Wednesday, February 29, 2012

When a train...

Success isn't...

Thank You, God...

Simply say, "Thank You..."

Knocked down lower

Muhammad Ali, about failure...

You should

Not even troubles

Your message to the world

Don’t believe the lies: Stupid, Ergo, Unacceptable

Were you- or are you- told you’re stupid by others? Do you call yourself stupid frequently?

It’s incredible to think of how we group such negative comments and associations together. We, in the same breath, believe we’re fat, ugly, worthless and stupid, as if these qualities are interchangeable or accurate about who we are in life.

You are not stupid. God, the all -powerful Creator, your Father and God specifically, on purpose, designed you with an incredible brain. And Scripture tells us more…

“For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
2 Timothy 1:7

“…we have the Mind of Christ.”
1 Corinthians 2:16

But do you believe the word, “stupid,” or any other negative word, to only be your reality? What kind of payoff are you getting, from accepting this option?

How do you think God views the situation when you call His Creation, your mind, stupid?

He has called you to brilliance, not stupidity. But you choose what you will focus your attention on.

Why not choose the excellent Mind of God?

You’re created to reflect Him, after all. Copyright © 2012 by Sheryle Cruse

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The White Squirrel

Today, I saw something quite unusual: an albino squirrel.
Want proof? Here are some photos taken of the little guy on our dumpster.

A white squirrel- it’s virtually unheard of right? I’d never seen one before. But just because it seems ridiculous or impossible, doesn’t mean it can’t happen.

This white squirrel prompted Isaiah 1:18 to my mind:

“Come now, and let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”

We can, mired in our sins and struggles, believe it’s hopeless. We’re too far gone; we’re hopeless. We’re too dirty, too useless. It’s over.

It’s not.

When we think of squirrels out there, we think of brown squirrels. But that doesn’t take away from the creation of this white creation.

If we can see ourselves as only crimson, as only the brown squirrel, if you will, why can’t we also see ourselves and white? It’s God Who makes the ultimate judgment. He doesn’t want anyone to be condemned.

“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
2 Peter 3:9

He wants all of us: free, pure, defying all the facts and reasons which come against His Word.

“Casting down arguments, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”
2 Corinthians 10:5

Sometimes, in life, the unusual happens. Sometimes, there’s a white squirrel.

Let this anomaly remind you of the truth that there’s no sin which is too much, too far for God to handle and forgive.

“As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”
Psalm 103:12

You’re not hopeless. When God looks at you, He sees, through His Son, Jesus, someone who is clean, not filthy.

That’s you!

God sees more than just the drab brown squirrel you feel you are now; He sees someone who defies expectations, logic and facts!

He sees His glorious, unique creation! Copyright © 2012 by Sheryle Cruse

God's 3 Answers


The difference between a good day and a bad day...

Life is...

Monday, February 27, 2012

Don’t believe the lies: Ugly, Ergo, Unacceptable

How much time do we spend calling ourselves ugly? Plugging along in NEDAW this week, let’s see what God has to say about the beauty issue:

“Thou art beautiful...”
Song of Solomon 6:4

Can we embrace this as Truth? What’s preventing us from accepting it as part of our reality?

Beauty, indeed, is only one mere attribute, but it’s an attribute that, nevertheless, inherently exists within each one of us. It’s Truth. Remember about Isaiah 55...

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
Isaiah 55:8-9

Isn’t God’s Word about your beauty more important, more lasting, than any fashion trend, “thinspo” pop culture or magazine image? God created you, on purpose- that includes every single beautiful feature, including the physical!

Yes, you are beautiful, but you’re so much more, too! God wants you to discover all of who you are! If beauty, for you, is a starting point for how incredible you are, so be it. But don’t let it end there. Part of the beauty involves how God always sees you:

“Since you were precious in my sight… I have loved you…”
Isaiah 43:4

Because God loves you, you are beautiful. Nothing and no one can ever take that away from you!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Don’t believe the lies: Fat, Ergo, Unacceptable

How much of our lives do we spend loathing our form? There always seems to be something wrong with it, right? And, usually, our first form of complaint is “I’m fat.” It’s not an accurate assessment of physical size; rather it’s a harmful judgment we make against ourselves.
As we start off National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, let’s be aware of what we say about our forms; and then, let’s check out what God has to say about them!

