Shirley's Soliloquies #542
What Kind of Tale?
The New Year looms ahead,
and we are immensely thankful for so much!
Yesterday, our youngest daughter had her checkup with the doctor
to see if she could get a release to go back to work.
She showed him her wrist which was bruised and very painful.
He was surprised to find no pulse where the IV had been.
He said she had a blood clot in her artery and had to once again go to hospital.
We went, and the dopler confirmed the doctor's diagnosis.
So she is on blood thinners until the pain gets too extreme,
then hospitalization looms on the horizon again.
But we are thankful for the good report on her carotid artery,
and seek the Lord's intervention in the blocked artery.
So as the new year looms ahead,
I am thankful for the symptoms which sent her to the doctor;
I am thankful for excellent doctors who caught her problem;
I am thankful that her prospects in the new year
are looking so much better.
I am thankful for her sunny, cheerful disposition
that was in evidence all through these experiences.
I am thankful that she consistently quotes Scriptures
to bolster her faith and outlook on life!
The Psalmist penned (90:9),
“We spend our years as a tale that is told.”
I wonder what kind of a tale my life has been telling?
The pages in my life's book have certainly been interesting.
I was feeling much pressure and sometimes turmoil, however,
whenever I quoted Scriptures and sought the Lord's presence,
He was faithful in sending His perfect peace to my soul.
How thankful I am for God's word in the midst of times of stress,
so that at times like when my “baby” (54 years old)
was going through all these difficulties,
God's Word was a constant comfort to my soul.
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace
whose mind is stayed on Thee,
because He trusteth in Thee.”
What a week this has been!
It came to a head when my daughter,
finally went to the doctor, who sent her to the hospital for tests.
They sent her straight to the Emergency Room where she was admitted.
The next day she had surgery to remove 90% blockage
that was in her carotid artery.
When I had time to think about it all,
I realized how good God’s timing was!
It brought to mind how the apostle Paul wrote that:
“When the fullness of time had come,
God sent forth His Son born of a woman…
It definitely was ‘just the right time’ for Him to be born!
The world had become ‘desperately wicked,
There was all kinds of vice everywhere,
prostitutes were even in temples,
families were breaking up, they needed a Savior.
There was never a more perfect time for Christ to come:
The Greek culture had spread to the known world;
the Roman Empire had brought about the Pax Romana;
roads were being built making communication easier;
Then Caesar Augustus demanded that all people
had to go to the place of their birth to be registered.
That brought Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem
which fulfilled the prophecy of Micah 5:2!
At that moment in time, the angel of the LORD
came to the shepherds fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah 9:6:
“Do not be afraid, for behold I bring you good tidings
of great joy which will be to all people.
“For there is born to you this day in the city of David
A Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
It might be a small contrast, but I do thank God for His timing
in saving my daughter’s life, and I also thank Him for His perfect timing
in sending His Son, making possible His gift of eternal life.
Shirley's Soliloquies #540
Recently, I heard a message that focused on many
of the Old Testament prophecies regarding Jesus Christ.
So I decided to go to the Internet to check them out
There were multiple websites regarding this subject
I searched just one site & counted 53 specific prophecies.
The references ranged from Jesus’ lineage, birth, ministry,
His last week, suffering, death, burial, resurrection, & ascension.
How fascinating are these prophecies proving divine inspiration!
It had to be God’s miraculous hand orchestrating
all these events,
especially since there were sometimes thousands of
between the prophecy and fulfillment.
For example, Micah 5:2 predicts the exact place of Jesus birth:
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are little among the thousands of Judah,
yet out of you shall come forth to Me
the One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings
forth are from of old, from everlasting.”
Its fulfillment is described in Luke 2:4-7, 11:
“Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth,
into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem,
because he was of the house and lineage of David,
to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife,
who was with child. So it was, that while they were there,
the days were completed for her to be delivered.
And she brought forth her first-born Son, wrapped
in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger,
because there was no room for them in the inn…”
For unto you is born this day…
a Savior who is Christ the Lord.”
Shirley's Soliloquies #539
As I was thinking about the nature of God,
My mind almost blew a fuse!
God created the heaven and the earth,
And He loved us so much that
He became a man, and as John said,
“He dwelt among us”
Then He died on the cross,
Paying the penalty for everyone’s sins.
