Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


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Merry Christmas Eve!

Merry Christmas Eve!

Are you ready for the big day? I’m not sure I’m ever really ready, but since I have yet to learn how to stop time, it’s coming anyway. ;)

One of my favorite things about Christmas has always been the Sunday before. I have tons of memories of me, my sisters and Mama, all in matching velvet dresses on Christmas Sunday. Sometimes Mom got Jeffrey in a matching velvet vest, but for some reason could never get Dad in one. :)

party-gifts

I still love church on Christmas Sunday. We sing all the songs I’ve always loved, or most of them. And we hear about the Bethlehem Adventure–or at least part of it, depending on the preacher and what God gives him to share.

I love learning what I think I know and realize I don’t know. Like the wise men. You know, like the song. “We Three Kings of Orient are . . . ” and learning I don’t know how many Wise Men there were. (No one does.) And the idea that Mary rode a donkey when she and Joseph went to Bethlehem. Go back and read it again. Where’s that donkey? :( Poor Mary.

mary-did-you-know

More than anything, I like the reminder that Immanuel (God with us) who created the universe, became an infant so that thirty odd years later He could die for our sins. Our sins, not His. (He was perfect.) No matter how many rules we had, we couldn’t be perfect enough. But He is God, so He’s perfect, the Lamb of God, sacrificed for our sins.

His presence (remember, He’s Immanuel, God with us) is our present for eternity.

I like that so very, very much.


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Amazed

The song  below was our special worship song Sunday morning.

I don’t know about anyone else, but for me, the best part of Sunday Morning church is the song/communion/prayer time. Don’t get me wrong. Preacher Dave is the best minister I’ve had the pleasure of learning from. I really enjoy hearing him.

While I learn from PD, during the song/communion/prayer time I’m part of worship. For me, corporate worship means more than just those two words put together.

It’s our hearts joining together in adoration of the King, (AKA the Creator of the Universe and everything in it.)

It’s beautiful!

This past Sunday, just before we heard from the preach, a trio from the worship team sang while we watched the video. (Dad asked if they were the Andrews Sisters because of the beauty of their song.)

Take a few moments to listen and watch. You’ll be blessed.

♪♫ YOUR GRACE STILL AMAZES ME ♪♫

 

1-tg-4


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♥ Most Precious ♥

Want to see one of the coolest gifts, ever?

I’ve received lots of wonderful gifts in my life, and this ranks right up there at the very top.

1-tg-5Isn’t it beautiful?

It’s a gift I’ll always, always remember.

To be honest, I love every gift anyone has ever given me. I’m kinda like a little kid. You could give me a plastic squirt gun and I’d jump up and down with joy.

What’s so special about this simple white pitcher? (Besides the person who gave it to me.) It’s kind of like people. It’s what’s inside that makes it what it is.

1-tg-4Can you tell what’s on those pieces of paper? God’s word, written in the gifter’s hand.

 A lamp for my feet and a light for my path.

1-tg-3Proverbs 17:17–a hint to tell you who this was from.

1-tg-2BTW: I don’t leave the scriptures she wrote out for me lying around. I just wanted you to see them. :)

 A note also came with it. To me. Me, alone. (When you’re one of six kids, being the special “one” is unusual. And very welcome.) It tells me she loves me and that she prays for me each morning during her quiet time. And that the scriptures are ones that made her think of me or that God whispered to her about.

And she shared them with me.

I cry happy, thankful tears each time I look at my gift and think about (or read) the note, which lives in my Bible so I can read it and reread it.

I’ve thought about different ways I could use this idea for other people. I could make one of those memory boards with pretty ribbons to hold things in place, and put the scriptures under the ribbons. Or I could print them out and have them matted and framed at Hobby Lobby. There are tons of ways to share scriptures.

But nothing like that could ever mean what this has meant to me. A pitcher–not what The Woman at the Well used, but it holds the Living Water.

One more picture.

1-tg1

I hope you can read it.

