Sunday, January 17, 2010


So, I said I would tell you all the second thing that happened to me. It was a very interesting encounber I had at McDonald's, of all places. I was sitting there eating my pancakes and doing my Bible study when I hear someone say rather awkwardly, "Are you reading a, uh, Bible?"

Startled, I looked up to see an older man with grey hair and a beard, and said, "Pardon me?"

He said, "Is that a Bible you are reading?" I answered yes, and he started talking to me. He showed me this very thick notebook, explaining that he was translating the Bible from English into Italian. I thought the notebook he was holding was the entire Bible but it was actually only the book of Luke. His goal was that his grandchildren would be able to learn Italian from reading the Bible. He had been working on translating idioms and phrases that would be hard for the average English speaker to pick up in Italian. You could tell by the way he talked, that he loved the Bible. It was a neat conversation and an interesting meeting.

Then before he left, he looked me right in the eye and said, "I just wanted to say that reading the Bible is the best investment of time you can make. God bless you." Then he left.

I was left with this feeling that God had reached down to say, "Good job - keep up the good work." God used someone else, someone I didn't even know, to encourage me. God's cool like that.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


From my last post, you might have gotten the idea that I am a little blue, and you would be correct. I'm not navy blue, just a wedgewood blue. I was praying the other day and I said, Lord, I know I have lots of things that I need to work on, but I just don't want to hear one more area that I am NOT up to snuff!"

Don't get me wrong - I really believe we are "to work out our salvation with fear and trembling." I don't mean we have to earn our salvation but that after we are saved, God starts sanctifying us - He loves us too much to leave us as we are. But to be honest, I've been feeling a bit sanctified-out. I needed a bit of encouragement.

God, as always, heard me and answered me in two ways - one He uses a lot with me and another one that was unique. First, was through something I read. God does that with me a lot - answers my questions or meets a need through what I am currently reading. I was doing my Bible study, Having a Mary Spirit by Joanna Weaver. This is the follow up book of Having a Mary Spirit in a Martha World. Anyway, she shared this story about her youngest son Josh who was born without a lot of muscle tone. This made him a bit slower in some of those developmental milestones and made some things a bit harder than it was for others. She shared how she was watching Josh hit a new milestone - sitting up and reaching for a toy and how hard it was for him. She and the babysitter whooped it up as if Josh had just won a gold medal. She scooped him up and said, "That's my boy!"

It then hit her that that was what God does with us - He is rooting for us, delighting in every bit of progress we make. He doesn't have a chart in hand and tap His divine foot as to why we haven't reached x milestone by y time. He knows how hard things are for us and He is cheering us on. He is ready to scoop me up and say, "That's my girl!" Weaver shared this story with her audience, as she was at a women's conference speaking at the time, and while she was speaking, another truth hit her - despite the response of the women listening, many of whom had tears in their eyes, it meant the MOST to Weaver because Josh belonged to her.

Just as my Father watches each little bit of progress, cheering me on, wanting the best for me, with a vested interest because I BELONG TO HIM! In Psalms it says God delights in us. Wow! What a concept - I sometimes have a hard time envisioning God clapping His hands in delight over the times I choose to obey or when I choose to extend kindness and grace to someone else or when I give some of my blessings to others. Kind of changes my focus from trying so hard to get it right all the time and just walking with God as He holds my hands and steadies me when the path gets rocky, resting in His strength not my own. Why? Because I'm His best girl!


p.s. I'll share the second way tomorrow! :)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


With the resuming of school, my mornings are coming a lot earlier than the last two weeks. I am not a morning person at the best of times, but trying to get out of bed at 6:30 a.m. when it is dark and cold makes me REALLY not a morning person. So, I've been pretty tired the last couple days.

But my 30 minute power naps don't really help with that weariness of soul that seems to have overtaken me lately. Maybe it is the letdown of the holidays; maybe it is the fact that I had a rough morning with a few of my students today; or maybe it is even the fact that I realized AFTER teaching two classes yesterday that my zipper was down the entire time. Nothing like a little humiliation to zap the zip from your step! lol

Mostly I'm tired of trying - trying to be a good mom, a good wife, a good daughter, a good friend, a good Christian. Trying, trying, trying but never quite making it - like that hamster on a wheel, endlessly squeaking in a circle that goes nowhere - that's how I've been feeling lately. Maybe it is an overload of information, but I feel like my brain is so busy trying to sort out all the information going into it, that I am in a perpetual state of hazy confusion.

