Yanking A Dog’s Ears

microphoneI have very strong opinions. Luckily, most of the time, I’ve learned to keep them to myself—for which the world is eternally grateful. Over the years, I’ve discovered that my beautiful pearls of wisdom aren’t always appreciated. In fact, my bits of advice can sometimes be seen as downright annoying. It took a while for me to realize that I didn’t always have to speak my mind. At first, it was VERY difficult not to share my thoughts. I was certain that the WHOLE PLANET would benefit from my golden words of wisdom. Fortunately for the sanity of my family and friends, I’ve discovered that I’m not always the wisest person in the room. And most of the time, I’ve learned to keep my mouth shut unless I’m directly asked for advice.

megaphoneOver the years, there have been times when I’ve said something and immediately wished that I hadn’t. The most dramatic lesson I learned occurred when I was in college. I was spending a vacation with one of my friends. On the third day of my stay, my friend had an argument with her husband. I was in the room with them, and they were very open about what they were discussing. As the argument continued, I quickly formed an opinion. I felt that my friend’s husband was completely right. And I thought my friend was TOTALLY wrong. I knew exactly what to say to change her mind. I was sure that my opinion was necessary! I was positive that my input was VITAL.

three-monkeysAs the argument continued, I opened my mouth to contribute, but before the words left my tongue. I heard the Lord speak. His voice wasn’t audible, but it was powerful. It was as if a message was dropped into my brain. The Lord simply said, “Excuse yourself and leave the room.”

 I’m not always the brightest bulb in the box, but I know enough not to ignore a direct heavenly order. I meekly excused myself, went to the guest room, and shut the door. I curled up in the rocking chair by the bed and reached for my Bible. I didn’t have a good grip, and the Bible slipped and fell open on my lap. When I looked down, I saw Proverbs 21:23, “Keep your mouth closed and you’ll stay out of trouble.”

I had to laugh! Rolling my eyes at the ceiling, I asked, “God are you talking to me?”

angry-dog-2I closed the Bible again and opened it at random. The first verse I saw was Proverbs 26:17, “Yanking a dog’s ears is no more foolish than interfering in an argument that isn’t any of your business.

Leaning back in the rocking chair, I closed my Bible and chuckled. I stayed in the guest room until my friend called me for lunch. By that time, her marital spat was over and things were back to normal. I’ve often wondered just what would’ve happened if I’d opened my big mouth and interfered. It’s quite possible that I would have lost a friend.

I learned a big lesson that day, and it’s one that I think about whenever I’m tempted to give an unsolicited opinion. Before I open my mouth, I ask myself if I’m about to yank a dog’s ears. Through experience, I’ve discovered that it’s great to have opinions, but most of the time, it’s even better not to voice them.

 

tin-can-phoneThe man of few words and settled mind is wise; therefore, even a fool is thought to be wise when he is silent. It pays him to keep his mouth shut.” Proverbs 17:27-28

 

Jan Elder #3–Author Interview

janice-elder-with-pink-flowers

Dear Friends, I’m delighted to have another opportunity to talk with Jan Elder! Jan is a wonderful author, and she’s also a kindhearted person. Our conversations always leave me feeling understood and valued. I really appreciate her!

Danele: Hello, Jan! I’m so glad that you’re able to talk with us today!

Jan: Danele, thank you for having me on your inspirational blog.  I am so happy to be here!

Danele: I’m happy you’re here as well! I can’t wait to learn more about you! Can you tell us where you feel the presence of God the most?

Jan: It may sound funny, but it seems like I feel the closest to God when I’m alone in my car. I listen to music (mostly Christian although anything with great chords and harmonies makes me happy) or I might be enjoying one of my favorite stations, or perhaps a CD of one of my beloved teaching ministers. But I find that when I am inspired, THE MOMENT I’m touched by His presence, turning off that sound system and talking to God as if He were right there in the seat next to me (and He is) helps me to feel wrapped in love. He listens. He hears me. And He understands like no one else. Now I think up reasons to go somewhere!

Danele: That’s wonderful! Time spent in the Lord’s presence is so precious! Now, Jan, what’s your favorite Bible story?

Jan: It seems like I’ve been hearing the story of Joseph everywhere I go these days and the importance of waiting on God’s timing. Knowing that when I want to “hurry up” God, remembering that He’s the one in control and that He sees the big picture helps me to stay in faith. Learning to trust that He’s got it all in His hands helps to settle me down. And also remembering that when Joseph was in prison—probably the time of his greatest despair—he still ministered to others. What a stellar example for when I feel down. What’s that old saying? It’s hard to feel down when you’re giving someone else a hand up.

