Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


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2015–What Else is New?

Happy New Year!

sunriser

How many times have you heard that lately? How many times have you said it? So . . . what does it mean? Is it a command? images

Have a happy year, or else! Got me?

Or a question? imagesTYTQ746F

It’s a new year. So, are you happy now?

And what’s it talking about being new? Me? Bahahaha! Not hardly!  susans-a-baby   In this new year, what new and wonderful things are you planning? Trips to take? Books to read? (I can suggest a few if you need help.) *wink*

Are there new dishes you want to cook? (I’m going to try some wok cooking.) Hobbies–arts and crafts– you want to try? (Is there anything I haven’t tried?)

Or maybe you’re planning to complete a marathon? (I’m not.) Run a 5k race?  (I’m not doing that, either.)

I am going to try to complete something that I’ve failed at before–reading through the Bible in a year. I’m not making any promises, but I’m going to try.

And I’m joining Beth Moore and a couple of my sibs memorizing scriptures this year. Instead of jumping around for my scripts, this year I’m going to take several in a row, starting with Mary’s Song in Luke 1 beginning at verse 46–“And Mary said, my soul glorifies the Lord.”

Then in two weeks, I’ll quote that one, and memorize 47–“And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,” and so on.

What are you in 2015 so it’ll be different than 2014? Terminally Curious wants to know! 😀

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I Heard . . . God?

I’m wondering, does anyone else think God talks to them?

Before you send for the guys with the big butterfly nets, hear me out. I don’t think He talks to me. It’s not like I hear His voice or anything. But I truly think He’s involved in our everyday lives and He communicates with us if we let Him.

Click here to read about one of the times when God spoke to me.

I think He talks to us anytime we’re willing to listen. But we don’t get to edit what He says. 🙂

A few years ago, I started to participate in NaNoWriMo. That’s a national challenge each November to write a fifty-thousand word manuscript in a month. That’s 1667 words a day. I wanted to be finished before Thanksgiving, so I upped my daily scheduled word count to more than 2000.

So a couple of weeks in, I was on schedule. No editing. No rereading. Just getting up every morning at 4:00 am to write, write, write.

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About halfway into the book, I woke up one morning and it was as if God had emblazed a thought in my mind. That wasn’t the kind of book I should be writing. It wasn’t the kind of book for which I wanted to be remembered. So I stopped that book right there and started working toward writing Christian Women’s Fiction.

Now, here’s my latest adventure. (Preacher Dave calls them Weird God Things. I like that.) Back on September 23rd, I hit the point in the book I’m working on where I stalled out. I loved the book and the series that it would be part of. Star and Glory and Eli and all the other characters had become friends to me. But in my mind it just wasn’t going anywhere.

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So I prayed about it. “Is this what You want me to be doing, Lord? Am I listening to You or is it my ego pushing me? Should I write or not? WHAT DO YOU WANT?”

 Now, anyone who knows me knows I enjoy listening to Beth Moore.

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I’m not a Beth worshipper, but she speaks to women my age. I get her. You know? She’s on Life Today most Wednesdays, so I listen to her while I get ready for work.

That morning, September 24th, the very next day, this is how she started her show. I copied it from the Life Today website instead of paraphrasing because I wanted you to hear her.

Beth: And I wonder today, just so we can get on the same page mentally, what is it hanging over your head? What is it, that project, that thing that you started? For somebody listening today or watching — it is a book.

Oh! My! Stars! I was stunned.

Beth: Something — there’s like chapters of it and it just keeps sitting there — just sitting there.

I’m not sure I was even breathing at this point. 🙂

Beth: And you just keep saying, “I’m waiting on the Lord.” And the Lord is up there going, “I’m waiting on you.” Anybody?

I was mentally jumping up and down and waving my arms at this point.

Beth: I’m not saying that’s necessarily your situation, I’m saying, you need to check and see. Is it Him we’re waiting on or is He up there going, “I’m waiting on you. I brought you into this.”

Gulp. Double-gulp. Really?

The. Very. Next. Day.

Here’s a link to the actual video so you can hear it for yourself–

http://lifetoday.org/video/it-is-finished-part-1-2/

Does God talks to us? Could everything I just described just be a coincidence?

Do things like this happened to anyone else?

 

 


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Living Proof

Know what I did last weekend? I went to the Living Proof (Beth Moore) conference in T-Town. WHAT A BLESSING!

I was there with two of my sisters, Debbie Sparks and Amy Nation, and several of my spiritual sisters. What a fantastic time in the Lord!

And some of us got to sit right on the front row!

This video is a recap of the weekend. If you watch it, at four minutes in you’ll see my sister, Amy, in her wheelchair. Look quick! (That’s my arm in white clapping next to her. LOL!)

I’m telling you, I was hugely blessed from our time together. I had only one complaint about the entire weekend. (Not the rain.)

IT DIDN’T LAST LONG ENOUGH.

But then, even if it had gone on for a solid week, I’m not sure that would be long enough.

Living Proof Live: Tulsa, OK – Recap.