He now offers eternal life to all who believe.
No words seem adequate to describe Who He is,
and what He did except maybe
Amazing! Incredible! Unfathomable!
Indescribable! Awesome! Incomprehensible!
I think that words are completely inadequate
to express how I feel, or that they come anywhere close
to describe the extent of His great sacrifice!
The Bible declares:
“And without controversy
Great is the mystery of godliness:
God was manifested in the flesh,
Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels,
Preached among the Gentiles,
Believed on in the world,
Received up in glory.
1 Timothy 3:16
So I can once again exclaim (2 Corinthians 9:15):
“Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift!”
Still Giving Thanks
What a fantastic week we’ve had!
Thanksgiving Day has past,
But the memories still last.
How thankful I am for so many blessings:
All three of our children were with us,
And even our granddaughter from Ohio came.
The girls prepared a delicious feast for us,
And we gave thanks to the Lord for our family
And for His goodness and care for us all.
Though my sisters and I are far apart physically,
I feel blessed to have close contact with them.
Many good friends and relatives also called
With greetings and generous offers
of sharing their feasts with us.
The weather was fantastic --
With the sun shining brilliantly on the Gulf
So that it looked like millions of tiny diamonds
On the water as far as the eye could see.
My mind kept repeating as did the Psalmist (92:1-2):
“It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High;
To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning
And Your faithfulness every night.”
Then more than anything else,
I have to fall before the Lord in humble adoration
And exclaim in the words of 2 Corinthians 9:15,
“Thanks be unto God
For His unspeakable gift.”
My heart is truly filled with thanksgiving.
First for the gift of salvation, then for my sisters,
My children, and for my beloved husband of 59 years.
In my opinion, there is probably no better way
for me to say thanks than in the following words:
“How can I say thanks for the things you have done for me
Things so undeserved yet you gave to prove your love for me
The voices of a million angels cannot express my gratitude
All that I am or ever hope to be I owe it all to Thee
To God be the glory, To God be the glory
To God be the glory for the things He has done
With His blood, He has saved me
With His power, He has raised me.
To God be the glory for the things he has done
Just let me live my life and let it be pleasing, Lord to Thee
And should I gain any praise, let it go to Calvary.
With His blood, He has saved me
With His power, He has raised me.
To God be the glory for the things He has done.
– Andrae Crouch
The Psalmist penned the following,
“What shall I render unto the LORD
for all His benefits toward me?”
Then a few verses later, he answered:
“I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving,
and will call upon the name of the LORD.”
Psalm 116:17 (KJV)
The apostle Paul continually stressed the need to be thankful.
He went so far as to say, 'in everything give thanks!'
So though I am grateful that our country has set aside
one special day for Thanksgiving,
might I remember God's words and not confine
my giving of thanks to just one day a year,
but to every day and in every way!
Shirley's Soliloquies #536
How wonderful it is to be able to look
forward to something with anticipation!
That is what has been happening with me lately.
All week I have been anticipating this coming week,
because my daughter and granddaughter are coming.
Besides their coming, the following week,
my son will also be coming.
And my other daughter lives next to me!
So this means that we all will be able
to celebrate Thanksgiving together!
As I was happily thinking about our coming reunion
an old song came to my mind and hasn't left it yet!
It tells of another wonderful, joyous day of reunion.
Written by Jim Hill, it goes like this:
“What a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see
And I look upon His face, the One who saved me by His grace;
When He takes me by the hand and leads me thro' the Promised Land,
What a day, glorious day that will be!”
1 Corinthians 2:9 confirms the prospect
of this glorious day:
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared
for those who love Him.”
From all that the Holy Scriptures reveal,
that will truly be a glorious time!
It will be a day of great rejoicing,
and truly worthy of anticipation.
How thankful I am to be looking forward
not only to the coming of my children,
but also to the coming of my God and Savior, Jesus Christ!
“Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing
of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.”
Shirley's Soliloquies #535
How Great is Our
As I read through the book of Jeremiah,
there are many times when I stop and need to meditate.
“Thus says the LORD:
'Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom,
Let not the mighty man glory in his might,
Nor let the rich man glory in his riches;
But let him who glories glory in this,
that he understands and knows Me,
That I am the LORD,
exercising lovingkindness, judgment,
and righteousness in the earth.
