunately, it will do the exact same thing to your bank account, so it is likely we should leave that number alone. It adds nothing and takes nothing away but multiplying can be extremely dangerous.

The number following “0” as counting goes is a very important number, the number “1”. I love the story of starfishthe little girl who sees hundreds of starfish washed up on the beach. She picks up one and places it gently back in the water and proceeds to the next one. A stranger approaches and says to her, “You can’t possibly get enough of those starfish back in the water to make any difference.” “Sir,” she says, “It makes a difference to that one.”

I think that the number “1” is the most important number to God. For in the beginning Hecartoon 1 created “1” man and then “1” woman. Then I Timothy 2:5 says ” For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” And John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him, should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16. Not for the world, but for “1,” for the “whosoever.”

When you are in trouble, and you call out to Him, even if one million others are calling out to Him at the same time, you are the one He answers. If you are the one who looks up to Him, you are the one He sees. If you are the one who gives your heart to Him, you are the one He receives. If there had only been one, He would have done it. . .for just one.

Celebrate the Number One today! You are One mighty important person to God!

Sharon

There is Always Hope!

doctor1“Hmmmmm.” The doctor looks into the patient’s throat.  “Uh, huh,” she mutters as she shines the light into the ear canal. And listening to the heart, she murmurs again, “Ahhmmmm.”

“What is it, Doc, is it serious?” the patient asks anxiously.

“Well, let me listen to your heart one more time. Ahhmmmm. Just as I thought. . .it’s your thoughts.”

“WHAT! Are you crazy? It is NOT my thoughts. I know exactly what I have been thinking, and it is NOT my thoughts. I have these terrible symptoms, and there simply is no way that it is my thoughts. My thoughts are my thoughts, and my symptoms are my symptoms. That is ridiculous. Where did you even get your license to doctor, anyway?”

The doctor glances over at her degree on the wall, raising an eyebrow, and looks back at the patient. The patient looks over his shoulder at the framed degree and then back at the doctor. “Well, maybe there was this one little thought that came to me this morning when I looked into my bank account. So what if for a moment I was wondering if we would have enough to make it until the next paycheck. Everybody does that.”doctor4

The doctor patiently requests, “Would you tell me your symptoms again, please”

“Well, I just started feeling down early this morning right after breakfast, and then it got worse. I felt overwhelmed, frustrated, and then outright depressed.”

“Hmmmmmm. And when was it you looked at your bank account balance?”

“Well, it was right after breakfast, but I. . .”

“I see, and what else have you been thinking about today?”

“Well, I haven’t been thinking about it, but my kids are in trouble, my kitten ran away, kitten2I may lose my job, and I’m not getting along with my wife, but I haven’t been thinking about any of that. Then of course, I did for a minute have a tiny thought about the situation in the Middle East and the state of the economy, and my football team lost again last night. Just because nothing, absolutely nothing is going right in my life, doesn’t mean I’ve been thinking about it. Tell me the truth, Dr. Sharon, am I going to die? Is there anything you can do for me?”

“Yes, you probably are going to die. . .eventually. And there is absolutely nothing I can do for you. I wish I could, and I wish I could do something for all of my patients.” Looking wistfully away, “I wish I could give every one of you clean and right thinking.”

“So, doc, there’s no hope for me, then?”

Dr. Sharon looks surprised, and her face brightens some, “Oh, there’s hope for you all right! Think about that for a minute. I’ll be right back.”

When the doctor returns with a diet coke, and one for the patient, she is greeted with a smile, “Doc, there is hope for me and there is hope for the world! My bank account is not completely empty, and my kids are going to be okay. I’ll put up posters to find the kitten. I’m probably not going to lose my job this week. My wife is a sweetheart, and she’s a good cook AND no more watching the news for me! I feel great! Doc, you’re a genius! Have a good day! I’ll see you at the racquetball club!”

Dr. Sharon rubs her chin, and shakes her head.

kitten 1Now sure enough, we are going to have some negative thoughts. Sometimes, there’s very good reason to have them. The kitten really does run away or something much worse happens, and you just can’t get your hope back. That’s what God is for. That’s why He gave you family and friends and His Word and fun, encouraging things to read. There’s always hope!

Have a really great day!

