open bibleI could not adequately describe to you what the Bible means to me. For to do so I would have to tell you my life story with all of its crazy twist and turns. And that would take hours upon hours to lay out before you. If you will allow me to try, here is my best effort.

God’s Word was practically unknown to me up until the of age fourteen. Though I remember going to a Baptist church when I was a little girl. Occasionally on Sunday morning my mother would dress my sister and me up in dresses and send us out the door to walk to a church about 5 or 6 blocks down our road. We would hear stories about Jesus and do little Sunday school papers. I do not really remember the stories, just bringing home the papers. There was an old brown piano and lots singing but don’t remember the words either.

I first clearly heard the Gospel while in a canoe on a lake, from my Uncle, while attending a summer church camp he and my aunt were assisting at. He told me the story of how Jesus gave his life for me, for my sins. He asked me to accept him as my savior. I prayed the prayer. I believed with my head but am still unsure to this day I believed with my heart at the time. Though it was the first knock at my door, from the Lord, He continually pursued me for years. At times He was close enough for me to hear his whisper of love but other times I would not know or care where he was.

My Aunt and Uncle had given me a bible I would pack around throughout my life. I would read the handwritten inscription which would nudge me to read a verse here and there but would never read the whole book. It was special because it was a gift. I treated it as a memento to save not “a prescription for life” as my Aunt and Uncle referred to in their words written to me on the inside page. I had not realized how big a gift it was until years later when I heard God’s voice again beseeching me to come unto him. It was loud and bold this time. So loud, in fact, I could not resist it.

There are times in life when the rug is pulled out from underneath you. You fall with a thud. You are in shock from the impact and confused as to why or how you ended up there. And that is how it was with me. I was not sure what to do or where to turn. And this is when God whispered, “I am here to pick you up.” It was a whisper heard through the words of a friend. “Michelle, maybe you need God.” I heard it but I did not know how to reach out to Him. In the pain and heartache, I experienced, I just began to move forward out of necessity for my children. And in moving forward, I had a desire to go to church for the first time in my adult life. Strange things began to happen. He immediately opened doors I would have never walked through and met people I never considered speaking to about God.

He orchestrated a new life that I never imagined for myself.  One day I found myself sitting in a church, hearing a preacher say I have to know that I know that Jesus saved me.  And before I knew it I was rising to my feet walking down an aisle surrendering my life to the one and only, Savior, Jesus Christ. I finally believed in my heart what was believed, in my mind, those many years ago.

I opened God’s Word to read the instructions that would put my life back together. His words would lead me down paths I never knew existed. His Word saved me and inspired me to make changes for the good. It would give me breath when I could not breathe on my own. It would give me a song when all I could do was cry. It would bring me comfort when sorrow weighed me down. His words gave me knowledge and wisdom when I felt helpless and ignorant. They would give me hope when I was in the rut of sin and I thought my failure would end me. God’s word became the light of a path that was dark and unknown. It would become the lifeline to sanity from the midst of confusion. It was a rope to freedom from the discouragement of life.

His word was the love I desperately craved from youth. It was the hope I cringed at in darkness for fear it was not real.  It was the rescue I cried out for in depths of grief. It was the fresh air I gasped for in days of panic and fear. It was the enveloping hug in the silence of loneliness. It was and is the personal note, letter, and poetry from the lover of my soul!

Little did I know that that words inscribed by my Aunt and Uncle would become prophecy. For God’s Holy Bible is indeed the prescription for all my illnesses and problems, keeping me healthy and happy! And the best news of all, I will live forever with Christ in Heaven!

Dear Shelly,

This Book is a prescription for life. Take a little every day. If you’ll follow the instructions you find it will cure all illnesses and problems you’ll ever have. It will make you very happy and healthy and you’ll live forever. 

With deepest love, 

Pat and Gail

gift bible 1976

In Perfect Submission!

Psalm 119

35 Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight.

