10 Things You Can Do With Jesus

Jesus6Imagine that you have been lost in the woods and have begun to feel quite alone and frightened, yet you hear Someone call your name. When you see Jesus coming toward you, you are filled with a sense of relief. “You say Jesus, I am so glad You are here!”

Focusing on the Lord can open up wide, sweeping vistas to abundant life.”Things You Can Do With Jesus,” a sequel to “Lost in the Woods.” is a list of things you can do with Jesus as you purpose to spend time with Him. You might want to choose one and see where it leads you.

  1. Affirm your belief in Him. Tell Him who you believe He is.twists
  2. You can talk to Him about your fears. Tell him what keeps you awake at night. What things cause you to feel vulnerable and anxious? What does He say about your fears? Listen carefully.
  3. You can talk to Him about the twists and turns you have taken trying to find your way through life. He will help you make sense of it, and you will see that even when you went in circles and found yourself in the same place, it was all for a purpose.
  4. You can explore His creation with Him. He can point out things you miss when you aren’t looking. Explore the amazing intricacies of each creation. You can spend hours learning to notice His Divine touch in the world.
  5. You can be comforted in the darkness just by being with Him, walking or sitting in the woods or by a stream, saying His name.
  6. You can let Him lead you out of the woods into the green meadow, talking about life, about your family, your friends, things you like to do, things you wonder about.
  7. You can sit with Him or climb a tree with Him and talk about your dreams and plans.
  8. You can listen while He tells you about His dreams and plans for you.
  9. You can listen to His guidance, new insights, ideas, and direction.
  10. You can ask Him for the secrets of the universe and listen as He reveals Himself to you.

Jesus1Today’s Verse: Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

Try This: Find something to do with Jesus every day. Have a great day and truly enjoy Him and His creation!

Lost in the Woods-A Fresh Look at John 3:16

John 3 16-4For 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

John 3 16-2That’s right pick it up, look at it, turn it around, now inside out. Can you see anything you might have missed before? Are there any phrases that pop out at you, that can speak to you in a new and different way. What I saw when I tried it this morning was a very tightly knit verse that completely and compactly gives us God’s plan of salvation for the world, for you and I. It’s all there. . .who, why, what, when, and how. It’s really all we need to know to make our way back to God and literally have eternal life.

voice5But there is more. . .With my picking and poking, I found some amazing revelation. God’s love is far greater than our love for our children and grandchildren, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers. He thought of us, created us, created a world for us, created everything in it for us. We are his project, his plan, his purpose. All of His dreams and hopes and plans are wrapped up in us.

And there’s more. . .The Greek word for perish is “apollumi” which actually means “to lose or be lost.” Did you ever feel lost like you were wandering alone in the forest and didn’t know where to go? There are so many twists and turns, rocks and stumps to trip you. That tree suddenly looks very familiar. Perhaps you are going in circles. You thought you were making progress, but you are back right where you started. “Help!” you yelled. It’s soon going to be dark. and there are going to be scary animals, bears, coyotes maybe even snakes crawling John 3 16-3around on their way to dinner. Your imagination starts to run wild. Your breathing becomes heavy, you are frightened and sweating. Then you hear a quiet voice saying your name. You turn and look to your left. It’s not quite dark yet, and you can barely make out a face. He is coming to you and He is calling your name again. He just asks you to believe in Him and He will lead you out of darkness and away from all of the scary things. He will make sense of all of the twists and turns, and as daylight comes, He will show you His beautiful creation. He will lead you out of the woods into a beautiful meadow where you can discuss your dreams and plans and His dreams and plans for you and marvel that they are so much alike. And then He shows you how to take the next step and the next and then He shares even more of Himself with you until you can barely breathe with the wonder of it! This is eternal life.

One Voice

voice6When Emmerson Laine Jordan was born, I woke up the next morning, with a different view of the world. I looked around me and realized that all of the people we see every day are part of her world. What could I do to get all of these people to behave themselves so that her world would be a better place. Have you ever felt insignificant, powerless, even helpless? We really aren’t as insignificant, powerless, or helpless as we might think. . .because we have a voice. We have God’s voice in us; we have the Voice of Love in us. What we do with it each voice7day is up to us. It’s a choice we make every day whether it is done consciously or not. It makes a difference. And we are not alone. Listen to this song. Read the words, and let it speak to you, then be the voice today . . .for Emme, for your children, grandchildren, for yourself and others. Be His Voice. When Love speaks we cannot fail.

For best results click on the video below and then scroll down to read the words and sing along, then be the Voice that makes a difference today.

