Thursday, December 29, 2016

Your Mistake Doesn't Change God's Mind

What if I’ve totally messed up God’s plan for me?!

I’ve heard this quite a bit lately. There seems to be a fear among God’s lovely ones; that means you and me. The fear is that maybe we’ve done such a bad thing that we totally messed up God’s plan and purpose for us. There are a few who are even stating that because someone did something that was thought of as bad by others, that person can no longer be used by God and their purpose is ruined.

What a load of lies.

Lovelies, God is not mad at you. He’s not mad at me. He knows we aren’t perfect. That’s why Jesus came and paid the ultimate price for us by giving His life for us. Why does that seem so hard to believe? Because it’s just so simple, I guess.

I can tell you that for too many years I lived in fear, guilt, shame, intimidation, and the weight of things other people thought were bad. They kept me frozen in a perpetual state of control where I couldn’t function unless someone else thought it was okay for me to do or say. If someone disagreed with me or my ideas I cowered. I eventually would just lock myself away, sometimes physically but most of the time emotionally and mentally so I wouldn’t have to face the truth. Rather so I wouldn’t have to face what someone else called truth. It was in fact nothing but a lie.

The truth is I was living by someone else’s standards instead of God’s standards. I wasn’t living according to the Word of God, nor was I functioning in the calling God had on my life. I was controlled by outside forces. Maybe you are, too.

Until my healing in 2012, I was nearly non-functioning socially, mentally, and emotionally. Then one day I woke up. I made a decision. I trusted God and He healed me and the rest is a phenomenal journey that I continue even today. Do I still have issues? Yes. Do I still have obstacles? You bet. Am I still intimidated by others? No.


Lovely ones, just because we make a mistake doesn’t mean that God can’t use us. It doesn’t mean that your purpose is re-routed to something different. It’s not. God doesn’t go backwards. We do. God stays the same and so does His Word. When we take a detour He simply waits for us to catch back up. But never does God go back on His Word. If He has a purpose for you (and He does) then nothing you do is going to mess that up or revoke it.

Look at Jonah. God told him to do something and instead of going to do it, Jonah ran. He ran in the opposite direction, as far away from what God told him to do as he could. Because of it, Jonah nearly caused other people harm, he got thrown overboard into the sea during a terrible storm, he got swallowed up by a great fish, and spent three days in the belly of that fish (and he didn’t die). What he did do was have three days and nights to think about what he’d done. That gave him enough time to come to his senses and ask God to forgive him.

The beauty of this story is after Jonah repented (said he was sorry) the fish spit him out on the shore, three days’ journey from the place where God told him to go in the first place. So in essence, God sent this great fish to get Jonah and carry him to his original destination. But get this, when God talked to Jonah again, after he’d disobeyed God and made a huge mistake, look what God said to Jonah:

“Then the LORD spoke to Jonah a second time: “Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh and deliver the message I have given you.” ~Jonah 3:1-2 (NLT)

If you’ll look at the first chapter of Jonah, God told him in verse two, “Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh. Announce my judgment against it because I have seen how wicked its people are.” But after Jonah’s disobedience, God still told Jonah to go deliver His message to the people of Nineveh. This time Jonah obeyed. God’s Word never changed. His purpose for Jonah never changed. It was just delayed for a bit.

What about you? Has God’s purpose for you changed because of the things you’ve done? No. It’s just been delayed. God still loves you. He still has a plan for you. He has a great big plan for you. That has never changed. God is still waiting for you to turn around. That’s allowed, you know. You’re not too old. So don’t let anyone try to tell you because you messed up God’s plan for you is ruined. They don’t know because it’s not their plan or purpose. Your purpose is yours and only God can give it to you, no one else. Remember that, lovely ones. Your purpose is between you and God.

Now brush yourself off, wipe your eyes and straighten your tiara. Take a deep breath and let it out. You may be a little battered and bruised, maybe a little smudge of dirt here and there but that’s okay. Reach out your hand and grab onto the outstretched hand of God. Tell Him sincerely and humbly, “I’m sorry I’m late. Please forgive me.”

