Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


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I Know the Big Guy!

I know the real Santa.

Don’t raise your eyebrows. It’s true, I do know him.

I met him a long time ago, back when my kids were small.

Here’s how I know him. Every year, St. Nick visited C-Town. When my kids were little, even though we lived in Pryor Creek and had our own parade there, the boys insisted we had to come home to C-Town because that was the only place where the real Santa made it for the parade.

So we’d come home. We watched the bands and floats and Shriners entertain, and even though there was a wonderful show going on, the boys only wanted one thing. Okay, two things. Candy and to see Santa riding on the big red fire engine.

And when Santa cruised past, he always waved his hand at our corner of the parade route and shouted, “Hi Danny! Hi Kyle! Hi Matt! Hi Brad! Hi Grant! Hi Melanie!  Merry Christmas.” For him to know their names, he had to be the authentic Kris Kringle, didn’t he?

Santa also took time to come to our church to visit with the kids after the Christmas program. He not only knew their names, he gave them  each a bag of candy, too.

So #1 son deducted that he HAD to be the only real Santa.

Who was I to argue?

SHAY KIDS DO NOT READ THIS!!! (I mean it. You’ve been warned.)

PS:  Don’t tell my kiddos, but the Big Guy was represented by a Christian man in our church. His suit was made by one of the wonderfully talented women in our church. (Don’t you love people who donate their time and talent so freely?)

This man was kind and loving to the kids in town and very, very patient. (With the length of some of the lists and the crying the babies did, he had to have a ton of patience!)

Not only was he a member of the church we went to most of my life, but he was also a neighbor. They make the best Santas, don’t they?

Way back when I was a kid and one of my sibs recognized the Santa we visited or noticed his beard wasn’t real, Mama always explained it by telling them the man was Santa’s helper. He had to have helpers like that because the Big Guy was so busy at the North Pole getting ready to fill up that sleigh and make his whirl-wind trip to all the boys and girls in the world.

Wow. Remember believing that? What a sweet time it was when we really believed that all the world received gifts. Back before we knew about hate, unhappiness, prejudice and my-way-or-the-highway kinds of life. And before we knew about poverty in parts of the world that make you cry to think about.

I still believe in Santa. (Even though Paula told me the truth when I was four. BTW–it’s okay, Paula. I enjoyed knowing and helping Mom keep the secret all those years.)

Besides, Santa is the Spirit of giving and Christmas and forgetting old hurts and loving one another. So of course, I BELIEVE!

Do you?

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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.


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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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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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What’s Good About It?

I saw this BC cartoon on Facebook yesterday, and it struck a chord with me. I’ve often wondered why we call it good.

bc

But what else could you call it?

“Black Friday?”

“Preparation Day?”

“Easter Eve?”

“The Day Jesus died for me, the sun went dark, the earth shook, the dead walked and the heavy, thick veil to the Holy of Holies tore from top to bottom?” (Matthew 27:51-54.)

Oh, yeah. I think “Good” works.

fall sunflower


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What Are You Thinking?

Like my new header? That picture was taken by one of my sweet daughter-in-laws, Nikki, in my backyard. She gave me permission to use it. Isn’t it beautiful?

I wanted to use it for the next two weeks before Resurrection Sunday, aka Easter. 🙂

cross-of-the-sunIsn’t it beautiful the way the sun is in the shape of a cross? I love it!

I also wanted a very special verse to memorize these two weeks before That Day. After praying about it for a while, I found the verse I needed.

Cement Angels 012

Matthew 28:5-6–The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here. He has risen, just as He said. Come and see the place where He lay.”

He has risen, just as He said.

Full-concrete-angel

If I’d been that angel (yeah, stretch of the imagination, but go with me here) I’d have smacked them each on the back of the head. “What are you thinking, coming here with all that stuff for his embalming? Have you got a washer missing?

Jesus (aka God, in case you missed that, too) told you what was going to happen. He told you He would rise on the third day. I know you heard Him, because you were there. Can you count?

You are looking in an empty hole for a dead man, but JESUS IS ALIVE.

Get outta here.”

Now I wonder what the women were thinking. Maybe something like, “Well, duh. I knew that.”

So . . . what are you thinking?

 


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Intention Living

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Don’t you love this? Wouldn’t it make a wonderful blog header?

It was posted by Intentional Living on Facebook. (Intentional Living is my FAVORITE talk radio!)

 This is what was written under it:

It is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:16 NIV

Check out today’s eDevo at http://archive.aweber.com/edevo/MzMgA/h/Finding_power_for_life.htm