Monday, October 31, 2011

Letting Our Light Shine Bright Tonight!

Like the cold of snow in time of harvest is a faithful messenger to those who send him, for he refreshes the soul of his masters.
Proverbs 25:13

We enjoyed an autumnal snow storm here in Bucks County Pennsylvania this past weekend!  It was beautiful to see the snow on crimson-colored leaves and orange pumpkins.  God indeed holds the treasuries of snow!  For He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth’... (Job 37:6)

Today ~ Halloween ~ the one day a year all of our neighbors come and visit out home.  Our heart and doors are opened wide as we say "welcome".  As unto the Lord, we desire to make the most of these brief visits.  CLICK HERE TO SEE HOW WE WANT TO LET OUR LIGHTS SHINE!


Congratulations to Aaron Michelle Pentz -- the winner of "I Used To Be So Organized" by Glynnis Whitwer! 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Order and Peace ~ Book Give Away!

For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.
1 Corinthians 14:33

"I Used to Be So Organized ~ Help for Reclaiming Order and Peace".  To be honest, I'd buy Glynnis Whitwer's newest book just for the title:  "I Used to Be So Organized"!  I feel like that describes me in a nutshell in this season of my life!  And I LOVE the cover of her book with the mismatched shoes!!

The old saying must be wrong.  You indeed can judge a book by its cover ~ this book is fabulous!

Glynnis' book, with a biblical and practical approach for reclaiming order and peace in the lives of Christian women, is giving me a sense of freedom and joy.  I feel normal again!  There is hope!

Each morning I pray Psalm 90:17 to the Lord and ask Him to establish, bless and make fruitful the work of my heart and hands that HE has for my day.  "And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us, And establish the work of our hands for us; Yes, establish the work of our hands."  Psalm 90:17(NKJV)  As Christian women,  we desire to honor God in our lives and with our time and God-given gifts.  "I Used to Be So Organized" reminds us how His beauty is so graciously upon our lives as we allow Him to establish the work of our hearts and hands.

In her book, Glynnis shares biblical insights and boundaries for re-establishing order in our lives.  She helps us identify "time wasters" and walks us through the process of de-cluttering our hearts and homes.  Her tips for organization and for making our homes functional and yet welcoming re-energize us to live our lives with excellence for the purposes and glory of God.

I am giving away a copy of Glynnis' new book here at His Table For Two!  Just leave your name and a way to contact you should you win.  The winner will be announced on Monday morning, so comments are welcome through Sunday night!

The girls in my Gather & Grow Bible Study group all received Glynnis' book last Friday.  Already I have received exciting feedback. One of the gals asked if she could get eight more of them to give to her friends!  She said, "I usually don't stick with a book and finish reading it, but I can't put this one down!"  The content of Glynnis' book meets the expectations of the great title and cover!

Happy Weekend Everyone!  Make generous time for Him and meet with Him in His Word ~ you will be filled at His table!

I will walk about in freedom,
for I have sought out Your precepts.
Psalm 119:45

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Love Gave ~ Love Gives

 For God so loved the world that He gave
His only begotten Son,
that whoever believes in Him
should not perish
but have everlasting life.
John 3:16

God is love. 
1 John 4:8

Love gave.  Love gives.  From Genesis to Revelation, I love how we are shown how God gave and gives.  He gives life.  He gives love.  Gracious, merciful, perfect giving.

And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food".
Genesis 1:29

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants...
Revelation 1:1

And it makes sense that He gives because everything belongs to Him.

Indeed heaven and the highest heavens belong to the LORD your God,  the earth with all that is in it.
Deuteronomy 10:14

Now they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You.
John 17:7

We can give our most precious gifts without spending a penny ~ gifts of prayer, grace, love, friendship, time.  Love gives.  May we love well and in such a way that honors Him. 

As we prepare for the Christmas season and celebrating Christ's birth, we are giving here too at His Table For TwoThe Simple and the Significant ~ Untangling Christmas!  Congratulations to the two winners from Monday's post:

Edna Atongrind
And a serendipitous special bonus winner ~ Cyndee!!!

