Friday, June 20, 2014

The "WOW' Factor!

I don't know about any of you reading this, but I delight in hearing frequent testimonies of our Lord's goodness, grace, mercy, and the WONDER of HIM! Just today, I was reunited with 2 ladies I've not seen for awhile. Both of them were joining me in sharing accounts of answered prayers, and of the general THRILL it is being HIS children!!  A current song by CASTING CROWNS declares how 'We were made for so much more than ordinary lives.. We were made to THRIVE!' My encounter with these 2 gals, as well as several other recent conversations with brothers and sisters in Jesus, certainly found us all THRIVING as we have been almost 'giddy' with glee! That song, THRIVE, ends with a wonderful repetition of JOY UNSPEAKABLE! FAITH UNSINKABLE! LOVE UNSTOPPABLE! ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE! This is the link to THRIVE.. Enjoy and THRIVE!!  Count your blessings!!                                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQ71RWJhS_M

Saturday, May 24, 2014

AAA or, TRIPLE A!

For weeks now, I've been tossing the term, 'ACCEPT THE ACCESS' around in my mind... Well, the 'A' which now precedes that phrase is, ASSESS!! So, my 'catchy' title would've, could've, should've beenASSESS, ACCEPT ACCESS! So, just WHAT do I mean? Since I live in the world of education, the term 'assess' is prevalent, as it is in medicine, engineering, finances,and so many more fields.. Basically, we are taught to 'think it out' before we act! After taking a close look, a decision is made in light of the FACTS discovered.. Well, ... I'm painfully aware of how many people don't do this with the Gospel!! What could be any more wonderful than being told we don't ever need to be 'good enough' to earn God's favor, and eternal security! In JOHN 14:16-18, we learn how, as believers in Jesus, we know JESUS said, "I will ask the Father, and He will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever- The Spirit of Truth. The world cannot accept Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day, you will realize that I am in my Father and you are in me, and I am in you."  How many blessings can we count?

It's too bad that people's pride keeps them from admitting they are simply 'wretches' apart from His grace and mercy! Thus, they don't accept access to the LORD ALMIGHTY HIMSELF.. who, by the way, calls us 'FRIEND!!' I've been gathering LOTS of 'materials' for this message, but I will leave it very basic since I intend to post it very soon... Will we, or won't we ASSESS, THEN ACCEPT the ACCESS!? Most of us who read this have already done so, but just in case this meets with the eyes/soul of one who is not HIS yet, I urge you to welcome Him as personal Lord and Savior... Your FOREVER FRIEND!                                            BTW.. I am grateful to have been present last Saturday when a lady finished her assessment, then accepted the access!! 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

ABUNDAWONDERFUL - THE SEQUEL!

In ABUNDAWONDERFUL, I shared plenty about the ABUNDANT aspect of being the LORD's but, I can hardly believe I 'SPACED' 'writing about the WONDERFUL part of that composite adjective! This is because the Lord's personal 'theme' He's been sharing with me this year is, THE WONDER OF HIM!!  I am surrounded by a collection of papers I've recorded/highlighted evidences of the  'WOW'  factor.. So, here are just a couple?, for the sake of brevity.
The first is a new song to me.. CREATION SINGS THE FATHER'S SONG by The Keith and Kristin Getty. I learned this at a recent retreat and was truly 'sold' on the lyrics of especially the 2nd verse.. "Creation gazed upon His face; The ageless One in time's embrace unveiled the Father's plan of reconciling God and man. A second Adam walked the Earth, whose blameless life  would break the curse.. whose death would set us FREE to live with Him eternally." These lyrics, coupled with I PETER 2:24,He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds we were healed," have deeply impacted, and caused me to say 'Wow!' currently!

The other 'WOW'(for now!),is how my Bible Study Fellowship teaching leader 'wrapped up' a recent lecture pertaining to Christ's last days on Earth.. She simply said something to the effect of, "May you be caught, or kept, in SPEECHLESS WONDER as you are in AWE of your salvation because of His completed work." Her use of 'speechless wonder,' elicited a response of great thrill from within me!! Needless to say, many of us do live in AWE of who He is, and what He does.. and SO MUCH MORE!! We are TRULY BLESSED TO BE HIS! Well, that's all for now, dear readers!! Because He Loves us So Much! Sheila     Oh, an F.Y.I.- Our son's initials are A.W.D. on purpose because we truly wanted him, as well as us, to be AWeD by our LORD!                          

