Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Light Switch

I’m not the most coordinated morning person. There have been too many mornings, in fact, I’ve stubbed numerous toes and collided into sharp points of things with my shins, all while just trying to turn the light switch on. Good morning.

But, despite my howling pain, the light switch is still there. And that brings a reminder, yet again, to my mind as I’m shaking off the clumsy pain: it’s about focus.

Focus. That mysterious concept is supposed to empower us all. However, how many of us feel only scattered and distracted?

Hello? Yoo hoo? Still with me or are you thinking about your “to do” list?

Thought so.

Anyway, it’s so hard to focus on the light, isn’t it? Most of the time, despite the light switch being there, we’re too caught up in our spiritual and emotionally stubbed toes and shins to even consider the light. So, we get confused, frustrated, heck, homicidal (don’t tell me I’m the only one with murder fantasies going on from time to time).

And then, the capper, we blame God for the confused torture and pain? How’s that for a successful plan? Well, it’s untrue, for starters…

“For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace...”
1 Corinthians 14:33

But if that’s all we’re focusing on in our lives, are we making it a true, but truly screwed up, self-fulfilling prophecy?

“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he...”
Proverbs 23:7

God’s called us, however, to walk in the Light, not the darkness, even in spite of our bright idea plans…

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”
1 John 1:7

Did you catch it? “but IF…”

That means light will happen in our lives IF we move toward the light switch, not away from it.

Yes, we focus on all of our other switched so much more, don’t we? There’s the switch of appetite; there’s the switch of pain. There’s the switch of distraction. There are probably thousands of these little buggers, all with the promise that if we “turn them on,” we’ll get our glorious answer of illumination and longed for desires.

But all we get are the stubbed toes and shins. We focused on the wrong thing.

Sigh. I know.

But it still isn’t hopeless. It just requires a refocus: Jesus. We all need help getting to the light switch; we’re all stumbling in one way or another. But it’s important to never believe that, in our stumbling, we’re finding any other answer, any other light except the illumination that Jesus was created for.

“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

It’s all about Jesus, not our bright light bulb way of doing things.

“ …‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’”
John 8:12

Our light bulbs will burn out, after all. But God’s Word, God’s Truth, God’s Light will remain forever.

“Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”
Matthew 24:35

Something to remember as we stumble for the light switch, huh?

More great instructions...

Some great instructions...

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Glass is Filled

I am

What do you do when you don’t know who you are? Identity crisis runs rampant today. We’re probably more insecure than ever as life gets more complicated and confusing.

And so, we grapple to define ourselves, often, with disastrous results.


I am worthless.
I am ugly.
I am a failure.
I am stupid.
I am hopeless.

Yay. Let’s hear it for the great I am, huh?

But there is an antidote: the real great I am.


“…And God said…I AM THAT I AM…this is my name forever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.”
Exodus 3:13-15

The Truth is, God knows Who He is better than any one of us could ever hope to.

And even if we feel secure within ourselves, ultimately, our fragile state will tell on us.

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”
Romans 3:23

What are you seeking? What are you needing? Who do you want to be in life?

God is it; God has it.

Let God be your great I am in life! He’s never in an identity crisis!

Live it...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Nope Cat

Stuck between the corner of a wall and- gasp-water! And we all know how much most cats generally love water!

I saw this photo and laughed immediately. Not only have I experienced it with my cats, I’ve been in that same mental spot myself.

Stuck. In between a rock and a hard place.

So, is this you? Do you feel stuck? Trapped? No way out?

Personally, I’ve put up a fight with God more times than I care to count. I try to will something, to do it my own way. That’s always a great strategy, isn’t it? There have been a lot of times I wanted to go here or do this, all while God was telling me to go somewhere else and/or do something completely opposite of my supposed desires. Thus, bringing about a “no, no, no” shriek from me…

And, before you know it, I’m right where this nope cat is: stuck!


We all get some bright ideas; we all in our lives, think we have a better idea. But…

“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

Just like this cat here? Nope!

Why do we insist doing it without God? We can’t, you know.

Each time we’re in a nope situation, I think it’s worth it to look at who stuck us there?