Thank you, #4. Philippians 1:3-6 . . . Me, you, too!

For two years, having your note in my Bible and this pitcher of God’s words to you in my home has been a gift that kept on giving.

I’m looking forward to studying Gideon with you.

LY2.

Sisters


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Secret Prayer Sister

I have this thing God started putting on my heart many, many years ago. It’s a prayer thing.praying hands at oral roberts  3

Kind of hard to explain.

When I went to college, we had Secret Sisters. One person you bought gifts for, sent notes to, left little treats for, that kind of thing. I loved knowing that one person kept me in mind. (The best SS did special things all the time, not just on holidays.)

And sometimes you found that, during the time that person was your SS, she’d come to be your really good friend. (The best gift she could give . . . her friendship.)

Another thing that shines in my life have been my Prayer Partners. With four sisters and a brother who are all very strong Christians, I have built in prayer partners. These great people of God just love to pray for others. And, yes! He answers prayers. :)

Sisters

But when we moved to Pryor Creek, my sibs were an hour and a half away and since it was before cell phones and free long distance (kind of) I didn’t talk to them all the time.

When we moved into that town of strangers (well, I knew the preacher and his wife, but that was it) I started asking God for PPs.

Like I said, God answers prayers, and He answered that prayer in a Big Way. He sent me a pair of prayers you wouldn’t believe. Becki and Judy are Wonderful Women of God. The kind that you would have read about in the scriptures if they’d been around in Jesus’s time.

Bible Study 1

Anyway, those two things came together–Secret Sisters and Prayer Partners became Secret Prayer Sisters (or Sibling, as the case may be.) God put a person in my path and somehow, He impressed on me (’cause He doesn’t speak to me out loud. No burning bushes thus far in my life.) that I needed to pray for that person. Not just once, and not just for a little while. I needed to pray for them for a year.

The first couple of women I felt led to pray for, I sent a card to and told them I would be lifting them up for the next year. I intended to do other special little things for her like a SS, but . . .  I didn’t. :( And I intended to send a note at the end of the year and tell them who I was.

I didn’t do that, either.

I did pray, though. Funny thing is, when I start praying for a person like that, I usually forget to quit. I’ve had several SPS over the years. Some I’ve prayed for shorter seasons. And some I’ve prayed for, for years.

And there are times when I don’t feel led to have a Secret Prayer Sister.

Yesterday, I felt as if God was leading me to pray for a new person–but this time, it different. This person doesn’t have big problems in her life. (Some of the women I’ve prayed for have had huge, Goliath sized problems.) This young woman is beautiful and talented and well off. (Those are often things I pray about.)

If you met her and just saw what is visible to the world, you’d think she had life by the tail. But she doesn’t. Far from it, in fact.

Something happened this week, and I inadvertently got a glimpse. She didn’t mean for it to happen, I’m sure. Just a short sentence she tossed out, but it grabbed me by the heart.

So I have a new SPS. (This one could be a Secret Prayer Granddaughter, but we won’t go there.) As usual, I’m not sure how long I’ll be praying for her, but I have a feeling it’ll be for a long time.

Now I have a question for you–Does God put special people on your heart? Do you tell them? Do you send a note and tell them you’re praying or do you keep it a secret, just between you and God?


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She Knows.

My heart hurts today. (Bet yours does, too.)

Someone bombed the Boston Marathon, killing three people, one of them an eight-year-old, and maimed at least 10 more.

A friend’s cancer was recently diagnosed terminal. Time is short.

At least two of my friends have had children who died recently.

An earthquake killed 40 people somewhere in the world.

Men ignore their children. No child support. No fatherly attention. (Or the wrong kind.)

What’s a person to do when so many around her are hurting, and she has a dark, heavy, hard-to-breathe feeling? Break down? Live with depression? Suffer?

Nope.

All I have to do is look to at one of my friends who has lost more than one child for an example. This woman lives with the joy of today.

