Thursday, May 27, 2010

Shelly Says ~ "Take a Break"


Due to the responses I've received via e-mail and comments, it is becoming more and more evident that many of us need some more time with Part 3 of our study.

It is usually a difficult thing to look back at your past and survey the places of deep frustration, hurt, and mistakes. It is very important, though, that we do this in a nonjudgmental way so that we may invite forgiveness and healing into our lives. It is also important to recognize the things that keep us in bondage so that we may be set free.

As scheduled, we will take a break from May 28 - May 31. On Tuesday June 1st, we will resume our study; and, June 1 - June 3 will be our final discussion of Chapters 13-22 before continuing on our journey.

Please take time between now and June 3rd to read or reread any portions from Chapters 13-22, answer the study questions, and take a good look at your life.

If you stumble upon a little resistance or frustration, try to push through the pain. If, however, you are meeting extreme resistance and frustration... you may want to seek the help of wise counsel and/or a spiritual director to help you work through the rough spot.

Sometimes, just writing about the problem will help you sort out the pain. Feel free to post anonymous comments to this blog and/or to contact me via e-mail if you just need to let off some steam.

I am praying for you as you continue to survey your past and learn from it. This is usually not an easy thing to, but the rewards are well worth it.

Stop, Drop and Pray for your fellow companions and for yourself. God makes this process so much easier if we depend on Him for help. I suggest prayer as your first line of help.

See you Tuesday!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Shelly Says ~ "Beware"

"Your enemy the devil prowls around
like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."

1 Peter 5:8

When I first read that verse (sometime last year), I was scared.

While I know that the devil attacks us, I never thought about him prowling around just looking for an opportunity to attack me. This verse sent chills up my spine. I did not like the idea that my enemy was "waiting in the shadows" (that's how I pictured it) and ready to attack at any time.

The positive outcome of reading that verse is that I became more aware of the devil's schemes. Up until the point that I read that verse for the first time (that I remember), I was unaware that my enemy was THAT determined to get me. I did not realize how shady he really is (pun intended).

I had a realization that it was easy for satan to devour me because I never saw him coming and often times had no idea where some of the attacks I felt were coming from.

I strongly believe that we are more capable and ready to stand firm against the spiritual forces of evil (see Eph. 6:20) when we are aware of the attacks and schemes of the powers of the dark world.

As long as we remain uneducated, it's easier for satan to have a stronghold and much easier for us to place blame on something or someone else.

Take a look back at something you can identify as an attack. At the time, on whom or on what did you cast blame?

* From what I understand, satan is not happy at all that you are taking this Bible study or even simply reading this blog entry. Some of the things going on in your life that are distracting you from doing your reading and answering the questions honestly... or spending time in prayer... and in the Word... could be an attack. Don't get me wrong, I realize that sometimes it's just not the right time; however, do not discount the power of the enemy to persuade you.

Here's help with discernment on that:

If the message of Breaking Free is really resonating with you and you are finding it difficult to keep reading because of the "issues" this is trudging up from your past... it is probably an attack from satan. I imagine he would like nothing more than to see you stay in bondage, and I know that he will put every excuse in the book in front of you to make you believe that you don't have time for this, or you don't need it, or life is just too busy to be spending time reading and then visiting this girl's blog.

If the message really doesn't move you, you're not feeling much "resistance" plus you're reading just because you're a Beth Moore fan... then this may not be the right time for you. Hold onto the book! : ) You may need this message another time. You may be fully aware of the devil's schemes and your own obstacles... please stay! Converse with us so we can glean from you!!!

Here's help with winning the fight:

Call on Jesus

Demons flee when you call on Jesus... the very atmosphere changes.

In the light of God's glory and grace... a lion loses it's courage... and we all know what happens when a lion loses its courage...

it cowers in the shadows and the effectiveness of its roar fades!


I know some sisters who need covering today

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Shelly Says ~ "Fear God"

As a child growing up in the church, I viewed the 10 Commandments as things I better do if I didn't want to feel God's wrath. While fearing God is biblical, I had a very distorted view of the concept.