Sharon

Be Care-less Today

Cares? You really don’t need them. All they really do is slow us down and keep us from being rock throwerproductive. It is like we are pulling a sack of rocks behind us while trying to run a race. I have a suggestion for today: take each rock, each care out of the bag, look at it for one last time, then pull your arm back like a professional baseball player and throw that rock as far as you can into the ocean of God’s love. Did I forget to mention that I am picturing you standing on a gorgeous, sea-shell studded beach with your toes digging in the sand, rays of sunshine, glimmering on the water, causing it to change into rock thrower babymultiple shades of blue and green. You have a beautiful and exciting day ahead of you that you can enjoy with family or friends or people you meet. Don’t wait another moment, start throwing those rocks far away into the sea.

  This is a Bible Challenge day so as you meditate this verse up to one hundred times today, keep throwing those rocks until the bag is completely empty. And as daylight turns to evening, feel the waves of God’s goodness lap up around your feet and experience peace.  beach twilight

beach feet2Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

I Peter 5:7

Oh, and by the way, about your cares? Don’t worry about them, they will be taken care of.

A beautiful and exciting day belongs to you!

Sharon

Words: Something to Ponder

I absolutely love words. When you think about it words are the most exciting little things imaginable. They come in all sizes but take hardly any space. We have little bitty words like “a” and really big words like “ANTI­DIS­ESTABLISH­MENT­ARIAN­ISMand even longer words that only scientists can pronounce. We have interesting words like “fernweh,” the ache for different places, the craving for travel, and we have annoying words like “duh” or “whatever.” We actually have a word for almost any occasion.

Words can do amazing things! They can make people smile, frown, embrace, hit, scream, faint, dance, run, laugh, cry or scream. Powerful words could even cause people to give up their money or even their life.

I did a little research and found that there are only about 500,000 words in the dictionary. I was surprised; I thought there would have been millions. There may not be many words in the dictionary, but there are a lot of words spoken every day. Think of it with six billion people on the planet, if everyone only spoke one word a day, that would be six billion words. “Facts” are that men speak about 7000 words a day and women 20,000 a day (Brizendine, The Female Brain).  With a ratio of 100 females to 101 males on the planet, the male population speaks a whomping  21 trillion words a day compared to 60 trillion words spoken by females. These are approximate figures of course.Words Cartoon

Just think about it, though, what would the world be like without words? No one says anything all day long. What do you think would happen after a few moments of silence? The pointing and grunting would begin, and before the day was over, we’d have a good start on establishing a language again.

The best news of all is that words are absolutely free. If you want a brand new one, you just go to the dictionary and pick one or use one you hear from someone else. You can use it all day and never pay a penny. You don’t have to go to the library and borrow one and then forget to take it back and end up paying $18.00 in fines, Yes I’ve done it. You don’t have to buy one and make payments with interest like you do a car or a house. It is absolutely free. You can use as many as you want every hour of every day, and best of all there are no taxes to pay on them. Words are free for everybody to use every day as much as they want with no fees, interest or taxes to pay! What a great thing words are!

Words are indeed free, but they can cost you everything. They can cost you a marriage, a friend, a job, your freedom.

Words are free, yet they are priceless. Words like “I love you,” and “I’m sorry,” cannot be bought or sold, but when given away can make you richer than the richest man on earth.

May we all choose our words wisely today!

Enjoy!

Sharon

 

You are Loaded!

Blessed be the Lord who daily loads us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Psalm 68:19

open_bibleXOKP

Our second Bible Challenge is Psalm 68:19. I affectionately call it the “B” verse. Try to say or think each Bible Challenge verse 1 time a day. Now I just said that to get your attention. The real challenge is to say it 100 times today. That’s just 10 x 10. You may think of it at ten different times during the day, and each time meditate or say the verse 10 times. There is no penalty for not completing the task, so see how far you can get and how much benefit you receive from what you can accomplish. Remember each verse is full of life and a little extra life in your day has to be a good thing!

This particular verse is dear to me because it is one we used to post in our car. We printed it out on a big sheet of paper and taped it to the dash of the car. The boys and I would say it ten times each time we got in the car. Once 5-year old Nick received a twenty dollar bill from a well-known traveling minister, and he was certain it was a result of having meditated on that verse.

Truly, the Lord does load us with benefits daily. Just think of all the things that didn’t happen to you yesterday. For example, I didn’t break a leg, break an egg, break the bank or have a flat tire. Now I can’t say that every day. One day last week, we had two flat tires on two different cars in one day, but that’s a different story. There really are so many things that God and His angels are doing every day to keep us safe and to move us along into our destiny. There are many things that could go wrong and don’t every day! And many things that absolutely go right that we hardly notice. Let’s notice today and be thankful. Blessed be the Lord who daily loads us with benefits, even the God of our salvation.