Listen as He lovingly says, “I’ve been waiting for you, dear one. Now let’s move forward.” Then follow Him into 2017 and into your purpose. It’s going to be exciting!

Blessings!

    Shelley



Shelley Wilburn is the author of the books Walking Healed and the Walking Healed Companion Bible study. Find her books on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and more. You can also follow Shelley on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Peace, Rather Than Pressure

It’s almost Christmas! Now, maybe some of you are grumbling about that. Don’t stop reading, keep going! This holiday seems to bring out the Scrooge’s and Grinch’s from all around. I understand that because, for many people Christmas is not a pleasant holiday. It causes sadness, stress, and pressure rather than peace. But it doesn’t have to.

At this time of year, there is so much going on that it’s easy to forget about peace. Many people are experiencing loss, illness, sadness and much more. It’s easy to fall into despair. Yet, it’s when we focus on the Reason we celebrate this time of year that the enemy begins an even bigger assault on all of us in order to take our eyes off Jesus. However, one thing he can’t take from us is our peace.

 Although the devil has come to steal, kill, and destroy, we can be encouraged in knowing we have abundant life in Jesus! After all, this is why He came; to give hope. He came to give peace. He came to literally give His life for us so that we could have an abundant life. Oh, but don’t misunderstand, beautiful ones. That abundant life can begin right here and right now. You don’t have to wait until you get to heaven to enjoy abundance.

Many people today are living in a state of stress, regret, and or depression, anxiety, sadness, illness, and pressure of all kinds because these are the things that are being spoken around them, over them, and into them. Though why focus on all of that? I understand that bad stuff happens, especially around the holidays. It’s not fun. It’s hard. It’s sad. And I’m not diminishing it one iota.

What I’m saying is that even though we go through bad stuff in our lives, we can focus on the peace rather than the pressure. We can focus on Jesus rather than our situation. We can redirect our emotions and instead of asking, “Why now?” we can look at Jesus and ask for wisdom and peace to get through it. He promised.

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” ~John 16:33 (NLT)

We will have trials and sorrows in this world. Because that’s where the devil is prowling around, looking to cause trouble. However, Jesus said that He overcame the world. He died for our sins in this world. So, nothing we go through is too much for us to handle if we are focused on Jesus, our peace, rather than the pressure we’re going through.

Life is tough. I won’t lie about that. I know. I’ve experienced my share of it. But I don’t have to remain focused on the pressure of the circumstances. I can give them to Jesus, because He said I could. He said you could, too.

“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” ~Matthew 11:28 (NLT)

“I cry out to the LORD; I plead for the LORD’s mercy. I pour out my complaints before him and tell him all my troubles.” ~Psalm 142:1-2 (NLT)

Knowing Jesus wants us to bring our worries, stress, burdens, heavy loads and our pressure to Him certainly gives hope that we aren’t alone, especially during the holidays. I’m glad I can tell Him everything. I’m also glad He listens. But even more than that, I’m really glad that I can have peace rather than pressure every day. So can you. If you’ll just talk to Him, He’ll bend down and listen to you. That’s a promise.

“Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!” ~Psalm 116:2 (NLT)


Blessings!

Shelley

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Get the Inside Scoop!

Hey y'all! 

Thanks for stopping by today! I'm currently working on a newsletter for my faithful readers. This has all the information about new books I'm getting ready to publish BEFORE anyone else knows about them. You may even get a FREE copy (everyone likes free stuff). You will also get inside information about giveaways, book signings, launches, and even books by some of my favorite authors and writer friends.

Everyone who registers for my private mailing list will have their name put in a drawing for a $20 Starbucks Gift Card. If you win, you will receive an email notification.

I can't wait to share this journey with you! All you have to do is fill out the form below, then watch your email to confirm. That's it! Then I'll be in touch periodically. Can't wait to meet with you on the porch stoop!