It's hard enough trying to be a good Christian, but according to a Christian radio program I heard just today, even THAT isn't good enough. Apparently, doing the "good Christian things" is just not the way to go these days. The actual words of the speaker were, "You should be the type of person that makes good Christians wonder if you are saved." Um, okay. What does that mean exactly? Should I go out and hit the town or perhaps get rip roaring drunk or maybe take in a few R-rated movies in an effort not to appear too Christian? I thought the Bible said, by your fruits you will know them (meaning other believers). I thought the Bible also said that unbelievers should be asking what you have because they can SEE a difference. See? I'm confused again.

As I folded another load of laundry, I was praying - "Lord, I'm just tired. I'm tired of seeing all the ways I am not good enough. I know that. I know that I am nothing without You. I'm tired of working so hard at it all - trying to improve myself and never feeling like I succeed." That still small voice said, "Well then, don't. Stop trying. Come to me. Rest in Me."

I was reminded once again that the only thing I am really responsible for is spending time with God and then obeying what He tells me to do, knowing that His strength and His mercy and His grace will see me through. I was reminded that the joy of the Lord, which comes when I spend time at His feet in communion with Him, is what gives us strength. "Come unto me, all you are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you for my burden is light." (Matt. 11:29, 30) I'm coming, Lord - that's the best offer I've had all day!
~Blessings, Bronte

Friday, January 1, 2010


I've fallen woefully behind in posting on this blog, but my New Year's resolution is to do better! Looking back, I've managed to average almost once a week - that's not too bad. We had another string of illness during the first two weeks of December, so I was extra busy trying to catch up. I did learn one thing - don't put things off. I got on a little kick to get most of my Christmas stuff done - finish the shopping, wrapping, etc. I had a couple people tell me that I had plenty of time. After the stomach flu hitting my son and then me one week, and the same son getting strep throat and a sinus infection the next week, I was very glad that I didn't listen to those people! lol

So, as the New Year rolls in, are you sitting with your pad of paper and pen (or maybe your Blackberry) to write down all your resolutions for the new year, a new decade? One thing I really want to do more of this year is share Christ with others. Recently, after praying for her for several years, my neighbor came to church on Christmas Sunday. She really seems to want to get involved and keep coming. Embarrassingly, my first thought when she told me (keep in mind I have prayed for her off and on for 3 years!) was, wow, this is a bad week for that - I'm so busy. Yes, you read that right - I'm too busy. Of course, immediately the Holy Spirit whapped me upside the head. It's so easy for me to allow that "wilderness of daily cares" to sweep aside my eternal perspective.

And really, being obedient to those small nudges by the Holy Spirit, even when it is "inconvenient" or not on my to-do list is what God asks us to do. I'm not going to wake up tomorrow, the next Billy Graham. God tells us that if we must be faithful in the small things. That means, taking time to call my neighbor to see how she is doing; meeting her in the church lobby so she doesn't feel overwhelmed and lost; taking her to Bible study with me - even when I don't feel like dealing with it.

I was listening to Focus on the Family today, and there was a woman on there speaking named Esther. (didn't catch her last name) She was sharing stories about how she splashed God's grace on people as she went along in her life. It wasn't some specific time she set apart to evangelize. It was a way of life. I think sometimes, I think I must put it on my to-do list or assign a day - Wednesdays I will evangelize. Or I feel like I need notches on my spiritual belt - I have led x amount of people to God. In reality, I just need to have eyes to see those around me. When I am in the grocery store line or in the doctor's waiting room -those are the fields that are ripe for harvest. I also need to realize that it might not be MY job to lead someone to God. I might just be the person who points them in the right direction on the road they are following that leads to Christ. Sometimes we plant a seed; sometimes we water the seed; and sometimes we are blessed to see that seed bloom. All of those things are important. A seed doesn't grow if it is still in the package and a plant can't get by without water.

Last year, my focus was learning to live victoriously in Christ. I'm not 100% there yet, but God HAS changed me. I can see and I can feel it. I pray He continues to make me "free indeed." I pray He will continue to reveal in me the areas I need to guard in my life - my fault lines or weak spots. But also this year, I want to share that victory with others. I want to be ready with an answer when people ask me what is different about me as Peter says; I want to be aware of opportunities and not let fear or apathy or business prevent me from obeying the Holy Spirit when He points them out to me. It is my hope and prayer that next year, when I look back at 2010, I will be able to see the seeds I've planted and watered.

~ Blessings and Happy New Year!