If you take the challenge of saying or meditating this verse at least once today, let me know and have a terrific day, loaded with benefits!

Blessed be the Lord who daily loads us with benefits,

even the God of our salvation. 

Psalm 68:19

Favor, Don’t Leave Home Without It

These inspirational sayings were inspired by the wonderful book called Favor, The Road to Success by Bob Buess. When I was blessed to be the teacher and principal of a wonderful Christian school in North Carolina, our class started our day by repeating these words together. They are in my heart, and I often go to sleep or wake up with them going over in my mind. They are scriptural; they are available to all of us who can accept them as true for us. God is only too willing to be there for us and with us if we but open our hearts and minds to Him. These are best said out loud once a day, every day until they become your beliefs because it is our beliefs, our faith, that God responds to.

                                                                           Favor

ImageGod favors me today.

God is with me today.

God is helping me today.

I am someone very special to the Lord.

Good things are happening to me spiritually today.

Good things are happening to me financially today.

Good things are happening to me in all my relationships today.

I am looking for ways to favor others today.

Today will be a great day because Jesus lives big in me today

And every day!

I have the mind of Christ today.

I have the mind of Christ today.

I have the mind of Christ today!

Just Ask

ask1One day I was in the kitchen of our house when I was in high school. My friend had just gotten engaged and for some reason I absolutely remember and have remembered many times that I stood in that kitchen and in my heart asked God to give me a special marriage. I only remember praying that specific prayer once, and it was three or four years and boyfriends later when I met Larry. I could tell you more of the story, but suffice it to say that it has been an incredibly special marriage.

Sometimes we wish and hope and perhaps even dream, but the question is never formed.ask3 I tried to find out how many times the word “ask” is in the Bible and could not find the answer so I will send a prize to the first person who finds the answer to that question and sends it to me with documentation! For real! It will probably be a book.

Meditate the verse for today, and then go ahead and ask! God has told us to do it, so we have His permission. He is or should be our Best Friend. He might say “no,” “yes,” “maybe,” “not now,” but more times than you can count, His answer will be more than you could have ever imagined. I think He loves to surprise us with His Goodness, His Wisdom, His loving Provision and His Answers! And our joy will be indeed be full. So just ask!

Ask and you shall receive,

that your joy may be full.

John 16:24

Bible Challenge

Whether or not you currently acknowledge God, as the Creator of the universe or Jesus, as your Lord and Savior, the Bible offers life and truth that will bring encouragement and strength to you. I offer this challenge to encourage you to take a taste of these words of life and truth and then determine the value they can add to your life.

Bible Challenge: Say or Think “Today’s Verse” 100 times today. That’s just 10 x 10. You may think of it at ten different times during the day, and each time meditate or say the verse 10 times. If you haven’t completed the challenge by bedtime, tally up to 100. It’s also a good idea to read the entire chapter to get the whole story in context. Also, try picturing what the verse means to you personally and what God wants to say to you through it. It may be different for each of us. Let us know if you feel stronger or more encouraged. Look for Bible Challenges every few days. The first 26 will be verses for each letter of the alphabet. They will soon become your friends. When our blog becomes a book, : ) every other page will be a favorite verse or quote. Here’s today’s Bible Challenge. Let me know if you take the Challenge.

delightfulbibleAsk and you shall receive,

that your joy may be full.

John 16:24

Everybody Needs a Comment

Published Feb 2, 2013

Everybody Needs a Comment

To really appreciate this story, you need to be able to appreciate Facebook. I personally appreciate Facebook in spite of its obvious invasion of privacy. It’s where I find funny stories and videos, songs, inspirational quotes and what my friends had for breakfast. Of course you can also find groaning, moaning, and complaining and a smattering of freaking out about what some “idiot (forgive me) politician” did.

Today’s story is here to remind all of us that Everybody needs a “Comment”, or at least a “Like.” We Facebook-lovers really look forward to seeing “Notifications”. This tells us who liked what we said or commented on it. The other day when I was smiling because of someone’s comment, I saw a picture in my imagination. It was a picture of people of all nationalities, sizes, shapes, and dispositions. They were the people you and I see every day, family members, friends, co-workers, passers-by. Each one was wearing a sign around his neck that said, “Please comment.”

