Get Up and Dance! Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

Happy New Year! I hope you are embracing this new year for the opportunity and possiblity it brings - time is such a gift. John and I have already been busy in Oh-Nine. We started it off in Keller, TX, just outside of Dallas-Ft. Worth. We were in all THREE of their morning services, then did a concert that evening. Lovely people, great time of worship. Afterward, at my CD table, a woman told me that at the beginning of the concert, as soon as I started singing, her little girl started dancing! (Awesome! I wish I had seen that.) Then, the little gal looked around the room, and asked, "Mommy, why isn't everybody dancing?" Wow. That's quite an astute question from one so young. I know that we all worship differently, some less outwardly than others, and I know that just because a person is not jumping about, it doesn't mean he isn't worshipping. But sometimes, it's just the right response. We have all experienced something that made us want to jump up and down - the winning touchdown, the first kiss, new car...

What about the eternal life?

How does it make you feel to know that you have been made right with almighty God, and that He loves you deeply with an incorruptible love, and is walking with you now and preparing your place in heaven for later? Make you feel like dancing? It should. David did it - he danced like a mad man, he loved God so much. So why aren't you dancing? Get up and dance! Do it in the privacy (and safety) of your own living room, if you must, but dance like mad! And don't worry what you look like or if you're any good - if your outside is dancing because your INSIDE is dancing, it will be beautiful - and your Father will love it! 2 Samuel 6:14

posted by Shelley on 02/04/2009

To seek and save the lost Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

Hurricane Ike barreled through my hometown this weekend, leaving a trail of devastation, as hurricanes usually do. My family are all fine, thank God. No trees on houses, no loss of property, no injuries. Over the weekend, we watched weather coverage almost non-stop, trying to get an idea of what to expect, and more importantly, when it would be over. This morning, I was in the airport in Florida and overheard this on the news: "Crews are now going back in to the ravaged areas, searching for those who refused to heed the mandatory evacuation order and are now begging for rescue." I turned to John and said, "Wow. That's grace, isn't it?" They refused to leave, despite the warnings and despite the assistance that was being offered. "It was so much worse than we thought it would be." "I left for the previous storm and didn't feel like I had enough money to leave again." "We wanted to protect our home and our way of life." People gave all kinds of reasons why they stayed; and they know now that they should have left. But the glorious fact is in the news above: "Crews are now going back in to the ravaged areas, searching for those who refused to heed the mandatory evacuation order and are now begging for rescue." They are not being ignored or left to fend for themselves, though some might say that's exactly what they deserve. After all, they were warned, weren't they? But I'm no different. I've been warned about the consequences of sin over and over but I barrel headlong into it anyway. Sometimes I underestimate its devastating power. Other times, I'm trying to hold on to my life as I know it. Sometimes, I'm just assuming God will come and rescue me from myself. In any case, it's sin and it's foolish. I praise God for Psalm 103 - "He does not treat us as our sins deserve, or repay us according to our iniquities." May that truth dwell deeply in my soul and compel me to choose wisdom over folly. Psalm 1:1-2

posted by Shelley on 09/17/2008

Whatever Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

Whatever... - 08-13-2008
That word has become part of the human vernacular. "What do you want for dinner?" "Whatever." "Which movie do you want to see?" "Whatever." "You look really nice today." "Whatever." I admit, I overuse it myself. One of my favorite movies (trust me - there's a link and a point) is Groundhog Day, the one where Bill Murray has to keep living the same day over and over and over...I read recently that the actual time frame the movie covers is 10 years. Ten years! Living the same day over and over. (Some of you may feel like you can relate.) You may remember that at the beginning of the movie, he's a total jerk and kind of a local celebrity - a TV weather man who does his job well but not as good as he thinks he does it. He does a lot of decent things but for indecent purposes. UNTIL - some mystic force sticks him in Groundhog Day for what must seem like an eternity for him. THEN - he falls in love. Eventually, he begins to do things differently. He's still a weatherman, giving the SAME report on Punxatawney Phil every single day, performing various civic services, and mixing it up with his crew, but he becomes a different person with a different purpose, and his activities take on new vitality. So what is my point? There is really a lot of power in "whatever". Most of us don't have the luxury of knowing exactly what each day will hold (remember Bill Murray timing out his robbery of the armored truck?). For some of us the days are all different and completely nuts. For some of us, the days are so much the same, they seem to run into each other. But there's encouragement, as usual, in the fresh word of God: Colossians 3:17 - "WHATEVER (seriously, that word is in the Bible) you do, whether it's what you say or what you do, do it all in the name of Jesus, thanking God all the while. (my paraphrase)" Whether we see our days as earth-shaking or totally mundane, God is the one who breathes life and purpose into the work of our hands and the words of our mouths. So as it turns out, there's a lot of freedom in "whatever". Take and enjoy!