“O my dove…let me see your form…for your form is lovely.”
Song of Solomon 2:14

Which one is Truth? God’s Word never comes back without power (Isaiah 55:11), so, that must mean His opinion is the real deal!

Think about the countless blessings your form, right now, possesses. Think about all that you are able to do and express through this wonderful vehicle, known as the human body. Think also about how berating yourself with harsh lies does nothing for you, except cause pain. God has more for you; He’s in love with you, your form and everything about you.

Why would He take the time to create you if He wasn’t so invested in you? You are a wonderful form; you’re a wonderful image and expression of Almighty God. Be respectful, then! You are so valuable! Copyright © 2012 by Sheryle Cruse

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Liar Scale

Garfield is amusing; we relate so much to his cat antics. I know I do. He’s the orange tabby who hates Mondays, loves lasagna and in this image here, yells at the scale. C’mon, you’ve done it; I’ve done it. It may be a silent scream, but nevertheless, we want to give that measurement device a major “what for!”

And so, like Garfield, yes, we are, standing on that scale, feeling some form of heightened feeling. Things, indeed, are not emotionless, are they? For most of us, that little number reading affects our mental state and entire day.

Let’s be honest about that. Nope. We are not unaffected by the scale. We measure and assess constantly, judging ourselves, others, the vague concepts of success and failure, all while doing what, exactly?

We’re envying and self-seeking, aren’t we?

“For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.”
James 3:16


But before we give ourselves over to complete despair, let’s remember there’s a better Truth to that destructive lie: God and how He measures His love and His estimation of us:

“Since you were precious in my sight… I have loved you…”
Isaiah 43:4

It’s not about our imperfect measuring process; it’s about God’s decision to love us, in spite of us, in spite of our perfection. And then on top of everything, He decided to DO something about it!

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Romans 5:8

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
John 3:16

There is never any mention in scripture about God loving us at a certain weight; there’s no “thou shalt weigh” commandment. But there is God’s Promise of love for us. And nothing can out-measure, separate or cancel that love.

“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 8:38-39

And another thing: God cannot lie (Numbers 23:19).

“God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?”

That’s powerful, because, yet again, it reminds us of the power of our chosen focus.

Is it on Truth? Or is it on a lie?

Is a number on a scale, a reading or a measurement, in fact, “exalting itself” against God’s Word?

“Casting down arguments, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”
2 Corinthians 10:5

We need perspective; we need to remember we aren’t alive- or hopeless- because of a number on a scale. We’re called to live a life better than that. We’re called to live for God and for the blessed calling He’s given to each one of us.

Let’s get off that confining scale and get on with abundant life!

“The thief comes not, but to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
John 10:10

The person I am today

Count your blessings...

Never compare...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tone of Voice

“A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.”
Proverbs 15:1

We’re our own worst enemies, let alone, critics, aren’t we?

This little humorous message makes a point. It’s about the tone of our voice.

We’re told, in life, to watch our tone as mouthy teenagers. We’re told to watch our tone of voice with children, even with animals. But how about the tone of voice we use with ourselves- against ourselves? What about THAT tone of voice?

God tells us in scripture just how important that tone is. Not just our words, but their matching tones, can either heal or destroy, love or hate, create life or death.

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”
Proverbs 18:21

What are we saying to ourselves when we’re alone, when all other voices are gone?

Before we take our tone of voice out on ourselves, let’s think about God’s loving tone of voice first. Do the two match up? Shouldn’t they?

If God isn’t yelling at us in a verbally abusive way, why then, should we?

Let’s try some soft words of love and compassion. The tone of our lives just might depend on it!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Advice for the game of life...