I don't remember any specific influential figure passing down these distorted views, but I obviously picked them up from somewhere. Children are sponges for knowledge, and I was no exception.

It wasn't until January 2008, 31 years into my earthly existence, that I started understanding the truth: God established His commandments as a guideline for living life to the fullest. God passed down the 10 Commandments so that I could live a life free of bondage. And, to fear God is to stand in awe of Him and to reverently view Him as being in control of everything.

Sweet liberty!

Those truths began to set me free!

I am praying that this Bible study will unlock the rest of the shackles. There has been progress already!

What about you? What is this Bible study doing for you? Does this message of fearing God in a reverent way and obeying the 10 Commandments for your good speak to you? Were you once like me - thinking the Commandments were for keeping you in bondage and from doing fun things? I'd love to hear from you.

The study questions for this week can be answered by reading Chapter 14, and, in my opinion, don't provoke much thought regarding your personal life. Was there anything in the reading that spoke to you and/or unlocked some shackles?

I encourage you to offer your broken life to God so He can rebuild your ancient ruins. If you would like more information on how to do this or have any questions, please feel free to e-mail me by clicking on "view my complete profile" (at the bottom of the green box on the right), then click "e-mail."

May God bless you today as you offer your body as a holy, pleasing, living sacrifice to God (paraphrased from Romans 12:1 NIV).

Monday, May 24, 2010

Shelly Says ~ "Clean out the Closet"

Have you ever been caught off guard by an unexpected visit? I'm talking about the kind that sent you running around the house, cleaning up all the little messes as fast as you could. Maybe you didn't have time to run the vacuum or wash all the dirty dishes, but somehow you were able to make the place look rather presentable and welcoming.

Has this ever happened to you?

Unless you're a Martha (either of the Stewart name or of Bethany fame), I am guessing you know what I'm talking about. Even if you are a Martha, I bet it has happened a time or two. ; )

My favorite tactic for speed cleaning is stuffing any extraneous items in the closet. What's yours?

In the same way our physical clutter gets stuffed into the closets of our homes, our spiritual clutter finds its way into the closets of our hearts.

When you run into a friend at Target, do you grab the bitterness that is showing on your face over a fight with your loved one and hide it in the depths of your spirit?

When you run into your pastor at the grocery store on aisle 9, do you automatically hide the discontent you were just showing your kids on aisle 4? Chances are, discontent found itself behind a closed door at the sight of your earthly Shepherd.

Now, don't get me wrong. I don't think there's anything wrong with setting your feelings aside for the sake of a pleasant conversation; however, the problem remains in the closet of your heart and needs to be dealt with at some point.

If you continue to stuff your feelings inside the closets of your heart, pretty soon there will be no room left and we all know what happens when the junk flows out of the closets and clutters up the place... there is an overflow that causes major congestion. We then tend to blow up and all the stored up, stuffed in emotions come bursting out of our closets (or chest).

Often times this leads to the "ugly cry." You know the one I'm talking about. You are so distraught and so disheveled that you can't even make coherent words between sobs because everything is just too overwhelming. Other times, the emotions come out in one big fight you later regret.

The emotions do come out... eventually.

What would happen if you dealt with your emotions on a daily basis? Better yet, what would happen if you tended to them the moment they surfaced?

In Chapter 13, you may have discovered some feelings you didn't even know existed. I hope you took the time to search the depths of your heart. I hope you found the ancient ruins of your past and drug them out of the closet... into the light... so you could put them in their place.

We all need to clean out our closets.

Isn't it always easier when we don't let them get out of hand?

Stop, Drop and Pray for the hearts of the people you care about. I hope you'll be happy to know that there is already an answered prayer on our list!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Shelly Says ~ "Welcome Back!"

After a week of being unplugged, I am eager to discuss our ancient ruins and broken hearts. I hope you are ready as well.

I believe this step is crucial to breaking free. Without knowing why we are the way we are, it is difficult to understand our lives and to conform into who we want to be.