For in these I delight,' says the LORD.”
These words speak not only of God's mighty power,
but of His judgments, as well as His lovingkindness.
Jeremiah 10:12-13 continues,
“He has made the earth by His power,
He has established the world by His wisdom.
And has stretched out the heavens at His discretion.
When He utters His voice,
There is a multitude of waters in the heavens:
And He causes the vapors to ascend
from the ends of the earth.
He makes lightning for the rain,
He brings the wind out of His treasuries.
Certainly these words are worthy of my meditation;
It's no wonder that Romans 15:4 tells me that,
“Whatever things were written before
were written for our learning,
that we through the patience
and comfort of the Scriptures
Open My Eyes
“Open my eyes that I may see
Glimpses of truth Thou hast for me.
Place in my hands the wonderful key
That will unclasp and set me free.
Silently now I wait for Thee,
Ready my God Thy will to see.
Open my eyes, illumine me,
– Clara Scott
My heart aches for a talented young man that I know.
He is losing weight and is not feeling well,
but the doctors cannot find anything wrong with him.
I keep wondering if the base of his problems
is that He rejects Jesus Christ as his Savior?
Is he fighting against committing his life to the Lord
so much that it could be affecting him physically?
Yes, such is entirely possible.
So this morning, this song is on my mind,
and I put myself in his shoes
and I sing from the bottom of my heart,
Open my eyes that I may see
Glimpses of truth Thou hast for me.
Place in my hands the wonderful key
That will unclasp and set me free.
Silently now I wait for Thee,
Ready my God, Thy will to see.
Open my eyes, illumine me,
“Behold, now is the accepted time;
behold, now is the day of salvation.”
2 Corinthians 6:2
Oh, that he would open his heart, and that he would
“Taste and see that the Lord is good,
Happy is the man who trusts in Him.”
Shirley's Soliloquies #533
and again I say rejoice!”
What a difficult exhortation!
I begin some self-talk, 'The bedroom, bathroom, and hall
are all a horrible mess -- nothing is finished yet!
Besides that, the sunroom is full of the things
that belong in the bedroom,
so that's a mess too!'
'But,' my mind quickly adds,
'I am thankful that I do have a roof over my head,
I do have a place where I can sleep --
and the mold is all torn out and away from here.'
For those things, I am thankful, and I can rejoice!
'Still,' my body reminds me,
'my back hurts, it hurts to stand, it hurts to walk,
and the doctor here has given me more pain pills,
and anti-inflamatories which don't help at all.'
But I am thankful that I can still stand and walk.
There are plenty people who cannot even do that.
So I am thankful, and can rejoice!
Yet, at times I find myself becoming downcast,
and finding it difficult to be thankful.
It is at those times that I cast myself on the Lord
and earnestly ask Him to help me.
In myself, I cannot lift myself up,
but He is able, and praise Him, He does!
And so, now that I am feeling upbeat again,
I am even grateful that those floors were soggy,
because otherwise we might never have known
about the mold developing and spreading.
And I'm thankful that
others who were much worse than I
were brought to my mind,
so that I can pray for them,
and end up rejoicing in the Lord,
thanking Him for His presence and comfort!
Shirley's Soliloquies #532
Oh, the sinking feeling of watching the workmen cut away
the damaged floors and wall from the water leaks in our mobile home.
They started at the source of the water leakage,
and found that the damage was worse than we had thought.
But they tore out all the old:
carpeting, insulation, even the wood!
And they replaced it all with new.
The difference in the smell was apparent right away.
I felt I could breathe much better --
a weight seemed to have been lifted
as I looked forward to the new.
It reminded me of a song we used to sing with gusto:
“The best thing I ever did do...
was take off the old robe and put on the new.
The old robe was dirty, all tattered and torn,
The new robe was spotless, had never been worn,
oh yes the best thing I ever did do
was take off the old robe and put on the new.”
And that was exactly what was happening in those rooms,
they were dirty, moldy, and smelly,
but when that was torn out and the new replaced,
it was the best thing that ever could have happened!
And it's the same with the spiritual life--
the apostle Paul wrote that,
“One thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind
and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.
I press toward the goal for the prize
of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
May this also be my goal to not look behind
and to hang on to all that has passed,
but to look ahead to all that I can do for eternity
and also to all that God has in store for me.
