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Sufficient Grace

    by Shelly Weiss

March 10, 2008

I find it interesting whenever I fall, it is in front of “important” people whose opinion of me matters. Yesterday, my hero/mentor/brother told me to look out for a screen so I don’t hit my head. Half-joking and half-defensive, I replied, “I CAN see! I can’t walk or talk, but I CAN see!” At that moment, I tripped over a cord and fell while the Worship Team sang I’m even ready to fall in the song, “Courage”. He helped me up and my shoe fell off, so when he loosened his grip, I fell again! By now, we are laughing so hard that I…  ( Click for more )

March 6, 2008

My church uses a lot of visual media in each service, Powerpoint presentations with song lyrics harmoniously swaying with the music as we sing. This morning, I’ve had a similar visualization in my head, words to “Nothing is as Wonderful” playing as my heart joins in.

All I want is to know you, Jesus. All I want is to know I belong to you. Show me all of the things that are worthless that I thought were so valuable to you…

Nothing is as lovely; Nothing is as worthy; Nothing is as wonderful as knowing You…

All I want is to know…  ( Click for more )

February 27, 2008

Are you ready for a challenge? Your mission, should you chose to accept it, is to lay a request before God. The more ‘impossible’ the request, the better. Small request indicate you have a limited view of God. Now, your request must align with Scripture. Winning the lottery is not consistent with God’s character. Asking for financial resources to meet your needs is (*see Proverbs 30:8,9). Resist details such as telling God how your prayer can be answered. Remember, His thoughts are higher than ours ( Isaiah 55:9). Let me give you an example: Yesterday, I prayed…  ( Click for more )

February 25, 2008

I have a coworker who occasionally tries to stop smoking as evidenced by “Don’t Smoke” post it notes around her desk and in her car. For me, when I want to break a habit, I try not to think about anything related to the craving. Many times, I find God has removed my temptation when I trust Him enough to take care of the stronghold. Perhaps it is when I finally surrender, admitting I cannot stop the habit on my own, when my demonstration of faith and dependence on Christ takes over. Real danger comes when I minimize my weakness, ignore my conscience, and try fighting…  ( Click for more )

February 13, 2008

The storehouse is overflowing (Malachi 3:10)…

I can’t say I have tithed as I should, especially as a ‘cheerful’ giver. Bringing so little money home leaves little to spend, so I have had a bad attitude with giving. When I was on leave from work for 2 months and my Heavenly Father completely provided for me, I was so grateful and humbled that I joyfully tithed with excitement. The experience was ‘different’ as I wanted to give even more instead of making excuses to pay less. At the time, I was debating whether to jeopardize my safety by…  ( Click for more )

February 6, 2008

I recently visited Tallahassee after months of being away. Although I know that city better than Orlando, I found myself lost en route to a friend’s house. It seems they had rerouted one of the main roads, which I didn’t realize until I was in unfamiliar territory. Sure, there were signs to help navigate the construction, but I ignored the signs since I had traveled the road so many times before.

This same thing has happened in my walk with Christ. Ignoring detour signs for the sake of a ‘know it all’ self-reliance, I ended up in a dead end pit. “How…  ( Click for more )

February 5, 2008

One of my biggest regrets has been I have not done more with my writing. Failing to write has never been a problem, rather it has been doing something productive with my writing. This morning, as I meditate on Psalm 116, I realize I have done something very productive with my writing… I have used it to strengthen my faith. Truly, my writing has saved my life as I reflect on the deep pit I was in even 4 months ago as compared to my present state. When someone comes to your rescue in your deepest despair, you don’t forget that as it cements a bond between the…  ( Click for more )

January 31, 2008

I love how God has everything woven together so the pieces fit not only in my world, but the entire universe. For the past 3 months, my cottage has been gradually dimming as one light bulb went out, then another, then the third went out Monday. The bulbs were all in tight fixtures, making it hard for me to change with my proprioception and fine motor issues. After feeling like I lived in Laura Ingalls’ era, I finally changed one of them. It took me an hour and sunset was looming, but I did it. I kept repeating, “I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me……  ( Click for more )

