Whether traveling around the world or around the block, there's lots to learn about life, love, and the pursuit of happiness on our journey , so lets dive into a new ocean together!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

S-S-S-Seventy, the new Seventy...who da thought. Part 1

"S-S-S-Seventy, the new Seventy...who da thought - Part 1

"Lord, Can You Use Me?"
(the answer is "YES")

Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup;
You have made my lot secure
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
Surely I have a delightful inheritance.

Psalm 16:5-6
Hello...it's me.
A week after turning seventy, I was asked to speak to over a hundred ladies at Red Bank Baptist Church on the theme, "Lord, Can You Use Me?" Afterwards, I asked the Lord, "did you use me?"

Why is it that after we study and pray and do everything possible to share what the Lord has given us, our insecurities try to steal our joy?  I should be used to that by now.  After all, I am seventy.  I'm sure some of you have experienced this, so that's why I'm going to share--in a nutshell--two reasons that keep me from saying yes to God when he has a great--and sometimes scary--plan for me.
(taken from my somewhat organized notes).

The #1 reason is FEAR.  There are several kinds of fear. One is the fear of stepping into the unknown.  Oftentimes Jesus has asked me to come out of my comfort zone in order for me to totally rely on him.  Now, I know there are several of you who are saying, "I don't need God's help; I can do it myself."  That's nice, but I assure you that there will come a time when you will hit a brick wall, throw up your hands, and humbly admit, "God, I think I need your help on this one."

Fear of man will paralyze you.  When I was in eleventh grade I took a speech class because I loved to write and wanted to learn how to write formal speeches.  What I didn't know was that I had to give a speech from what I wrote.  The thought of speaking in front of a room filled with varsity football players made my head spin and my stomach churn.  My sixteen-year-old body was experiencing fear in the first degree.

After giving a successful speech, still standing in front of al of those cute football players,  I fainted and woke up underneath a table with Toby-the-darling-quarterback holding my hand.  Embarrassed is putting it mildly.  At that moment I resolved never speak in public again.

Well, God had different plans.  Throughout my life I have been asked to speak, share--whatever you want to call it--to various groups...Singles Ministry, Bible school classes, women's groups (USA and international), garden clubs, assisted living, where several dozed off within 5 minutes (great for the ego), book clubs, book conferences, and book signings.  Each time I speak I recall one of my favorite verses to overcome my fear of man: 

He gives power to the faint and 
to them that have no might he increases strength.  
Isaiah 40:29

MS Restoration sailing over the Pond (Atlantic) from Seattle, WA to our first port, Stockholm, Sweden
Personal fears cause stress, anxiety, and illness.  After spending a week working on a WWII ship in Seattle, WA, I knew God was asking my husband and I to volunteer for a 14-month term to be part of her maiden voyage.  After saying yes to God, I suddenly remembered, "Eeek!  I can't swim!"  Fear hit me like a mighty wave.  I began plotting how I could get out of this situation until the Lord gave me two comfort verses:

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you... Isaiah 43:2
Thus saith the Lord, which taketh a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters...Isaiah 43:16

MS Restoration's maiden voyage '95.
Arriving in Sochi, Russia after my heart attack in Athens, Greece
FEAR struck me in Athens, Greece 
when I was experiencing what I later discovered was a heart attack.  
After living on board this old ship that was ready to sail to the Black Sea to 
transport Russian Jews to Israel, this old gal was determined to sail to Sochi, Russia. 
I would not fly home.  
Why? Because God's Word says:

My flesh and my heart faileth, but God is the strength of my heart,
and my portion forever.
Psalm 73:26

I will share the #2 reason for not saying yes to God in my next blog.  Can you guess what it might be?  I will share some personal examples on this hot topic.

Until then, wherever your feet may take you,
I wish you oceans of blessings


Read my book for details of my travels
www.sharonleaf.com





2 comments:

Marian Beaman said...

Seventy feels good - more productive now than ever!

Sharon Leaf said...

Marian. I'm lovin' 70 too. Relaxed, and fun!