Hugs!
Shelley


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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Award Winning Blog!

Brilliant Blog AwardWell this is fun! My website has been selected as the August winner of the Brilliant Blog Award and is in the running for the Blog of the Year Award. I’m so honored and humbled by this.

My friend, best-selling author and fellow blogger herself, Karla Akins hosts the Brilliant Blog Award and last month she goofed and didn’t choose a brilliant blog. However, she made up for it and wrote the sweetest blog about my blog. You can check it out here: 

http://karlaakins.com/wilburnblog/

Now don’t go thinking that because I’m friends with her that I had inside pull on winning this award. I didn’t. Frankly, I had no idea that she still did the Brilliant Blog Award (shows how much attention I pay). Karla chose my blog simply because she believes in my ministry and wants people to be inspired as much as I do.

Now here’s where you all come in; this contest isn’t over. You can help my website win the Blog of the Year Award for 2016. All you have to do is slide on over to the right hand column or at the top of this post and click the Brilliant Blog Award button! Every person who puts in my website votes for my blog. Karla will announce the winner at the end of the year.

What’s in it for me? Just a pretty little button on my website that says I’m a winner. Also I get the recognition that my blog is brilliant not just in looks but in content. 

So will you help me? Will you click the Brilliant Blog Award button and vote for me? Send your friends to the website to vote, too. Also, leave a comment at the end of this post and let me know your thoughts. And if you want to know more about my ministry and what I’m doing as a writer, register to receive my email newsletter. The registration form is also at the top of the right hand column.

Don’t miss out! There are loads of things going on in this writer’s world. I would love to have company on my journey. Won’t you join me?


Let’s Walk Healed together!
     Shelley

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Book Giveaway...and a Whole Lot More!

Walking Healed, first edition ©ShelleyWilburn
Hey, Y’all! So, a year ago I published my first book, Walking Healed, A Journey of Forgiveness, Grace, and Hope. This book is a glimpse into my journey of healing and is written to encourage those who suffer depression, anxiety, intimidation, and abuse. Frankly, anyone suffering from these or any kind of addiction or disorder will be encouraged. 

I wrote the book in a way that tells bits and pieces of my story, but then shows how God can make those negative things work for your good. God is our good, good, Father and everything in our lives He always works out for good. Walking Healed shows all of that and more.

The book has been out for a year. But I wanted people to have an even deeper experience and really learn how to walk healed. That’s why I’m so excited to announce the release of the Walking Healed Companion Study; Finding Healing, Forgiveness, Grace, Hope, and Your Purpose. In this five-week Bible study, we go on a journey together using Walking Healed, and we dive into God’s Word to find each of the above mentioned areas of our lives.
 
Walking Healed Companion Study ©ShelleyWilburn
We visit each topic for one week. During that time we will learn to use God’s Word to speak over our lives, how to pray through our difficulties, and finally wind up finding our purpose. Each topic leads to the next in this journey of discovery.

If you or someone you know suffers depression, anxiety, panic disorder, abuse or addiction of any sort, or even no self-esteem or feelings of no self-worth, this study was written with you in mind. God thinks you were worth saving, and so do I.

These books are so dear to me that I want to share them with you in a special way. When I published the Bible study, I also gave the book a new look and issued a second edition. However, the first edition is still just as important. It just has a different cover. I had a few extra copies lying around, so I decided to give three people a very special, signed copy of the first edition of Walking Healed to either keep or give away to a friend who needs to be encouraged. Hey y'all, the holidays are fast approaching. Think about it.
 
Walking Healed second edition on the right. ©ShelleyWilburn
Isn't the cover awesome?
Here’s what you need to do to be included in the drawing for a first edition of Walking Healed:

Sign up below for my newsletter to receive periodic updates on new book releases and book signings. This is new to me too, so I promise not to blow up your email with messages. However, by signing up for my newsletter you will also be the first ones to get schedules of my speaking engagements, book signings, and juicy (okay juicy would be messy so no juice), how about exciting, random giveaway stuffs whenever I publish a new book. Who knows? You may also get a free eBook or some other goodies just for being part of my private email group! What can you lose? Well, maybe inside info, but hey it’s all fun!