Shirley's Soliloquies #531
Spreading Good or
I'm sitting next to an open window,
breathing in the fresh air.
It feels wonderful!
Especially since finding out
that our mobile home has mold!
We had rented it to a young couple with two young children
who had lost their home and car in a flood and were homeless.
Unfortunately, when we got here several days ago,
we realized that the floors in the bathroom and bedroom were soft.
It felt as though we might go right through them!
So my husband got pieces of plywood and put them on the floors.
As he searched for the cause of it, he found that a pipe had a leak.
He turned the water off and called a plumber who repaired the pipe.
However when they lifted the carpet, there was mold,
and the floor and wall next to it were already crumbling.
Now we are waiting for a repairman of mobile homes.
He will be coming and hopefully fix it all.
Thinking about how the mold has spread
reminded me of how one spoiled apple in a bushel
can contaminate and ruin all the others around it.
In the same way, I remember my husband telling my grandson:
“Friends are like elevators, they can either take you up or down!”
How important it is to choose one's friends wisely,
for it is true that they can influence either for the good or the bad.
The Bible warns about this:
“A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.”
“Know ye not that a little leaven
leaveneth the whole lump?
Purge out therefore the old leaven,
that ye may be a new lump...”
1 Corinthians 5:6-7
Shirley's Soliloquies #530
A Special Bond
What a fantastic week-end!
Seeing and being with dearly loved people,
some from forty to fifty years ago!
They came from near and far to be at the
reunion of members & friends of Calvary Chapel.
that's how it should be in the close bond of Christians.
The Bible likens this special relationship to the human body:
“If one member suffers,
all the members suffer with it;
or if one member is honored,
all the members rejoice with it.
Now you are the body of Christ,
and members individually.
1 Corinthians 12:26-27
And that's how it seemed when we gathered together.
Even though so very many years had passed,
it was as if none had elapsed!
It truly was a great cause for rejoicing to see
all that the Lord had done in so many lives
during the years since we had last seen them.
But then sadly, there were those who were suffering,
some from serious physical challenges,
and some from the loss of loved ones.
It was true, we suffered with them.
But, on the other hand,
how we rejoiced as we heard what the Lord
had been doing and was doing in their lives.
Truly, as I reflect over it all,
I exclaim with the Psalmist in 126:3:
“The Lord hath done great things for us,
of we are glad!”
Has it really been 50 years already?
Yes! It was fifty-two years ago
that we returned from the mission field
and moved to Massillon, Ohio.
It was there that Jack & Elaine Robinson heard my husband teach a Bible study
and were amazed that the Bible began to make sense to them.
Naturally they wanted to share this with their friends.
So they asked him if he would lead a study in their home.
Of course he was delighted to share with everyone.
Amazingly, their friends came, but none came with a Bible.
(However, the women did bring their knitting needles!)
This was the condition we found everywhere in that area.
So as those people came and heard, they invited others,
and the word soon spread around the area.
People were eager to understand God's Word.
Those studies grew until the people felt a need
for their children to hear the Good News also.
It was with much prayer that they stepped out in faith.
The Lord honored their requests and continued to lead them.
He answered their prayers in amazing ways.
A church building was found, but it needed much loving care.
So the people rolled up their sleeves and began to work.
No matter how menial the job, or how difficult, they did it!
And that's how Calvary Chapel was born 50 years ago!
God's Word spread, not only in our church,
and in our area, but around the world.
Many of our young people gave their lives for service to the Lord.
And God continued to bless them for their faithfulness.
Yes, it takes just one person to make something happen.
In this instance, it was the desire of Jack and Elaine to share the gospel.
Then it is God Who multiplies and blesses the service given to Him.
“So shall my Word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to me void.”
Isaiah 55:11 (NKJV)
Songs in My Heart
What exciting days lie ahead!
My daughter and granddaughter are coming
for a visit while we are still home.
They have expressed a desire to walk along the sandy shore
and maybe get their feet wet in Lake Michigan.
My granddaughter even said she'd like to go para-sailing.
I'm hoping that business will be closed for the season!
My heart would be in my throat if I'd watch them high in the sky!
They will then drive us back to their home in Ohio
where we will look forward to our visit
with our beloved family and friends.
An added bonus will be seeing our grandchildren
and five of our great-grandchildren.
