Birthday Blessings

    My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:26

January is a special month for my family because we celebrate birthdays on January 4, 5, 18, and 25.  January 11 is a bittersweet day because it was my mother-in-law Judy’s birthday.  She is still loved, and I have the hope we will be reunited in heaven.

I’ve been especially thankful as we celebrate each birthday this year because I am surrounded by family and friends who are enduring a season of loss. One is mourning the sudden death of her husband, another friend’s child died, and someone else had to say goodbye to his mom.  Please lift a prayer for them.  Most of us take days for granted and believe there’s plenty of time to do all the things  we want to do. Maybe there is and maybe there isn’t. Only God knows.

The month is close to an end, so if you made a New Year’s resolution, you’re planning to be around for a while.  I’m hoping to travel to Israel with my sister later this year. Friends have commented, “It’s not safe to go to Israel.” I agree, because it’s  not safe to go anywhere. But there is nothing for me to fear because I have Jesus as my savior, and I hope, you do too. Sometimes I am afraid, but that’s my brain talking. As I grow in faith, and make more room for Jesus in my heart, it’s filled with more love, more joy and more peace. Sometimes worry sneaks into my thoughts. That’s why it’s so important to spend daily time studying scripture and in prayer.

What are your plans for the coming year?  Did you make a New Year’s resolution? My resolution is that I’m going to try to draw closer to God and be open to whatever He wants me to do. I’d hoped to be planning a return trip to Kenya, but that’s not going to happen. I don’t know what God has in store for me, but I trust him.

I’m so very thankful for Jesus and the price He paid to redeem me and you. I’m grateful for my family, my health and the ability to work and travel.  Someday, my heart and flesh will fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. I pray God is the strength of your heart too. If He’s not, I’d like to review a lesson I use with children to teach them the ABC’s of becoming a Christian.

 A – Admit that you are a sinner and repent. (If you know what sin is and are genuinely               heartbroken for the things you’ve done, just admit it to God.)

B – Believe that Jesus is the Son of God and He paid our sin debt.  (This is the most difficult for most, believing is having FAITH)

C – Confess and tell others that Jesus is Lord of your life.

Scriptures to support the ABC’s of becoming a Christian:

 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23 NIV

 For God so love the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him      shall not perish be have eternal life. John 3:16 NIV

that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9 NKJV

If you’ve never accepted Jesus into your heart, I pray you will seek Him and ask Him to speak to you. Just close your eyes and talk to Jesus like He’s your best friend, because He is. It’s not the words that save you, it’s the condition of you heart.

You must have FAITH to receive God’s GRACE.

Someone will  win a free copy of  The Wonders of Nature this week. I’ll draw  a name from my subscribers on Saturday, January 28, 2017 and announce the winner. Thank you for stopping by today. I pray you will have a blessed week.


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Shelia Stovall is a Southern, small-town librarian, and has an understanding of what women like to read. She is a member of ACFW and is currently the Treasurer of the Middle Tennessee ACFW Chapter. Shelia is a member of the Ky. Public Library Association and the American Library Association. Her short story, The Barber’s Sanctuary, won the fiction division of Kentucky Monthly’s sixth annual Writer’s Showcase in the November 2013 issue. Shelia is a weekly columnist for the Citizen-Times, based in Scottsville, Ky. Shelia’s Southern, small-town roots have given her an understanding of community and women's friendships. Her writing deals with difficult contemporary issues, but there’s always a thread of hope amid the calamity. Shelia is passionate about African missions and has traveled to Africa annually for the past four years. Community service is also important to Shelia, and she has volunteered as a crew chief for five years at Camp Habitat, (a Christian youth service camp that partners with Habitat for Humanity).

4 thoughts on “Birthday Blessings

  1. Paula

    I like your ABC’s of Salvation. It is simple . It is a gift— all we have to do is come with open hands and open heart. Blessings, Paula


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