Subscription Lists

Sufficient Grace

    by Shelly Weiss

July 19, 2007
Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load. Galatians 6:4-6 Yesterday, I was at an all day conference filled with both my current and former coworkers. As we broke for lunch (we had a free lunch caterer), I announced that I needed to go sit in my car for awhile. My former coworkers acted like this was the most normal thing in the world, while the current argued with me, telling me I didn’t need ‘quiet time’. At the end, my former coworkers agreed to…  ( Click for more )
One of my favorite animals is the sandpiper. Even as a child, I loved watching them tease the tide as they searched for food buried in the wet sand. They never seemed distracted or weary as they persistently looked for hidden goodies. Proverbs 6 tells us to work like the wise ant who “It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.” (v.7,8). It is so easy to view hardships as one’s lot in life, assuming the ‘victim role’. I guess God does not want me to be financially secure… Since…  ( Click for more )
July 16, 2007
Have you noticed that people tend to look straight ahead when trying to maintain their balance? Whether it be a tightrope performer or an individual attempting a sobriety test by walking a straight line, the tendency is to keep their focus on an object in front of them. Looking elsewhere causes a loss of concentration and steadiness. Plus, there is something supportive about centering on the target goal; internal as well as external distractions fade in the sidelines. Walking with Jesus is like that. When we take our eyes off Him, we are bombarded with internal and external diversions…  ( Click for more )
July 11, 2007
My heart is overflowing with praise for God’s goodness. I can physically feel the outskirts of it in my chest. My strongest desire at this moment is to hug Jesus while thanking Him incessantly, but I can’t feel Him with my hands (I definitely feel Him with my heart). He is so good to me all of the time. No, I didn’t win the lottery or have my children’s series published. I didn’t find a new job, nor the man of my dreams. Actually, I can’t pinpoint any impetus. Just as I wake up depressed with no reason, today it was the opposite. Maybe it stems…  ( Click for more )
July 10, 2007
Have you ever had a bad case of the flu with a migraine headache on top? You know, the kind where you ache all over, have no energy to walk to the next room, and wonder when the world got so bright that the light seems blinding? Your one wish is to stay in bed with dark curtains on the windows for a week or so with no intrusions. Imagine going outside in such a immobilizing state, or even worse, going to church! This is how depression feels sometimes. This is how I felt this past weekend. People don’t know when I am in a depressive state which is both a blessing and a curse.…  ( Click for more )
June 20, 2007
I hate borrowing money… I mean truly hate it. This morning, I woke up with the following verse in my head: You will lend to many nations, but will borrow from none. Oh, how wonderful that would be! How can I achieve that? What do I need to do to be in that position? As I always do when I need to hear from the Lord, I opened the Bible and listened with my heart. The fore mentioned verse is in Deuteronomy, which is a chapter about blessings for obedience. Deuteronomy 28:2,12All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God. The LORD will open…  ( Click for more )
June 19, 2007
I remember my first exam in grad school so clearly that my stomach still flinches when I think about it. Never had I earned below a ‘B’ so I was devastated to see the “C” in red ink on my paper. I made an appointment to speak with the professor and discussed, no, ARGUED over each answer, She felt I was overreacting, as did most of my friends, when I wanted to know her rationale behind each correction. I needed to know ‘how she thought’ so I could ‘give her what she wanted’ in the future. Even if I didn’t agree, I wanted to answer…  ( Click for more )
June 17, 2007
Psalm 37:4 says Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. He will give us the desires of our heart even when we cannot identify those desires. Yesterday, I found out I was not selected for the job I so desperately wanted. The setting and salary were unbelievably generous and the job duties could have been molded from my resume. Not only did I have extensive experience in everything they were looking for, I have proven to be an expert with the tasks. Truly, I was perfect for the job. So many people prayed for me that I was confident that this job…  ( Click for more )
May 18, 2007
While some people would deny this, my cerebral palsy did cause limitations in my physical abilities. I would play games with the neighborhood kids with minor changes in the rules… 5 strikes instead of 3, serve the volley ball a little closer to the net, etc.. My peers always found away to include me. One of my regular roles was the watchman… keep on the look out for the enemy and let the others know when we were at risk for attack. All I had to do was stand there and be on guard. Perhaps because I wasn’t in the ‘action’ part, I didn’t always take my…  ( Click for more )
May 15, 2007
Today is a very special day for me… it is the 24th anniversary of my dedicating my life to the Lord. My brother and I went forward together, which is so neat to me. Our church had a visiting pastor who, basically, scared us into accepting Christ by saying things like, “If you get in a car accident leaving the church without having asked Jesus into your heart, you’re going to hell!” Who wants that??? At the time, I got saved to avoid going to hell. I didn’t have a relationship with Jesus. Dutifully, said my prayers at night like a good little girl, maybe…  ( Click for more )
May 12, 2007
There is a difference between complaining about suffering versus sharing faith through suffering. Living for God does not mean life will run smoothly; sometimes, living for God is a life of continuous turmoil and trials. Hardships and afflictions are not necessarily caused by sin as some may imply (John 9:1-3). When things keep going wrong and we are faced with trial after trial, barrier after barrier, it is so easy to question, ‘maybe this isn’t God’s will’. But so many stories in scripture disprove the thought that hard times come from disobedience - reading…  ( Click for more )
May 10, 2007
Recently, I suffered a different type of trauma - my laptop cracked. Other than my cat and Bible, my laptop is my most prized possession. I use it more than my car, cell phone, and bed put together! So this cosmetic defect has been heavy on my mind. Since the laptop is still pretty new, I asked the store dude if it would be covered under warranty. He asked how it cracked… the moment of truth. I am not entirely sure how it cracked or even when it happened. I have been very careful not to drop, bang, hit, or abuse in anyway. So it is not a lie to tell him ‘I’m not sure…’…  ( Click for more )
May 9, 2007
There are some scripture passages that bring overwhelming comfort, leaving me to wonder why I make life so hard. Joshua 1:7-9 is a perfect example: Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified;…  ( Click for more )