posted by Shelley on 08/23/2008

Giving up Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

This week, we're recording lead vocals for the new CD and I'm supposed to be on vocal rest. I will now pause for a requisite amount of time for those who know me to laugh hysterically. Shelley does not do well trying to limit words. Give up talking? Please. It reminds me of a hilarious sit-com moment from a few years back. One of the main characters, Dave, was trying to convince his coworker, Bill, to quit smoking. To show his support, Dave committed to giving up something difficult himself - his 10-pot a day caffeine habit. Bill said to make things truly even, Dave should have to give up something REALLY important - "like going to the bathroom." I know how he feels. Give up talking? Does that mean I'm addicted to words? Or the sound of my own voice? I'm not sure what it means actually, but it makes me wonder: if I have such a hard time keeping my mouth shut just for a minute, what else am I clinging to - behavioral or otherwise - that's causing me trouble? That list could contain a million things. And that's just my list for today. Tomorrow, it will probably change. The goal of vocal rest now is to have a stronger, clearer tone later. The goal of quitting smoking or improving a diet is better health. Just like in my diet, my goal for my life is to cut the fat and get to the meat - what is really important? What do I really want and how am I going to get it? I want intimacy with God. I want to know Him well, and to have a deep desire to make Him well-known. It is not a light-hearted question: what am I willing to do (or not do) to achieve that? He has done His beautiful part. He will make me able to do mine. Hebrews 12:1-2

posted by Shelley on 06/24/2008

Beauty Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

Well, I've been to Hawaii. It's one of those places everyone hears about, most want to visit, and so many never get to. We were there for 11 glorious days - part on a cruise ship (which we highly recommend for economic value) and part in a couple of Marriotts. It was everything we ever heard or imagined it would be. It lived up to the hype. It delivered. That's not a small acknowledgement in a world where most things promise greatness and barely deliver mediocrity. The older I get, I'm afraid, the more cynical I become. I expect less and less - and in most cases, that's exactly what I get. Last week, I was personal witness to what the hand of God can do. If he cares so much about the landscape of what used to be a totally remote part of the world, how much more does He care for the landscape of my soul and yours. After being in the fat middle of so much natural extravagance, I am deeply encouraged in this truth: God delivers on His promises - big time.

posted by Sheley on 05/31/2008

Get up! Get dressed! Get out! Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

Get up! Get dressed! Get out! - 04-22-2008
I think I have a new motto - it's there in the title of this entry. I historically have an issue with getting stuff done in a timely manner. Even when I was a kid, I have clear memories of my mom having to practically light a fire under my elementary-aged posterior to get ready to walk out the door on time in the morning. And that was before make-up and curling irons entered my life! Unfortunately, that tendency of slow-moving has followed me to this very moment. Procrastination and weak discipline have plagued me. I feel married to certain phrases: "Man! I MEANT to do that - I just forgot!" or "I know - I need to get on that." The "that" seems to be attached to certain tasks that follow me around like evil little shadows, reminding me of my inability to follow through. But I'm also learning that I'm created for more than I ever imagined I could be. My Maker doesn't see me as a putter-offer who'll never get anything done - never get that scrapbook done, never research the family tree, never lose those last few pounds, never get to writing that book...He knows that what He has made is good and made for good works. So now I try not to worry too much about whether I get the WHOLE house vacuumed today or cook a new recipe every night this week (or cook AT ALL this week). I just want to get up (I've always loved sleep - did you know there's a Proverb in our Bible that actually says "Do not love sleep"? Oops), get dressed ( sometimes just some clothes and baseball cap will do), and get out and enjoy the John 10:10 life that's been promised to me. And maybe I'll get a few things checked off my to-do list while I'm at it...

posted by Shelley on 04/22/2008