Danele: That’s beautiful, Jan! Thanks for sharing your heart. I know that your family went through a difficult time lately. Would you like to talk about it?

Jan: A little over a year ago, my Aunt Jean died. She was 91, a fine Christian woman, and she was still mentally alert and in very little pain at the end. Not a bad way to go, but what moved me, though, was not just that I would miss her, but that she was my mother’s twin sister, and the last one of Mom’s siblings to pass away. As you might imagine, my mother took it hard. Now, not only was she an orphan with no living parents, but she was also the sole survivor in her family. The grief and sense of aloneness made mom’s health take a nosedive and she landed in the hospital. For the first time, this vibrant, “fully alive,” “fully engaged” woman began to draw in upon herself and voice that she was now ready to leave this world behind. She sounded on the brink of despair.

Danele: That’s awful, Jan! I’m so sorry!

Jan: I tell you, it scared me a little. Oh yes, my mother was ready to go to heaven—she had given her life to the Lord when she was ten—but never before had she talked about giving up and possessing the desire to go home to Jesus. When she made it out of the hospital, she was in rehab for another three weeks before she returned to her own independent apartment. I was able to visit her most days (she lives about an hour away from me) and gradually, her will to live returned as her health improved. We talked about what was behind this sense of despondency, discussed her purpose in life, and she began to see that she still had a lot of living to do.

Mom lives in a terrific retirement community along with 1,500 other senior citizens. Many of those people are, as of yet, unsaved. In fact, for most, where they are living now is their “last stop.” Mom had held many Bible studies since she moved there in 2003, she had led some of her friends to make that all-important decision to live a life in Christ, and she was still in reasonably good health and able to continue that work. She realized that her reason for living was to continue to show others that they were beloved children of God.

Today, at not quite 93, Mom is writing her sixth book, a collection of stories about dear friends she has known throughout her life. Yes, I am proud to say she knows how to use a computer, she emails, and she’s even on Facebook! I’m sure I will be helping her some with this new venture, but the ideas are all hers.

And what did I learn from all of this? Not only will I cherish every moment I still have with her here on earth, but it’s never too late for anyone to make a difference right where God has placed them. I only hope that when I’m a nonagenarian (and I very well might be because mom had several relatives live well into their hundreds) I can live out my life with such a magnificent purpose in mind.

Danele: Wow! That’s marvelous, Jan! Your mother sounds like a very special person! Now, here’s another question for you—what do you think heaven is going to be like?

Jan: I have heard that we all get jobs in heaven. Not jobs that are “work” but jobs that are FUN! So when I’m not singing and praising God (and the music is going to be GLORIOUS!!!), I’m going to be petting cats, playing fetch with the dogs, and galloping horses like the wind! After that, I’ll be walking with Jesus on a warm, sandy beach, surf lapping at our toes. And hey, everyone is invited, so let me know if you want to come along!

Danele: Oh, Jan! You just made me smile! Now, before I let you go, can you give us a list of the books you have written?

Jan: Sure! Manila Marriage App, A Semi-Precious Christmas, Love, Lies, and Fireflies, Frosting and Flurries (Boxed set of Christmas novellas with four other authors), and Moostletoe.

Danele: The holidays are approaching, and I know that Moostletoe is a Christmas story. Can you please share its back cover blurb?

Jan: Fresh out of divinity school, Rev. Samantha Evans is ready to conquer the world for Christ. She lands in Moose Creek, Maine, a tiny backwater town with more moose per square mile than men. Even worse, one of her new parishioners chews up new ministers for breakfast, and he’s determined to send her packing.

Forest ranger Eric Palmer is done with women. Determined to live simply with no encumbrances, he’s moved to Northern Maine to study the moose population. With Christmas right around the corner, he runs into his buddy, Sammie, the girl who’d been his best friend when they were teenagers. Unlike most of the women in his life, he trusts her implicitly. But could she ever be more than a friend?

When Samantha’s career is on the line, Eric must save her job and rescue his own shattered heart in the process. But how does Matilda the town moose factor in?

Danele: That sounds like fun! I know that Moostletoe can be purchased as part of Frostings and Flurries, a boxed set of Christmas novellas. Can you give us the purchasing link for the set?