As much as I'd like to jump right into the discussion, I feel the need to allow you a moment to catch up if you are a few paces behind the pack. ; )

Please take the time today to read any parts of Chapters 13-22 that you have not read. You may also use this time to review.

Tomorrow, we will begin our discussion with Chapter 13! I can hardly wait to hear from you!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Shelly Says ~ "Unplug"

Hello fellow companions and visitors,

This week (5/16-5/22) I encourage you to unplug (click on the bold word for more info) as much as possible and really open yourself up to allow God access to your spirit and soul.

Allow Him to move in your life like you've never seen before.

Spend time in prayer, in His Word, and in His presence (pray, read the Bible and enjoy growing close to Him).

Spend as much time as you can this week totally unplugged from all the electronic devices that constantly demand your time.

Even 5 minutes is a blessing!

I'll connect with you again on the 23rd when we will begin discussing the benefits of being unplugged and letting God have access to our whole being!

Many prayers for a blessed week,

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Shelly Says ~ "I Am Yours"

I believe legalism is a problem for many reasons and one that really stands out to me is ignorance.

Before I continue, please understand that there is a difference between stupidity and ignorance.

The ignorant legalist is unaware or has forgotten that nothing can save them but the blood of Christ. They think that good works are the key to salvation. Somehow, they have either misunderstood, forgotten or don't know that salvation is in Christ alone. They think or fall into the type of thinking that suggests the more committees they're on... the better their chances of getting into heaven one day. They think the ticket through the pearly gates comes when they are nice to other people or do good things for them.

I believe that we often get so wrapped up in life and in serving others that we lose sight of our true identity. It's a mistake that deeply affects our soul, body and spirit... our self as a whole.

You get to go to heaven because you accept Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour... period.

You will go to heaven because of who you are (a Child of God) not because of what you've done.

I hang on to the lyrics of one of my favorite Casting Crown songs, Who Am I?

Not because of who I am but because of what You've done.
Not because of what I've done but because of who You are.

* Remember that tomorrow starts our week of "unplugged" study. Check your e-mail for more details.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Shelly Says ~ "Something Happens"

I love it when this happens: I ask a question (to God) regarding something that is currently happening or relating to some Bible study or book I'm reading and... BAM... in His time He provides the answer in a surprising way!

This happened yesterday, and I got the answer very quickly.

In the middle of the day, I felt the urge to review some of our material from previous Breaking Free Chapters. I resisted at first - thinking I've spent enough time on that today. ; ) As I sat down to read, Chapter 6 (To Experience God's Peace) really jumped out at me. So, I began reading it again.

Several things spoke to me, but I was left with these questions: What is the key? What unlocks this peace that is inside of us? How do I activate it?

While the answers seem simple... Jesus... I felt that there was more.

Then, as I decided to step away from the book and let those questions linger, I got a strong urge to keep reading. But, instead of reviewing the next chapter, I felt that moving on ahead to today's reading would be the right thing to do.

Now, mind you, I have been keeping up right along with the rest of you... doing the assigned reading on the assigned day; however, I felt the urge to read ahead on Chapter 11 yesterday.

The 2nd line of Chapter 11 gave me the answer to the questions I'd asked: "The key to peace is authority - peace is the fruit of an obedient, righteous life," says Beth Moore.

Wow! Ask and ye shall receive! : ) Praise God!

While we relish in the power and glory of the Lord, let's move on and discuss Chapter 11.

Prayerlessness is an obstacle. So, it seems the key to overcoming this is to develop a life of prayer. Right?

One of my favorite lines from this Chapter is - "The Spirit of God is released through our prayers" (paraphrased from the bottom of pg. 73). That's really powerful! I've never thought of my prayers that way.

What spoke to you? What hit home? What sentence, phrase or idea evoked questions? Did you ask God about them? Are you keeping the eyes and ears of your heart open to receive the answers? How did you answer the study questions?

Today of all days ; ) don't forget to Stop, Drop and Pray.