Saturday, April 12, 2014

ABUNDAWONDERFUL!!!


I've been wanting to compile this message for several weeks now.. Even as it's been processing in my soul..(my mind, emotions, and will!), much has happened to confirm its message... Blessed reading!!!
    ABUNDAWONDERFUL is the title of a song our daughters sang  as children in a musical about how we are sheep under the care of our perfect shepherd! Even, over 25 years ago, my soul could truly testify to how HE truly does desire the truth of this creative adjective to apply to our lives! In fact, for my nearly 46 years in the LORD, my 'LIFE VERSE' has been, (and still is!), found in JOHN 10 where JESUS presents Himself as the GOOD SHEPHERD, contrasted with a bad one. In verse 10, He states how a thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but HE comes to give us life abundant!! Needless to say, 'my' part of the verse is the second half! I wasn't even aware of the first half for over 25 years or so!! The volume of my gratitude compels me to share further! Where to begin?..

  Since today is leading us into 'Holy Week,' I will do so by pointing out how our SHEPHERD was able to stay on THE OLD RUGGED CROSS, as it relates to this theme of ABUNDANCE. In my humanity, I 'can only imagine' the magnitude of 'the JOY set before HIM' which enabled Him to 'endure the cross, scorning its shame!'(Hebrews 12:2) WHAT A LIMITLESS VOLUME OF JOY He must have known as HE was making it possible for me to be one of the multitude who would/could be writing this today!   Moving on.. Just in the past 6 days, two accounts of financial ABUNDANCE have 'come my way!' One need was for $6,000, but HE sent $7,000! The other was a church falling into the red, which ended upover $1,000 in the black the next month after 2 gals began an early morning prayer time once a week! Most of you, as well as me of course, can testify to how HE meets our needs at all times when we humble ourselves, obediently giving back to Him, and pray! In MALACHI 3:10, we are instructed to let HIM show his character as it pertains to abundance!  "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it."  In fact, this verse leads me to a good closing thought.. In JOHN 1:16, John the Baptist declared how 'out of the fullness of his grace, the Lord pours out blessing upon blessing,' followed by stating how GRACE and TRUTH  came through CHRIST JESUS!(vs.17)   Remember, the ABUNDAWONDERFUL life is far from limited by the material world!  How abundant is his GRACE, as received by you?     As I close, my challenge to all of us is to 'COUNT OUR BLESSINGS, NAMING THEM ONE BY ONE.. LETTING HIM SURPRISE (DELIGHT!) YOU BY WHAT OUR LORD HAS DONE!' (and desires to do continually, if we but pay grateful and obedient, attention!)  Because He Loves Us SO MUCH! Sheila

Sunday, April 6, 2014

HE REALLY DOES SHOW UP!