Amy-and-Kendal

She has two wonderful daughters who she enjoys to the max rather than spending each day mourning the two she lost. amy-and-the-girls

She sees how magical it is to be in the world today, and have a sure and certain faith in the Lord.

amy-and-deegan

She knows God is good. He loves us and wants all that is happy, beautiful and joyful for us. His mercies are everlasting and being with him in the By-and-By will be even more wonderful than what we have today.

And since I’m with her every day, I’ll just keep learning from her. She knows.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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2 Minutes & 40 Seconds of Fun!

Our worship leader often greets us on Sunday morning with, “Good morning, Church!” She’s talking about the people who make up the church, not the building, and I love it! This woman opens her heart each week and shares what God puts there. She’s not only extremely talented, she’s encouraging, loves the Lord and loves His church. One of those people who isn’t there to show off her own talents but instead to use what she has for God.

I’m telling you, she and the rest of the worship team make Sunday morning a time of real worship for Church.

The members who make up Church are all varieties. We have happy, happy, happy glee-filled rejoicing members, a few–very few–cranky members, singers, non-singers, and we have hand raisers . . . all kinds of hand-raisers. One handed, two handed, high and low. We even have some who raise their hands in a kind of private sign language.

I try to sit where I can’t see the private sign language members too easily, because I get so caught up in their signs that I lose track of what we’re singing. :)

The best thing about Church is there’s no condemnation. If you raise your hands, wave your hands or keep them firmly gripping the pew in front of you, it’s okay. (After all, God looks at the heart. Not just the palms.)

Whether you a hand raiser or not, I think you’ll enjoy this video. It’s great! I really want to visit this guy’s Church!

Village People, Rocky, Touchdown!

Pretty good, huh?

How about your Church? Are you hand raisers?

Carry the TV or Hold My Baby? :)

 


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Freaky Wednesday

I got this story in an email from my Walking Buddy yesterday. It’s one of those “Freaky Friday” stories, which sounded pretty familiar until I got to the end. The little twist there made me laugh out loud, and every time I thought about it all day, I grinned again.

I hope you enjoy it, too!

☺☻☺☻☺☻

A man was sick and tired of going to work every day while his wife stayed home.
He wanted her to see what he went through so he prayed, “Dear Lord, I go to work every day and put in 8 hours while my wife merely stays at home.

“I want her to know what I go through, so please allow her body to switch with mine for a day.”

God, in his infinite wisdom, granted the man’s wish. The next morning, sure enough, the man awoke as a woman.

berle

He arose, cooked breakfast for his mate, awakened the kids, set out their school clothes, fed them breakfast, packed their lunches, drove them to school, came home and picked up the dry cleaning, took it to the cleaners and stopped at the bank to make a deposit, went grocery shopping, then drove home to put away the groceries, paid the bills and balanced the check book. He cleaned the cat’s litter box and bathed the dog.

Then, it was already 1 P.M. He hurried to make the beds, do the laundry, vacuum, dust, sweep and mop the kitchen floor. Ran to the school to pick up the kids and got into an argument with them on the way home. Set out milk and cookies and got the kids organized to do their homework.  He set up the ironing board and watched TV while he did the ironing. At 4:30 he began peeling potatoes and washing vegetables for salad, breaded the pork chops and snapped fresh beans for supper.

After supper, he cleaned the kitchen, ran the dishwasher, folded laundry, bathed the kids, and put them to bed. At 9 p.m. he was exhausted and, though his daily chores weren’t finished, he went to bed where he was expected to make love, which he managed to get through without complaint.

The next morning, he awoke and immediately knelt by the bed. “Lord, I don’t know what I was thinking. I was so wrong to envy my wife’s’ being able to stay home all day. Please! Oh, please, let us trade back. Amen!”

The Lord, in his infinite wisdom, replied, “My son, I feel you have learned your lesson and I will be happy to change things back to the way they were. You’ll have to wait nine months, though.

“You got pregnant last night”

☺☻☺☻☺☻

Ps: Thanks, Carollea!

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