"The Lord will give strength to His people; The Lord will bless His people with peace." Psalm 29:11 (NASB)

*** That is the preprinted Scripture on the journal page on which I wrote my thoughts yesterday : )

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Shelly Says ~ "It Might Not Be What You Think"

It used to be that when I would think of idols, I would think only of the tangible kind: Think the hand-carved "immunity idol" on the show Survivor or the ones made by the Israelites in Numbers 33:51-53.

Over the last few years, my eyes were opened to the not-so-tangible kind... the ones that are much harder to spot... the ones that are readily available at any time and have been carved into our lives over a period of time.

Before I go on, please let me state my understanding of idols. An idol, as I understand it, is anything that takes the place of God in our lives. It's the persons, places or things in which we find satisfaction... in place of God. We end up worshipping these things because we give glory and honor to ___________ instead of God for the satisfaction in our lives.

We can even slip into idolatry. I say slip because I believe it's just that at times... a slip up if you will... but oh so quick that we might not even notice such a "minor thing".

You might think that TV is not an idol for you but then you catch yourself becoming unhappy and unsatisfied if you don't get to watch your favorite show. Now, I don't mean disappointed here. I mean mad. Have you ever been downright mad when you didn't get to watch a show on TV? You may be depending on that TV show to make you happy and fulfilled. Often times a TV show fills that empty space for 30 minutes or an hour. The true satisfaction you get from God comes from a place far deeper than a shallow show.

Please let me say... I don't believe there's anything wrong with using TV shows for what they were intended... to entertain; however, when it becomes a lifeline for you... there could be a problem.

Here's a big one... money. Money in itself can be good. But, when you look to money for your happiness and satisfaction, it becomes an idol. Buying most anything provides for some happiness and satisfaction (don't get me wrong here) but when your happiness and satisfaction depend on what you can afford... there could be a problem. I don't think there's anything wrong with buying a fancy new car or fabulous diamonds, but when you look to those things for happiness and security and to be satisfied... you are often not looking to God for what only He can provide.

We were created with a longing that can only be filled by God.

When we look to earthy things to fill that void, ironically we will be left empty.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Shelly Says ~ "Walk Humbly"

Today, as I read Chapter 9 of Breaking Free, the phrase "walk humbly with your God" kept popping into my mind. I could not shake those words, so I looked them up when I got downstairs to the computer.

They are words from the Bible and found in Micah 6:8. This is the NKJV version:

"He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?"

I also like this version of Micah 6:8 from The Message:

"But he's already made it plain how to live, what to do, what God is looking for in men and women. It's quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love, and don't take yourself too seriously — take God seriously."

I have to admit, when I hear the word "humble" I often don't have a solid definition or picture of what that means. So, I looked that up as well. According to When used as a verb with an object, it means "to destroy the independence, power, or will of."

Wow, that really shook things up! So, in the case that humble is the verb and I am the object, I'm supposed to destroy my independence and power and selfish will.

Here's how a sentence using that definition might look...

Shelly needs to be humble.

Here's the sentence I'd like to replace that one with...

Shelly walks humbly with her God.

Please Stop, Drop and Pray for me as well as your fellow companions. I know I'm gonna need some help rolling this boulder off of my path!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Shelly Says ~ "Believe God"

He is true.

He is right.

He is waiting for us not just to believe in Him but believe Him: Believe His Word.

I believe that in order to believe God (not just believe in Him), we have to read His word and then live like we believe it. We have to experience God.

Here's an example: Growing up, I believed in my parents. I believed in the fact that they had authority over me and were in charge of my upbringing. I believed in the promise they made to protect and help me through life. I also believed in the fact that they would punish me for disobedience.

It's one thing to know and/or hear that these things are so. It's a whole other to actually see them happen.

It was my experiences with my parents that caused me to actually believe what they said. They showed me love as they cared for and nurtured me. I believed they loved me. When I disobeyed, I was punished. The actual occurrences in which I experienced the punishments caused me to believe them when they said I was going to get a spanking.

I think our relationship with God is very similar.

It's often easy to believe in God when we simply obtain head knowledge of Him.

It's often hard to believe God if we don't experience Him and know in our hearts that He is who He says He is.