Congratulations girls! If we have not connected yet, please email me at !

And if you are not a winner here, you can still order Karen and LeAnn's book at!

Share a scripture about how God's love gives!  We may just have another serendipitous winner!

God gave him rest all around.
2 Chronicles 20:30

For I am the LORD your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I gave...
Isaiah 43:3

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.
John 1:2

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her...
Ephesians 5:25

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.
2 Peter 1:3

Monday, October 17, 2011

Untangling Christmas ~ The Significant and The Simple

Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.  For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” Luke 2:12-12

The Significant and the Simple:  the Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes.  Christ, the Lord, our Redeemer.

Celebrating the Significant, the Gift, during the Christmas season usually leaves us stressed rather than blessed.  Simplicity gives way to chaos and our joy can be zapped. But before the hustle and bustle gets in full swing, let's take a collective big breath...there is hope!
Recently, I was invited to review a book by my friends Karen Ehman and LeAnn Rice, Untangling Christmas ~ Your Go-To Guide for a Hassle-Free Holiday.  What a joy!  I loved the book AND I got a jump start to Christmas preparations!

Untangling Christmas is filled with great ideas for celebrations, gift wrapping, inexpensive presents and recipe planning.  Best of all, though, Karen and LeAnn remind us to daily keep our hearts before the Lord, who was born in the precious stable and laid in a manger, such that our hearts are truly peaceful and joyful during the Christmas season and beyond.

Love gives.  That is clear throughout God's Word.  So in the spirit of love and in excited anticipation of the Christmas season, TWO Untangling Christmas ebooks are being given away here on His Table For Two this week!

Simply leave a comment and tell us in one sentence what is most Significant for you in your Christmas traditions and celebrations.  Also, be sure to leave your contact information (if I can't reach you through a blog of your own) and mention if you would like the ebook in PDF form, Nook or Kindle version if you are a winner. 70 days until Christmas... 

Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”John 4:10  

Friday, October 14, 2011

How Are You? ~ by Samantha Reed

He sent His word and healed them,
And delivered them from their destructions.
Psalm 107:20

I'd like to introduce you to my sweet friend, Samanth Reed.  The Lord blessed me serendipitously with this unexpected friendship.  While I probably could be Sam's mother (by age), she graciously sees me like as older sister in the Lord.  Connected by heartstrings, though we are distanced by miles, Sam's humor, encourgement, humility and love reach through the computer screen and touch my heart. Her writing is uniquely beautiful as she shares her heart for the Lord with tangible transparency.
Sheila, Me and Samantha (July 2011)

Samantha hails from the North… but was raised in the South. Perhaps this unique medley of accents, food and temperature inspires her to write. She muses at Fields of Gold, is a contributor to Proverbs 31 Ministries’ Daily Devotions and is working on mixing her Yankee Belle experiences in her first novel.

Welcome Samantha Reed as she dips into God's Word...

How Are  You?

How are you? I’m posed this question many times a day, but haven’t delved into the truth lately. Cause truth is, there are only a few I want to be that honest with. And those I generally share the depths with are wading through extenuating circumstances. Filled to capacity, they’ve needed a place to pour out.

Cupped hands catch their words, worries, wants. Until my hands are heavy. I’m weary from taking in and not pouring myself out in return. I understand; they don’t have it to give right now. Yet, hour upon hour of listening… I’m not sure I have it to give right now either.

Irony is, my very name means “Listener.” Double irony is my life verse from 2010: “whoever refreshes others will be refreshed” (Proverbs 11:25). But I can not take more into a soul cram-full. And I can not pour out what is not there. I’m completely full, yet totally empty.

And so I selfishly check out in the name of self-preservation; retreat into myself, away from their words weighted with pain and trouble and questions. Distance my being from all words. Until the Word beckons me with cupped hands large enough to hold my needy soul, friend’s worn circumstances, the thin world.

I pour into the Word, a beautiful dip with crevices to hold my words. “How are you?” He asks.