Jan: https://www.amazon.com/Frosting-Flurries-Delicious-Christmas-Romances-ebook/dp/B01M7XCTP4/ref=la_B00VXW5F2C_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1479501937&sr=1-1

Danele: Moostletoe has also become available for purchase as an individual story outside of the box set. Can you give a link for purchasing the book individually?

Jan: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01NAEM0YM/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1480864890&sr=8-2&keywords=moostletoe

Danele: And finally, Jan, can you give us a link where we can keep updated on Moostletoe and your other books?

Jan: Of course! https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Elder/e/B00VXW5F2C

Danele: Jan, thank you so much for being with us today! I really enjoyed talking with you!

Jan: Danele, it’s been a privilege to be invited to appear on your blog today. Thank you for your ministry.

 

Friends, Jan Elder is a wonderful person! If you would like to learn more about her, or her books, please follow the links below. I hope you have a wonderful day!

http://janelderauthor.com

https://www.facebook.com/janice.elder.author

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13261561.Jan_Elder

 

Spinning Snowflakes

snowflake-1I love watching the snow falling outside my living room window. There’s nothing quite as peaceful as huge, lazy flakes drifting down from the sky. The earth seems quiet. Chaos is still. Crystal flakes dance and dip in a glorious ballet. They’re a testimony of God’s splendor, power, and love. The spinning snowflakes fill my soul with peace…

When I was growing up, there would be times when nature was especially beautiful, and my mother would grab my arm, smile, and say, “This is a memory!” From her, I learned the importance of fixing times of beauty into my mind. I learned to drink in lovely bits of scenery, breathe deeply, and whisper, “This is something to remember!

As I watch lazy snowflakes falling outside my window, I’m struck once again by the loveliness of creation. God is the ultimate artist, and I’m so glad that He created the masterpiece of our world. When life seems too hard, or when problems seem too complicated, it’s always good to look out a window at the magnificent vistas given to us by the Lord. After all, nothing seems quite as bad when you take a moment and watch snowflakes drifting from the sky.

 

snowy-waterGod’s voice is glorious in the thunder. We cannot comprehend the greatness of His power. For He directs the snow, the showers, and storm to fall upon the earth.”

Job 37:4-5

 

An Encouraging Word

pieToday is Thanksgiving, and once again, I’m spending the holiday alone. As you know, I suffer from Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, and it isn’t always possible for me to be around crowds. Back when I was in quarantine, adjusting to health restrictions was very difficult. Holidays weren’t a time of joy—they were a time of discouragement. I used to feel VERY sorry for myself on the holidays. I used to throw myself HUGE pity parties because I felt that I was missing all the fun. I have to smile now! Things are so different!!! I ENJOY holidays again. In fact, even when I’m alone, I have a blast! Why, you ask??? The answer is simple. I’ve learned that attitude trumps circumstance any day of the week–especially on holidays.

Recently, I was thumbing through one of my old prayer journals, and I found an entry written on Easter Sunday many years ago. It was one of my first holidays spent alone, and I can remember feeling very discouraged. As I prayed that day, I felt the Lord speak. Here’s what I felt God said:

Oh, precious child, I see and feel your pain and discouragement, but child it is temporary. You won’t be ill forever—that is not my plan or my purpose for you. Remain faithful a little longer and know that I have not forgotten you. I love you. I am preparing a good future for you. Trust me and rest in peace and joy.

Friends, whether you are spending the holiday alone, or whether you are surrounded by family and friends, know that God will be with you today. He will be the silent occupant at your table. He will be there, helping you, encouraging you, and blessing you. Ask for His peace, joy, and love to surround you—and it will.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday!!!

 

leaves 11“Let not your heart be troubled [Jesus said]. You are trusting God, now trust in me.” John 14:1

No, I will not abandon you or leave you as orphans in the storm—I will come to you.” John 14:18

 

Deborah M. Piccurelli #2–Author Interview

Deborah

Dear Friends, I’m so excited to have Deborah M. Piccurelli on my blog today! Deborah is a fantastic person! I count her as a real friend. Several times, I have asked her to pray for me, and I know her prayers have made a difference. She is not only a lovely person, she is also a prayer warrior, and I appreciate her so much!

Danele: Deborah, I’m so glad to have you with us today!

Deborah: Thank you, Danele! It’s an honor and a pleasure to be here.