You might know in your head (believe in) that Jesus came to set the captives free, but you might not believe Him until you allow Him to set you free.

Will you give Him access to you heart? Will you surrender so you can be set free?

Here's a prayer that may help as you Stop, Drop and Pray today. It's from Psalm 139:

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way

Monday, May 10, 2010

Shelly Says ~ "He is Here"

God tells us over and over, in His Word, that He will never leave us nor forsake us; yet, we often are left wondering...

Where are you, God?

I can't tell you how many times I've asked that question during trials in my life. It's easy for me to see God when things are joyful and "good," but I sometimes think He has gone somewhere else... to bring joy to someone else... when things are tough and "bad."

Few things are farther from the truth.

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." Psalm 46:1 (KJV)

He NEVER leaves us. If the going is good, He's there. When the going gets tough, He's there.

Right now, God is here. He's here to heal your heart, bind up your wounds, deliver you from captivity, and rescue you from the dark places in which you live. And, He will do so much more!

All you have to do is go to Him and admit your weakness. In your weakness, He is strong (see 2 Corinthians 12:9-10).

Yesterday, I was very weak. In the midst of my weakness, I cried out to God... my healer, my refuge, my tower, my strength. I was strongly reminded that God was with me as Britt Nicole's "Walk on the Water" came blaring over the radio (I already had the volume turned way up in a praise session to God). It just so happens that everything I had been thinking negatively was "answered" by those lyrics.

When I took a step out of my circumstances and cried out to God, He let me know that He is ALWAYS there... sometimes I'm the one who needs to show up... on my knees... and admit my weaknesses to Him. Do you?

We have looked at the benefits of breaking free over the last 5 days. Now, we are moving on to explore the obstacles that keep us from the life God intends for us.

I am enjoying every minute of our journey and hope you are, too!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Shelly Says ~ "Peace Be With You "

The biggest thing I took away from our study today is that peace is a fruit of the spirit.

While I am familiar with Galatians 5:22-23, I often forget that peace is in that list.

When you and I received the Holy Spirit into our hearts, we received a very precious gift.

Peace dwells within us... even though we don't often feel such tranquility.

I wish you a peaceful day.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Shelly Says ~ "Thirsty For More"

"For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?" Matthew 16:26 (ESV)

Today's message really hit home. I am a recovering workaholic: One who works too much because she finds her worth in her work and won't stop til she is fulfilled (definition mine).

Check out my March 17th blog post.

Search for satisfaction in the only One who can fulfill your soul's deepest desires.

Stop Drop and Pray... then share what meant the most to you in your quest to break free today.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Shelly Says ~ "Glory to God"

It's so easy to accept thanks and accolades for your good deeds. But, when is praise a problem?

Before I carry on, please let me say that I don't believe there's anything wrong with accepting thanks and praise for a job well done as well as rewards for your efforts.

I believe that the problem isn't in accepting the praise; however, it's in accepting the glory.

Graciously receiving praise is one thing. Taking the glory for it is a whole other story.

You are allowed to do the things you do because the God of the Universe has mercy on you and showers you with grace. You are His Beloved and He wants to see you succeed and live a happy life. All He asks is that you give credit where credit is due. He deserves the credit and glory for every good thing in your life.

Have you ever heard the song "Blessed Be Your Name?" In that song, the listener is encouraged to praise God for every blessing. In a bountiful garden, in a desolate desert, even if you don't feel like dancin' and shoutin'... no matter your circumstances, there is always room to praise, bless and glorify God!

At every moment of every day, there is something to praise God about and give Him the glory for the awesome things He has done! When you praise and thank God for what He has done... you are glorifying His name. When you receive praise and accolades, you turn back and praise God for that. That's how He gets the glory. When "you" accomplish something grand (for some of us, that could have been just getting out of bed this morning : ) ... turn back and praise God! Give Him the glory for the great things He hath done!!!

By the power, grace and mercy of God you make it through your day and accomplish the things you do. It's not on your own power.

Give glory where glory is due... to God!

Stop, Drop and Pray for your fellow companions. While you're at it, tell God why He is so wonderful and glorify Him.

