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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

from David Jeremiah, and my thoughts

Today's Turning Point
Tuesday, November 29
Pray Boldly

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 4:16
Recommended Reading
Matthew 6:5-8
Telephone calls used to be routed by operators, manually connecting circuits at a switchboard--plugging and unplugging wires all day long to keep conversations going. Today, think how many millions of calls are handled by computerized routers every second of the day. Better yet, imagine how many countless prayer "calls" God receives every moment from all over the world.
It would be easy to be dissuaded from praying by thinking of our individual prayer requests getting lost amidst the millions God hears. Yet we are exhorted to "let [our] requests be made known to God" (Philippians 4:6), and to do so boldly (Hebrews 4:16). King David did (countless times in Psalms), and so did the apostle Paul--the same request three different times! (2 Corinthians 12:7-8) They didn't feel bad or guilty for continually asking God for help, nor should we. In fact, not to pray is to portray God as less than He is--a generous Father (Luke 11:11-13).

If you are in a stressful place today, stop now and tell God. Because ultimately He is the answer to our prayers, meeting with Him is the beginning of your answer.

Anxiety and prayer are more opposed to each other than fire and water.
J. A. Bengel 
I said something about worrying to my husband this morning, reminding him that he often  tells me not to worry.  His reply was "what's good for the goose is not necessarily good for the gander!" Then said, which is the male?"  I  replied, "the gander." I smiled...he pretended to make an excuse...then we  had to laugh.  How true it is that anxiety and prayer are more opposed to each other than fire and water. How amazing it is that God WANTS to take care of all that we worry about, and yet, we continue to ignore that truth, thinking that we have to worry about certain things- especially our children!  How tender of the Lord to work in ways we don't see, but as time goes by, we realize that His way is always best, and when we wait on Him and TRUST in Him, He will perform the work necessary in HIS time.  
I am so thankful to belong to Him, be in His kingdom, and to rely on His infinite wisdom because I know I don't have any without asking Him for it!

Monday, October 31, 2011

short article from my mother about Corrie Ten Boom

The following is written by Elisabeth Elliot -

 Corrie ten Boom came to Gordon College here in Massachusetts many years ago. When I saw the advertisement, you can be sure that I rushed out to make sure I got a ticket for the banquet that they were going to have and then to hear her speak. She was all that I was longing to see. I had seen THE HIDING PLACE, but I was longing to see her in person. It was not the only opportunity that I had. There were some other opportunities after that.
But on that particular occasion, to my utter astonishment she invited my daughter and me to come and visit her during the following week. She was staying with a family in Boston. So of course we accepted the invitation. We arrived at the door and her assistant, a young woman who was acting as sort of a secretary and also the woman who traveled with her all over the world, met us at the door. She said, "Corrie is in bed upstairs. She's not ill, but the doctor has said that she must take one day out of every seven and spend it in bed, if she insists on tramping for the Lord all over the world. So this happens to be her day of rest."
So the lady escorted us up the stairs into the bedroom. There was Corrie in the bed in purple silk pajamas. She greeted us with such warmth and enthusiasm. Then she had her secretary bring in some tea. We sat and had a lovely time.
In the middle of the time, Corrie suddenly jumped out of bed, walked across the room, opened her suitcase and took out of the suitcase a square of satin with what looked like a totally meaningless jumble of threads, which she held up for us to look at. She said, "Now look at this jumble of threads. It doesn't seem to have any meaning to it whatsoever."
But then she turned it to the other side. On the other side was a beautiful embroidery depicting a golden crown. Then she repeated for us the lovely words by Grant Colfax Tullar.
"My life is but a weaving betwixt my God and me;
I do not choose the colors He worketh steadily.
Oft times He weaveth sorrow, and I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper, and I the underside.
Not till the loom is silent and the shuttles cease to fly
Will God unfold the pattern and explain the reason why.
For the dark threads are as needful in the Weaver's skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver in the pattern He has planned."

Saturday, October 29, 2011

gratitude for my mother!

I think I was the happiest child on earth from 1956 to 1963.  I lived in the jungle, had lots of Indian friends, and a mother who loved me and taught me about God's love and care.  We went to bed by 6:30 every night (that's when it got dark) and were up by 6 every morning.

All I had to do was eat, sleep, play, and obey my mother!  She was very worthy of my respect and love.  She spoke the truth to me, clearly, and spoke no vain words.  She meant everything she said, and she was kind and affectionate with me. She sang to me, "The Lord is my Shepherd," "Jesus, Tender Shepherd hear me," "He Leadeth me, O Blessed Thought," "Jesus, the very Thought of Thee,"  and "Beneath the Cross of Jesus."  She prayed with me, lovely, simple prayers, of thanksgiving and trust.  I will be forever grateful to my Father in heaven for her, and to my own father, who asked her to marry him!