Okay y’all for every person who signs up your name goes into the funky, Spunk ‘n Sass hat. Each one of my three grand-boys will draw a name on Friday, September 23, 2016.
So, three blessed individuals will receive a special first edition copy of Walking Healed. Sound like fun? I think so! But I’m also going to give you a way to double your chance of winning.
Share this with all your friends and get them to sign up. If my email list hits one hundred, or more, everyone’s name goes into the hat a second time You and your friends just got double the chance of winning!

Are you ready? I am! Just fill out the form below or in the right hand column of this blog, submit it. Then watch your email to confirm your subscription, then you will qualify for the drawing. After that, be watching on September 23rd to see if you win. My first email newsletter will go out soon afterward with information about the official book launch for the Walking Healed Companion Study and release of the second edition of Walking Healed. If you’re part of the newsletter, you may also get some inside info on some more goodies and giveaways set for that special day. But you have to sign up to find out.

Good luck and many blessings to you!

Walk Healed!
Shelley

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Thursday, September 1, 2016

Can't Stop Talking

“We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard.” The Apostles Peter and John, Acts 4:20 (NLT)
My husband, talking to others about Jesus.
 There will be times when people just want you to stop talking about Jesus. Sometimes you yourself will want to stop. But you can’t. You can’t stop talking about Him. You can’t stop telling people what He’s done for you. You can’t stop talking about the things He has done, especially for you. I know I can’t.

The world is no different than it was in Peter and John’s time. There are leaders who want us as Christians to shut up. Don’t talk about Jesus. Don’t tell things that lead up to Him. Sometimes even other Christians don’t want us to speak up. Peter and John were just reprimanded and told never talk about Him again. Their reply was truthful and bold; “We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard.”

They had seen and heard some pretty miraculous, exciting, life-changing things. Have you? Have you seen the miracles of Jesus? Have you experienced something exciting? Have you been part of something life-changing? If you know Jesus, you have! If you’re saved, then you are something miraculous, exciting, and life-changing! If you have seen me, then you have seen all three of these things, too.

Listen up dear lovelies all people who have experienced salvation have experienced something life-changing, something miraculous, something exciting. You can’t deny it. So why are you living quietly on the sidelines, wishing you could be part of a move of God when you already are? Why are you keeping that bottled up inside you when you could be shouting it from the rooftops, encouraging someone else?

I don’t want people to think I’m weird.


Really? If you belong to Jesus you’re already peculiar, so what does it matter if people think you’re weird?

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light; ~1 Peter 2:9, KJV (emphasis mine)

You are a walking miracle. I am a walking miracle. We were placed on the earth at this moment in time, for such a time as this, to tell our story and bring hope, life, and encouragement to someone who is walking in darkness.

Your story matters. You may think it doesn’t have sparkle and zazz but to be quite honest, if Jesus is in the middle of it, it’s full of sparkle and full of zazz! And no one can tell you that it isn’t because they didn’t experience what you experienced. The only way someone is going to know what the Lord did for you is if you tell them. So get out there and tell them.

What if I just keep quiet?

I'll let Jesus answer that question:
He replied, “If they kept quiet, the stones along the road would burst into cheers!” Jesus, replying to the Pharisees who wanted Him to rebuke His followers and keep them quiet. Luke 19:40 (NLT)

So you see? Even when Jesus walked the earth, there were people who didn’t want His followers to speak things about Him or about the things He had done in their lives. Yet, they defied even the religious leaders of their time and were obedient to the Lord, telling of the great things He had done not only in their lives, but of the things they had seen Him do for others.