So yes, these are exciting days!
As I was thinking of all of these events,
I realized that they were only possible
because of the leading of the Lord Jesus Christ.
If it had not been for my desire to serve Him
and going off for training to a Bible Institute,
I would not have met my husband-to-be.
He had the same desires as I did,
so we came together and began a life of service
that has brought blessings to us and to others.
As a result, our physical family and our spiritual family came
into being, all because of the wonderful grace of our loving Lord.
Anna Russell (1921) wrote the words
for a song set to music by Ernest Sellers.
It has been in my mind for the last couple of weeks,
“Wonderful, wonderful Jesus,
In the heart He implanteth a song....”
My experience reflects what the psalmist said:
“He hath put a new song in my mouth—even praise unto our God...
Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust.”
MOSES reminded the children of Israel
of great things that God had done for them.
“You shall fear the LORD your God...
He is your praise, and He is your God,
who has done for you these great and awesome things
which your eyes have seen.”
DAVID also reminded the leaders of Israel
to “thank, and to praise the LORD God...”
(1 Chronicles 16:4) and he wrote:
“O give thanks to the LORD! Call upon His name;
Make known His deeds among the peoples!
Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him;
Talk of all His wondrous works!
PAUL quoted the Psalmist (117:1) when he told the Gentiles,
“Praise the LORD, all you Gentiles!
Laud Him, all you peoples!” (Romans 15:10-11)
JOHN records that he heard
“a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven”
praising the Lord our God,
“'Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power
belong to the Lord our God!”
then a voice came from the throne of God said,
Revelation 19:1, 5
All throughout the Bible
people are instructed to Praise the Lord God,
remembering all the great things He has done.
And so, I too want to continue to Praise the Lord
for His loving presence and constant guidance.
“The Lord has done great things for us,
and we are glad.
Shirley's Soliloquies #526
"What the World
Jackie DeShannon had a string of hits in the l960's,
one of which keeps running through my mind these days.
“What the world needs now is love, sweet love,
It's the only thing that there's just too little of
What the world needs now is love, sweet love
No, not just for some but for everyone.
When I listen to the news these days,
it seems that just the opposite is true.
Instead of love, sweet love,
there seems to be an abundance of hatred,
and all too much violence.
These have resulted in broken laws,
and unimagineable inhuman deeds.
Civil wars are causing tremendous suffering
in an increasing number of places in our world.
My heart aches and cries out,
'Oh, if only people knew the LORD in a personal way.
They would be filled with love instead of violence,
and so much of this suffering would cease.'
For the Bible states that...
“Love is patient and kind.
Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.
It does not demand its own way.
It is not irritable,
It keeps no record of being wronged.
It does not rejoice about injustice,
but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.
Love never gives up
never loses faith,
is always hopeful
and endures through every circumstance.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NLT)
Jesus said (John 13:36),
“By this shall all men know that you are my disciples
if you have love one to another.”
'The berries are so small!'
I kept thinking as I looked
at the few remaining on the bushes.
My sister had called and told me
that today was the last day for picking.
We had been hoping to go all summer,
but somehow the time had gotten away from us.
Yet we still had our minds on those fresh berries,
so we stayed, searching for the best ones left.
I wonder how often opportunities are missed...
The Bible tells of an instance when Thomas,
an apostle of Jesus, wasn't with the others.
It was after Jesus had been crucified.
I can imagine the 'let-down' the apostles had felt.
They had hoped that Jesus was their pomised Messiah,
but he had been killed and placed in a tomb.
Their hopes were crushed...
at least that's what Thomas probably thought.
He might have felt, 'What's the use?'
But staying away from their fellowship
caused him to miss out on the joyous blessing.
Jesus had risen and had appeared to the others!
How often after some service or event
had I wished someone else had been there,
for it seemed that they had missed a blessing.
But I wonder how often I might have missed out....
It could have happened as it did
when I missed the best blueberries...
simply because I had procrastinated.
James 4:17 states:
“Therefore to him who knows to do good
and does not
Shirley's Soliloquies #524
Inner Peace in my
I look at the world around me, and what do I see?
So much trouble and turmoil!
How then can I possess inner peace?
Once again, the Bible has the answer.
“You will keep him in perfect peace,
whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.”