Elisabeth Howard Elliot Leitch Gren


my mother, Elisabeth Howard Elliot Leitch Gren

How very thankful I am for my mother, who taught me to love Truth, be clear in my speech, love and follow the God and Creator of the universe, and do the little things faithfully. She taught me how to clean, how to iron, how to bake bread, how to love my husband, how to laugh, appreciation for good stories, appreciation for listening to accents, how to dress nicely, how to love being at home, and how to trust my Father in heaven.
She is now in Florida, spending some time with her husband and Dani, the young woman who helps them, in a warmer climate. She does not like the cold, and she loves fires and a good cup of hot tea. I will never forget the joy of coming home from miserably cold skiing lessons on Cannon Mtn. in Franconia, and she had a roaring fire in our huge granite fireplace, and hot tea in a lovely tea pot, and delicious hot muffins that we could put butter and honey on. What a sweet memory. And our dog, Zippy, would sit with us in front of the fire, sometimes putting his paws up on the hearth to get warmer, and then not knowing when to get down when his face got too hot, but moving his head from side to side. My mother loved animals too, another thing she gave me appreciation for. (I know, you're not supposed to end a sentence with a preposition!) [for which she gave me an appreciation does sound a little stilted.]

Form and Content....a Californian interp. of Pilgrim's Progress

When we were candidating for the church in California, Aliso Creek Presbyterian, in Mission Viejo, Steve Ritchie who was on the pulpit committee with his wife, and after we left, he wrote to ask us to come, even if we didn't feel like we'd fit in to the California "style" of preacher or family.  Here's what he wrote:

"The big question, then, is Can you overcome the language barrier?   To aid you, I've translated the first page or so of Pilgrim's Progress into Californian- I trust you have the original, outdated version:

"Like, I was cruisin'along in the fast lane and the next thing you know I'm in the box, so i think "It's casual" and decide to crash there; so while I'm catchin' some Z's, like, I had this dream.  Like, there was this dude standing there out front of his house, lookin' like maybe he's goin' someplace, holding this book, and this awesome load on his back.  Like, I'm watching him and he opens the book and starts to read, and, man, he just starts freaking out, saying "I cant handle it.  I can't relate!"  So he goes home, tries to be cool in front of the wife and kids, but finally he can't cope any more and he tells them: "Listen up! Like, bad news. Like, we're history.  Like, it's all over.  Like total fire city!  Like, give us a break. " 
Like, they thought he'd totally O. D.'ed...."

Funny thing is, I was just today reading my notes from my mother's wonderful class at Gordon-Conwell Seminary on Christian Expression, which, as she described it, was "the presentation of ideas, through speech, writing, and behavior." I had audited the class, and guess who was in there- Walt Shepard, and Tim and Kathy Keller.  (The latter two are quite famous now) Here's what some of the notes were:

"Vision is a condition of the heart.  Eccles. says "he has put eternity into man's mind."  Do you see?  Do you know? Do you understand?: 
The word is expressed in your manner of life!  What you are determines the effect.  Style takes its final shape from the attitude of your mind.
"Truth can be transmitted by 3 things: Receive>manifest>communicate....style must come out of what we are; concentrate on the TRUTH.....style also distinguishes.....do not aim for distinction and elegance, but aim for TRUTH.  John was told in Revelation, 'Write what you see.'

As Christians - does your posture in this world reveal who you belong to? FORM and CONTENT are ESSENTIAL!  The form of your life is the product of your content.

[my mother was reading Leopold Tyrmand and quoted from him here] answering the question "what do we mean by civilization?" ......"the full authority of the human spirit over all externals in their crude and unconscious state"...."we agree not to burden each other with our excessive humanity."   Unfortunately, in our society, the externals are worshiped, rather than 'controlled' (my word there, trying to read between the lines from my notes!)  We need lines drawn, barriers- the wall is one of civilization's best inventions- we need privacy!" 

And my thoughts- yes!  There's too much, way too much shown in the media, which we do not WANT to see, nor do we NEED to see. I have been violated time and again, by scenes that I should not have to "experience," because they are not my own, which need to be kept private, or there is too much horror, words and violence, that I do not need to dwell on, because of Phil. 4:8-9.  When we see these; the media's blatant exposure, my mother either quoted here, or her own words were, "we have a vague sense of becoming unbecoming."  Tyrmand (who was in a prison camp) saw our society from a different perspective.  He used words such as "invisible, intensity, fascination, rectitude, privacy, exclusivity, exceptionality, depth..." all referring to some of the good elements of civilizaton, I believe. The reality of the prison camp, was the opposite of all these ponderous words.  

