Hi Friend, thank you for stopping by my page. I hope that when you leave here, you will be better than when you came! Life is an adventure full of many surprises, my hearts desire is that you find your place, & purpose. No one can do what you were created to do, it is your uniquely amazing part, and may you laugh more than you cry, stand more than sit, and may you know just how wonderful you are! Don't deny the world the gift that only you bring! Love, Shannon

Not Now, but Hereafter~

Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. (John 13:7 KJV)

Beautiful One, have you ever gone through something that at the time made no sense at all? Do you know what it is to struggle and squirm, or maybe just be dumbstruck at how certain events are playing out in the symphony of your life? Silverman-harold-row-of-trees

What I love about Jesus is that, 2000 years ago, when He was about his Fathers business, He was also about yours and mine. Jesus not only taught principles for the people of his time, but He also, took the time to teach a lesson that you and I could apply to our life and time.

Jesus was relevant, yesterday, and today, and will continue to be, hereafter!

Most of the time that Jesus was teaching a principle, I love that He used illustrations. He didn’t just talk, He gave people something to see. I don’t know about you, but I do far better in my learning, when I can actually see how it’s done, rather than just being told what to do.

Jesus understood that the more people know, the better they will do. They will be armed with not just sight, but vision.

When Jesus got up from his last supper, and  washed the Disciples feet, He was also sending a powerful message to you and I, hereafter!
 

“What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.” Jesus was telling his friends, you will not understand why I am doing this to you right now, it will make no sense, but, hereafter, you will completely get it.

Beautiful One, have you ever known God was doing something with you, in you and around you, and yet didn’t have any understanding as to why, or how this was even important to your life? Has God ever been busy, while you have just been standing there, going along with it, but not seeing the relevance?

The Disciples were his closest companions, they knew Jesus, but his ways were not their ways. But, afterwards, after Jesus left them, everything Jesus showed them started to make sense. And, when the Disciples had to walk their faith out, they surely realized that all the illustrations jesus showed them, were simply weapons that they could use in the battle of life.

Beautiful One, the Lord knows we may not understand why we lost a job, or our marriage. Maybe, we lost loved ones along our way, or our reputations, maybe we lost even after we tried to do everything right.

No matter what night we face, we probably wont understand it at the time. If the Disciples didn’t, and Jesus admitted they wouldn’t, are we any different? But, afterwards, after the storm has passed, after the court case is closed, after the sun starts to shine, we will have our understanding.

Not only will we have understanding, but we will be fully armed, stronger, and definitely wiser.  Cutcaster-photo-800889984-Sun-Shining-in-Park

Beautiful One, you may not understand all the ways the Lord has taken you, or even liked them, but hold on, because there is a purpose for everything under the sun, and not now, but later, you will be able to say, I am still standing, hereafter!

Beautiful One, just believe.

 

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When God Goes Out Of His Way~

And it was necessary for Him to go through Samaria. (John 4:4 Amplified)


Beautiful One, have you ever had someone go out of there way for you? Has anyone ever put any thought or care into making you feel special? Isn't it a wonderful feeling to have someone make arrangements, or plan a surprise, or just do something wonderful for you, to let you know they really care about you?
Likewise, you may also know what it feels like to be left out, ignored, overlooked, and passed over. 3098773b

Do you remember the game kickball as a child? There are two teams and captains. Usually it's the most popular kids who are the captains, and they get to decide who is worthy enough to stand with them to beat their opponent. And, as children often do, their picking of the team isn't based on ability as much as feelings. Best friends always get picked first, and then the pecking order continues. How well you are liked is how well, and what order you will be received.

Although, children grow up, all too often this mentality doesn't. This feeling driven mindset is alive and well in most adults. Thus we learn that life isn't fair. Have you ever heard; "don't hate the player, hate the game?" Sounds good, but in reality, the game in and of itself doesn't plays itself, only the players could possibly play the game. The game exists to be played, not the other way around.

Life can become problematic. Because wherever there are people there are problems. That's just the way it is.

The woman at Jacobs well, was one undesirable player in life. She was an unpopular Samaritan, strike one. She was a woman, strike two. She had had five husbands, and was now living with her boyfriend, definitely strike three. Back in the day, all three of these issues were social and cultural issues, and you just didn't want to have any of them. I think its safe to say, this woman was no stranger to problems. She probably felt like the last kid to be picked for the team, only its worse for her, because no one would pick her, she was lowest of low.

