Bashful – Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs {10.31.16}

Only two more dwarfs and then Snow White to finish out this blog series of lessons from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. I’m focusing on Bashful today. When I think of the word bashful, I think of shy. However, that was not in the dictionary’s definition. Here’s what Webster’s has to say: Bashful = having a downcast look; hence very modest; modest to excess; sheepish. In the movie, we can tell by his expressions that his name fit.

bashfulI would not consider myself actually bashful because I can strike up a conversation with just about anyone, anyplace – one on one of course. Heaven help the passenger who sits next to me on a plane because if I can make eye contact, a conversation begins. But, even with that being said, I still get red in the face and almost break out in a sweat when I remember oral book reports, solo twirling competitions or heaven forbid, presentations in front of a group! My Mother has always said that those circumstances bring about a “deer in the headlight” look on my face. Put me with other people and I’m just having fun but alone – YIKES! Why does it look so easy for some people?

Even Moses had issues. He felt inadequate but – when I read this I wonder how he could feel so inadequate and at the same time have the boldness (or outright gall) to argue with God. Then I am reminded that I also argue with God in my own ways. Sometimes I think, why me? I’m not qualified! And sometimes I just don’t want to do whatever it is I think He’s put before me. Do you ever have those feelings?  Here’s the story of Moses rebelling against God’s instructions as found in Exodus when God was sending him to free the Israelites. Exodus 4:10-17 “Moses said to the Lord, “O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” The Lord said to him, “Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say. But Moses said, “O Lord, please send someone else to do it.”  Then the Lord’s anger burned against Moses and he said, “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite?  I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and his heart will be glad when he sees you. You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth. I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do. He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth and as if you were God to him. But take this staff in your hand so you can perform miraculous signs with it.”

I have found though that when I obey God, even when He calls me to step out in front of others, and I’m scared and feel so very inadequate, He provides in and through me. He can give any of His Children words to speak and the boldness to speak them. Look what he did for this man who was not only mute but deaf as well. Mark 7:31-35 “Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee and into the region of the Decapolis. There some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged him to place his hand on the man. After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then he spit and touched the man’s tongue. He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Ephphatha?” (which means, “Be opened!”). At this, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly.”

Bold = daring; courageous; brave; confident; not timorous. Over and over again in His Word, God calls us to be bold and courageous. After all, we don’t go alone! He is always with us! Here are a few examples:

Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Acts 4:31 “After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.”bashful-red-faced

Lessons I learned from Bashful:  Well, I still feel my face get hot and red whenever I have to get in front of people to speak but, I am more willing each time as I know that if God calls me to it, He will bring me through it. Be bold and courageous friends! It’s all for His Glory! Ephesians 6:19 “Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make

Sneezy – Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs {10.21.16}

I don’t know about you but when I sneeze, I sneeze. No hiding it. It’s loud. And, it usually takes me a while to work up to a sneeze. My husband used to tell me, “quit trying not to sneeze”. I wasn’t. Most of the time it just takes it’s time coming out. People sometimes think I’m having an attack of some kind when all I’m doing is simply working up to a sneeze – a loud one! Embarrassing but I’m used to it. One of my sisters sneezes really dainty like. Not me. I sneeze like you’d think a truck driver would sneeze. Oh well. Nothing I can do about that. A lot of different things make us sneeze. Sometimes it’s allergies, sometimes colds, sometimes dust or an itchy nose.

In the movie, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Sneezy was always either sneezing, looking like he had just sneezed or was about to sneeze. Poor guy.sneezy-in-mine He looked miserable. Maybe it was dust making him sneeze. They probably had dust in their mine and we saw that they had an abundance of dust in their cottage. Yikes! I thought I let dust go too long. They had spiders in cobwebs that may have been there for generations. They had apparently lived that way for so long they didn’t even notice or realize how bad it was. The dishes were piled high and dirt and dust were everywhere. Then Snow White came. Along with help from her animal friends, they got that place spotless. They worked and worked but did you notice that it didn’t seem like work to them? They were happy in their work and working together they had that house ship shape before the dwarfs got home from the mine.

Along with physical cleaning, our bodies must be swept clean spiritually as well. We are not only told to renew our minds with God’s Word, look what it says in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “Do you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.”