So, because my mother's class dealt with form and content, and the expression of truth,  I offer these notes and thoughts as maybe an antidote to the crassness, or un-civilization of our society.
As my Uncle Tom would say, "Onward and Upward!"  Or, from Narnia, "Further up and Further in!" 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Prayer Point Press | Renewal Ministries | Welcome

Prayer Point Press Renewal Ministries Welcome

Hi folks,
I would like to let you know about Terry Teykl, who is a man of God, and whom I just heard today at a seminar on prayer. I am thrilled with what he taught- focusing on worshiping God, praying for the lost, building prayer rooms in your church, and making prayer stations around your city. Walt's and my heart are with him, especially when he said that pastors should be united to pray for their city! Please look at his website and read and learn!

Monday, May 9, 2011

from legalism to GRACE

Hi friends,
I spoke at a small church womens' gathering in Stafford, VA, and this is the talk, if you're interested!


Friday, March 18, 2011

God's Timing

I'm happy that God knows BEST when each thing should happen to us! Whether it's a gift that we weren't expecting, but we realize came just when we needed it, or something that we wish would happen, but God hasn't allowed it for His good reasons, He ALWAYS, ABSOLUTELY knows what is best for us.

In the light of eternity, and the fact that, for God, one day is as a thousand years, and one year is as a thousand days, how can I complain if something that I want is not coming when I want it?  If He chooses to answer yes to my request......He can make me patient while I wait on His timing.  Do I really believe that?   I heard once that we only really believe what we practice, and that we only really practice what we believe.  I hope I can put into practice what I truly believe! ~~ To be wholeheartedly calm when I must wait on His perfect timing.

Gratitude , March 18, 2011

How Gratitude changes my daily perspective!  For some reason, and it must be the Holy Spirit, today I have been so joyful, and there wasn't anything particularly amazing that happened.  I had a medical procedure done, and during it I was so focused on the Lord being my strength.  Afterwards, as my husband drove us to 2 different stores, we had trouble with our Garmin, but even in that little irritation, I was thankful.  We had a phone call with a Reliv distributor who is also a church planter, and that encouraged us both, which made me thankful.  One of the stores where Walt went in to shop was overcrowded, which made the shopping harder, but while he was in the store, I laid down in the car, laid awake thanking God for so many things, dozed a little, and woke up on the dot of when I had to make another Reliv call.  Again, though it didn't connect the people I wanted to connect, I had this sense of  God being in control, and it will all work out, so, again, I was thankful.  Why are there some days when this happens, and others, when we seem to push and drag ourselves through our work, and we feel unfocused and frustrated?  My oldest son, when he was about 3, was asked what he wanted to be when he grew up, and he answered, "Don't wanna be frustrated."   This is so true for all of us!  Lord, deliver us from being frustrated when things don't work out the way we want, and teach us to be always thankful, always aware of Your presence and power, ennabling us to look to you and be thankful.   How Gratitude has helped me today!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


We are so very thankful because 3 Christian women joined us today in our living room to find out what our church was "doing." They are already Christians, but they have had several sad church experiences, so they came. They encouraged us, the Spirit helped Walt take us through the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector. Then he connected it to Communion, because of our need for the Savior, and the need for humility, and we had a simple Lord's supper, with a loaf of bread and a lovely silver goblet for the juice. The quiet and peace in the room was His.

Then later, Evangeline (our 22 yr. old) showed us a video of Tableproject.org -an explanation of a church that is COMMUNITY, and it helped us even more!! Pray for Christ Coastal Church as the Lord adds people that He wants, and as I meet with a woman this week who wants to work with us on reaching the poor or unchurched in Brunswick County.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

When Bad News Comes!

In my reading this morning, I was impressed with a hymn, and a reading from my little book called God Calling. My daughter had some bad news yesterday, so I was thinking of her, and realized again, that EVERY event that happens to us is cause for more trust and more confidence in our good and loving Father. Here's the hymn:

Safe in the Shadow of the Lord beneath His hand and pow'r,
I trust in Him, I trust in Him, My fortress and my tow'r.

My hope is set on God alone though Satan spreads his snare,
I trust in Him, I trust in Him, to keep me in His care.
From fears and phantoms of the night, from foes about my way,
I trust in Him, I trust in Him, by darkness as by day.

His holy angels keep my feet secure from every stone,
I trust in Him, I trust in Him, And unafraid go on.

Strong in the Everlasting Name, and in my Father's care,
I trust in Him, I trust in Him and meet His love with mine.

Safe in the Shadow of the Lord, possessed by love divine,
I trust in Him, I trust in Him, and meet His love with mine.

We have the joy of putting our complete confidence in Him, and knowing that He is WORTH the trust, and worth our time! That thought has come to me over and over again, that He is worth my time and attention.