One of my least favorite Bible verses is Isaiah 53:10, “Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer...” Even though I know how the Story goes, I don’t like this verse. Thinking that God’s will is to cause someone to suffer makes me uncomfortable enough, but the fact that this verses about Jesus has a profound impact on me. How can I expect God to protect me from hard times when his own Son was not exempt? How can I accuse Jesus of not understanding my suffering when He suffered for me? And how could I question the reasoning behind any…  ( Click for more )
May 4, 2007
27Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. 29For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. 30That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. 31But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment. 32When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned…  ( Click for more )
May 3, 2007
Yesterday was a heart-wrenching day in the world of disabilities. Virtually, it was Blog Against Disabilism Day where bloggers from all over the world wrote about discrimination in attempt to bring awareness to the issue. It was also the day the decision regarding cutting funds to the disabled in Florida was announced. I heard from parents, frantic that, without services, they’ll be forced to put their child in an institution. One told of how her daughter lost 12 pounds 2 months after being placed in a group home because people kept taking food from her plate, and no one did anything.…  ( Click for more )
May 3, 2007
Yesterday was a heart-wrenching day in the world of disabilities. Virtually, it was Blog Against Disabilism Day where bloggers from all over the world wrote about discrimination in attempt to bring awareness to the issue. It was also the day the decision regarding cutting funds to the disabled in Florida was announced. I heard from parents, frantic that, without services, they’ll be forced to put their child in an institution. One told of how her daughter lost 12 pounds 2 months after being placed in a group home because people kept taking food from her plate, and no one did anything.…  ( Click for more )
May 2, 2007
Sometimes I panic, wondering how I am going to pay my bills, how am I going to remain independent when my hands are losing their dexterity and my balance is slowly escaping. The one thing I seem to be gaining is depression. This is reality, unfortunately, and I am finding out it is not merely my perspective. A friend of 30 years recently stated, “I’ve always believed you could do anything you wanted, but now I see your walking isn’t as stable…” And my mother, who has always scolded me for proclaiming my disability as the reason I could not do something,…  ( Click for more )
I just don’t understand. Florida’s Senate and House Committees are debating over cutting funds to individuals with disabilities because the Agency for Persons with Disabilities is seriously in the red. Admittedly, I don’t know the specific financial details- but I do know how potentially devastating this could be. Families will no longer be able to care for their loved ones at home because support services will be too costly, if available at all. Therefore, people like me, people with normal cognitive functioning trapped in a ‘impaired’ body will be placed…  ( Click for more )
A few months ago, I declared to several people that I would be on a different career path by the second week of June. (I am taking a week to live on the beach on the one year anniversary of my beloved cat, Seminole’s passing.) The plan is to do some quality writing during that somber period to use my heartache for positive, productive material. My declaration was more than merely ‘wishful thinking,’ rather, I felt the time was set from above. Hard to explain, yet I still believe somehow, someway, something will happen to take me on a different path this summer. My…  ( Click for more )
April 29, 2007
Taking exams in grad school was always stressful, but not as stressful as defending my answers. Psychology tends to be subjective and if the professor did not see my point, it was wrong. I hated that she had so much power, using her opinion as a litmus test to grade papers. After the first few weeks of class, I would learn how the professor processed things and would tailor my answers accordingly knowing I could not change her mind. Regardless of my rationale, the professor had the final decision. Life is like that. When we keep making the same mistakes, regardless of our rationale,…  ( Click for more )
Yesterday, a friend came to my office to pick up the children’s book I wrote about disabilities. My office consists of rehabilitation counselors and technicians who counsel individuals with disabilities. Most of us are professionals with years of education and training on helping individuals with various challenges. I was disappointed, to say the least, at their ‘star-struck’ reaction to my friend, who happens to be a local news reporter. Men and women alike swarmed around me for information and discussion about her, and when I said she is a friend of mine from Bible…  ( Click for more )
April 24, 2007
Christians are frequently described as hypocrites and judgmental, even by fellow Christians. "Judge not or ye be judged" and related verses are often used as confirmation. Recently, I emailed someone about a confusing portion of scripture and asked him what it meant. He said we can never just read verses out of context and get the whole picture. With difficult passages - you always start with who is the audience, what was the setting. This morning, I read 1 Corinthians 2:15: "The spiritual man makes judgments about all things; but he himself is not subject to judgment." …  ( Click for more )
April 23, 2007
Fear always brings bondage. These words struck me this morning. What are we afraid of? Fear of the unknown? Fear of getting hurt? Fear of hurting someone else? What is the result of such fear? Isolation? Separation? Exclusion? Everything we fear can be traced to wanting to avoid some level of discomfort. Step back from the discomfort and love. That’s right, love. When you are afraid, remember God is Love. According to Smith Wigglesworth, ‘There is a place of perfect love for Christ in which you are always casting out all fear and you are living in a place of freedom.’…  ( Click for more )
April 22, 2007
This weekend I realized all of my close friends are Christians, at least the ones I hang out with on a regular basis. As my pastor describes his childhood, everyone was either a Christian or a not so good Christian (paraphrasing here). That is how my social circle has become, which seems like a good thing - but it is not. This weekend, I spent time in “the world” -- physically, conversationally, mentally, and spiritually. I forgot crucial survival skills - like going back to school after several years. Times change along with customs, patterns, mores, society. Just…  ( Click for more )
Got Something to Share? is always looking for new writers. Whether it is a daily devotional or a weekly article, if you desire to encourage others to know Him better, then signup to become a contributor.