Tuesday, July 21, 2009

These are Lean Times!

“Lean to the left, lean to the right, stand up, sit down, fight fight fight!” That rah-rah high school cheer may not exactly get you through your lean times right now, but these verses, which I call “Lean Harder” verses, are designed to do just that! 1 Peter 5:7 says, “Cast all your anxiety on Him, for He cares for you.” We are told clearly to put our worries on Jesus, to lean on him. Philippians 4:6 repeats this point, saying, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” The next verse explains the reward you will receive for this trust: “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Remember, these words bring power into your life -- His power! God is in control: “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” (Matthew 6:27). God looks out for you and will meet your needs. Jesus promised to shine light into your dark, whatever it is. “I am the Light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). God offers rest to those who seek Him: “Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him” (Psalm 62:5).

God is in the delivery business. He delivers joy, hope, peace, and calm in the face of fear -- all this -- based on what His Son Jesus Christ did for us on the cross. When Jesus died and then rose again, that sealed the deal for us. When we believe that, by the power of God’s Holy Spirit, we can come to God with everything, assured of an audience with Him. He invites us to lean harder. When you write “lean” backwards, you write N-E-A-L. It’s misspelled, but you can see the word there: kneel. Kneel more, at least in your heart. It helps see where God is directing your delivery!

Put your favorite power verses on your dashboard, computer, or mirror. Say them out loud, make up a tune and sing them, or memorize them. Woman to Woman® shows are always online to support you, too. My guests and I have tried to give you information to help you get through these tough times. Check out Sarah Hamaker’s ideas about working from home on “Hired at Home,” and listen to Mary Hunt’s advice on managing credit in “It's Your Money!” Their insights will cheer you on during the lean times!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Oh Deer!

Oh deer! They’re driving me nuts! Do you have any in your neighborhood? I’m used to deer scavenging my hostas at the Michigan cottage; it’s where they live. They were there first, and I have to get used to it. I’m replacing the big, lush, leafy hostas with boxwood, which don’t appeal to the deer’s palate.

But in southern Illinois, what could be eating my hostas, zinnias, and poinsettias? There’s a lumbering groundhog and its family living under the hill where my compost pile is out back. I’ve thought of capturing him/her and relocating the troublemaker to a spot out in the country. I can’t be sure to catch the entire family, though, so I just let them dig holes into the back hill and resent them for it. But this week I was getting “chuffed,” as my daughter-in-law would say, because I assumed these guys were the ones eating my greens for their salad.

Then my husband suggested it might be deer. No way, I said, not this time of year with so much traffic and so many people. We’re in a southern Illinois neighborhood for Pete’s sake -- and in a subdivision, no less -- near a big mall that recently went up and major highways. When he told me a friend of his saw a huge buck one street over, I started thinking, maybe he’s right; it could be deer. This morning on the way to church, there she was, a deer chomping down on one of my big hostas right in the front yard. The nerve! I clapped and she ran off. But she and her deer friends will come back and party tonight, I’m sure.

You know what it reminds me of in real life? People. Those people who come right in uninvited, through your boundaries, munch away at your pocketbook, mental and emotional health, and sense of fair play. They’re called “difficult people”… or just plain annoying! They’re dangerous for many reasons, including that you cannot stop them easily, if at all. That’s why I recommend the July 11 Woman to Woman® show, “Fool-Proofing Your Life.” Its concepts have helped me tremendously to cope with my “fools.” There are ways to take care of yourself, when you know them. So be sure to listen in and learn lifesaving, mind changing tips from Jan Silvious. Go to womantowomanradio.com. Click on over to the site, pull down the show right now, and get back in control of your relationship with your “difficult person.” You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes in freeing up your life!

As for the deer eating my plants, there’s probably nothing I can do to solve this problem. Jan’s concepts may work beautifully with people, but deer are another story. They are going to keep eating me out of house and garden. If you have ideas about how to keep them away, please be a “dear” and leave a comment to let me know!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


How did you spend July 4th? We caught a spectacular fireworks display at our daughter’s house this year. They live across the street from a country club where the sky’s the limit on celebrating! We oohed and aahed for 30 minutes with one sky-splash more beautiful than the next. The lightening bugs showed off as well, reminding us that not all the fuss should be over ignited chemicals. I went home with fireworks in my head, and the children went upstairs to put fireflies next to their beds.

History repeats itself in lovely ways, with traditions that bind us as a nation, as a family, as friends. I recalled trying to write our names with the sparkler before it went out and lighting the sparkler of the person next to us, my dad carefully sending up rockets to thrill us as they reflected in Lake Michigan with the neighbors coming over to watch, sliced garden tomatoes and potato salad and corn on the cob, and feeling like all was well with the world. I had sweet dreams that night, thanking God for the freedoms only dreamed about by my friends in other countries. I thanked Him, too, for the great Woman to Woman® 4th of July show we did with Jeff and Cindy O’Leary this week. Catch that one for sure online.

I also realized how dependent I am on Christ, The Light of the World, who doesn’t just show His colors once a year. His Light is for now and eternity, where He’s leading us by His grace. His mercies are new each morning, when I can’t find my way from point A to point B on a project or a trip, or when I’m just thinking something through. He stays around much longer than it takes to write my name with a sparkler. He has written my name in the Book of Life. He is always there with His light when mine’s out. How does He do it? With His Word and any way He wishes! “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path!” Read it and count on light for your next step, because you’re not in this alone!

Monday, July 6, 2009


The children’s message by the deaconess was about how some things are secrets, but we don’t want to keep Jesus a secret; we need to tell as many people as we can. My daughter and her husband were there, paying close attention with the rest of the congregation, as the deaconess paused and their 4 year old piped up, “My daddy has a secret!” The laughter was audible. From the side of the church came the pastor’s voice: “I’m available after the service if you want to talk about that!” More chuckles. The little sermon continued, and James returned to his parents. After church, they asked him what he meant about the secret. It turns out the day before he’d been helping his dad build their backyard swing set. He asked, “Daddy, why are you such a good swing set builder?” His dad answered, “The secret is to have the right tools and know how to use them.” So of course he shared!

There are several lessons within this story. When do you share a secret? Do you have the right “tools” for telling others about Jesus? Do you know how to use them? Why is it intimidating to talk about our faith? Maybe it’s because we think it’s all up to us, when actually it’s the Holy Spirit of God who does the work. We just report for duty and tell the truth.

You know how to talk with people; you do it all the time. You know when to speak up and when to shut up…most of the time, anyway. You can share a favorite recipe, a tip on how to keep your six-year-old content while you’re on the phone, the pitfalls of eating too much, and how to work out with results three times a week! So how hard can it be to share what Jesus means to you, why you’re a Christian? What your listener does with what you share is up to her. It’s a secret so worth sharing that there’s a reward in it for you. Jesus Himself said, “If I be lifted up I will draw all men unto me!”

In a sense, He meant to go give someone a lift by sharing who Jesus is! If you don’t, who will? And like the pastor’s offer in the church, Jesus promises to be available if you want to talk about that!