Danele: The pleasure is all mine! I have really been looking forward to this interview, and I can’t wait to learn more about you! Can you describe a time when you’ve dramatically felt the presence of God?

Deborah: When I was dealing with a bizarre physical condition, I went to numerous doctors of every kind, who could never give the condition a name. They tried treating it with medicines that never helped. Sometimes, I would watch the 700 Club broadcasts, because I liked the uplifting stories they featured. Often, there would be a segment where two hosts would pray for their audience regarding healing. A few times it would sound like they were talking about my own problem, but as I listened further, it would turn out not to be. So, I said to the Father, “If you’re going to do this for me, I need to know specifics so I know that it’s me.” A few days later, I was cleaning my house when all of a sudden, a white haze came over the room, and I felt strongly compelled to turn on the TV to the 700 Club. It was just around the time they were praying for people. Soon, I heard one of them say that my condition was about to be healed. Then she mentioned something specific to my situation and said, “You’ll know this is you, because it’s heredity.” Through this woman, God repeated my own words to me! But dramatically feeling the presence of God is the point. I later realized that the haze that fell over the room was the Holy Spirit. And He MADE me turn that TV on. I had never experienced anything like that before. It put me in mind of how God led the Israelites out of Egypt with a cloud by day.

Danele: Wow! That’s so amazing! Thank you for sharing such a wonderful testimony! Now, here’s another question for you. Why do you think it’s important to sing praises to God?

Deborah: I believe that praising God serves more than one purpose. Certainly we praise Him to express our love and gratitude, but He has given us the act of praise as a weapon against the devil when he attacks, too. Praise also lifts us up and boosts our faith. No doubt about it, praise is good for all of us.

Danele: That’s so true! What a lovely answer! Deborah, where do you feel the presence of God the most?

Deborah: I don’t know why it happens this way, but I feel God’s presence the most during my morning prayer time. I’m up a 5:00 a.m. because it’s the best time to get alone with Him with no interruptions. It’s my favorite time, because He speaks to me so much more at that time than any other. The revelation knowledge He imparts to me is awe-inspiring.

Danele: I love early-morning prayer times too! Now, Deborah, why do you think it is important to read your Bible?

Deborah: Wow, there are so many reasons it’s important to read the Bible! It’s the major way God reveals Himself to us. It’s His will for us, His promises to us, His law, His power, a way He extends His love to us. It’s how we get His wisdom and the mind of Christ. It’s a weapon (sword of the spirit) against the devil. There’s more, but I think you get the idea.

Danele: I do indeed! Thank you so much for sharing your heart, Deborah. Now, before I let you go, can you give us a list of the books you have written?

Deborah: Of course! Hush, Little Baby (Sword of the Spirit Publishing), Love Comes Calling (Prism Book Group), and In the Midst of Deceit (Jireh Publishing – it’s out of print, but there are still some left on Amazon).

Danele: Besides writing books, I know that you also publish articles. Many of my readers have expressed interest in writing for magazines. Can you please explain the process to us?

Deborah: I never planned on writing short fiction for magazines, but this is how it happened for me: I write mostly books, and I have been working on TV and movie scripts, lately. But as a Christian fiction book author, I joined an organization called The Book Club Network that I heard of through American Christian Fiction Writers’ e-mail loop. They help connect authors with book clubs and other readers, and offer authors paid promotional packages to help with their marketing. I joined at the time of their inception some years back. Over a year ago, I called them with a question about one of their contests. One thing led to another, and the president, Fred, offered me some opportunities to promote my books, one of which would be to write three articles/stories in their monthly online magazine, Book Fun Magazine, to help get my name and work out there. After submitting the first story, I was contacted by the Sr. VP, asking if I would be interested in having my own monthly column of similarly themed stories. What a gift! The column is called Kingdom Conversations, because they focus on a believer’s conversations with the Lord.

As for the inner workings, for this particular magazine, they consider all of us on the team a family, so writing regularly for them begins with a relationship. Beyond that, I just follow guidelines they provide as far as word count, font, due date each month, etc. They want you to make sure the article or story is mistake free and just the way the writer would like it to be in print. Soon after, the original issue becomes live on Amazon. I imagine all magazines have their own way of doing things, though.

Danele: Wow! That’s so exciting! What a wonderful opportunity! Thank you so much for describing the process for us. I really appreciate it, and I know my readers do too! Can you please tell us how to find your articles?