A little farther down on the Living Proof Blog, I saw this. And once more, I was blown away.

My Dear Sister,
God has summoned you

To a growth-spurt of Grace
Know your Biblical facts
And stand squarely and securely
On the Name of Jesus alone
With your head tucked under grace
Get out of your cemetery
And quit trying to call
That old you from the dead
You are somebody new
In Christ you are highly favored
And wildly empowered
Forever loved
Completely made clean
Sin no longer has dominion over you
Trade all your anxieties
For the peace of Jesus Christ
You have been justified freely
By His death and resurrection
Listen hard, Girlfriend:
You are FORGIVEN.
Live like you know it.
You are called to the obedience of faith
So credit Jesus alone
And take Him at His Word
He credits that as righteousness.
Never forget that God’s grace abounds
So if you find yourself in short supply
Get your head back under that spout
And drink like you’re dying of thirst
When times are hard
And your strength melts to weakness
God’s grace will always be sufficient
It won’t be long
Till we see His face
And He will show Himself worthy
Of every ounce of pain and faith
Now to Him who is able
To keep your feet from falling
And to present you
Before the Presence of His glory
With overwhelming joy
Be glory and majesty
Dominion and authority
Both now and forever
Amen


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SSMT # 13 (I Think I Missed a Couple Along the Way)

Time to change the verse I’m memorizing. 🙂 So! Fun!

Honestly, I love memorizing God’s word. Or trying to memorize it. Sometimes I put it in my heart and mind and it slips right out again. Oy! LOL.

Here’s my verses for the next couple of weeks:

Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky. Philippians 2:14-15

Confession: I might have memorized this verse before. Not this year (I checked) but sometime in the past, I’ve tried to memorize it.

I’m trying again. 😛

Reasons: I love that part about shining like stars in the sky. I love stars! I’m not sure if I like this verse because of the stars or if I like stars because of this verse. Kind of a chicken and egg thing, ya know?

Yeah, I’m weird, but God loves me.

This time, though, instead of just trying to memorize the part of the verse I like, I’m doing all of it and the verse before it. The one that convicts me every time I read it.

DO EVERYTHING WITHOUT GRUMBLING OR COMPLAINING. . .

Excuse me? EVERYTHING?

*sigh*

Maybe this verse struck me this time because we’re deciding something at church that could (but I sincerely hope won’t) cause some grumbling AND complaining.

Or because when things change even a bit in a worship service, a lot of G & C can be heard!

Or maybe it’s because churches I dearly love have split more than once because of grumbling and complaining.

Or because people I hold very close to my heart have stopped attending worship services because they’re grumbling and complaining in their hearts.

Probably, though, it’s because I do my fair share of grumbling and complaining. (Ever wonder why you’re so talented in something bad, like grumbling and complaining? I do.) 

So I’m going to imprint this verse on my heart and try, try, try to stop EVERY time I want to grumble and complain. If I don’t G & C and just give it to God, He can fix it. 🙂

So, here we go.

Do everything without grumbling and complaining so that you may become blameless and pure “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky.

What’s your favorite or Life verse?

 

 


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First Day

hearts-1474

Not only is 2012 gone, the first day of 2013 is, too! How did you spend yours?

I spent most of mine doing revisions on a couple of books, watching football and a little of Passion 2013. And as much as I enjoyed that (I really did!) my favorite part of the day was spent sitting in front of our fireplace, spending some time with God.

This year, I’m joining Beth Moore, #4 and 3,000+ other women. We’re memorizing a scripture twice a month. (That makes me part of SSMT!)

With my sieve-like brain, I’ll need your prayers to succeed at this!!! (If you’re memorizing, let me know and I’ll pray for you, too.)

Here’s my first scripture:

1/1/13

♥♥♥ Jeremiah 24:7 ♥♥♥

 I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart. NIV

I love that, don’t you?

I will give them a heart to know me, that I am their Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart.

I will give them a heart to know me, that I am their Lord. They will be my people and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart.

I still can’t do it by heart. (I need your prayers!) At least I can remember, Jeremiah 24:7. I will give them a heart to know me, that I am their Lord. They will be my people and I will be their God for they will return to me with all their heart. (Okay, that time was from pure memory. We’ll see if I can remember it later.

If I talk to you, ask me to say it for you. I might be able to do this thing, with His help. 🙂


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How Do You Spend Your Quiet Time?

I woke up this morning with a few questions floating around in my head. I’ll answer them, and then I’d love it if you would, too.

Isn’t it important to take time to be with the Lord? The difference inside me when I take time for it is amazing.

Of course, we need to worship with others. Churches met in houses in Bible times. Acts 20:7 says they came together on the first day of the week. And we’re told not to stop meeting with other Christians so we can encourage one another.

Hebrews 24 “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

I made the bold part, well, bold so I wouldn’t forget what I was talking about. 🙂

Just like we need to spend time alone time with each of our kids, we need alone time with our Heavenly Father, too. Most people in my life call it their Quiet Time. Yes, it has capital letters when they say it. What do you call it?

