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

The Guys in My Life {7.27.16}

There are a lot of guys in my life. My Dad was the first guy I loved. My “forever love” is of course my husband, Pete. We have four sons, a son-in-law, grandsons, brother, brothers-in-law, nephews and a host of other guys who have been a part of our lives. Our only daughter and I have been outnumbered for years but that’s ok. It kind of makes us feel special and we’re surrounded by some fantastic guys.

This summer I had the opportunity to spend some time with three guys that I want to recognize. These young guys (ages 9, 10 and 11) impressed me so much that I can’t stop thinking about it and praising God for them. Each one of them have a bold, brave and humble spirit with a confidence that comes from knowing who they are, whose they are, that they are loved, and that they have a responsibility which they take seriously. They are fun-loving kids and I enjoyed spending time with each of them. However, that’s not what has impressed me the most. strong and courageous Each of them have no hesitation to pray both privately and publicly. I’m not talking about “now I lay me down to sleep” or “thank you for this food” prayers. Their prayers are heartfelt, timely and personal. They are not ashamed, embarrassed or intimidated when it comes to their faith. These guys have prayed at restaurants, in front of each other before going to sleep, whenever and wherever without hesitation. I am so proud of them I could bust! They are living out this scripture to be strong and courageous and I don’t think they even realize it! Many adults, even though they have a strong faith, still find it difficult to publicly pray to  or praise God. I know…I was once one of them. God has brought me a long way with regard to praying publicly and it all started with children. He is so gracious.

Matthew 18:4-6 “Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”

Sam (10), I had the blessing of spending 3 days a week with you this summer. We played games, the piano, rode bikes, watched movies, went swimming, joined reading clubs at our local library and did a Bible study together. We studied Titus, Ezra and Proverbs. We read, discussed and wrote down our observations. I could not be prouder of you. You inspire me to be a better person and set a good example as you watch me live my life. Thank you for still thinking it fun to spend time with Grandma.

Jonah (9), You are new to our family but even though you spent some overnight time with us right away, you were not intimidated at all. You volunteered to ask the blessing over our food when we went out to eat. You didn’t even mind when I put you on the spot to pray with Sam at a family gathering. You are a very social person yet secure in your own skin. It is a blessing to have you in my life.

Caleb (11), I knew your parents before I knew you and then you and Sam became friends. What fun! God gives us unexpected blessings all the time. I am so thankful you were able to have a sleepover this summer with Sam. You also impressed me with your faith and bold confidence. You felt quite comfortable praying in public and in our home. I hope you join us again.

Deuteronomy 6:5-7 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”

There are many guys and girls who are just as great as the three I have mentioned above. These three just touched my life personally this summer. praying boys.jpg How about you? Are you encouraging a child? Are you leading by example? Are you praying for them? They need us – all of us.

Ephesians 6:1-4 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother’ – which is the first commandment with a promise – ‘that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”

I want to encourage these guys’ parents to keep leading, keep praying, and keep teaching your children. They are our future and when I look at them, the future seems bright. The fruit you are producing in your children is visible and good. You’ve done a fantastic job but your job is not yet finished. They will encounter opposition, ridicule, etc. and need to be strong to stand firm. So, don’t stop – keep praying, keep ministering, keep walking in faith. You are their role model of what it means to be Christ-like.

Proverbs 22:6 “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”

We all need to pray for the children in our families, country, and other parts of the world. Pray they all will receive love, guidance and instruction in the Lord. Pray they will not let society, peer pressure, teenage years, etc. to come in and steal their bold faith and witness. Pray for a renewed faith as they continue to grow and that they will be bold witnesses in their schools, neighborhoods, future workplaces, and communities. Prayer is powerful. It’s something we can all do and that we all need.

Thanks to all the guys in my life. You are a blessing!