Make sure they match up!

But actions...

An ill equipped vessel

Before you assume...

Things to do

I thank you...

God speaks and listens

Never too late, Biker Chick!

I love this biker chick.

She’s not exactly what you expect, is she?
I love her, because of a reality she represents: it’s never too late.
Why? Because God’s in all of it.

Yep, He’s there in triumph, happiness and good times. But He’s also present during those hopeless “It’s too late” times in our lives. You know the ones. The failure experiences, the instances when you’re disqualified by extremes, by Arguments of age, time and life passing. You’re presented with insurmountable evidence that whatever “it” is to you, “it” is all over.

There’s no hope.

But there is God.

I know I spout this scripture a lot whenever I write and speak, but it’s because I’ve found it to be the hopeful lifeline whenever I’m presented with those supposedly cement, often hopeless “facts.”

It’s Jeremiah 32:27:

“Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?”

And regardless of what has happened, how bleak it appears, God still has the final say. And one of the things God says is…

“I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the great locust, the grasshopper, and the caterpillar...”
Joel 2:25

Feel like your life has been eaten away? Feel like it’s gone forever? God has the Power to restore, to make it right…

“He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.”
Psalm 23:3

“Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.”
Psalm 51:12

It doesn’t need to make sense; it doesn’t need to fall in line.

Just like this biker chick, God defies the facts and the accepted circumstances in life.

It’s not too late for you; God’s been around too long to allow anything to count you out! He’s too invested in you; He loves you too much to allow failure to be your everlasting story!

God’s a God of Victory and He’s our Father. Why wouldn’t He make sure His kids win then?

So, go on, ride, Granny, Ride!!!! Your best lies ahead of, not behind, you!


Take the rocks

The struggle you're in today



Sunday, February 19, 2012


Adele has become the latest musical darling, winning a number of Grammy’s, producing incredible hits with her rich voice. I know I’ve caught myself doing my own “rendition” of “Rolling In the Deep” and “Someone Like You.” However, my interpretation sounded more like cats fighting over territory and less like the fabulous Adele.

Anyway, with the accolades, talent and attention, Adele has, therefore, made the stunning cover of a recent “Vogue” magazine. And this magazine has, in fashion and image circles, represented a beauty standard.
Adele graced its recent cover, often in spite of narrow beauty definitions and even criticism for her weight, within that same fashion industry which uses “Vogue” as its Bible.

I’m not bringing this up to say, “na-nah, na-nah,” nor to focus extreme attention on beauty, but, rather, to remind us all how God sees us as we really are, whether or not anyone else gets it or celebrates it.

“…”Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature... For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.’”
1 Samuel 16:7

Adele isn’t a size zero, yet she’s now on a beauty magazine. Adele’s voice doesn’t have a physical appearance; yet it has a strong presence.

She defied some “rules.”

You may be like me, sounding like a fighting cat each time you sing one of her songs. But what is in you? What is it which has been rejected, criticized, ridiculed or ignored? How are you written off by some “power that be?” How can God work to trump that certain power?

We don’t need to look to Vogue to see Adele’s beauty; it’s already a done deal. Yes, there may be airbrushing and other magazine correction techniques, but the foundation of who she is has been caught by the camera. And it’s more than skin deep. There’s more to her than the physical. The essence of who she is, at this time, is emerging.

"’I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism.’”
Acts 10:34

This can happen for you as well. Stop arguing with God about it. Why couldn’t He do this for you? What is in you, waiting to shine? Whatever it is, it’s not too hard for Him to accomplish (Jeremiah 32:27)!

God sees you already as beautiful, worthwhile and incredible!!! Plus, He’s for you, not against you (Romans 8:31)!!!

Therefore, take the limits off from Him- and yourself. In your own way, in your own life, you are created to live the victory of who you are, magazine cover or not!