Jesus looked for ways to escape the crowd that followed Him so He could have a Quiet Time.

Remember David? He started life as a shepherd. Much of his time watching the sheep was spent communing with the Lord.

Psalm 103: 1 Praise the LORD, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.

2 Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—

3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,

4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,

5 who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

So here are the questions floating between my ears this morning.

1- Where is your favorite place to spend your Quiet Time?

I read a book years ago by Evelyn Christenson called, “What Happens When Women Pray.”

In that book, she talks about spending her time alone with the Lord in an old green chair. Later, when she’d either recovered the chair or bought a new one, she still referred to the place where she met with the Lord as her green chair. I loved that.

So my question this morning could be, “Where is your green chair?”

My Answer: My favorite green chair (when the weather is right) is on my deck, overlooking my garden. If I’m not at home, my favorite place is outside if at all possible.

I could make the argument that it’s Biblical because life began in a garden and Jesus prayed in a garden, but I don’t know that it matters WHERE we spend time with Him as long as we spend it. Why do I ask? Because I like to be able to envision you when you’re there.

2- How is your favorite way to spend your Quiet Time?

My answer: I love reading during my QT. Over the years, I’ve gone through books by Anne Ortlund, Chuck Swindoll, Max Lucado, Beth Moore, Chip Ingram and many others. Sometimes, I like to choose a book of the Bible and read through it, writing down my own impressions about what God is saying to me. It might not make sense to anyone except me, so I don’t share it. 🙂

Sometimes I listen to speakers. I’ve listened to several of Beth Moore’s Bible Studies during my QT.

Once in a while I sing to the Lord, and of course, I spend time in prayer.

3- Do you need anything besides your Bible for your QT?

My answer: I’ve heard people say you should have your QT before you do anything else in the morning. One of the authors I read (Anne Ortlund, maybe?) thought you should brush your teeth before you spend time with the Lord. LOL. If I’m going outside, I like to get dressed in case someone happens to come by.

The main thing I need is whatever book I’m reading through, my Bible and a hot cup of coffee. And something to write on. (For some reason, writers write. Go figure!)

4- Do you see a difference in your life when you take time for QT and when you don’t?

My answer: Absolutely. I respond differently to problems and people in my life when I’ve had time with Him. My days are smoother and I’m happier (so are most of the people around me.) It seems as if I see the nicer, brighter side of life when I’m Quiet Timing than when I’m not.

Now how about it? Will you answer the questions?

Happy anniversary Danny and China. I wish you many, many more!

And a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my man! I love you!


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♥♥♥ WOW ♥♥♥

I have three WOWS! to share this Wednesday. Ready?

WOW! #1–

We had the last night of our Beth Moore study of James–Mercy Triumphs (I know it’s the last one because I can remember the title without looking.) And let me tell you, I was so wowed! I thought the other ladies were going to have to scrape me up off the tile floor to send me home when it was over.

And at the end, she took the study full circle to where she’d started. 1 Corinthians 15:7–Then He (Jesus) appeared to James, then to all the apostles

James, His brother. James, who’d grown up with Him. James, who didn’t believe until after the resurrection.

Beth asked us to imagine the scene when Jesus appeared to James. Did He come up behind James? Did He call him by name or just say, “Brother”?

When I imagine it, the only thing I can imagine is the thrill that must have zapped James’s heart, and he knew.

Jesus, his brother, is Christ. God.  Then (in my mind, at least) the big hug.

I wish I could share the entire study with you. I wish I could start all over again.

Over the weeks I’ve learned so much. I would like to suggest that Beth do a study just on Jame 3. She could call it, “Tongue Training 101. Bring your own whip and chair.”

James 3: 7-8: 7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

I’d be first in line for that one.

Then we were Wowed when Beth recited the ENTIRE Book of James by heart.

Don’t you love that phrase, by heart? When she recites that book, you know she’s using her heart.

WOW! #2–

Sister Debbie. She was called yesterday while at work and asked to lead our small group last night. No time to go home and get ready for it.

Wow! She didn’t panic. Didn’t suddenly have to go out of town. Didn’t call in sick. (I’m great at coming up with excuses.)

She just stepped up to the plate and did a great job.

For me, a great leader is one who’s humble enough to share her failures and weaknesses as well as her strengths and joy in the Lord. Deb is able to do that and so much more.

I raised that girl right. 😉 (Wish I could take the credit!)

WOW! #3–

One of the women in our group had a baby a couple of weeks ago, and she was there with that sweet baby girl for our last night of Triumphs.

Such a pretty baby! And such a sweet mama with a heart for the Lord. (Sorry, no picture.)

I got to play a little bit with the baby’s big brother one afternoon at work. He’d found my nephew’s toys and was having fun with them. I stepped into the room to tell the little guy hi, so he turned giant Leggos into a gun to shoot me with.

As the mother of boys, I jumped into that game with both feet. We had a great battle. I’m thinking about asking his grandmother to bring him back to work so we can play some more. 😉