Every one of us needs to know that what we say and who we are is noticed and perhaps even valuable to someone. If you think something nice, please say it. Acknowledge clerks and co-workers, other shoppers and especially children. We have no idea the impact it could make on someone’s day or even their life.

There are three times in my life that I am thinking of that impacted my destiny, I believe, in the way that God intended! The first one happened on the playground in Falmouth, Kentucky when I was in the third grade. I was wearing a green dress that had one big yellow pocket and one big red pocket on the front with alternating colors of buttons. As I ran across the playground in front of my teacher, Miss Bishop, I heard her say to another teacher, “There goes a nice little girl.” I have remembered that fondly over the years. Who is to say, but what that helped guide me through my life. Most who know me will affirm that I was indeed “a good little girl.” My parents or teachers never had any trouble from me. I wanted to please others, and I wanted to do what was right and obey all rules. May all your children and grandchildren overhear that they are a “good little boy or girl.” Thank you Miss Bishop.

Another important occasion that definitely affected my destiny was the comment that I gave myself. I had a very low self esteem when I was in college. While working as a counselor at a summer camp in Hendersonville, North Carolina, I was blessed to make a friend that I highly valued. Later during the year when this friend and I were traveling with others from the camp on a promotional trip, I found out that Larry, not only wanted to be my friend, but wanted to date me. When this first sank in with me, I commented to myself, “If Larry Jordan likes me, I must be okay.” I held him in such high esteem and still do to this day that what he thinks of me matters. As it turns out over many wonderful years, he has convinced me that I am more than okay; I am the love of his love. Needless to say, I do everything I can to fulfill his belief in me and make life wonderful for him and our family as well. Thank you, Sharon for realizing that “If Larry Jordan likes you, you must be okay.” By the way, we have been happily married for over thirty years.

The third comment came from a manager when I was training to work for my second company in the marketing industry. I had been in class with two other gentlemen. Both were extremely aggressive and out-going. I was, to say the least, intimidated. This man spoke with me privately after our training was completed and said, “You are the one who will do well because you are honest and sincere.” One of the other gentlemen never started to work for that company and the other lasted only a few weeks. I am still working in this business six years later and loving it! Thank you Aaron!

Can you make a difference in someone’s life today? If you think something nice, please say it. We all need to hear it. If you can smile or wave at someone, you just might make their day by acknowledging their presence on this big planet of ours. So “comment” or “like” as many people as you can today. Start at home and start with yourself, then go out and make the world a friendlier, happier place by sharing God’s love with all of those you meet.

May all your days be happy ones!

Sharon

Happy Hour

Published Feb 1, 2013

Happy Hour

Happy Hour? You’ve probably heard of it. I’ve passed by some nice restaurants and seen the placard out front beckoning passersby with their flashing sign, “Happy Hour, 4-7, free appetizers.” Tempting, sounds interesting, sounds like fun, free is good. I heard that “It’s five o’clock somewhere,” and people generally smile when they say that. Why is that?

Happy Hour? I like the sound of it.  Many happy hours have been spent reading, playing games, watching good movies, listening to music. Sinatra and Manilow can always make me smile. I love making plans for a trip and taking a trip or just a short ride with the family. I love to eat at a great restaurant with family or friends. I’ve had a lot of happy hours doing these things, and I’ve yet to count the happy hours spent playing with the kids and watching and helping them grow up. I should also count the date nights with Larry every week for years and even now as often as possible. Yes, happy, happy hours. These are just a few of the things I have done which have blessed me with happy times to think about and be thankful for. They are part of who I am. You have your own happy hours, and every one of them is an important part of your life.

Then let’s take it higher. Have you experienced some rich times with God. Have you been enriched by His Word, heard His Voice, been touched by His Nearness? Seen a miracle or been a partner to a miracle, prayed for others or encouraged others, asked questions and searched for answers, talked late into the night with friends and family about eternal truths? Truly happy hours!

As I step into today, I’m thinking I like the concept of “Happy Hour.”  It truly is five o’clock somewhere, and I’d like to have a Happy Hour every day. I’m going to pick a time and throughout that hour, I’m going to be as thankful as I can possibly be, thanking God for all of his blessings, big and small, for all of the happy hours He has blessed me with throughout my life, counting the ways He enriches my life every day. I’m going to take that hour every day as an hour of gratitude, of thanking God for His abundant blessings in my life. Can I do it every day from now on? Maybe. Can I do it today? Yes, I can. It’s my Happy Hour. It’s 5 o’clock somewhere.

Enjoy your day!

Sharon