It’s our duty to do the same. We can’t keep quiet. We can’t back down. Let me encourage you today to take a stand. Stand up for what God has done in your life. Where would you be today had He not saved you? So your salvation wasn’t explosive. That’s okay! But you’ve been saved.

Although my salvation experience wasn’t explosive, my healing was. Why? Because it happened thirty years after my salvation. It happened after nearly a lifetime of suffering and pain. It happened at a time when I was finally tired of going around and around in the black hole of depression and anxiety. It happened at a time when I was tired of being intimidated by other people when I could be standing tall and living the life God intended for me to live. What if it helps one person find healing from depression? What if it helps one person to be encouraged to take a stand? That’s why I talk so much about my healing.


Think about this: How can someone else’s life be encouraged or changed by hearing your story?


Sunday, August 28, 2016

Innocents Pray

A book review

Every now and then you run across a book that affects you to your very core.  It was that way with me when I read Lisa Lickel’s book, Innocents Pray.
To begin with, the setting in Innocents Pray seems like any other with what looks like an average American family, complete with their own struggles and quirks.  We have a father who works away from home more than he’s at home, a teenage son dealing with the struggles of being a teenager yet fighting fears and demons no teenage boy should face, and a mother who must yet again fight the battle with the dreaded C word, along with trying to decide whether or not to put her family through another battle.  Add to the story a live-in companion/nurse who becomes more than just a caregiver, but a friend to the mother, a spiritual advocate who has secrets of his own, a doctor who is searching for a cure and a whole lot more, and a few other surprises thrown in for good measure, Innocents Pray is a book that keeps the reader not only intrigued but wondering what’s going to happen with the next turn of the page.

Liberty Davis (more affectionately known as Libby), an avid artist who runs her craft and art business from a studio inside her home, is fighting the gnawing in the back of her mind that her cancer may have returned.  Passing it off as a strained muscle from walking the beach of her Wisconsin home, she ignores it and tries to hide it for as long as she can.  However, her companion and nurse, Nona sees right through Libby’s fa├žade and calls her husband Vic home from his work abroad.

Vic Davis, Libby’s husband has been secretly called home by his wife’s companion.  She fears Libby is sick again.  Catching a private flight with Brother Abel of the Alexian Brotherhood and spiritual advisor of Paradise House, a hospice facility stationed in California, Vic and Abel strike up an impromptu but distant friendship in the few hours of their flight.  Neither knows that they’ll ever meet again, nor how connected their lives will become.

Through the journey of Innocents Pray, you watch as first Libby, then Brother Abel detail their life events, always wondering how one plays into the other.  However, there are also a couple of mysterious blog posts from different blogs to contend with that lead the reader to wonder exactly who is posting these things and how distressed their life must be to write the things they do.

Innocents Pray is a very intriguing book.  I kept reading, trying to decide if Libby was going to succumb to the cancer invading her body.  Would Vic, her husband ever realize that keeping his home and family together was important, rather than jetting off to who knows where to install medical equipment for the company he works for?  Not that his job isn’t important, but doesn’t God also desire for one to keep his family together?  How were Libby and Vic missing the vital issues that their son Jordan was struggling through and why were they passing it off as just everyday things a teenager goes through?  What part did Nona, Libby’s companion and nurse serve in all this?  And how was Brother Abel connected?

Of course, add in the mysterious research that Dr. Rich Bernard is doing at Paradise House and it’s a web of mystery, intrigue and deception…or is it legitimate? Who will live and who will die?  That’s one question I wanted to know.  The outcome was surprising.  Through it all, faith in God flows through the undercurrent throughout the entire book.  Whose prayers will He answer?  How will He answer?  Does He even answer?  As the pull of the book claims; “One wants her to live, one wants her dead, one wants her cells.”  Who will get their wish?  Whose prayer will God answer?

Having lost my mother to cancer over twenty years ago, Innocents Pray tested my comfort zone.  However, determined to read this with an open mind I finished the book and was glad that I did.  It was a great story with twists and turns, lots of people, lots of opinions and a little bit of drama weaved in for good measure. 