Around 3-4 weeks ago, I indicated I'd let you know just some of what "The Lord's been up to!" I can't recall a period of my life when I have heard of so many awe-inspiring accounts of current day evidence of his presence. So, here are just a few to'fuel' your love for our LORD a bit, or, a whole LOT more! 
The one which delighted me THE MOST, is how THE LORD really DID show up in a courtroom in order to perpetuate his work in a young lady. This gal had been convicted of some sort of wrong-doing, and seemed to be headed back into the world of incarceration, thus, a probable tail-spin in her emerging life of hope she'd found while 'out.' HE made sure the victim, and the victim's prayer group, were there in the courtroom so she could intervene in a manner resulting in the gal's release from jail time.. I don't know any more, except  the gal is being mentored by a neat Christian outreach worker who loves to help establish 'street' youth in lives of hope because of JESUS CHRIST. 
Secondly, one lady I sing with shared how during her stay in her last nursing facility, The LORD made Himself known after she'd been moved to a different room (out of her 'comfort zone' where she'd been situated for awhile.)  At 2:45 AM, she awoke to a lady by her bed who had miraculously walked into her room. (She'd been wheelchair-bound for several years!)  Offering the visitor a seat, she offered to read from a great book she read daily.  After reading Psalms 23,24, and 91 to the gal, a staff member entered, exclaiming something like, "Well, so-and-so, how DID you get in here!?" What my friend didn't know was that her non-conversant roommate was also awake to hear the Scriptures read. In the morning, the roommate spoke clearly about what she'd heard. My friend offered to read more, resulting in the gal coming to the LORD!
Thirdly, a dear, wheelchair-bound saint REALLY needed to be taken to the bathroom, but got no response to her call-light for a very long time! Finally, when truly desperate, she noticed a lady in her room who did what was necessary. Afterward, no one knew who she'd been, nor where she'd come from! HOW MANY WAYS CAN I SAY "HALLELUJAH?"
Finally, 2 brief accounts of true physical healing.. ONE, is of 'my very own,' dear husband's! His shoulder was getting increasingly worse over a period of months. While watching 700 CLUB at our athletic club one day, he received a word of knowledge about a shoulder being healed.  He's had no pain since!!  WOW!   Then, only yesterday, a gal I visited with shared how, as a young mom, she'd had serious tooth pain. Having no money to pay for a dental visit, she pressed her hand to her face, prayed with faith,  and received healing of the tooth!    I know there's one more story I have to tell, but it's escaped me for the moment! These should keep all of us smiling LOTS for awhile!          

Sunday, March 2, 2014

IT'S 'T' TIME!

If you are a golfer, or of British lineage, you probably delight when hearing, "It's 'T' time!"  Here, of course, I have other 'T's intended! Simply put, I have recently welcomed 4 of them into my soul by realizing since JESUS is the Way, The TRUTH, and the Life, I can TRUST Him, resulting in THANKSGIVING and TESTIFYING.  Some of us got to enjoy the OLYMPICS on T.V. recently.. Kelly Clark, who is one of our USA snowboarders that won GOLD  12 years ago, then bronze in Vancouver 2010, followed bybronze again this time  was miserable and suicidal a few years ago in spite of 'fame and fortune.' When another competitor's friend consoled her after a blotched attempt by saying, "That's OK. GOD STILL LOVES YOU," Kelly overheard with a starving, desperate soul, which responded with an 'AHA' moment of hope! Kelly tells how she realized, "If God loves her, just maybe He loves me too?!" Thus, a comforting, testifying statement of God's unconditional love, overheard by one needy soul, was used by HIM to lead Kelly out of despair to HIMSELF, along with many others who are aware of her transformation.  MY 'bottom line' today is: Are we all as willing to state warmly, and enthusiastically, just how much GOD LOVES OTHERS!? When are the 'T'estify times in your life? Never hesitate to speak the reason for your hope within... Ask the Lord for opportunities to do so.. You will be amazed at what HE does! 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

NOT ASHAMED...?