But God went out of his way to meet her, God knew it was necessary. He knew what others didn't, that a woman, a sin filled, problematic woman would be there, and God went straightway. The Scriptures don't tell us she had been praying, or calling on the name of the Lord to help her. God simply interrupted her usual dealings, on an ordinary day at a well of grace. God went out of His way to make sure she was on his team. Images

Beautiful One, no matter what mess you have gotten yourself into, no matter who overlooks you, or who glaringly does, you must know, God sees you. In fact, across town, just on the other side, God may be busy, and then find it necessary to stop by your place along his way.

The best part is, the places you've bled, fought, and stumbled your way through, are the very places that now qualify you to be a player on his team. When God goes out of his way, He wont let anything stand in yours, He will surely get to you!


Beautiful One, Just believe!

 

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When The Bell Rings...

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. (Romans 8:37 NIV) Boxing_ring1

Beautiful One, are you a fighter?  May I suggest that in our Christian walk we need to be. Sometimes, when challenges ride into our lives like a tsunami, we need to grab our armor, and use that fighting spirit God deposited in  us.

A fighter is defined as : A person who does not easily admit defeat in spite of difficulties or opposition, one who fights as a warrior or soldier. Sometimes we look at others and think that they are mighty in the Lord, and we are just of a meeker, more gentle spirit.

But the truth is, you and I are fighters. Plain and simple.  Life and people will uppercut, and hit us below the belt even, and we will come to a defining moment. Will we stay down for the count, or with everything in us, get back up?

Beautiful One, there is nothing that can happen to us, that surprises God. Wouldn't it be awful if we say to God, I cant believe this happened, and He replies, "yea, me too." Isn't it a wonderful thing that God has already deposited a resiliency and strength to conquer and overthrow any obstacle in our path?

What I love about the fighting spirit is that, in order to be a fighter, there has to be someone or something to fight.  It's not an elective as much as prerequisite.

Sometimes we forget who we are and the power within us. Within us lies a warrior, a soldier, a conqueror. Nothing gives the enemy a black eye more  than  a man or woman who knows this about themselves. You can throw just about anything at them and no matter what, they are not going down!

People will betray you, talk about you, lie to and about you, throw you out and close the door, but so what!

They might throw you out of a job or a house, or out of their life, but they cant throw you out of the kingdom. You might be down but your not out! Fighters usually are armed with only 2 things: who God is and who they are in him. Thats it! David slayed Goliath  knowing  this, Gideon won his battle, and "Jesus" endured the cross knowing this.

You are a child of the King, Christ is in your corner! You're destined to win. So fight your way through, dance on  injustice, and laugh in the face adversity! By doing this, you wont just hush people up, but their jaws will drop to the floor when they see you soaring, instead of drowning!

The best revenge in life is knowing how mighty your God is, and that you are made in his image. So grab your courage and go, don't forget some joy along the way; that is where your strength comes from! Let nothing or no one stop you. And when that bell rings you will be the last one standing!

Beautiful One, just believe.

 

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The Warrior Within~

"If you have raced with mere men on foot, and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble and fall on open and safe ground, how will you manage in the thickets of Jordan? Your brothers, your own family members have turned against you, they have raised complaints against you. Do not trust them, though they speak well of you."
(Jeremiah 12:5-6 NIV)  Images

Beautiful One, have you ever raced with men who have worn you out? Not just any men, but confidants, spiritual siblings, co-workers, husbands, and wives, even children. Do you know what it is to share your life and open your heart just to have your kindness trampled underfoot?

Jeremiah understood this, and perhaps you the person reading this, understands the pain this passage speaks of. This was the Lord's answer to Jeremiahs suffering. Jeremiah cried unto the Lord why? Why has this happened, why have you sent me here with a purpose and a plan, and why have I been rejected and torn to pieces?

It always amazes me the way the Lord deals with His children. The Lord is tender, yet in our darkest hour, when tears streamline down our face, He speaks a word not to our pain, but to the warrior within.

The Lord  told Jeremiah, if running with these men has caused you to lose heart and faint, and these are just men, mere specks on my overall plan, how in the world will you ever race against horses in all their strength? If this small thing in a safe land overcomes you, how will I ever be able to send you into the thickets of Jordan, into a land with giants?

  A few years back, I walked through a painful situation. It involved spiritual family members. The magnitude of  brokenness I experienced was inflamed by my personal involvement with each of these people.

There is no denying that God handpicked all of us to dwell together for a season. What do you do when the plan of God brings forth pain, suffering, and rejection? What do you do when you are hit below the belt by those closest to you?