It’s not honoring if we don’t take care of our bodies (physically or spiritually). Just going about our days, we can fool ourselves into thinking we are “clean” but we do have a way of knowing. All we have to do is seek God in prayer and allow Him to show us the “dirty things” that need swept away. Psalm 139:23-24 “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

After we have allowed God to “sweep us clean” we have to make sure to fill that void that was once occupied by other things with Godly things. Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Just like with physical dirt or an evil spirit or practice, if we don’t replace it with something, it will just keep coming back. Matthew 12:43-45 “When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left. ‘When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.”

Another aid in knowing when we’ve allowed “dirt/sin” to reside within us is to have a trusted friend who will hold us accountable and also encourage us to goodness.sneezing Do you have someone in your life like that? If not, I encourage you to ask God to send someone. It’s an immeasurable blessing (thank you PJS)!

Lessons I learned from Sneezy:  The next time I sneeze (and subsequent times), I hope to think about this message God gave me and search within (with God’s help) for any dirt that needs swept clean. How about you?

Sleepy – Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs {10.17.16}

Why do you suppose Sleepy was so sleepy all through the movie of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. I wonder… Did he get up early and stay up later than the others doing extra chores? Did the other dwarfs snore so loudly at night that he couldn’t sleep? sleepy-at-mineWhatever the reason, it was evident that he needed rest in the worst way. I’ve never seen eyelids that heavy without being closed.

We recently had a 4 year old little girl for a houseguest. What a blessing. She is sweet, loving, fun and talkative. So talkative in fact that when we were driving in the car one evening, I noticed that she had quit talking. I looked back at her and she was sound asleep in her car seat with her head down in front of her. Why she didn’t lean back or to one side or the other I don’t know. The only thing that kept her from nose-diving to the floorboard of the car was her seat belt straps. I couldn’t reach her but thankfully we were almost home so she didn’t stay that way for long. Unlike Sleepy in the movie, she perked up and the talking resumed as soon as she got out of the car. So cute.

We all get sleepy. We all get tired. sleepyWe all need sleep and we all need rest – physical and spiritual. God set an example for us when after creating the heavens and the earth, he rested on the 7th day and made it holy (Genesis 2:2-3). Jesus took the apostles to a quiet place to rest (Mark 6:31). What we must ask ourselves though is do we need and get appropriate sleep and rest or are we just plain lazy. I know I find myself in both situations at different times. Here are some warnings to us about laziness:

Proverbs 19:15 “Laziness brings on deep sleep, and the shiftless man goes hungry.”

Proverbs 20:13 “Do not love sleep or you will grow poor; stay awake and you will have food to spare.”

Lessons I learned from Sleepy:  As believers and followers of Christ, God provides rest for our souls and urges us to get adequate physical sleep and rest. However, I am reminded to do a little self-examination and make sure that my rest doesn’t turn to laziness.

Women’s Prayer Gathering Scheduled

Our next prayer gathering will be at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 5 in Avon, IN (library). Check out the “Gatherings” page on this blog site for details. We will be mostly focused on praying for our nation and Presidential election. I hope you can join us. If not, why not consider hosting one in your area? You can send me the details and I will be happy to post it for you and also the update afterwards. God Bless!

Happy – Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs {10.13.16}

Among the dwarfs, Happy makes me smile just to look at him. Happy people – we all want to be happy and we all love to be around those who are happy. We just feel better, don’t we? happyMany years ago my grandma was in a nursing home. It was a sad place and she knew she was there but she could not communicate with us. It makes my heart cry when I think about it. So why do I talk about this on my “happy” post? Because there was a lady in the nursing home with my grandma who was happy. She was happy all the time. She sang and smiled and simply enjoyed each moment of her day. She was living in the moment, even though she probably did not know where she was or what day it was. It simply didn’t matter. She was happy. If I ever lose my mind (no comments please!), I want to be like her. But, I can do that now. Attitude is always something we can control. I need to determine to be happy. Here’s what God’s Word says about happy:

Proverbs 15:13 “A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.”

Proverbs 12:25 “An anxious heart weighs a man down but a kind word cheers him up.”

None of us are happy all the time. happy-is-sadEven in the movie “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”, Happy was sad when he thought Snow White had died. Look at the benefits of a cheerful heart and look though:

Proverbs 15:30 “A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.”

Proverbs 17:22 “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

I started this series of blog posts with a song and here I am again – with a song.