“Peace I leave with you,
My peace I give to you;
not as the world gives do I give to you,
Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
These things have I spoken to you,
that in Me you may have peace.
In the world you will have tribulation,
But be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
“Now the God of peace be with you all.”
“For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace.”
1 Corinthians 14:33
“But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace...”
“...and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding
will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
“Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way
The Lord be with you all.”
2 Thessalonians 3:16
I will cut these verses out, and tape them to my bathroom mirror,
then the first thing every morning, I will meditate on them!
Shirley's Soliloquies #523
Many Kinds of Faces
As a child, I learned to put on many faces.
When I went to my Aunt Rena's house,
I was to be very quiet, and try to be unnoticed.
When I went to my Aunt Lena's house,
I wanted to be outside as much as possible
so I could play with my friends,
climb trees, or watch the birds.
But when I was home, I could just be myself,
whether I happened to be happy or sad.
My mom was always there to help me!
Is it true that people still put on many different faces?
Outwardly they might appear happy, yet inwardly be hiding turmoil?
My mom once told me,
“Honey, you never know the burdens people are bearing.
They can seem to be happy, but inwardly they are hurting.
Every family has its own cross to bear.”
Yes, unfortunately some people need to put on different faces.
It reminded me of the recent news story of a famous comedian
who reportedly had deep depression that led to his suicide.
My husband tells about a man who had been depressed for a long time.
So he finally went to a psychiatrist who listened carefully,
then told him that a circus, with a famous clown, was in town.
Sadly, the man turned to the psychiatrist and said,
“I am that clown.”
A little song that we used to sing has good advice:
“All your anxiety, all your care, bring to the mercy seat, leave it there
never a burden that He cannot share, never a friend like Jesus.”
If only every person could know this Friend,
no matter how sad the face might feel, God is always there.
1 Peter 5:7 gives comfort to all those hurting hearts:
“Casting all your care upon Him
He cares for you.”
Shirley's Soliloquies #522
"Tell It To Jesus"
With all the recent chaos evident in the world: wars, weather,
and personal relationships, it is easy to become discouraged.
Jeremiah E. Rankin (1828-1904) penned the words,
“Are you weary, are you heavyhearted?
Tell it to Jesus, Tell it to Jesus,
Are you grieving over joys departed?
Tell it to Jesus alone.
“Tell it to Jesus, tell it to Jesus,
He is a friend that's well-known;
You've no other such a friend or brother,
Tell it to Jesus alone.”
The Bible encourages the same thing in the words
of one dynamic translation of Philippians 4:6 (NLT),
“Don't worry about anything,
instead, pray about everything.
Tell God what you need,
and thank Him for all He has done.
Then you will experience God's peace,
which exceeds anything we can understand.
His peace will guard your hearts and minds
as you live in Christ Jesus.”
How this verse has helped me...more times than I can count!
Yet, my mind darts back to the Psalmist who cautioned:
“If I had cherished iniquity in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened.”
However, with a note of relief and joy, I continue to read,
“But truly God has listened;
he has attended to the voice of my prayer.
Blessed be God, because he has not rejected my prayer
or removed his steadfast love from me!”
Psalm 66:18-20 (ESV)
God's Word Remains
They are beginning to wilt!
I couldn't believe the beautiful flowers
my husband gave me were fading already.
They had been so beautiful!
But now, they were turning brown
and the petals were dropping.
My heart felt heavy to see it.
But the Bible tells about flowers fading...
The grass withers, the flower fades,
But the word of our God stands forever.
Isaiah 40:8 (NKJV)
That's a wonderful reassurance!
Jesus confirmed it when He said
that the heaven and earth would pass away,
but His words would never pass away (Matthew 24:35).
The apostle Peter drew an application from it:
You were cleansed from your sins
when you obeyed the truth
So now you must show your love
to each other as brothers and sisters.
Love each other deeply with all your heart.
For you have been born again,
not to a life that will quickly end.
Your new life will last forever
because it comes from the eternal,
living word of God.
As the Scriptures say,
“People are like grass,
their beauty is like a flower in the field.
The grass withers and the flower fades.
But the word of the Lord remains forever.”
1 Peter 1:22-25 (NLT)
Shirley's Soliloquies #520
Not Enough Words
How is it possible to have read
a passage in the Word of God
many times before, and yet, suddenly,
when reading it again, it becomes more alive?