The Lord has given us the answer. God didn't speak to the why's, He spoke to the warrior within that would ultimatly prevail. In this passage the Lord acknowledges the wrong done to us. God acknowledges that we have been lied about, and rejected. It's as if He lovingly, yet firmly reminds us, I saw it, I see it all, but if this will break you, if these men and their words and actions will destroy you then how can you ever go forward into what I need you to do? How can you ever face the giants in the Promised Land where you will have to fight, although it has been given to you?

Beautiful One, people will hurt you. You cannot escape this reality. But just because there is pain and injustice, doesn't mean the plans have changed. It only means that the pain will play it's part.  If men are wearing you out, never underestimate the power of the warrior within! God wouldn't allow it to happen, unless He plans to use it to help you further down the road.


Beautiful One, just believe...

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What If?

"Our worst fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God; your playing small doesn't serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us. - Nelson Mandela

Beautiful One, have you considered the ‘what ifs’ in life? Not in the way of worrying, but more like what if a certain thing hadn't happened, or a person hadn't chosen to resist to defeat and push on towards victory?

Did Michael Jordan believed his high school coach when he said he was a terrible player and had him cut from the team?

In his early years, teachers told Edison he was "too stupid to learn anything." Work was no better, he was fired from his first two jobs for not being productive enough. As an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. What if he hadn't tried just one more time?

What if Winston Churchill quit school after he failed 6th grade - twice?

BallonsWhat about a man who was fired by a newspaper editor because, "he lacked imagination and had no good ideas"? And after that, started businesses that ended up in bankruptcy? What if Walt Disney believed in his failure more than his own imagination?

R. H Macy started seven failed business before finally hitting big with his store in New York City. But what if he hadn’t?

What if these words were heeded: "You ain't goin' nowhere, son. You ought to go back to drivin' a truck." What if Elvis Presley had done just that?

What if Steven Spielberg’s rejection from the University of Southern California School of Theater, Film and Television three times, was enough for him to leave his dream alone and reject it too?

What if the Apostle Peter had never gotten out of the boat and walked on water?

What if the blind man hadn’t called out to Jesus?

What if Mary hadn’t found favor with the Lord?

What if the prostitute Rahab hadn’t hid the spies?

What if Abraham didn’t believe God?

What if Jesus hadn’t gone to the cross?

Beautiful One, what if you changed those negative voices in your head, and made them positive; made them like you instead?

What if you think you can’t? But what if you think you can?

What if you don’t try? But, what will happen if you do?

What if you don't fall down? How will you learn to get back up?

What if you would just close your eyes, and dream, imagine, and believe?

What if dreams really do come true, even if the reality of it rests solely on you?

What if it's really true about me and you? What if we are powerful beyond measure?

Beautiful One, just believe, for nothing is impossible for those who do (Mark 9:23 NIV).

 

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Takers~

"Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain" (Exodus 20:7 KJV).

Beautiful One, have you ever misused the name of the Lord? Though some of us may never take God's name in vain, or even think of swearing with it, there is more to this commandment than meets the eye. 

According to the Hebraic definition for vain, it means to misuse the name of the Lord. It goes on to explain that if we use it in vain, we too become useless, empty and figuratively worthless.

Wow, who would've imagined that? As followers of God, taking His name in vain is like misusing our talents, or choosing not to help others. Are we even attempting to share what God has given to us, and freely lend out what has been freely given? Or, are we just wasting our days, hoping someone else will do it tomorrow?

Beautiful One, are we takers? 

Taking from Jesus

Jesus encountered takers while here on earth. They took his fish and two loaves. They took his wisdom, forgiveness and healing. They took his life; torturing it before they ended it. They even took his 1.1260827274.hands-asking-for-donationsfriends and did to them, what they did to him. They took all the benefits he freely gave, and in return, gave back nothing but grief.

It is incomprehensible that the Son of God had to listen to jeers and angry screams up until the final moments before he died. He endured bitterness from the very ones who took the most from him.

Are we takers?

Beautiful One, I often wonder if we are just like them. Do we take the best from God, only to turn around and take his name in vain? Do we bear the name "Christian," enjoy all the benefits and blessings that come from being a Child Of God, and yet do nothing for him, say nothing, and be nothing for our Lord?

It's an uncomfortable pondering once we understand what the commandment is really saying.

This may also hit home to those of us who sit in a church, but don't serve in it. Or those of us who take a paycheck, but keep all of it for ourselves, and still have the strongest opinions of how the monies are spent in ministries.

It's difficult to think that staying neutral with our friends, family members or coworkers not to offend them, is an offense to God! This is just like a Mafia-type movie. The Good fellows go to church, wear the cross, and yet continue to kill people. They bear the name of God, but make it worthless by their calloused actions.