It also led me to research the Alexian Brothers, a healing mission of the Roman Catholic Church.  They engage in *“a prophetic, holistic approach to healthcare, rooted in Gospel values.”  The Alexian Brothers have an 800-year legacy.  I had never heard of the Alexian Brotherhood, however found the organization quite interesting.

Lisa Lickel does a great job of keeping you entertained as well as wondering what’s next.
I recommend reading Innocents Pray, especially if you’re struggling with your faith, loss, or just want to be kept on your toes.  You don’t have to be Catholic in order to understand the depths of faith and questions we all ask God periodically throughout our lives; especially the question of, when several people are praying different prayers for the same person, whose prayer does God answer?


Innocents Pray is scheduled to release on September 1, 2016 and is currently is available for pre-order. You can secure your copy by going to any of the following links:












Lisa Lickel is a Wisconsin writer and editor who lives with her husband in a hundred and sixty-year-old house built by a Great Lakes ship captain. Surrounded by books and dragons, she writes inspiring fiction. Her novels include the Buried Treasure mystery series (The Last Bequest, The Map Quilt and The Newspaper Code) and the award-winning romance, Meander Scar; A Summer in Oakville, co-authored with best-selling author Shellie Neumeier, Healing Grace, The Last Detail and a series of historical early reader books, First Children of Farmington. She has a novella in Brave New Century, a historical anthology, and a radio play in the anthology A Wisconsin Harvest, Vol II. A novella, Everything About You, released as part of the Love Is series from Prism Book Group. She also writes short stories, feature articles, and radio theater. She belongs to the Chicago Writers Association, the Council for Wisconsin Writers, Women’s Fiction Writers of America and Novel-in-Progress Bookcamp & Retreat. Lisa loves to encourage new authors through mentoring, speaking, and leading workshops. Lisa also is an avid book reviewer and blogger, and a freelance editor. She is married to a high school biology teacher, and they have two sons and daughters in law, grandchildren and a grand-kitty. Find more at LisaLickel.com.



Walk Healed!

Shelley



*For more information on the Alexian Brothers healing mission check out the following link:



Sunday, August 7, 2016

Listen to Your Tour Guide

A few years ago I was traveling to speak at a weekend ladies retreat which was six hours away from my home. The journey was not only eventful but I was thrown every detour I could possibly run into. The GPS was telling me to go one way, while the printed directions said to go another. I knew the direction I had to go, was following the printed directions, yet the GPS kept telling me to make a U-turn and go in the opposite direction. None of it made sense. I felt like Alice down the rabbit hole.
 
disney.wikia.com
This trip was a new adventure for me. For the first time I was driving solo. I had never ventured out of my home area by myself any further than a couple of hours away. I knew my area, how to get to where I was going, and how to get myself home. This trip however, was into the Great Unknown for me. To say I was a little apprehensive would be an understatement, yet I was completely calm.


On this trip I ran into one road construction project after another. There were detour signs galore. Yet, I always ended up back on the right road in the direction I needed to be going. At one point even a huge thunderstorm and hard rain pelted my new car as I tried to navigate the highway and keep myself on the road and from running into another vehicle. But that didn’t stop me from moving forward toward my goal.

On the final stretch of road I knew I was nearly there. Yet, once again a detour. This time there was a complete road block with a detour sign which was pointing the opposite direction. I stopped in the middle of the road and looked at the sign. Really? Left? The place I was going, I knew in my heart, was not that direction. I looked left. Nothing. Then I looked right. There was a road. In my heart I heard, “Turn right.” So I did.

Up and over a set of railroad tracks and down this dusty road I went. I wasn’t sure how far I would go, but suddenly there was a gravel road going to the left and I heard again, “Turn here.” So I did. Now I’m in the middle of a huge corn field, on a gravel road, in the middle of nowhere, out of my area and alone. Great.