This happened to me recently while reading Psalm 33.
Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous!
For praise from the upright is beautiful.
Praise the LORD with the harp;
Make melody to Him
with an instrument of ten strings.
Sing to Him a new song;
Play skillfully with a shout of joy.
When anything is worthy of praise, it should be given!
With instruments, or with voices, all can make melody.
For the word of the LORD is right,
and all His work is done in truth.
He loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of the goodness of the LORD.
My heart is full of gratitude for such goodness!
By the word of the LORD the heavens were made,
and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.
He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap;
He lays up the deep in storehouses.
Let all the earth fear the LORD;
Let all the inhabitants of the world
stand in awe of Him.
For He spoke, and it was done;
He commanded, and it stood fast.
Psalm 33:1-9 (NKJV)
There are not enough words to express
how much in awe of Him I stand!
Shirley's Soliloquies #519
Stones of Remembrance
'What a wonderful idea,'
I thought as I glanced at a blog a friend had sent me.
At the time I didn't pay much attention to it,
but it seemed to take root in my mind.
Now several days later, it sprouted.
Scriptures came to mind where God told His people
to take stones to help them remember things.
For example, in Joshua 4:1-6,
the LORD told Joshua to choose 12 men
who were to take 12 stones from the middle of Jordan.
They were to use those stones as a sign
to remember how the LORD had stopped
the Jordan River from flowing.
The priests had stood in the middle
with the Ark of the Lord's Covenant
so the people could go across.
Those stones were to stand
as a memorial for their people.
1 Samuel 7:5-13 records how Samuel
took a large stone and named it 'Ebenezer.'
It helped him remember how the LORD had helped them.
As my mind mulled over all these things,
I thought how amazing it would be if I had a special stone
to remind me of answered prayers.
There would be so many...
I could build a house with them!
Or, how special would it be
if I had a stone for special events.
What an amazing remembrance that would be.
For all too often I heartedly thank the LORD,
but then sadly, I forget all about it.
Maybe I will start collecting special stones
help me remember and praise Him!
Shirley's Soliloquies #518
Down Memory Lane?
What a challenge!
My daughter looked at the bookcase that held 4 shelves of photo albums.
She challenged me to take each photo, scan it on a SanDisk,
and put it on a flash drive in order to clear out the basement!
So after she left, I began the first album.
Little did I realize the task ahead of me.
Thousands of pictures had to be removed from each album
in order to put them through her little scanner.
As I looked at pictures beginning when I was a toddler,
it was as though I were looking through not only my life,
but also the lives of my children, grandchildren, and friends.
2 Corinthians 5:9-10 (NKJV) crossed my mind.
I thought of my life opened before the Lord on that Day in the future.
“Therefore we make it our aim...to be well pleasing to Him.
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ,
that each one may receive the things done in the body,
according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”
Romans 14:12 also confirms this fact,
“...each of us shall give account of himself to God.”
This is the time when whatever has been done for Christ will last.
All believers will be judged, not whether saved or not for that is settled,
but for rewards according to what is done. As 1 Corinthians 3:13-15 states:
“...each one's work will become clear;
for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire;
and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is.
If anyone's work which he has built on it endures,
he will receive a reward.
If any one's work is burned, he will suffer loss;
but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.”
So, as my life was going before my eyes through the pictures,
The little poem upon my wall again became a reality...
“Only one life, 'twill soon be past,
only what's done for Christ will last.”
How Can I Say
As I said goodbye to my daughter yesterday,
the words of the following song were in my mind,
they wouldn't leave:
“How can I say thanks For the things You have done for me, Things so undeserved, Yet You gave to prove Your love for me. The voices of a million angels Could not express my gratitude. All that I am and ever hope to be, I owe it all to Thee. To God be the glory,... For the things He has done. With His blood He has saved me, With His power He has raised me, To God be the glory, For the things He has done.” - Andrea Crouch When I think of my three children and my husband, and my many friends that are so dear to me, I have to keep repeating those words. They have all been such a blessing. I don't deserve what God has given, but I am so very thankful. My heart overflows with gratitude, and with the Psalmist, I exclaim, Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles! Laud Him, all you peoples! For His merciful kindness is great toward us, and the truth of the LORD endures forever, Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.... You are my God, and I will praise You: You are my God, I will exalt You. Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Psalm 117; 118:1, 28-29 (NKJV)
Shirley's Soliloquies #516
Birth, Life, Death
These thoughts went through my mind quite graphically recently,
because another great-grandson was born into our family.