Deborah: Recently, I asked if I could cut down on my frequency of writing the column, so they agreed to allow me to do so every other month. There will be one in the December issue, and semi-monthly going forward. But, if you go to www.bookfun.org, the magazine is always available through the website. You can access it for free the first five days after it becomes live. You don’t have to be a member of The Book Club Network, but If you join, the difference is, they will automatically send you a notice when it becomes available and provide the Amazon link to download it. If you are not a member, you can visit the website, but there is no guarantee it will be within the first five days. You can also search Amazon for Book Fun Magazine, where you can find the current issue, and also be able to purchase many of the back issues readers find so valuable. Also, any writer who is a member of ACFW will receive notice of its availability through the email loop. BUT, I invite all of your readers, Danele, to click on that link I’ve provided above, and join The Book Club Network. It’s free and has many benefits for both readers and writers alike. If you are an author, you might be especially interested to know that they already have a readership of approximately half a million!

Danele: That’s fantastic! Thank you so much for talking with us today, Deborah! I’ve learned a lot, and I’ve had such a great time!

Deborah: And thank you, Danele, for inviting me back! I am always honored to be here.

 

Friends, Deborah M. Piccurelli is such a marvelous person! If you would like to learn more about her, or her books, please follow the links below. I hope you have a wonderful day!

Website: www.deborahmpiccurelli.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/deborah.piccurelli

Twitter: @DebPiccurelli

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/DebPiccurelli

Amazon– Hush, Little Baby: http://tinyurl.com/qhgxd8h

Amazon– Love Comes Calling: http://tinyurl.com/pXyyym4

 

Like A Calf Let Out To Pasture

calf-1When I was growing up, I used to feed calves on my family’s dairy farm. When the calves reached a certain age, they were put out on pasture. The calves used to kick up their heels and leap for joy when they were released from their pens. I had so much fun watching them! Pasture day was a celebration!

As you know, I was ill for many years, and in quarantine for seven. And lately, I’ve been thinking about my calf-feeding days. When the calves were released from their captivity, their joy knew no bounds. I’m emerging from years of illness, and today, I want to express my thankfulness to the Lord!

Thank you, Lord, for staying close to me while I was in pain! Thank you, Lord, for encouraging me when I was discouraged! Thank you, Lord, for giving me wisdom and strength during the dark days! Thank you, Lord, for protecting me from further harm! Thank you, Lord, for forgiving me when I had a bad attitude! And thank you, Lord, for always loving me!

Friends, if you’re facing a battle today, look out from your prison of pain and gaze at the rolling pasture beyond your gate. The day WILL come when your trial ends and you’re led out to green fields. Pain NEVER last forever. Discouragement ALWAYS comes to an end. Nothing stays bad forever. EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE OKAY!

 

pastureSlowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!” Habakkuk 2:3b

But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in His wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture.” Malachi 4:2

 

Stuttering and Speaking

roses-dWhen I was growing up, I had some friends who stuttered. I could tell their stuttering frustrated them, but I couldn’t begin to understand their struggle. Later in life, I understood their struggle all too well. You see, one of the side effects of carbon monoxide poisoning is stuttering.

Before I learned that I was being poisoned by my faulty furnace, I worked in an office. I had lots of responsibilities, and almost all of them required me to speak clearly. Every night when I went home, I got another dose of carbon monoxide from my furnace, and every morning when I went to work, it became harder to do my job. I am a very precise person. I like feeling competent and on top of things. But the more carbon monoxide I unknowingly inhaled, the less in control I became. Eventually, as time passed, I staggered when I walked, I fainted when I stood, and worst of all—I stuttered when I talked.

speakStuttering was EXTREMELY frustrating. I would know exactly what I wanted to say, but it was as if something was broken in my brain. I couldn’t get my tongue to form the words. And when I forced my tongue to move, my speech was slow and halting. Many times, I couldn’t get my tongue to move at all, and I would stand in mute dismay, visualizing exactly what I wanted to say but unable to speak the words. It was as if I’d been bound and gagged.