Suddenly though, there was a stop sign in the middle of the corn field. Who put that there? I stopped. I looked to the left and instantly saw the rail road track that I just had crossed earlier. Hm. So I turned left, crossed the tracks, and then stopped at the stop sign there. When I looked to the left, there was another barricade with a detour sign. I was on the other side of the road block. I had gone around it without having to take the opposite direction.

I turned right and was back on the road I had come in on and back on track to my destination. Within minutes I was where I was supposed to be. At my hotel. Safe. Secure. Relieved. And yes, I was thanking God for getting me to my destination.

That was several years ago. The ladies retreat was amazing. It was small, but for a first time speaking engagement, it was just what I needed, just what they needed, and I made a brand new friend and discovered a sister in Christ.


That trip taught me a lot about trusting God to get you where you’re supposed to be. The enemy throws many detours our way to trip us up, put us on the wrong road, send us in the wrong direction and just really mess with our lives. But when we absolutely know which direction we’re supposed to go, those detours won’t deter us at all, even if they tell us to go in the opposite direction.
 
fullbridgeacademy.co.uk
Not even Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, can keep you from doing what God has called you to do. But along the way, those interruptions and detours can become an entertaining and fun adventure if you allow the Holy Spirit to lead you.

My point is this; if you stay focused on your Tour Guide (God), then all the other distractions will be just the sights you get to see during your tour. By staying focused on Him, you will reach your destination safe, sound, and better than when you began… and you just might have a laugh or two along the way.

Trust me.


Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go,” whether to the right or to the left. ~Isaiah 30:21 (NLT)


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Don't Lose Your Sparkle in the Fog

For some reason I just woke up in the middle of the night. Actually, I woke up within an hour or so of falling asleep. It could have been several things, physical things, and at my age those things seem to be increasing in number. However, I don’t think it was a physical thing that woke me.

Although I did get up and take care of the physical things. I also became quite curious about the night and why I was awake. I even tried to go back to sleep, which didn’t work. But while I was up, I noticed that the atmosphere inside the house seemed off. The air conditioner was on, the blower was running, but it seemed…stuffy. Yet, the temperature hadn’t changed.

 Now, most people would say that was due to the humidity outside, which is generally correct. I set out to prove it to myself by unlocking the front door and stepping outside to feel the temperature and humidity for myself. That proved to be a learning experience all its own.

To say that I stepped into an Edgar Allen Poe atmosphere would be an understatement. It would have been easy for me to get lost as soon as I stepped onto my front porch, because when I opened the front door I literally stepped into the fog. This fog was real, it was thick, and it was tangible. It was also scary.



Being surrounded by fog is not only uncomfortable but it’s confusing, scary, and sometimes frightening. We can’t see when we’re in the fog. We can’t navigate. We can become lost. And sometimes the fog can be so thick that it causes us to crash. What do we do?



Don’t lose your sparkle in the fog.

Jesus says that we are the light of the world. We are to let our light shine. But how can we do that if we are surrounded by fog? Won’t we lose our sparkle? Absolutely not! Our light never goes out. Though the fog surrounds us, though it tries to extinguish us, it cannot because darkness cannot overtake the light. Therefore, we cannot be hidden in the fog.

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.” ~Matthew 5:14 (NKJV)


Instead, we can shine because the Light of Jesus shines from within us. Because we are His, because we are royalty, His heirs, we can sparkle for the whole world to see. We can straighten our tiaras, shine em up a bit, and allow the light of Jesus to bounce off that tiara and shine for everyone to see.

There are so many people wandering around in the fog today. They may not know they’re in the fog so how are they going to know how to get out if we don’t sparkle and show them the way?


“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” ~Matthew 5:16 (NKJV)


That fog outside my door is creepy. But I am confident that that fog has no power over me. I won’t lose my sparkle in the fog. Don’t allow yours to get lost, either. Let’s sparkle today so others can see what wonderful things God is doing in our lives. Be a light and help someone find their way through the fog.