“And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them:”
Deuteronomy 28:13
Copyright © 2012 by Sheryle Cruse

Give it a try

Saturday, February 18, 2012

It isn't what you need

Corner of the forest

Capable of


I don’t know how to go about writing this, but it breaks my heart too much NOT to say anything.

So here goes.

The “thinspo” phenomenon has picked up more steam lately, with blogs, photos, essays and posts of all sorts, flooding the internet. But it all comes back to dangerous coveting and just how far that coveting can cause damage for those of us struggling with any form of eating disorder or body image challenge.

Now, with the internet everything is accelerated and accessible. And, dare I say, more dangerous? There’s a concept out there; “what you focus on the most, becomes the strongest in your life.” That can be a negative focus or a positive focus.

And, we all know how weight loss and body dissatisfaction target the female population. After all, this quote, unfortunately, still holds relevance:

“The #1 wish of girls 11-17 years old is to lose weight.”
-From: Body Wars: Making Peace with Women’s Bodies, by Margo Maine, Ph.D., Güürze Books, 2000

Yeah, and the ages for affected little children, not just girls any longer, either, are getting lower.

Now we have two year old tots who are afraid to eat sugar or fat because they’re afraid to get fat themselves. We have toddlers excessively exercising, weighing and measuring themselves and their food, again, for fear of getting fat.

What we focus on the most…

Coveting. We want what we see. So, if all we see are dangerous unhealthy images of who we should be, is it any wonder why there are so many of us, in pain, literally “dying to be thin?”

Say what you will about eating disorders: it’s genetic, it’s environmental, it’s a disease. Wherever you stand on this issue, it still, however, doesn’t change the fact that thinspo images do nothing to help the issue. Like someone afflicted with cancer, yet still insisting on smoking three packs of cigarettes a day, thinspo images and triggering blogging are, indeed, no answer, no cure whatsoever; they only cause further damage.
Thinspo, whatever expression it takes, is dangerous idolatry.

“Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another god...”
Psalms 16:4

And no effective power, let alone, healing or health, can come from it…

“What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it…a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols…there is no breath at all in the midst of it.”
Habakkuk 2:18-19

Thinspo is a lie!

It’s an illusion of strength, of power, of the unattainable perfection. And, in its pursuit, the results are only life-threatening, filled with despair and hopelessness.

Think differently about it? Think it’s working for you? Really?
How happy versus miserable are you right now?

How happy and powerful can you feel if/when your physical health and strength buckle under the thinspo pressure? And eventually, left unchanged, influenced by this dangerous choice, your health will suffer.

And spiritually, how at peace are you, really?

God never called us to live like this. He called us to love and to be in close relationship with Him.

No person is an island. Indeed, what we say and do in life affects other people. We cannot, therefore, underestimate the destruction which can come from these dangerous thinspo practices. You may see it as only motivating yourself; believe me, it’s not that limited in its reach. When images and messages are sent into the internet universe now, there’s no limit who they will reach, affect- and harm. Each of us must take a thoughtful moment to assess if what we are doing, saying or posting, could be detrimental to another. Is it making another stumble?

After all, each one of us is vulnerable.

God calls us to encourage, to edify, not to tear down.

“Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.”
Romans 14:19

What are we doing then?

It’s vital we recognize we are vessels; we are capable of producing goodness and healing or destruction and harm. God’s given us the free will to choose. None of us can escape that truth.

What are we choosing? God has a better way in which we are to view ourselves…

“O my dove…your form is lovely.”
Song of Solomon 2:14

“I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made…”
Psalm 139:14

He has created and called each one of us “good’ (Genesis 1:26). Let’s focus on the Truth of that, rather than the lies of thinspo.

God has a better way; He knows better than us…

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
Isaiah 55:8-9

And He’s working healing and a future in each one of us.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Jeremiah 29:11

Let’s not fight God; let’s choose Him, His healing Truth, be inspired and motivated by His constant loving work in, through and for each one of us!

“…being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
Philippians 1:6
Copyright © 2012 by Sheryle Cruse