As the months passed, my condition worsened. I had to clutch a wall for support when I walked, and I could barely hold a conversation. Soon it was time for my yearly employee evaluation. The year before, my boss told me that I’d been given one of the best employee evaluations and one of the highest raises. snowy-mtsI knew this year would be different, and I was petrified. I didn’t know what was wrong with me, but I knew it was hindering my job performance. My boss asked me to keep track of my hours and duties to see if I was being given too many tasks. Determined to keep my stuttering at a minimum and to make the meeting easier, I began fashioning meticulous charts. Each evening, I spent hours putting together a packet that detailed exactly what I did each day. In my way of thinking, the charts would help me explain what my stumbling tongue could not say. Even if I couldn’t verbally express a point I wanted to make, I could direct my boss to a certain page in the packet and ask my boss to view a certain chart. In my way of thinking, creating the packet was the best way for me to prepare for the meeting. It would help me compensate for my new handicap.

dahliasThe day of my evaluation, I was a nervous wreck. I was told that I wouldn’t just be meeting with my boss but also with members of the board. I made extra packets and said a prayer. When I went into the meeting, I was directed to a chair. Before I sat down, I carefully handed each person in the room one of my packets. After the meeting began, my boss looked at the packet and said ten horrible words, “I don’t think we need this. We can just talk.” With that, my boss tossed my carefully prepared packet onto the table. The board members did the same.

yosimite-valleyI can still remember the horrible sound of those packets hitting the table. In truth, it is the only thing I can remember clearly about that meeting. Every time I was asked a question, my mind would freeze. I knew what I wanted to say, but I couldn’t get the words out. When I was finally able to force my tongue to move, I stumbled over each word. Sometimes, I would get stuck on a certain letter, and I would keep repeating an “s,” “t,” or “d” sound. That meeting was one of the most horrible experiences of my life. Luckily, carbon monoxide poisoning also causes amnesia and short term memory problems, so I don’t remember much of what took place—and I don’t want to remember. It’s one of those events that I’m happy to let the gray haze of amnesia obscure.

peaceful-lake-2I’m sure that the people in the meeting tried their best to be kind—they were all kind people. But regardless of what they said, I knew my job was coming to an end. It wasn’t suggested that I leave, but inwardly, I knew the writing was on the wall. That writing became even clearer when my condition worsened and I couldn’t make it through the day without vomiting or fainting. I hated quitting my job, but I knew I couldn’t continue.

Later, when the root cause of my illness was uncovered and the carbon monoxide leak in the furnace was discovered, I began to slowly recover. Even when the vomiting and fainting stopped, the stuttering continued. I would avoid talking on the phone because my halting speech sounded so terrible. Deep inside my heart, I felt extremely frustrated and angry. I had always taken pride in my ability to communicate clearly. I couldn’t believe how much damage the carbon monoxide had done. I knew that I easily could have died, but living was proving to be a challenge. It was so frustrating to feel unable to express my thoughts. I can remember having people ask me simple questions, and I would stare at them in desperation—unable to form the words.

purple crocusAs time passed, and the years slowly rolled by, my stuttering began to clear. Today, I have very little trouble conveying my ideas through spoken speech, and I only stutter on occasion. But even though the stuttering has stopped, it left a scar. That scar is both a blessing and a curse. Stuttering taught me to slow down and weigh each word. It also taught me the value of clear communication.

Spiritually, my stuttering experience gave me new insight into Moses. Moses stuttered. In fact, he stuttered so much that he begged God to choose someone else to deliver the Israelite nation. He was afraid that no one would listen to his stuttering speech. He was also probably afraid that he would sound like a fool.

We are all called to be God’s ambassadors to world. We are called to tell the world about Christ’s love. Talking to people can be intimidating. It can make us feel tongue-tied. But God didn’t let Moses off the hook, and even though Moses stuttered, he was able to lead the Israelites out of slavery and to the promise land.

Three crosses sunsetI used to be very confident about my ability to communicate. When I stuttered, that confidence was shattered. But now that I can speak clearly again, I’ve learned that my confidence shouldn’t come from my own abilities, but from God speaking through me. The Bible is full of ordinary people who felt they had nothing to offer. It was those same ordinary people who ended up doing marvelous things for God. Their very lack of ability qualified them to be used by the Lord. 1 Corinthians 1:26-29 says that God chooses to use people who are weak because it makes it obvious that He is at work. There’s something beautiful and freeing about that. I really like knowing that I don’t have to measure up—I just have to show up. Lots of times I feel weak, flawed, and extremely weird—but that’s okay. God likes using imperfect people to further His kingdom. Stuttering made me slow down and realize that isn’t my abilities that can impact the kingdom of God—it’s God reaching down and using me for His glory.

 

pink-beachBut God said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’”

-2 Corinthians 12:9a