HAVE YOU EVER thought about life as a sheep? They aren't exactly glamorous, but they are certainly valued! Good shepherds lay down their lives for their sheep. I am thinking of a shepherd who retrieves a lamb which is in trouble, or is having a hard time 'keeping up' with the others. We have all seen pictures of Him with a lamb draped around his neck. How assuring this is. That lamb is being cared for and has no need to be ashamed of its 'neediness.'  Then, of course, I think of the well-known, FOOTPRINTS IN THE SAND poem I refer to often.  In this, the person asks the Lord why there was only one set of footprints in the sand after there had been two sets while Jesus walked next to him.. Our Lord answers, "It was then I carried you.."  What a wondrous life we live as we are cared for by HIM! Let’s see what He says about his intentions to carry us!
                 “Dear one, you may “feel” down, but I’m here to lift you up!
                   Not only that, I will fill your cup!
                   I’d noticed it was nearly empty, so I’m pouring in Me!
                   I’m giving my breath of LIFE to fill you to the brim.
           This way, when you’re ‘bumped,’ others will say,“She lives for Him!” 
                     It’s a joy to provide my Spirit-driven power,
                    as you function throughout your challenging hour. 
          Since my arms are strong, let me carry you along.
          I’ll hold you closely, as your soul erupts in song!
          You’ll no longer yield to that heaviness
                       experienced in moments of weakness.
          Discouragement vanishes as I replace despair with my                                 strength,  delightfully carrying you the full length!”                              Isaiah 40:11 presents the picture of our perfect Shepherd caring for us.. "He tends his flock like a shepherd; He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart." Remember, we are to have childlike openness to his offerings to us.. We are not to be proud or stubborn..saying, "I can do it myself!" He created us to need and to desire.  Isaiah 46:4 confirms, "Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you." Exodus 19:4, Psalm 103:5, and Isaiah 40:31 all refer to the familiar joy of being 'lifted up on wings of eagles,' as He empowers us to be carried up above our troubles.  He is the 'wind beneath our wings,' if one prefers to think of his compassion and power pictured thusly.                                                                                                                        Exodus 1:31 reminds us, 'In the desert, the Israelites saw how the LORD carried them as a father carries his children all the way' until they reach the intended place. Are you welcoming his tender, loving care for you as the dailyness of living goes on? I sure try to!                                                                                                                

HAST THOU NOT SEEN?

PSALM 73 is chock full of vivid accounts of how the ungodly, calloused towards the possibility of God, think and live.. I was especially amused by how they say,  "How would God know? Does the Most High know anything!?" This indicates they were aware of the Lord's existence and worthiness of exaltation, yet... How could/can they be so obstinate and blinded?   Personally, I am truly grateful for the tender heart/soul I have had for decades now because it allows me to appreciate how in PSALM 73, David states to the LORD, "Yet I am always with You; You hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but You? And earth has nothing I desire beside You! My flesh and my heart may fail, but You, oh Lord, are my portion forever!.. I have made you the Sovereign Lord, my refuge! I will tell of all your deeds..!" Even though the italicized words indicate my admission of further need for spiritual growth, it is truly wondrous being his child, resulting in a growing desire to honor and respond to HIM, my LORD, moment-by-moment. (This 'boils down to' me intentionally making choices I know will please Him... easier said than done!) I know most of you reading this can identify! It sure is wonderful to KNOW HIM personally, and that He doesn't give up on us.. In fact, as PROVERBS 30:5 says in essence, "We can make the Sovereign Lord our refuge for every word of God is flawless.. and, HE is our shield as we take refuge in HIM! Be blessed and be a blessing! BFN, dear readers... 



Friday, January 17, 2014

THE REST OF THE.......SERENITY PRAYER

I don't know about all of you, but I never knew there is a lot more to this often said prayer..After the 'famous' part which is GOD GRANT ME SERENITY TO ACCEPT THE THINGS I CANNOT CHANGE, COURAGE TO CHANGE THE THINGS I CAN, AND WISDOM TO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE... comes  LIVING ONE DAY AT A TIME; ENJOYING ONE MOMENT AT A TIME; ACCEPTING HARDSHIP AS A PATHWAY TO PEACE; TAKING, AS JESUS DID, THIS WORLD AS IT IS, NOT AS I WOULD HAVE IT; TRUSTING THAT YOU WILL MAKE ALL THINGS RIGHT IF I SURRENDER TO YOUR WILL, SO THAT I MAY BE REASONABLY HAPPY IN THIS LIFE AND SUPREMELY HAPPY WITH YOU FOREVER IN THE NEXT! AMEN                                            If I'd prayed this  prayer initially, I'd have changed 'hardship' to THANKFULNESS, as a daily, reliable PATHWAY TO PEACE (based on Philippians 4:6-7), and 'happy' toJOYFUL since I consider 'happiness' to be dependent upon circumstances and my attitude... I am sharing this today since I do love the inclusion of 'surrendering  my will to his and the reference to eternal bliss in his presence as well as being able to know 'heaven on Earth,' as I tell others is possible. (Who can argue with TRUE PEACE, HOPE AND JOY being a daily reality for those who count their blessings when they willingly welcome, receive, and delight in, his attentions and intentions towards them?) This is too long already, so I will close for now...May all who read this be glad they are HIS child, or choose to make the decision to become so! 1-888-NEED HIM is a great way to do so! (real people answer the phone!)                 Sorry! ONE MORE THOUGHT!  I have heard it stated that 'MAN'S CHIEF PURPOSE IS TO ENJOY AND GLORIFY THE LORD.' I AGREE HEARTILY.. This prayer reminds me of how true this can be!! BFN

Saturday, January 11, 2014

I NEED THEE EVERY HOUR... (repackaged!)