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Hidden

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. ~Psalm 91:1

A friend of mine recently made a Facebook post which included this verse. This just excited me and I commented, “I love that whenever we feel attacked, overwhelmed, or just out of sorts we can simply cry out to God and He immediately shields us, hiding us from the enemy.”

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But you know, immediately after I posted this I was inspired that God gives us so much more than just a shield. When we are shielded by or “under the shadow of” the Almighty, we are hidden from the enemy.  Hidden!  
Did you get that? He can’t see us.

If he can’t see us, he can’t mess with us.  Think about this for a minute. 

In the movie Sleeping Beauty, Maleficent sends her minions and even her evil crow to fly throughout the kingdom, searching for the princess so that she could destroy her. But Maleficent couldn’t see her. Why? One reason is because Maleficent’s minions were morons, but Princess Aurora was hidden, literally in plain sight.

Now, change that to the devil looking for you.  By the way, he is looking for you.  God’s Word says that he “prowls around looking for someone to devour.” If he’s looking to devour you, dear lovelies that means he’s looking to literally destroy you.

BUT… He can’t.

Now let’s leave that for one minute and look at what happens when we run to our Almighty. Like hiding behind your mom’s skirts when you were little, or even under Grandma’s apron, you were hidden from whatever was after you. Whether you were hiding from a sibling, a friend, or something or someone who scared you, when you were under that shield, you were hidden and safe. You knew it. Why? Because you knew that Mom or Grandma wouldn’t let anything or anyone touch or harm you. That’s how it is with God, our Almighty Father, our Heavenly Daddy. He is our Refuge and Safe Place.

Can you imagine how frustrating it is for the devil that while he’s attacking you, wreaking havoc with your emotions and physical self, that suddenly you disappear? *POOF!* You are hidden from his sight. Invisible to the enemy. 

One word and you’re gone.

Jesus!

We are held in the palm of His hand. We are covered by the hand of God. Then we are sealed by the Holy Spirit. And nothing and no one can touch us. Period.

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Look lovelies, every day we wrestle with spiritual issues. They may come in various forms, causing us to think we are dealing with physical issues, personal issues with another, financial issues, mental or even emotional issues. But in reality it’s all stemmed from spiritual warfare.

The gist of it all is that we are attacked all day long, every day. We can handle it in one of two ways; physical or spiritual. If we handle it physically, we will wear ourselves out.  However, if we choose to handle it spiritually, we have immediate safety.

We may not see it with our physical eye, but if we look at it from a spiritual standpoint, we will see the hand of God moving in our situation, shielding us and rallying around us to bring our situation under His control. All we have to do is rest in Him, trust Him, and allow Him to do His thang.

Our Almighty, Most High, Heavenly Daddy, is our Strong Tower. We can run into Him and be safe. We can hide under His mighty wing, shielded from the enemy, hidden so that we can rest and recuperate. It’s not our battle, after all.  It belongs to the Lord.  And He has promised to fight for us. In fact, He already did, and He won. Therefore, we always win!

Are you tired today?  Are you running out of steam?  Have you run to the Almighty and allowed Him to hide you under His wing? If not, why are you still trying to do things on your own? Stop wearing yourself out and call to the Lord. He will hear you and answer you, but not before He shields you from your adversary.

Sometimes it’s a good thing to stay hidden for a while and rest. Gather your resources, put on your full armor, prepare for the wrestling match, and when you’re ready, God will raise his wing and you will appear before the enemy, already victorious… and there won’t be anything he can do about it. Why? Because as God raises His wing from you, you will already have your foot on the neck of the enemy and he will have to leave you alone.

Now, how exciting is that!

If you’re out of sorts today, let me encourage and challenge you today to run to God. While you’re hidden, pick up His Word and read Psalm 91. And if you want to read more encouragement, contact me for a limited reading list at shelley@shelleywilburn.org.


Until then…



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