Can you help?

Hey, friends!

Once in a while, I use this site to share something personal.
And I want to do that today.

Many of you know that each summer for the past 20 years, I’ve taken
students and adults on two-week mission trips to Central and South

(If you’re interested in joining me NEXT summer, let me know!)
But this summer we’re headed to Ecuador and are $2,000 short in

Would you pray about making a donation?
Because Susie Shellenberger Ministries is a 501-C 3 non-profit
organization, I can send you a receipt for tax purposes (just like when
you tithe to your church). But don’t send me your tithe! Give that to
your church.

If God leads you to do this, we need it as soon as possible.
You can make your check to Susie Shellenberger Ministries and mail
it to: 7012 N. Lake Front Drive, Warr Acres, OK 73132.

Any amount will be greatly appreciated!
And I’ll mail you a receipt for taxes.

Susie Shellenberger

Sorrow Into Joy

On April 30 of this year, I had to say goodbye
to my little four-footed furry friend Obie.
This little gray Schnauzer had seen me through a lot—
a major career change,
two moves,
the death of my 95-year-old aunt,
the death of my 93-year-old dad,
and many more life events.
Amos (my other little Schnauzer) and I were forced
to find our “new normal.”
And God was so very, very faithful.
He walked us through the grief and helped us smile again.

I LOVE Psalm 34:18 from the Living Bible:
“The Lord is close to those whose hearts are breaking.”

I attended two funerals this week.
Moms of two of my dear friends passed away recently.
And I was reminded once again that:
“The Lord is close to those whose hearts are breaking.”

Whether it’s a mom, a spouse, a friend . . . or even a pet . . .
God understands our hurt.
I’m so grateful for a Savior who truly cares about
Only GOD has the ability to turn our sorrow into joy.
“ . . . weeping may stay for the night,
     but rejoicing comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5 NIV).

Take Possession!

Joshua asked the Israelites an all-important question
In Joshua 18:3. Let’s take a quick peek:

“How long will you wait before you begin to take
possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your
ancestors, has given you?” (NIV)

Seven tribes still hadn’t taken possession of the amazing land
God had given them! This amazing gift of land filled with “milk
and honey”—fertile land that produced HUGE crops . . .
was sitting right in front of them, but they still hadn’t possessed it!

Does that make you scratch your head?
Why would anyone procrastinate possessing such a terrific gift?

Let’s dig a bit deeper.
The Israelites had been nomads for years.
And they had become extremely comfortable with their
nomadic lifestyle. To move inside the Promised Land
would mean several changes:
• They’d no longer live in tents; they’d have to build houses.
• Roads would need to be created.
• Inhabitants would have to be driven out.
• Eventually it would be amazing . . .
but first there would be a lot of work involved.

Do you sometimes think the Christian life is a lot of work?
Don’t be discouraged!
The gifts God gives us are
and pure.
And any work He asks us to,
we do in His strength
with His equipping.

So why not possess EVERYTHING God wants you to have?


A Gift?

In Numbers 13:2 we see that God had brought the Israelites to the
edge of the Promised Land. He was giving it to them.
But His gift would require something of the recipients.

Sometimes we mistakenly assume that when God gives us
something, all we have to do is receive and He’ll do the rest.

For example, the gift of salvation is free for the asking.
But we have a responsibility of actually living it out.
We can’t expect God to magically fill our minds with His Word.
We have to read it, absorb it, memorize it and live it.

This is what it means to “work out” our salvation.

“. . . continue to work out your salvation
with fear and trembling”
(Philippians 2:12 NIV).

Let’s look at that same verse in a different version:

“Work hard to show the results of your salvation,
obeying God with deep reverence and fear”
(Philippians 2:12 NLT).

The Israelites got the gift of the Promised Land,
but it wasn’t without having to battle giants,
clear the land,
tear down walls
and do a lot of reconstruction.

What might God want to be giving you,
but you’ve resisted because there’s work involved?


I’d sure appreciate your prayers this weekend as I speak
at the Virginia District Ladies retreat in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Not Even a Piece of Peace

Oftentimes we try to discern God’s will in a specific situation
by asking Him to give us peace
or to help us feel good about it.
If we feel those things, we assume it’s God’s will.
And if not? Oh, well. Must not be His will.

But why should we allow feelings to determine God’s will?
Especially since we’re told in Jeremiah 17:9 that
“the heart is deceitful above all things.”

Feelings can mislead us!

I don’t hear Abraham singing
“I’ve got peace like a river” in Genesis 12:1
when God told him to leave his homeland
and go to . . . well, actually God didn’t even
give him a destination . . . he just said, “Go.”

And in Genesis 22:1-19 when God told him to sacrifice his son, Isaac,
I don’t think Abraham’s heart was exploding with joy.
It was probably just exploding.

Even though God instructed the Israelites—His chosen people—
to cross the Red Sea, Exodus 14:10 shows us they were
horrifically frightened as they approached the water.

Yes, God DID part the sea (Exodus 14:21) when Moses stretched out
his hand, but the choir wasn’t singing “It Is Well With my Soul.”
They were scared spitless.

I’m guessing David’s heart skipped a few beats when he saw
what a beast Goliath was. If he’d waited until he felt good about it,
or peaceful about facing a monster . . .
he may never have approached the enemy.

And the Israelites may never have crossed the Red Sea.
Abraham probably would have stayed home.
Joseph may not have risked taking Mary and Jesus
during the night to Egypt.

Paul would’ve never preached to the Gentiles.
Stephen would not have preached before being killed.
Timothy would have stayed with his grandma instead of pastoring a church.

Esther would not have risked approaching the king to save the Jews.
Joshua probably wouldn’t have used marching around a wall as
a war strategy.
And Mary may not have said “yes.”

I’m guessing none of these people felt the calm of peace.
Probably every single one of them were frightened,

So what moved them forward?

Abraham believed, and it was credited to him as righteousness
(see Romans 4:3).

David. Paul. Joseph. Stephen. Esther. Moses.
Mary. Joshua. Timothy. Stephen.
All were nervous.
But they responded in faith and moved forward.

So what does this mean for us?
We can’t trust our feelings.

We CAN trust our Savior.


Please pray for me this weekend as I speak in Parkersburg, WV.

Ask Yourself This!

First off, let me say this devotion isn’t my own.
I read it from author Gail Burton Purath and enjoyed it so much,
I wanted to share part of it with you.

Here we go:

God’s Word is designed for dummies.
I use “dummies” in the dearest sense here,
meaning we’re incapable of fully understanding
our all-knowing, all-wise God.

We’re finite, limited beings, still “putting off” our sinful nature
(see Ephesians 4:22-24 ). 

God is infinite, unlimited, and perfect (see Romans 11:33 ).

We’ll never fully understand God.
He’s too big. We’re too small.
We’ll always have some questions.

That’s where faith comes in (see Hebrews 11:1 ):

1. Do I trust God’s character ( Psalm 145:17 )?
2. Do I trust Him with my unanswered questions ( Job 38 )?
3. Do I trust that He’s given me all the understanding I need
( 2 Peter 1:3 )?

I do.

Do you?


I’d appreciate your prayers this weekend as I speak in
Annandale, VA.