Here's the reading from God Calling:

"Keep calm. Keep your Spirit-Life calm and unruffled. Nothing else matters. Leave all to Me. This is your great task, to get calm in My Presence, not to let one ruffled feeling stay for one moment. Years of blessing may be checked in one moment by that. Pour forth~pour forth~pour forth~ I cannot bless a life that does not act as a channel. My Spirit brooks no stagnation, not even rest. Its Power must flow on. Pass on everything, every blessing. Abide in Me. See how many you can bless each day. Dwell much in My Presence."

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Ps. 86:11

"Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in Your truth; unite my heart to fear your name."

I am often quite discouraged by my easily distracted mind. I want to be single-minded, and whole-heartedly focused on Him, my Shepherd, and Leader. But I will get distracted by kitchen duties, nails (!), laundry, lists of things to do, and the cat. Here's a poem by Amy Carmichael that helps me.

"Wandering Thoughts"
Gather my thoughts, good Lord, they fitful roam,
Like children bent on foolish wandering,
Or vanity of fruitless wayfaring;
O call them home.

See them, they drift like the wind-scattered foam;
Like wild sea-birds, they hither, thither, fly,
And some sink low, and others soar too high.
O call them home.

My silence speaketh to Thee, but I roam
With my poor silly thoughts, I know not where;
That undistracted I may go to prayer
O call them home.

I am thankful that God understands my easily distractible mind. He knows my thoughts from afar, and He loves me in spite of it. I will rest in that, and ask Him continuously to bring my thoughts to Him and His perfect ways, for my imperfections are too obvious, and He says in His word that He will help us! May my thoughts and meditations be ON HIM, and not on my "fruitless wayfairing."

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Simply This

My family has had results with taking some simple powdered nutrition. When I say "simple", I mean that it is simple to take, but it is formulated very scientifically and is made to synergistically be used in our bodies because it is so absorbable. The company does not guarantee cures, but offers these powders as super nutrition, which gives us the extra boost of health which our normal diet does not. With this good nutrition, healthy lifestyle, and exercise, we believe we are helping our bodies to perform at their best. Most of us in the family take 2 shakes a day, the powder mixed with water or juice. I take 3 shakes a day, because I don't want to have to take a nap, so it keeps me going till bedtime, and I want to eventually get off of blood pressure medicine. It is mildly sweet with a rehydrator called Innergize, and always refreshes me.

Our son, Theo, started taking the products in November of 2008 because he was diagnosed with a genetic disease called Charcot-Marie-Tooth. It is a form of poly-neuropathy, which means the nerve impulses to his muscles in the extremities are slow, so when he began to grow fast in adolescense, he began to have pain in his ankles and feet when running, and he lost his balance a lot. He began to drink the shakes 3 times a day, but doubled the amount from the normal dose. In four months, he began to see a change, and was able to join a musical in which he had to dance. He danced with the group of actors perfectly, and ran down stairs on stage, for the 4 evening performances, without ever stumbling. We were amazed because we had been seeing him lose his balance about every other day before he started Reliv. He has faithfully taken the shakes now for over 2 years, though he doesn't take 3 a day, but just 2, with a double scoop of Classic (the essential powder) in each shake. He rarely stumbles or falls, so we are very grateful for this result in him!

about me

Valerie Elliot Shepard
I am a  mom who is contented at home, loving the outdoors by exercising, gardening, sailing with my husband, and also excited about traveling. I am married to Walt Shepard, a missionary kid like me,  (he grew up in the Congo) who loves sailing and water, and is a pastor of a church plant called Christ Coastal Church in Southport, NC. We earnestly seek to love people, show them the love and light of Christ, and trust ourselves into God's hands for His use.  We have 8 children who are grown, missing all of them, 4 grands in the UK, one little one in Brooklyn,  but we enjoy the quiet of this season now!

I want to be a devoted lover of God, like my Dad, (Philip James Elliot) who was killed when he was 28 by a primitive tribe of Ecuador. My mother, Elisabeth Howard Elliot, ( became married to Lars Gren in 1977) has been a stellar example to me of faithful obedience to God, and a hard worker who also loved life and fun. She blessed me hundreds of times with surprises and laughter. I got my sense of adventure from both of them. My father is now in heaven rejoicing with our Heavenly Father, and she went home to her heavenly HOME on June 15, 2015. If you are interested in learning more about my parents, or just communicating with me, you may email me.

      I am doing a business and am looking for people who are interested in scientifically formulated products with proven benefits, or need an extra income by helping people with their health and finances. You can see many clinical research studies and trials done on 10 of the products on my website, called shepmama.reliv.com. There is also a bigger website called PubMed.gov, and it will show you the proven trials of Lunasin, called LunarichX by Reliv. The main part of my job is to introduce people to this company, and then introduce them to others who have had success with the products we sell. The company pays those who do the business very well. Four of our 8 children, as well as my husband and I, have seen a true improvement in our health.