I’m weary, Word. I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

I feel alone, Word. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:20

I can’t take much more, Word. Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

I pour out, He pours in. An ebb and flow more natural than the ocean’s tides. My needy soul needs His words; Him: The Word.

Over 4000 responded to this quote on Facebook, “Sometimes the girl who’s always been there for everyone else, needs someone to be there for her.” This tells me I’m not the only one looking for larger cupped hands to pour myself into. Can’t help but wonder… does this pull on a corner of your heart too?

Friend, community is God-given. But friend’s and family’s ability to be leaned on will ebb and flow. Hence our soul’s deepest need: friendship with the Lord. {Inhale deeply that delight: we’re friends with God.} Friends with the unchanging nature of the Word, Jesus. "For I the LORD do not change” (Malachi 3:6).

Will you take His cupped hand, reaching out to hold you, your cares, your friends and family members? Take His hand and take a walk through Him, the Word. Pour your truthful answers into Him and pour yourself into the fields of Scripture. Refreshment awaits. He’s asking, “How are you?”

{Hey friend… how are you? Can we create an online community here today to encourage? Please leave a comment letting us know how you are. Then leave a comment with a prayer for the person who commented before you. Thanks, friend!} ~ Samantha

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Blameless Heart

“I will walk in my house with a blameless heart.”

Psalm 101:2b (NIV)

Living a life of godly integrity happens within the walls of our own homes first. That’s really where we are authenticated. For me, what God sees and knows of me in my home and with my family is most important to me, rather than how others perceive me elsewhere. If I am living a life surrendered to Him inside my home and with my family, that life will flow naturally and freely everywhere else. It will be genuine and self-evident.

God sees and meets me when I spend quiet time with Him. God sees me when I love and serve my husband with respect and joy. God sees me when I handle His Word with tenderness and invest it into my children’s hearts. He also sees me when I fail miserably in these areas and fall to my knees for forgiveness as my heart aches with the godly sorrow that leads to repentance and thus brings forth His life. He sees and knows the real me.

If my husband sees and knows that I am seeking God daily and abiding in Him continually, then my heart is at rest and filled with joy knowing he has confidence in me. He knows I desire an authentic life before our God and in our home. My husband’s confidence in me because I love and fear the Lord is priceless. I want the same to be true of me as it is written about the Proverbs 31 woman. “Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.” Proverbs 31:11 (NIV) I want to be that crown on his head and jewel around his neck, and that must happen in our home with deep authenticity. It doesn’t happen in social settings with shallow facades.

We know that a wise woman seeks to have a blameless heart in her home. “The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.” Proverbs 14:1 (NIV) The destructive hands of pride and selfishness will tear apart the beautiful gifts with which God has entrusted me. I so earnestly want to be the wise woman building up my home and family.

Walking with a blameless heart is a standard set by God, and I am reminded of that moment-by-moment (especially when I am grumpy!). The study note in my NIV Bible explains that blameless is “spiritual and moral integrity”. (Blue Letter Bible:  Psalm 101:2)  Even when we really blow it and our uglies are everywhere, our godly integrity, born by His grace and out of a vibrant relationship with Him, brings us back to a humble heart before the Lord. When we fail, God and those around us will see our true remorse and desire to be right with Him and with those we have offended. 

For a gal like me, to have a blameless heart and to  "pursue holiness" (Hebrews 12:14 NKJV) seem like lofty ambitions.  Yet, what a relief that God has wonderfully designed us to depend on Him for our godly integrity. “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.” 2 Peter 1:3 (NIV)  Abiding in His truth and yielding to the Holy Spirit, we can walk with a blameless heart and a clear conscience before Him in our own homes and beyond our four walls.  What peace and freedom that brings my heart!

I will walk about in freedom,
for I have sought out your precepts.
Psalm 119:45

Gentle Father, You desire me to walk with a blameless heart. You have generously given me all I need for life and godliness. May my life honor you in my home and before my family first, such that Your life spills out to all those around me naturally. Strengthen my heart and hands that they may continually build my house in Your perfect love. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

“For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
the Lord bestows favor and honor;
no good thing does He withhold
from those whose walk is blameless.”
Psalm 84:11 (NIV)

Your Journal
Saying grace ~ Bringing my heart to God in prayer.

