In Memoriam – Victims in the Oakland Fire

My note: Because we live in the area, I think this nightmare has affected us more than maybe some of you. Nonetheless, I am sure as you read this memoriam, and look at these beautiful faces, you will be unable to not feel it personally.

These victims were going to, or teaching in, schools in the Oakland Area, as I understand it. One of the victims was a student of Professor Chris Johnson at California College of the Arts. (My daughter graduated from CCA, and Professor Johnson has had a major influence in her life, and ours.)

Tragedy occurs when one least expects it. I imagine these victims were either living in this warehouse, or attending the party. I can envision them…artists, musicians, students, and educators–immersed in their life’s dream, creativity running rampant, determined to pass on the gifts they had been given by sharing their unique ability to see the world just a little differently than most.

Our hearts are aching for the losses their families and friends are feeling. Our prayers are covering all of them.

Let us remember these people–their names, their faces. We will keep them in our hearts forever.


Oakland Fire Victims

  • askew
  • emb
    EM B
  • bernbaum
  • barrettclark
  • cline
  • danemayer
  • dixon
  • dolan
  • ghassan
  • gomez-hall
  • gregory
  • hoda
  • hough
  • igaz
  • jo
    ARA JO
  • kellogg
  • kershaw.jpg
  • lapine
  • madden
  • matlock
  • mccarty
  • mcgill
  • mendiola
  • morris
  • pines
  • plotkin
  • Wolfgang Renner
  • ruax
  • runnels
  • siegrist
  • sylvan
  • tanouye
  • vega.jpg
  • wadsworth
  • walrath
  • wittenauer


Overcoming discouragement brings great blessing

 Are you a “big picture” person?

(My Note: Considering the previous message on the site today, I think this one was also “right on” and meant for me to contemplate today.  Funny how that happens, huh?)

Who but God goes up to the heaven and comes back down? Who holds the wind in his fist? Who wraps up the oceans in his cloak? Who has created the whole wide world? What is his name — and his son’s name? Tell me if you know!

Proverbs 30:4 NLT

Impressive panorama

When people understand events clearly, we often say that they “see the big picture.” This passage in Proverbs makes the point that the clearest view of the “big picture” will always include God. The sequence of rhetorical questions helps us consider the awesome identity and capacity of God. Much like the litany of questions that God showered on Job (Job 38:1-41:34), these push us toward humble and silent worship.

Agur was feeling overwhelmed (30:1), insignificant (30:2), and limited (30:3). But when he turned away from his smallness to contemplate God’s greatness, an atmosphere of confidence filled the rest of the chapter. He began with a little picture, no bigger than himself, but he soon looked at the big picture and forgot that he was weary and worn out. God gave him a new and refreshing point of view.

WISE WAYS  One of the best remedies for a weary and tired spirit is to contemplate the majesty and greatness of God. How have you found that to be true?

Dear Lord, when I look at all you have made, I know it makes me feel smaller, but it also fills me with wonder over how great you are! I worship you.

Adapted from The One Year® Book of Proverbs by Neil S. Wilson, Tyndale House Publishers (2002), entry for January 30.

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House


This message makes me stop and think.

Do I really love my enemies?And better yet, who are my enemies? Do I really have any?

First of all, we are so blessed that we do not have to endure the kind of persecution referred to in this story. But if we did, what would be our attitude? our response?

On a routine day, how do we respond to our neighbors when they do something that displeases us?

Do we vent to them?

Take it out on them?

Are we passive aggressive?

Do we fuss and fume about it in our homes?

Do we love, instead?

Food for thought!

~ Sharon

But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you… Matthew 5:44

Perhaps the most difficult of Jesus’ commands is to love even our enemies. A true Christian always seeks another person’s highest good—even when mistreated. Brother Andrew says “The Christian’s only method of destroying his enemies is to ‘love’ them into being his friends.”

Romanian pastor, Dr. Paul Negrut, was visiting an old friend in Romania named Trian Dors in his humble home. As Paul entered, he realized that Trian was bleeding from open wounds. He asked, “What happened?”

Trian replied, “The secret police just left my home. They came and confiscated my manuscripts. Then they beat me.”

Pastor Paul says, “I began to complain about the heavy tactics of the secret police. But Trian stopped me saying, ‘Brother Paul, it is so sweet to suffer for Jesus. God didn’t bring us together tonight to complain but to praise him. Let’s kneel down and pray.”

“He knelt and began praying for the secret police. He asked God to bless them and save them. He told God how much he loved them. He said, ‘God, if they will come back in the next few days, I pray that you will prepare me to minister to them.’” Paul continued, “By this time I was ashamed. I thought I had been living the most difficult life in Romania for the Lord. And I was bitter about that.”

Trian Dors then shared with Paul how the secret police had been coming to his home regularly for several years. They beat him twice every week. They confiscated all his papers. After the beating he would talk to the officer in charge. Trian would look into his eyes and say, “Mister, I love you. And I want you to know that if our next meeting is before the judgement throne of God, you will not go to hell because I hate you but because you rejected love.” Trian would repeat these words after every beating.