LORD, I NEED YOU                            Lord, I come, I confess
Bowing here I find my rest
Without You I fall apart
You're the One that guides my heart

Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You

Where sin runs deep Your grace is more
Where grace is found is where You are
And where You are, Lord, I am free
Holiness is Christ in me

Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You


Teach my song to rise to You
When temptation comes my way
And when I cannot stand I'll fall on You
Jesus, You're my hope and stay


Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You

You're my one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You


OTHER LYRICS FROM AN NEWER SONG... "You are the antonym of me!!"

Somehow, these lyrics don't need much commentary from me.. I just love how they put realities so succintly! May we always KNOW, and acknowledge our need for HIM! He is truly the 'opposite' of 'me'.. self-centeredness!!

LAND OF 'AWES'OME!

Recently, my BSF teaching leader asked us if we live in AWE and AMAZEMENT of our LORD and his ways... I was able to answer a heartfelt, YES! I am attaching AWED and AMAZED, as 'evidence' of such... He truly let me know several years ago that HE intends us to be ones who are definitely amazed and awed! Most all of us know that song that's been around for over 20 years... AWESOME GOD... 
This is the year THE WIZARD OF OZ movie is celebrating its 75th anniversary so this thought about being AWED by our Lord has been on  my mind a lot but I knew that AWE does not have a true plural! Then, today's  pun inclusive title came to mind!. WE can/do live in the 'land' of 'AWES' OMENo fake representations of a mighty being are needed as in the story/movie!                                   One song I love to lead is, MY SAVIOR'S LOVE because it begins with, 'I STAND AMAZED IN THE PRESENCE OF JESUS THE NAZARENE..!' I am also thinking of the contemporary I CAN ONLY IMAGINE...  Do you allow yourself time to not only count your blessings, but also your 'God winks' as HE touches you daily? Sure hope so! May we all be as those Luke gives account of in Luke 5:26  Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, "We have seen remarkable things today."                               Warmly, Sheila     
    AWED
        'by'
         Sheila Dean

Sometimes I wonder just why we wonder-
It’s as if we’re under
   something that mutes your thunder.

This thunder is only your voice which informs-
                     to give us a choice!

Why don’t we receive
       all that you’d like us to believe
            as you speak forth in the most majestic ways?
“Dear one, I intend to bless your days 
                                                 as you grow in my Word. 
          You’ll become living proof of all that you’ve heard!

    It’s not hard to see a lot of my glory displayed
         After you’ve opened your heart to the price I paid.

    You may breathe deeply of the beauty and splendor in
                                                 nature around you, 
        or, you may rejoice in my internal presence as I’m
                                           working to ’ground you’.   

    I’ll be patient as needed while you grow healthy and strong-
        for, being yielded to me, it won’t take long
                             for you to learn and love to SING MY SONG!”                                                                                                                                                                            AMAZED                                                                                                                            
          I am amazed in your presence, O Lord!
                  There’s nothing I need which you’ll not ‘afford.’

         Your attention to details fascinates me,
                  for everything I’ll ever require, you did foresee!

         It’s so wonderful to be yours every day-
                  knowing you’re trusting I’ll hear you say,
                       “I delight in being there at life’s every turn,
                                         as my desire is to help you learn.
                        My lessons for you are somewhat simple and few:
·        I’m ahead of you in all you do!
·        You’re created to desire me in those    moments too.
·        My thoughts about you are NOT only
                                                    a few!”

                    Lord, I know that your ways should NOT amaze,
                              but my awe and delight express themselves
                                                                   this way these days!