January 30, 2008

Have you noticed how exceptions to directions tend to require correction? The shortcut doubles your voyage as you have to retrack your steps to get back on path? Why don’t we just stay focused on the goal, ignoring life’s distractions? Whenever I become too comfortable in a situation/job/relationship and let my guard down, a shake up occurs to put me back on track. God hems me in like a pinball rolling down a chute. I love that about Him. He never lets me wander too far away without reminding me Who is in control. My cat Addy has only been living with me for…  ( Click for more )

January 29, 2008

At the end of my work day, an incident happened that infuriated me. I mean I was livid! All I kept thinking was it’s gonna be a LONG night if I am not going to go to bed angry!! This hurt was going to take some ‘cooling off’ time. Driving home, I flippantly thought I’ll take it to the cross, give Jesus my burden and let Him deal with it. (I say ‘flippantly’ because the fire in my belly told me this incident would not be leaving my thoughts anytime soon!) As mad as I was and as justified as I was for being mad, my conscience was telling me it was…  ( Click for more )

January 27, 2008

The more time you spend with me, the easier my speech is to understand. When I am with people who haven’t seen me in awhile, I notice they have to get acclimated to my ‘accent’ again. (Personally, I get a kick out of watching the facial expressions of people who do not know me when I talk to friends who are so use to my talking, they get everything I say… I know the ‘newbies’ must think, “how is he understanding Shelly? Is it me? Is my hearing declining?”). Yesterday I met with some friends whom I hadn’t seen in months.…  ( Click for more )

January 18, 2008

I have a big decision to make. As I referenced yesterday, I thought I was going the right path, but input from ‘the world’ (including fellow Christians) has my mind reeling. My desire is to simply do the will of God, even if it is the hard way, because I BELIEVE the Lord will give me everything needed to do His will. The dilemma is discerning His will.

The question is should I speak up on an issue or keep quiet. While I can justify (with individual verses) why I should go either path, it is dangerous to make decisions based on single verses. (Andy Stanley gives…  ( Click for more )

January 17, 2008

Have you ever believed the storm was over only to find yourself in the eye of a hurricane? Yesterday I hit the eye wall. My storm is far from over. While I thought I was doing the right thing, now I am not so sure. “Childlike trust” keeps popping into my mind. My devotions this morning included these words by Blackaby:

God’s ways and thoughts are often so different from yours and mine they will often sound wrong or impossible. You need a readiness to believe God and trust Him completely. You must believe that what He is doing is best for you. Don’t try…  ( Click for more )

January 16, 2008

10For we must all appear and be revealed as we are before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive [his pay] according to what he has done in the body, whether good or evil [considering [what his purpose and motive have been, and what he has achieved, been busy with, and given himself and his attention to accomplishing]. – 2 Corinthians 5 – Amplified My job performance is evaluated by how many clients with disabilities become employed because of services and counseling I provide. Having to find 15 people working within 3 months is taking…  ( Click for more )

January 15, 2008

From 2 Corinthians 1 --3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 5For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. 6If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. 7And our hope for…  ( Click for more )

January 2, 2008

My cats pretty much have free reign over our humble abode except for a few restrictions – stay off my laptop, do not interrupt me during my morning quiet time, etc. Every morning, they insist on breaking each restriction.

Like Eve in the garden of Eden, the tendency is to focus on the few ‘no’s’ rather than enjoying the abundance of ‘yes’s’.

New Year’s Resolutions backfire as we focus so much on what we must not do that the ‘no’ becomes all we think about.

For over 20 years, I had a…  ( Click for more )

December 31, 2007

One thing I’ve missed by remaining single and childless is not being anyone’s priority. Holidays remind me of this reality. Thankfully (and mysteriously), I’ve been blessed with many friends who keep me from being lonely. Yet when holidays come, I decline invitations because I believe it should be a time of close family gatherings. As a result, I draw closer to Jesus, seeing Him as my ‘close family’.