I just love how Beth Moore is taking each benefit and obstacle one by one... day by day in our Breaking Free journey. I pray that you can camp out on each lesson, each day. Concentrate on one item at a time.

Today, spend a whole lotta time sending the glory heavenward as you remember the wonderful things He has done and is doing in your life. While you're praying, give Him a little glory for what He's gonna do, too!

As you make a habit of glorifying Him, I have no doubt that He will reveal His glory to you more and more and your relationship with Him will grow more deeply.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Shelly Says ~ "Yadha Yadha "

I just about fell over this morning when I read, in Chapter 3, that "Yadha" is Hebrew for "know."

At the risk of sounding like a know-it-all: I already know this because I'm currently reading a series of books titled The Yada Yada Prayer Group. In one of the books, a character explains that very definition.

It's very interesting to me that this would show up twice in two weeks because my very favorite Bible verse is Psalm 46:10, "Be still and know that I am God...". Well, I FINALLY got the the "be still" part down (it's rather easy to do when you're sick) and very recently felt like God was telling me that I was ready for the next step... "and know that I am God."

That didn't hit me until I read our homework assignment this morning (Chapter 3)! "Okay, God, I think I'm ready!!!" Shelly says.
: )

You see, in a nutshell, I have a very active, busy body. Until last year, "no" wasn't really part of my vocabulary. In April 2008, God showed me Psalm 46:10 and He began to help me "be still." That's another story for another time.

For now, I want to hear from you:

Are you already recognizing the symptoms of captivity in your life?

How did you answer the study questions?

How are you doing with the Scripture memorization?

It's one thing to know Scripture and to hear what God has done for you; however, it's a whole other thing to actually believe it in your heart.

I don't know about you, but I was RELIEVED when I read that the Scripture memory will get easier. I imagine there were a few sighs of relief out there after hearing from so many of you that the memorization is challenging.

If you are on the mailing list, I will send you some suggestions for learning Scripture. I found them in the Bible Study that changed my life. They help me immensely! If you are not on the mailing list but are interested... just send me an e-mail ( with Breaking Free Scripture in the title.

You don't have to memorize this one ; ) but I do want to leave you with a blessing from 2 Thessalonians 3:5 (TLB) today:

"May the Lord bring you into an ever deeper understanding of the love of God and of the patience that comes from Christ."

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Shelly Says ~ "I See Jesus in Isaiah 61"

Isaiah 61:1-2 (NIV), "The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn..."

Jesus echoes that statement in Luke 4:18-19.

"Jesus arrived from Nazareth, anointed by God with the Holy Spirit, ready for action. He went through the country helping people and healing everyone who was beaten down by the Devil. He was able to do all this because God was with him." Acts 10:37-38 (MSG)

Isaiah 61:3 (NIV), "...and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor."

Jesus says in Luke 12:28 CEV, "God gives such beauty to everything that grows in the fields, even though it is here today and thrown into a fire tomorrow. Won't he do even more for you? You have such little faith!"

Jesus reminds us that beauty can arise out of the ashes of our circumstances if we... what?... Have Faith. Believe. Be still and know.

Jesus is God's Chosen One, sent to purify and renew the world (as explained in The Essential Study Bible CEV). In Hebrews 1:9 NAS,God is speaking of His Son. I believe God is waiting to anoint you, too. I cling to the King James Version of Psalm 23 because that's how I memorized it back in the day: "Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over." The runneth over of the cup denotes gladness, to me. On me, please poureth!

Jesus, full of joy, turns back to praise God in Luke 10:21. We, too, will exude a spirit of praise when we are covered with the Holy Spirit! Despair evaporates in the Light of His Glory and Grace!

Jesus, no doubt, produced the fruit of the Spirit all throughout His ministry. He set an example for us to follow.

Isaiah 61:4 (NIV), "...They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations."

Jesus died a cruel death on a cross so the ancient ruins of your past and the desolate places in your life could be restored.

All you do have to do is accept the free gift.

Trade in your sorrows for the joy of the Lord!