Shortly after that, we received word that a friend of ours had died.
As I as telling my daughter about it, she replied,
'Well, that is one thing that is for sure,
everyone has to die!'
Yes, the inevitability of life is death.
This started my mind pondering these things again.
I find it quite interesting that Psalm 23 states,
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil for thou art with me;
thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Could it be that those who trust in the Lord do not enter into death,
but simply walk through the shadow of it into the presence of the Lord?
That makes perfect sense to me.
For when I experienced cardiac arrest several times,
I had no knowledge of dying.
All I knew was that I was with Jesus
and was basking in the comfort of His presence.
For the person who does not know Jesus Christ personally,
there would be no hope, only fear.
And rightly so, for the Bible continues,
Just as it is appointed for man to die once,
and after that comes judgment,
Thankfully, the Scriptures do not stop there,
but it continues giving hope!
So Christ, having been offered once
to bear the sins of many;
will appear a second time,
not to deal with sin but to save
those who are eagerly waiting for him.
Hebrews 9:27-28 (ESV)
Shirley's Soliloquies #515
I am so thankful that two of my great-grandsons,
have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ,
and have received Him as their personal Savior!
Since it has been a heavy load on my heart,
that I haven't known for sure whether or not
my loved ones would be in heaven with me for eternity,
when I heard of these two, I was overwhelmed with joy!
But now, I am concerned about their spiritual growth.
The Holy Scriptures give good advice:
Just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord,
you must continue to follow him.
Let you roots grow down into him,
and let your lives be built on him.
Then your faith will grow strong
in the truth you were taught,
and you will overflow with thankfulness
Then just in case anyone might be led astray
possibly by well-meaning people,
the Scripture cautions:
Don't let anyone capture you with
empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense
that come from human thinking
and from the spiritual powers of this world,
rather than from Christ.
Instead, it is important to remember that...
In Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body.
So you also are complete through your union with Christ.
Colossians 2:6-7, 9-10 (NLT)
This is good advice for all who are in Christ Jesus,
no matter how young or old,
or whether one is a babe in Christ,
or is supposedly fully mature.
Shirley's Soliloquies #514
The Brownies Came!
When I was a child and a job got done,
but no one seemed to know who did it,
the phrase was often heard...
“the Brownies came!”
I never did figure that one out!
But now, so many years later,
It reminds me of our neighbor.
Sometimes I will glance outside,
and see him out in our yard
pulling weeds or sweeping the patio.
A few days ago he was painting the door
of our neighbor lady's garage.
He said, “Well, she can't do it.”
Today as my husband and I drove away,
we saw him down the street painting
the gutters of an older couple's condo!
People try to pay him for work done,
but he refuses to take money.
He says he likes to do it.
He likes to think that someone
would have helped his mom
when she had a need,
so he wants to help others.
His wife is the same way...
always helping when she sees a need!
What a wonderful world it would be
if everyone would be willing to work
helping others who have a need
or who are unable to help themselves.
How thankful I am for these 'Brownies!'
And let us not grow weary of doing good,
for in due season we will reap if we do not give up.
So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone,
and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
Galatians 6:9-10 (ESV)
Shirley's Soliloquies #513
I remember one particular day when I was a child,
how happy I was when my parents bought me
my very own new box of crayons.
It was only a box of eight crayons,
but that's all we knew.
However, later on, I saw a larger box and wondered.
But when I looked inside,
it no longer held just the eight colors,
but there were sixteen in there.
I was amazed!
I didn't know it was possible.
Some time later, I began seeing huge boxes of crayolas,
consisting of many different colors.
True, they were variations of the same colors I knew,
but there were so many ones slightly lighter,
and some were slightly darker than the original ones.
And wonder of wonder, they each had a different name!
What a surprise – I couldn't believe it!
When I was older, I started dabbling with paints.
I learned how rewarding it was
to be able to develop my knowledge.
How sad it would have been had I stayed with my eight crayons!
In the spiritual life, the Bible also urges deveopment:
When I was a child, I used to speak like a child,