Continue reading "Takers~" »


Exceptional Living~

Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom (Daniel 6:3, NIV).

Beautiful One, have you ever been known for something exceptional? Has the word exceptional ever described you? More importantly, do we really understand what the word exceptional means?

Im_fabulous_intelligent_noble_exceptional_tshirt-p235770115812344929qiuw_400 To be exceptional means: To be better than average: superior, deviating from the norm. Exceptional also means to be excellent, or something wonderful.

Beautiful one, in a world that screams for us to conform to the norm by day, but whispers disingenuous lies about our faith at night, how can we be exceptional people?

The hard truth is that there is a lot of thought and care that must first be wrestled with in the recesses of our minds. For some of us, it might take a lot of attention because we are so conditioned to focus on others, or the cares of this world, that we miss opportunities hidden deep within us which can help us be exceptional.

Learning How

We are the masters of our fate. In other words, God has given us the power to live a life that is exceptional. Every day, despite ourcircumstances, we have the choice to be better than average. But, it is a choice. It is also possible to deviate from the norm, and break off into something that goes above and beyond what we expect from ourselves and others.

Expectations also play a huge part in our life. If we don't think we are capable of achieving something, than most likely we won't even try. When this happens, we negate our opportunity for favor and blessing in our lives. We receive nothing, because nothing was ever done to begin with!

Continue reading "Exceptional Living~" »


Everyday...

Beautiful One, there are things in life that happen everyday. Things happen that make sense, and things happen that dont. Life is a funny thing, sometimes you learn to find your voice, and sometimes life silences it. We are all in this  life together. Men, women, and children. We come from different places, near and far. We hold different values and  beliefs. Some of us are Christian, and some of us are not. We all need air to survive, and food and water to live. We walk on the same dirt, feel the same sun, and each are given the same amount of time in a day. Life is actually a series of events of things that happen each and everyday. 890_trnsFeatured

Everyday- someone is born, and someone dies, a dream is birthed, and another dream fades. Everyday, someone is laughing, while another is crying. Everyday, someone finds faith, while another one loses theirs. Every single day, one half of the world goes to bed full, while the other half goes to bed hungry.

Everyday, someone gets upset that things just never go their way, and at the same time, on that same day, someone else is upset upon learning their child just passed away.

Everyday, someone is befriended, and someone is betrayed. Everyday, someone feels safe, while another is afraid. Everyday, a marriage begins all shiny and new, and on that same day, someone else is saying; what was wrong with me, why did I say I do?

Everyday, a sickness prevails, and another one is healed. Everyday, someone buys a home, while another is taken away. Everyday, a relationship is restored, while another is destroyed, and everyday, someone finds the courage to leave and just walk away.

Everyday, people gather in unity and worship and pray. And everyday people are killed for having something to say.

Beautiful One, everyday life happens. It happens to us all. Everyday that we are here means that we have the chance to make everyday a beautiful day. Even in the face of adversity, or success, we can determine to make today, a better day than yesterday.

Celebrate your successes, experience your losses and learn from them. Try to remember that someone somewhere is going through the same thing, if not worse. More importantly, remember God. Remember; "The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him." (Psalm 24:1 NLT) No one who is on this earth is beyond reach. As long as we are here, until that last breath leaves our body, there is hope for each one of us-everyday.

In a world that beholds so much beauty and life, there is death. Everyday, someones heart is broken, and can remain that way. Let us be the one who invades their day. Let us be the one who bring hope, healing and love each and everyday.

After all, we are here. We do life together. Let's make it beautiful, everyday!

Beautiful One, just believe!

 


 

 

 

 


This, Is Not That!

So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him. (Jeremiah 18:3 NIV)

Beautiful One, have you ever been through a crisis, an event or even a series of events that have changed your life forever? Do you know what it is to wake up one day and realize that you are not the same person you were yesterday, and upon that realization, it becomes the most frightening day of your existence. 3706697740_65f36ce14b_m

What makes this a frightening reality is that you don't know quite how to define yourself anymore. Everything you used to be, all that you knew is changed. You go through moments in your daily life that when faced with certain situations, you are quite aware that you are not the same anymore. It's as if an innocence of optimism is gone.

There are certain things that happen in life that blindside us. We start out one way, only to find we have landed somewhere completely opposite than expected.

Now you have to start from ground zero. At ground zero you have to rummage through a mountain of a mess just to find yourself. Only this time, your starting with the firsthand knowledge of just how cruel and unfair life can become. Now, you are in an even more difficult position, because the knowledge of  the pain you've experienced are the glasses in which you view your future.