Let me share how this has blessed me this year: By keeping Christ as my priority;

** My world doesn’t crash when some guy doesn’t…  ( Click for more )

December 26, 2007

The day after Christmas tends to be a busy day in the mental health field as people are dealing with let downs from Christmas, family conflicts, and returning to work (which is where I find myself). I’ve gotta be honest - I did not think this day would come when I had to return to such an oppressive environment. If I think about the reality, I will make myself physically sick, angry, bitter, and asking God, “why???”

That is how we tend to react to things seen, not knowing what God is doing in the background. If you find yourself discouraged today, let me challenge…  ( Click for more )

December 17, 2007

Tomorrow I find out when I can return to my job. Unsettling feelings and thoughts surround me realizing this sabbatical is coming to an end. Once again, my faith is being tested as I see no way this will work out. However, I believe God has a plan for me that is bigger and better than my comprehension, and in His perfect timing, He will bring it to fruition.

Faith is easy when there is money in the bank and a house full of committed, supportive relatives. I suppose if that described my reality, I wouldn’t seek God except for nighttime prayers. As a single woman with…  ( Click for more )

The more I learn about Jesus and his commands, the more I want of Jesus and his commands. I use to think I had to follow a bunch of rules in exchange for being a Christian, kind of like a pay off. I could live like I wanted to, having fun and feeling good, or I could be a good girl, follow the commands in the Bible, and be at church whenever the doors were opened. The first way was the easy way, while the second was the right way.

I was so wrong. Following Jesus and his commands is the easy way because he gives us directions for living in a way that we not only avoid the painful…  ( Click for more )

December 12, 2007

I heard a tip for driving on ice that can easily be applied to life: When you are sliding out of control, look in the direction of where you want to go, not where you are headed. Regardless what others say, Christians do get depressed, disabled and discouraged. Life for Jesus was never easy, so why do we think it should be for us? Instead of looking for solutions from those around us, we need to use feelings of unhappiness and pain as reminders to look forward to our ultimate destination. We can pray what David wrote in Psalm 60, “Give us aid against the enemy, for the…  ( Click for more )

December 11, 2007

I have only heard my mother cuss twice in my entire life. Once was when my brothers and I were arguing in the living room. I remember where I was sitting, I remember I was early teens, I remember she kept telling us to stop and we wouldn’t… but I cannot remember what we were arguing about.

She yelled “Stop fighting!” followed by another form of ‘darn it’ and we were so shocked, my brothers and I sat in silence for some time after my mom left the room. To her, it didn’t matter why we were fighting, she just wanted peace.

Yesterday,…  ( Click for more )

December 6, 2007

News Headline: Omaha Police say the 20-year old was behind Wednesday's deadly shooting spree at the Westroads Mall. I understand. I’m not justifying, accepting, or promoting his actions, but I understand. His family kicked him out, he felt like no one cared. He felt like a burden, he had nothing else to lose… I understand. Why he killed innocent people, I cannot understand yet the pain and suffering he experienced obviously clouded his thinking. This is why we need to reach out to the depressed. This is why we cannot avoid and deny clinical depression. People…  ( Click for more )

December 4, 2007

While chatting with a friend in the church parking lot, I noticed a magnificent sky-piece over her shoulder. “Look at the sky” and she silently admired it for 45 seconds or so. It looked like a beam of light coming from heaven, as if a way was being made for Jesus’ returning. We didn’t discuss what we saw but I am sure she saw something completely different. Maybe she saw a path going up to heaven… maybe she didn’t even see a path.

Nature and our world around us are God’s masterpieces. He made our surroundings colorful and melodious…  ( Click for more )

November 30, 2007

Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word. It was good for me to be afflicted so that I may learn your decrees. – Psalm 119:67,71 Physical Afflictions I have often wondered what kind of person I would be if I had not been born with Cerebral Palsy. Truthfully, I don’t think I would like myself. If I had to guess, I would be snobbish thinking I was better than most, walking by the indigent saying ‘get a job’ under my breath. With those having visible disabilities, I would probably view as being pitifully doomed to a life of misery…  ( Click for more )

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