Was it God? Well, according to scripture…

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go: I will guide you with My eye.”
Psalm 32:8

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
Isaiah 43:19

So, guess not. If God says He’s leading and guiding us, making a way out of no way, then who in the heck put us in this nope spot?

Yeah, I know. Guess it’s us. There’s an unusual concept: we did it to ourselves. Yay.

But it’s not hopeless, even if we’re faced with a wall of our own making.

“Behold, the LORD's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear.”’
Isaiah 59:1

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
Psalms 46:1

And yes, even if/when we’re stubborn, creating our own messes, feeling nothing but temptation, bad choices and failure, God is at work…

"No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it."
1 Corinthians 10:13

It’s not hopeless; you and I aren’t hopeless! We don’t have to be nope cats. We can always make another choice; we can choose to go to God, not our own devices, to help get- and keep- us out of the stuck corner spots.

God wants to take us further than the place of that rock and hard spot! Copyright © 2012 by Sheryle Cruse

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Beauty is...

Watch your...

Comfort Food

“I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.”
John 14:18

It’s become part of our speech: comfort food. Do you have an instant image of what that represents to you? Most of us do. And those of us with disordered eating and body image issues are often tortured by it.


Think about that; we’re tortured by comfort? Doesn’t make sense, does it?
It’s probably because food was never meant to be comfort to us in the first place. Macaroni and cheese, pizza, chocolate or anything else we designate as our chosen “comfort food” can never replace the ultimate comfort which only comes from God. Nothing else will work. Everything else we try in lieu of God will disappoint, possibly compound our problems and leave us with feelings of regret and emptiness; God will not.

“The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms...”
Deuteronomy 33:27

“’For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds,’ saith the LORD...”
Jeremiah 30:17

So, what do we do as we are faced with the fried/foe of our comfort food temptations?

Yes, it’s a cliché answer: go to God with that reality. God’s not freaked out by it. He knows our fragile state…

“For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.”
Psalms 103:14

And yes, God has said if we come close to Him, He’ll come close to us…
“Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you…
James 4:8

Sound comforting? Think it’ll work for you? Why not, at least, try it out? Don’t worry about failure or perfection. God knows exactly what’s going on with you. He knows you completely. And He’s working in your life.

So, the next time “comfort food” comes across your radar screen, think God instead.

He wants to comfort each one of us. Let’s let Him do so! Copyright © 2012 by Sheryle Cruse

Until it is faced

This Life

Gift of This Day

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Thank You Notes

When I was a little girl, I was taught to write thanks you notes.

I wrote notes for my birthday and holiday gifts and parties. Later, I wrote more notes concerning my graduations, wedding and anniversaries. It’s becoming a lost art, unfortunately. Now, with email and texting, with social media networks, it ap[pears no one is writing letters any longer. Forget about writing thank you notes.

And really, in our busy lives, do we honestly take a moment to stop…

and thank…


The room just got really quiet, didn’t it?


Guilty here.

We don’t say thank you to God, let alone, write Him a thank you note NEARLY as often as we need to.

I’m not here as “Debby Downer” to condemn humanity. No, we’re not all doomed to be worthless slugs, crawling back to our slime pits.
But we need to be aware of the importance of gratitude: you, me, everyone.
Perhaps our personal frustration and/or messes could change- all by a spiritual thank you note to God. As a writer, I’ve seen personally how Habakkuk 2:2 is life changing.

“And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, so he may run that reads it.”
Habakkuk 2:2

And experts tell us to write our goal, plans and dreams down as a method of ensuring they’ll more likely be accomplished.

But before we make our wish lists, we need to remember: first things first. We don’t come to God with “gimme, gimme, gimme.” Not if we want to even get close to our desired results! We come via thanks.

“Be anxious for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
Philippians 4:6

Yep, so that means, start writing, start speaking, start living those two little words to God- right now- TODAY!

We all fall short of doing this; but knowing that we do still cannot paralyze us from making a different choice. Yes, it may feel weird, awkward or ridiculous, but each one of us can change the thanksgiving area of their lives and relationship with God.

Say, “thank You.”

Your mother and your grandmother were right on target teaching you this!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Read the Book of Esther...

This Purim, check out the Book of Esther- it's incredible AND personally relevant to your circumstances.
God can turn ANY story upside down!!!