The words will not come.  But they are there.  Stuck inside my heart.  My mind can not see them or form them. But they are there.  My heart is heavy with them. Circumstances compel me to try.  Memories urge me to free them from their confined space in the deep recesses.  The Spirit groans from within my soul to intercede on my behalf.  The knowledge that God is with me, ever-present but somewhat silent keeps me sensitive to His movement at any moment.  I am at the edge of my seat. Waiting.

36 Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness.

Waiting on God.  Perhaps He is waiting on me.  Now wouldn’t that be something, each of us waiting on the other to move.  Somehow I am certain that God will not wait long.  He has a plan and nothing hinders Him from executing it with perfect timing and precision.  I see some things ahead in my life that must happen.  The opening of wounds, cleansing of  infections.  Minister and a healing.

37 Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in thy way.

Healing of fear.  The kind of fear that becomes an obstacle.   Fear, as an obstacle, becomes an emotion that binds up.  It keeps you boxed in.  It keeps you from standing up for what is right.  It keeps you from stepping out in faith.  It keeps you from speaking truth in love.  It keeps you from enjoying life.  Ultimately it may keep you from allowing God’s treatment causing greater sickness or pain.  It keeps you hostage.

38 Stablish thy word unto thy servant, who is devoted to thy fear.

Hostage to anxiety.  Anxiety is the opposite of peace.  True peace is only given by God.  He says, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee..”  Focusing on Jesus, God’s Son, who came to ‘give us peace’ keeps your mind from wandering to painful memories of the past, from dwelling on current heartaches and trials, from taking in all the world chaos or carrying the burden of responsibility for everyone’s failures. Trusting Him gives you hope that all will be well in His hands.  In His hands there is life.

39 Turn away my reproach which I fear: for thy judgments are good.

Life more abundantly.  The sky is more blue.  The music is sweeter.  Your loved ones more dear.  The time you spend with family and friends becomes more precious.  Keeping your eyes on Him, keeps you moving forward.  It keeps you faithful.  It keeps you wanting more of Him.  You do not settle for comfortable, you desire to see His glory.  Seeing His glory means walking through fire.  Fire comes it brings heat.  Heat brings pain but sometimes it brings comfort when the cold winds blow.  Cold winds of death.

40 Behold, I have longed after thy precepts: quicken me in thy righteousness.

Death to self.  Dying to self is perhaps the one thing that we humans can not do consistently.  We try and we fail.  We fall.  We get up and try to die again.  He knows of our frailty but always looks down in love upon us, being patient with us.  He is jealous for us.  We wants our love and devotion. He wants us to fear Him. Fear the Lord. The kind of fear that shows a reverence or great respect of Him. This fear says you know of God’s mighty power.  You know His limitlessness and you do not challenge Him, you trust Him.  You know of his wrath you do not blaspheme Him, you praise Him.  You know of His judgement but you seek and accept His willingness to  forgive, you confess. You repent.  You turn from your sin, your flesh.  And He saves you.  Again, He gives grace.

41 Let thy mercies come also unto me, O Lord, even thy salvation, according to thy word.

Grace falls on you like a spring rain falling on freshly opened flowers.  You accept it and walk in it.  Looking up and giving thanks.  Your heart is overwhelmed by His mercy.  You sing praise with a louder voice.  You raise your open hands to Him giving Him all that was in your heart.  Your broken life, your pieces of burdens, your ignorant decisions, your rash actions, your hurtful words spewed out at others, your molested innocence, your regretful waste of time,  your lustful desires, your shattered dreams.  They are burnt up by His consuming fire.  His consuming love.  He takes the offering of ashes and replaces them with beauty.

The words came.

                   Perfect Submission

        Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! 
	O what a foretaste of glory divine! 
	Heir of salvation, purchase of God, 
	born of his Spirit, washed in his blood. 

	This is my story, this is my song, 
	praising my Savior all the day long; 
	this is my story, this is my song, 
	praising my Savior all the day long. 

        Perfect submission, perfect delight, 
	visions of rapture now burst on my sight 
	angels descending bring from above 
	echoes of mercy, whispers of love. 

        Perfect submission, all is at rest; 
	I in my Savior am happy and blest, 
	watching and waiting, looking above, 
	filled with his goodness, lost in his love.