Beautiful One, life happens. Sometimes life is filled with challenges, and trials of magnitude proportions. Things happen and, sometimes the things that happen are so wounding, and hard to overcome, that we feel like we're drowning.

Continue reading "This, Is Not That!" »


The "E" Files...

Extraordinary; beyond what is usual, ordinary or regular; exceptional in character.

Beautiful One, have you ever wondered what made certain people extraordinary? Do these people have a special formula?  When the giftings were handed out, did we get the memo?  Or, have these people simply gone the extra mile to get a step ahead of others? Sometimes it is easy to see what others have accomplished, and perceive their inherent greatness, but often times, we forget to stop and rewind a few chapters and see all of the obstacles and challenges one has had to face in order to get where they are. Images

Extraordinary people will  have extraordinary problems. Just look at the people God used over the pages of time in the Bible. Each was exceptional in their efforts and victories.  But take a closer look and one can see that each of these people faced insurmountable trials and troubles. Gideon, king David, the Apostle Paul, and  even Jesus, all had extraordinary experiences...

Maybe the extraordinary thing about each of them, was they simply did not allow their circumstances to define who they were. Each one faced trials and tribulations. Each were called and chosen by God for a specific purpose, and each one at one time or another wanted to give up.

But they didn't.

It is simply extraordinary to not give up, to take the bruises, and the lumps, falling down, yet getting right back up, irregardless of feelings or circumstances.

 

Continue reading "The "E" Files..." »


Because God Said So.....

 

     "Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness" (Genesis 15:6 NIV).

Beautiful One, do you know what time it is?

As we turn back the pages of time, we see that each generation had its own set of challenges. The world as we know it is no different; we are in turmoil set in motion by the challenges of our own day.

Suffering people Peace eludes the Middle East; many countries are drowning in sickness and starvation. Women and children are brutally sold into slavery all over the world. And, whether we realize it or not, genocide still occurs in some nations.    


Right here in our own backyard, recession abounds. Discouragement has replaced feelings of security in many middle-class families while people pound the pavement  looking for employment. Those who are barely hanging on are starting to feel their strength crumble. Even those on governement assistance are struggling under the weight of our weak economy.

Relationships are suffering and families are falling apart. In times such as these, it's easy to forget to do one simple thing: just believe! All of today's the trials are enough to make anyone grow weary and give up. But have we forgotten what is impossible for man, shall be possible for God?

"Have we forgotten that all things are possible for those who believe?" (Mark 9:23).

Worrying is easy to do. We worry about how we are going to make ends meet, if we will have health care, or raising children in this crazy world. But the good news is we are not victims of circumstance. No, we have much more value than a bunch of statistics. We are children of the most high God. If the earth belongs to our Father, and we are his children, then what do we have to worry about?

Is God only the Provider and Healer when life is comfortable? Is he waiting for everything to fall apart just so he can abandon us? No!


Beautiful One, it is time to believe. Forget about all of your troubles and 1525308681_45e1045620_mremember "without faith it is impossible to please God" (Hebrews 11:6). It's simple. Regardless of what the world says, never forget that faith pleases God and helps us through difficult times.

My youngest son likes to do his laundry right before he goes to bed. He usually goes to bed before putting the clothes in the dryer, and I assure him that I will do it when I get up the next morning. But for some reason he reminds me at least three times a night. I have never forgotten, and yet he thinks he will wake up to wet clothes.

This hurts me. As his mother, I want dry clothes for him more than he does. It bothers me that he thinks I will forget to meet his need. Beautiful One, we sometimes treat God this way. We know he is capable, yet our unbelief peeks through.

Abram went through the same thing. God promised him a son, but Abrams got tired of waiting and got himself into trouble when he listened to his impatient wife. Abram believed God, but tried to help God along. God's promise came to pass in Abrams life despite his foolish choice of having a son with Hagar, Sarah's servant girl. Believe it or not, overall God was pleased with Abram's faith and said he (Abram) was righteous because of it. God may not like all the choices we make, especially if those choices show a lack of trust in him, but God is also eager to forgive.

Faith in God should always trump our actions. A genuine, and unwavering faith causes our actions to align with our heart. And that is what God desires above all else: our hearts.

It is time to believe again. Believe that something better is coming. Believe that what you see right now is temporary. We need to believe because God says to do this! If we believe in God, we can know he has it all under control.

Believe in the invisible, because if you can see the invisible, you will surely do the impossible.

May God receive all the glory that is due him.