Just One Voice,
Singing in the darkness,
All it takes is One Voice,
Singing so they hear what’s on your mind,
And when you look around you’ll find
There’s more than
One Voice,

voice5Singing in the darkness,
Joining with your One Voice,
Each and every note another octave,
Hands are joined and fears unlocked,
If only
One Voice
Would start it on its own
We need just One Voice
Facing the unknown,
And that One Voice
Would never be alone
It takes that One Voice.

Ba ba ba da da da da,Group Holding hands
Ba ba ba ba ba ba da da da,
Ba ba ba ba ba ba
It takes that one voice

Just One Voice
Singing in the darkness,
All it takes is One Voice,
Shout it out and let it ring.
Just One Voice,
It takes that One Voice,
And everyone will sing!voice8

The Other Side of the Die

dice3

The Other Side of the Die

That’s right. “die”. . .singular of dice. We can say dice for singular or plural, kind of like deer and deer, but to get your attention, I decided to title this article, “The Other Side of the dice8Die.”  While I am randomly discussing weird words, I have a question for you. When you are alone in the kitchen, do you reach for the thyme and quietly say “thime” or do you really, even in the privacy of your own home, actually say “time.” I was just wondering because it is very difficult for me to say “time” for “thyme” and makes no sense at all and that is the whole point of “The Other Side of the Die.” Let me explain. When I am looking at one side of a die, let’s say I see a one; someone across from me will be seeing a six (as in one says “time” and another says “thime.”) Two other friends are going to see the two and the five. Every one of us sees things from our very own point of view, based on our personality, our experiences, and our beliefs.

When we can accept this, it opens up a whole new interesting world. We can look at ones, twos, threes, fours, fives, and sixes and have an understanding of how someone else might view the world. There are those who truly enjoy seeing weird speckle-faced aliens boarding dice6spaceships and trying to take over the minds of the crew and condemn them to spinning endlessly in space never to return home again. The same person might view a fun, light-hearteddice7 detective show like Monk as uninteresting, if not annoying. Once you realize that it’s just the other side of the die, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t make one good and one bad, or one right and one wrong. It makes life interesting.

In another scenario, we may have someone who loves Christian rock music while another dice10prefers contemporary music. There are even those who prefer science fiction over historical Christian fiction. Tamera Alexander, you didn’t hear it from me. These differences can be an open door for conversation and greater understanding. It can  be fascinating to find out what is going on in someone’s else’s world.  You might also find it intriguing  to find  out how other people view politics and religion, if you can learn to view it from “the other side of the dice.” We can learn not to react or overreact when someone is  blatantly opposed to our way of thinking. Consider it the same as you would a different preference for chocolate over vanilla ice-cream or a preference for cheese pizza over supreme. Why anyone would prefer vanilla over chocolate, I have no idea, but I am willing to open the door of understanding to find out.

Exploring different viewpoints is a healthy alternative to thinking that you and only you are right in all things. Learning to respect  the differences in others is like giving vivid colors to an otherwise drab one-sided way of looking at life. Differences are simply a springboard for digging deeper, for asking questions and finding out more about those you love and those you meet.

Sir Isaac NewtonThere are many sides to every strongly held belief, yet, let us not be mistaken in the fact that there is Absolute Truth. Just as there are laws that govern the universe like the law of gravity, inertia, and the law of lift, there is also Absolute Truth. . .absolute right and wrong.   It is important to have a firm foundation on which to stand as we develop our way of looking at the universe. Thank God that He is unchangeable. His laws are right and true and His plan of salvation through His Son is sure! Standing on our firm foundation, we are free to accept and understand others even when their views are diametrically opposed to our own.

Whether it be differences in our entertainment preferences, our music, our political viewsdice1 or our understanding of Scripture, we can open doors of communication by asking questions, being respectful, calm, and kind and simply having fun by looking at something in a new way. Turn the die around, look at each side. Know that each and every person is important to our Creator. Look more deeply at what makes them who they are. “Time or thime,” “Die or dice,” it really doesn’t matter. It’s all in how you throw the dice.

 

 

A Thankful Heart

thankful1Warm blankets, electric lights, toothbrushes, hot water, Bible, devotional books, all my books, make-up, hair dryers, clothes, closets, shoes, sweaters, food, computers, televisions, refrigerators, plastic bags, eyeglasses, keys, and I haven’t left the house  yet. So much to be thankful for, so little time.

************

“Well, I am surprised to see you here again so soon.” Dr. Sharon smiles at her patient who has arrived on time for his appointment. “What seems to be the problem? You look the picture of health! I believe you are actually glowing!”