My Portion ~ Where Has God met me in His Word today?

Nourishment ~ How does God want to mold and change my heart?

Second Helpings ~ Where does God want me to be a doer of the Word and take action?

Time for Dessert ~ What can I share with others from what God showed me today?

"You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
and praise the name of the LORD your God,
Who has dealt wondrously with you..."
Joel 2:26

Monday, October 10, 2011

A Broken Heart ~ A Heart More Beautiful

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.” 
Psalm 51:17 (NIV)

The condition of my heart matched the weather conditions outside as I drove my children home from school through the steady rain and dreary clouds. Bringing my children to and from school each day is precious, almost sacred, time to me as we enjoy captured moments together to talk, listen, sing and pray. This day, however, my heart ached with fresh wounds. I silently cried out to the Lord while Joshua and Gabrielle munched on a snack and conversed contently between themselves.

Years ago God had taught me a valuable lesson: if someone says something critical to me in a harsh spirit, and not in love, still take that to Him and ask Him if there is any truth in what was said.  “Is there something offensive in my heart You want to change, Lord?”, I wondered after receiving harsh words from an unexpected place. My heart lay bare and broken before the Lord. 

As we pulled into the garage, my sweet then-five-year-old daughter, Gabrielle, asked if she could put her rain boots on and go jump in the puddles. As my heart admired her enthusiasm, we worked together to dress her in her rainy weather finery. She gave me an extra tight squeeze declaring her appreciation. 

I went about my regular after-school-unloading-and-reorganizing tasks as my silent conversation with God continued. “Lord, the pain from this person's words seems unreasonable and unnecessary, and the criticism seems unfounded in truth. You know I want to serve You with abandon and show Your mighty works for Your glory. Please let me see Your faithfulness and purpose in this pain.”

A few minutes later, Gabrielle was in the kitchen excitedly handing me a paper heart she had stopped to make and surprise me with before going outside to jump in puddles. Gabrielle’s caring ways and artistic gifts are always a delight. On this rainy day, this hand-made gift served an even greater purpose.

As her precious hand lifted the paper heart up to mine, I noticed the heart had scissor cuts all through it, and I thought privately to myself that it didn’t look very pretty that way. Graciously taking the heart from her and kissing her head in thanks, I met my eyes with hers and she said, “Mommy, I made this heart for you. I put cuts in the heart because I thought the heart would be more beautiful that way.” 

Immediately, tears rolled down my face. I felt the Lord quiet my heart with His love and say to me, “Sharon, I am making your heart more beautiful through the wounds I am allowing you to experience. Be still, be quiet and wait on me. You will have a heart more beautiful.”

Noticing my tears of amazement, Gabrielle asked why I started to cry, and I told her that, through the paper heart she had made me, God reminded me how much He loves me and how faithful He is, especially when our hearts are broken before Him.

My child’s delight in the promise of fresh rain and the beauty of a broken heart had ministered His love to me.

Dear Lord, through  Your grace let my heart abide in You always. Keep my heart teachable and humble before You. Give me the willingness to trust You through the pain, knowing that  You are doing a beautiful work in my heart. Hold fast to me, My refuge and strength. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 “But on this one will I look:
On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit,
And who trembles at My word."
Isaiah 66:2

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there Is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
Psalm 139:23-24 (NIV)

“I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.”  
Isaiah 57:15 (NIV)

Your Journal
Saying grace ~ Bringing my heart to God in prayer.

My Portion ~ Where Has God met me in His Word today?

Nourishment ~ How does God want to mold and change my heart?

Second Helpings ~ Where does God want me to be a doer of the Word and take action?

Time for Dessert ~ What can I share with others from what God showed me today?

"You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
and praise the name of the LORD your God,
Who has dealt wondrously with you..." 
 Joel 2:26