Years later that officer came alone to his home one night. Trian prepared himself for another beating. But the officer spoke kindly and said, “Mr. Dors, the next time we meet will be before the judgement throne of God. I came tonight to apologize for what I did to you and to tell you that your love moved my heart. I have asked Christ to save me. But two days ago the doctor discovered that I have a very severe case of cancer and I have only a few weeks to live before I go to be with God. I came tonight to tell you that we will be together on the other side.”

RESPONSE: Today I will destroy my enemies only with love.

PRAYER: God give me Your kind of love for my enemies—so they too will love You.

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS)
A daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks

© 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission

Thou SHALT love . . .

. . . Thou shalt love the Lord thy God. . . .

Thou shalt love thy neighbor . . .
–Matthew 22:37–39

Here is the answer to the world’s problems today—“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God,” “Thou shalt love thy fellowman.” That teaching is not out-of-date; it is absolutely relevant today. It is the only way in which the problems of the world today can be solved, whether the problems are those of individuals or of nations. If we love God with all our heart, we will have a capacity to love our neighbors. True love will find an outlet in service—not merely in singing hymns, attending church, or even in praying—but in trying our utmost to prove our love, by obeying the will of our heavenly Father.

Prayer for the day

True love demands everything I have. Take all the hidden things in my life that keep me from loving You and my neighbor as I should. Let me obey Your will unequivocally, dear Lord.

Prayer Request for me

Just wanted to ask for prayer for tomorrow morning.

I am having hiatal hernia surgery at 10:30 in San Francisco. I’ve had this hernia for over 10 years, but recently it became very enlarged, about 1/3 of my stomach is protruding through the wall of the diaphragm.

Everything should be fine, but surgery always brings a sense of anxiety for me.

I appreciate the support of our friends here on sharin’ His love.

Much love and blessings to all, and meanwhile I’ll be:

Day 83: Being a Warrior « ASPIRE. MOTIVATE. SUCCEED.

Day 83: Being a Warrior « ASPIRE. MOTIVATE. SUCCEED..

Wonderful message of encouragement. There are many out in the world who go through these feelings of depression. God sees us all, and knows what we need. The main thing we need is to “Not Give Up”. He knows how much we can bear. May we who are honored to follow Jesus, live our lives in service to others. We never know who needs the arms of Jesus through our human arms.

Rainy Day People: Counseling Others in the Storm | BROKEN BELIEVERS

Rainy Day People: Counseling Others in the Storm | BROKEN BELIEVERS.

Thank you, Bryan. I really appreciated this message. You’re right. Those who do not suffer from depression or a mental disorder, don’t understand. No offense to them. It’s just not possible. They can sympathize, but can’t empathize. My husband and I are both bipolar, borderline personality, and PTSD, to name a few of our disorders. Even though we empathize with each other, so many times we have to pray, hold each other, and let the crisis pass. Lately, I’ve been extremely depressed, and for no apparent reasons. It’s rough. It is a little corner of hell, or maybe a big corner sometimes. I know it’s horrible, and I wouldn’t wish it on anybody. It’s especially hard when you know that you have absolutely everything in the world, and with God, that a person could ever hope for, and yet, the depression is there, eating your guts out. Thanks for sharing your heart and encouraging others to express and share from theirs.

Prayer Request

I am going through so much pain from surgeries and physical therapy from shoulder, carpal tunnel, and torn wrist cartilage, that it is excruciating to sit at the computer to post messages lately. Unfortunately, I can’t take any type of pain meds like aspirin or even Tylenol because of the many side effects.

Please pray that this will pass quickly so that I can again be able to use the computer to share the messages God puts on my heart. Again, mostly messages that others have so graciously shared, but still amazing encouragement and inspiration that helps us through our day.

Thank you so much for including me in your daily prayers.

Blessings to all of you.


Daily Promises – August 20 – In time, God will heal our wounds

Job 5:17-18 KJV

17 Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth:
therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty:
18 For he maketh sore, and bindeth up:
he woundeth, and his hands make whole.

Promise #232: Do not despise My discipline, for in time I will heal your wounds.

You may be reading today’s promise and wonder why I would have ever chosen a Bible passage about discipline and wounding to be part of 365 Promises. We don’t hear too many sermons preached about the discipline of the Lord and if we do, they may be skewed from the perspective of the punishment from an angry God.

When many of us think of the word ‘discipline’, we think of our own life experiences with our parents, teachers, authority figures, etc. This does not usually bring up warm feelings of love and tenderness but feelings of guilt, shame and pain. In Hebrews 12:4-11, the writer encourages us not to despise the Lord’s discipline for God is treating us like His sons. God does not discipline us in anger but in absolute unconditional love.

Every son (or daughter) receives discipline. Receiving discipline is part of the evidence that we do indeed belong to God. The root word of discipline is disciple, which at its heart, is training. God is training us to become like Jesus and walk in His ways. In this Hebrews passage, the writer does acknowledge that no discipline is pleasant at the time, but it results in a harvest of righteousness.

In today’s promise, we have an assurance that though we may be enduring hardship now, there is a promise of healing for all our wounds to come. My prayer is that we would not see God’s discipline through the lens of how we were disciplined by authority figures in our lives. I pray that we would actually value the loving discipline from God and gladly submit to the Father of our spirits so that we can live a full life. (Hebrews 12:9)

~ Barry Adams
Photo by Steve Taylor