Physician Talking to Patient“Well, Doc, I do feel fabulous. I can’t stop the bubbling feeling I have inside that something wonderful is going to happen. I just thought you should check it out and see what’s going on. People are starting to look at me strangely like something is wrong with me. I’ve had complaints about my singing, and they say I am smiling too much. It makes them nervous, so I thought the least I could do was see what’s causing it. I haven’t felt this good in years and frankly if you and I could bottle it and sell it, I think we both might become millionaires. How about it, Doc? See what’s going on.”
“All right, let me have a look,” pressing down his tongue with the tongue depressor. “Say, Ahhhhhhh.” Well, I will have to tell you, I don’t see this kind of thing very often.” Dr. Sharon takes out the stethoscope and listens to the heart. “Hmmmmmmmm.” And again, “Ahhhhhemmmm. Yes I do hear the singing there as well. I’m going to take a little sample of your blood and see if anything unusual is there that could explain your high level of well being?”

The doctor leaves the room and returns an hour later with the report from the blood sample. Well, it’s there all right. You definitely have thankfulness running through your veins!”

“What? Would that really cause this euphoric feeling I am having?”
“Ythankful5es, you see, just like blood takes oxygen to your body’s organs and tissues and keeps them healthy, thankfulness takes life to your spirit keeping the “real you,” your spirit healthy and full of life. And keep in mind, another function of the blood is to carry away waste from the cells. Thankfulness will carry away negativity and flush it out of your spirit, just like blood carries the waste to be flushed out of your body. You are definitely doing the right things to build up your spirit by being thankful throughout your day. I highly recommend that all of my patients start the day being thankful. Thank God for every thankful6convenience and blessing you can think of before you get out of bed. I also suggest that you try to breathe in and out thankfulness all day long for everything you see and experience, for every person that is in your life and those you meet each day. Then start with the intangibles like love, joy, peace, and faith, and then take it a step further to thank God for all of his attributes. When your body acclimates to this new way of living, you will have a truly thankful heart.”

“This is great, Dr. Sharon. I think I am  having a major spiritual breakthrough here. Is there anything you can prescribe to enhance what’s going on here. I feel like I could live forever. ”

“Get plenty of rest and continue to take ten of Psalm 37:4 ten times a day, take the nutritional supplements listed below along with the Word of God as needed, and I believe you will indeed continue to live a happy and successful life.

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise:

be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

Psalm 100:4

thankful4Click below to replenish your spirit with these “nutritional” supplements:

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Delightful!

“Mmmmmmmm!”  Your eyes are closed, the spoon is held midair; it has just left your mouth. What was it? It was something “delightful.” That is obvious from your expression. Perhaps key lime pie with all it’s tartness, warm brownie with melting ice-cream or flaky apple pie. You really are enjoying that aren’t you? That’s what delightful means, something you really enjoy. You are savoring the taste or the moment or the Person.delightful surrender

Because this is a Bible Challenge day, try to meditate this “delightful” verse as many times as you can throughout the day. Let it roll over in your mind or say it out loud. Tell others about it, but first read the following and try taking just the first four words, making them yours.

delightfulbible

Delight in the Lord, and He shall

give you the desires of your heart.

Psalm 37:4

I have always loved that verse because it promises me that God will eventually give me what I want if I just delight in Him. I have focused on the end of the verse and thought about and made lists of things I desired. Then, I would try to be open to His ideas on the subject and try really hard to make sure they line up with His will and His desires. I even came to the revelation that He actually gives us our desires. He puts in our heart the things He wants us to have or do or be. That’s all very exciting and encouraging!

Yet, I suspected there could be more! So I take the verse and turn it around, look at it from all sides and then lift off the top of it. I take the first 4 words, “Delight in the Lord.” I say that part several times. I picture myself delighting in the Lord. I’m smiling, I’m laughing. I’m singing and dancing. And why not? delightfulpresidentIf given the chance to actually spend time with the wisest, most loving, most literally creative person in the world, would we not be delighted; would we not truly enjoy being with Him? We can get excited about seeing a celebrity, a baseball player or a president. To have the undivided attention of God himself, if we but fathom it, would bring sheer delight indeed. We would be excited  at the very thought of it and thrilled each moment in His Presence.

delightfulchildAs you’re spending time with Him, delighting in Him, imagine receiving one crumb of wisdom or one creative idea from the Creator of the universe.  Just getting His perspective would be delightful! What questions would you ask? What might He like to tell you? Delighting in Him? We can do this every day. And the delightful part of it all is that when we do this, we have the desires of our heart; we have Him!

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