If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands.(CLAP,CLAP) If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands.(CLAP,CLAP) If you’re happy and you know it then your face will surely show it, If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands.(CLAP,CLAP) If you’re happy and you know it stomp your feet.(STOMP,STOMP) If you’re happy and you know it stomp your feet.(STOMP,STOMP) If you’re happy and you know it then your face will surely show it, If you’re happy and you know it stomp your feet.(STOMP,STOMP) If you’re happy and you know it shout “Amen!”(SHOUT AMEN!) If you’re happy and you know it shout “Amen!”(SHOUT AMEN!) If you’re happy and you know it then your face will surely show it, If you’re happy and you know it shout “Amen!”(SHOUT AMEN!) If you’re happy and you know it do all three.(CLAP, CLAP,STOMP, STOMP,AMEN) If you’re happy and you know it do all three.(CLAP, CLAP,STOMP, STOMP,AMEN) If you’re happy and you know it then your face will surely show it, If you’re happy and you know it do all three!(CLAP, CLAP, STOMP, STOMP,HURRAY)

If that song doesn’t make you smile, your mouth is frozen.

James 5:13 “Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.”

Lessons I learned from Happy:  Just like a grumpy attitude can be contagious, so can a happy one. Let’s spread happy around today!

Grumpy – Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs {10.3.16}

I’m learning lessons from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. I think we can all relate to Grumpy. After all, we know what Grumpy looks and sounds like. None of us enjoy being around grumpy people and guess what – they don’t want to be around us when we are grumpy either. Just out of curiosity I looked “grumpy” up in the dictionary. Here are some of the definitions:  bad tempered, short tempered, crotchety, testy, touchy, irritable, surly, disagreeable, snappish, cranky, ornery. grumpyWOW – I don’t want to be any of those things. They don’t sound like anyone I want to know and they certainly don’t sound like anyone I want to be. However, sometimes I just feel like I want to be grumpy. That doesn’t make sense I know but it’s true. Have you ever found yourself kind of feeling like you want to be grumpy? I can sometimes feel myself getting kind of grumpy inside and I don’t even know why. Have you been there? Are you there now? One of my temptations to grumpiness is when I look out the back of our house. We have lived here for about 5 years and had a beautiful field behind us. It was especially nice to look at when planted in winter wheat and the wind was blowing it. Oh, and one of the best things about this field is that we have enjoyed unobstructed sunset views. They are truly incredible. Well, recently the field was sold and now is in the hands of a developer. They have been moving dirt, hauling gravel, and beginning a new housing addition. Needless to say it has been a dirty, dusty mess! We can’t sit out on the back patio and now that the weather is cooler and we would love to open our windows, we can’t because that would only invite the dirt inside (and I don’t enjoy dusting)! In the scheme of things, that is a petty, small annoyance and not a big deal but I can make it a big deal easily if I allow myself.

Romans 12:18 “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”

There can be many reasons behind why we are grumpy. We might be hurting emotionally, we might be angry, in pain, frustrated, fearful, feeling unloved, you name it. Sometimes I think grumpy may be a defense mechanism so that people don’t get too close. However, just like with Grumpy and Snow White, eventually people usually respond to kindness. Grumpy did not want anything to do with Snow White at first. He gave a lot of negative talk, didn’t he? He knew that things would change in ways he didn’t think he wanted. Snow White continued to be kind and loving toward him though and eventually his cold and stony (grumpy) attitude changed.grumpy-and-snow-white

Snow White had the attitude of Christ Jesus whose love for us does not depend upon what we do or say. He loves us so much He died for our sins, grumpy attitudes and all. Salvation is not by works (what we do or how we act), it is by grace. Then, after we receive His glorious grace, we do good works as a result of the love we have received from Him. It’s God in us that allows us to overcome those “grumpy” times and attitudes and instead live a life full of love and joy. In looking at Grumpy and Snow White, I’ve decided I want to be more like Snow White and err on the side of kindness. How about you?

Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Lessons I learned from Grumpy: I control my own attitude. No one wants to be around me if/when I am grumpy and grumbling. Grumpy people need to be shown kindness. Our perspective is often blurred. I need to seek God and ask Him to help me see others through His eyes. People don’t always deserve grace – neither did I.  I need to give it anyway. Grumpy can turn to Happy with love and kindness.

So…is there a “Grumpy” in your life? How will you react to this person? Will you extend kindness or be grumpy yourself? I would love to hear your stories. Just leave a comment.