A 40th Anniversary Celebration!
April 3, 2020 marked 40 years since I entered a new life with my Savior Jesus, the Messiah. During the past 40 years of knowing Him, I’ve heard people say, “You should write a devotional book.” Although I never saw it happening, my Father did!
Teaching God's truth and the beauty of His Word has been the catalyst behind our sister company Flower Girl Greetings since 2012 where we offer Art Cards, Learning Tools, Books, and more. Now, ShaleFragments.com is the place where the Scripture studies and other writings reside.
Many of the writings were designed to make it easy for you to facilitate your own studies and sharing times in your home, church and workplace. (Each writing includes a free, printable PDF.)
As I’ve studied the rich meanings of the original languages of the Bible, I continue to see progressions and connections that compel me to organize and convey their beauty so I can better understand them and share His life-changing message!
There are 11 categories of writings:
Scripture Studies are usually a bit longer than the Short Devotionals, but every writing includes Scripture.
HIS SIGWORK is an acronym for ten principles of responsible Scripture interpretation I have gathered along the way that have guided my study. The Scripture is His Signature Work!
His Very Words and In His Dust reflect my continued desire to understand the Hebrew meanings, connections, and idioms that lie underneath the words of the Bible.
Prayer includes teaching the Lord poured into my life in the first months of 2021. This category includes messages about spiritual warfare and faith.
Imaginative Interpretations reflects the emotion I felt as I imagined more detail surrounding Bible stories. I share them to encourage love and wonder for God and to stir the holy imaginations He has given to us. It is important to let your imagination soar from a foundation of good study.
Inspirations from Israel is an ongoing series from my observations while in Israel, a surprise gift trip and rich experience at the end of 2019 and into 2020.
The Art Card Stories is a treasure trove. Here you will find the background to many of the Art Cards found at Flower Girl Greetings. These stories include when and how the art was created; the words on the front and back of the cards; photos of the art process, and more.
The Personal Letters and Stories were born from my experience. The Letters are factual accounts written to a specific recipient for a specific reason at a specific time. I share them in case they may encourage someone else. The Stories include information I organized for my own benefit and that has turned out to be a great benefit to others, such as Freedom from Depression and Anxiety and The Easy Organic Lawn.
My Favorites includes some of my favorite writings, but I do love them all!
Since I am always learning, I often review past writings to include new learning or refine their clarity.
Why Shale Fragments?
In the night of May 1, 2019, I had a vivid, fourfold dream. Very few of my dreams have obvious meanings, but the next morning, the interpretations were immediate, clear and directive. Following are two of the four scenes of the dream and their interpretations. The name Shale Fragments came from this dream:
Scene 1 – The Fragments
In my dream, I needed to confirm the time of my flight so I could arrive at the airport on time. I walked through a large structure that was barren or abandoned and unfamiliar to me. I thought, “Where am I? How do I get back?” I was lost. There were high ceilings and pieces of glistening shale scattered around like debris. The atmosphere was whitish and light, light-gray like glistening drywall powder in the air. Someone said to me, “Look closely at the fragments of debris, because you will want to remember the detail later.” So, I peered at the fragments for a while, embracing the moment, knowing it would be significant when I woke up. The fragments were sharp, glistening, scattered and many. Then, I went outside through a door and was in some kind of shipping and receiving area covered with cement. It was desolate.
Scene 1 – Interpretation
On my way to fly, I am in a desolate place for a time, but it is a pure, light place. Sometimes I feel lost. I am to gather the many glistening, scattered fragments. The work requires me to be alone. These fragments from God’s Word are sharp like a two-edged sword, cutting to the heart with their message and shining to bring light.
I learned that shale is sedimentary rock composed of flakes of clay minerals and tiny fragments of quartz and calcite called clasts that have broken off of pre-existing minerals and rock by physical weathering. The shale fragments of my life are sharp, thin, sparkly, effective revelations from Truth accumulated over time into layers, formed in the storms of life. Clay and quartz, brittle and strong, the good and the bad all forming the likeness of Messiah!
Scene 2 – The Beauty Salon
Then, I walked through a door into a huge beauty salon in which there were hundreds of people, each with their own hairdresser, sitting in chairs in an expanse of cubicles without partitions.
Scene 2 – Interpretation
The glistening shale fragments will be light for those who make beautiful the Bride of Christ. Teachers will be able to use the insights to adorn the Bride, make her ready with His truth, protect her from going astray, and keep her in unity.
A Rediscovered Poem
Months after my dream, this poem fell out of an old journal. Susie Cull wrote it and gave it to me on my 50th birthday 13 years earlier. It echoes the birth of Shale Fragments.
Our Own Beth Ann
How could these stones which litter the years
Speak more than of stumbling, wet with tears?
Ah! But she has chosen the higher road
Though walking valleys yet untold.
So, lifting each impasse to His Eye
She casts its color to the sky
To be arrayed for another’s hope.
And carving on rock to catch the rain
She proffers His drink without thought of gain
Quenching the thirst of a passer-by.
And scripting His Word from what is at hand,
She forges His Sign to a weary land
And to travelers along the way.
And sounding the note of deep-felt song
She gives voice to His message, “You Belong,”
Drawing winged creatures to the scene
Who echo His immortal Being.
Such are His palette and note and hand
Through the gifting and walk of our own Beth Ann.
Statement of Faith
We believe that God our Father created the heavens and the earth and all they contain.
He created man and woman to be the crown of His creation. He gave them the gift of relationship with Himself, and a free will to receive or reject Him. They would thrive as they walked in His ways of love, but from the beginning they drank from the empty wells of selfishness rather than from Him, The Fountain of Living Water.
God’s grand plan to forgive and redeem the people He created was foreshadowed in the Old Testament, spoken about through the prophets, and culminated in the gift of His Son Jesus the Messiah.
God’s unfathomable love for His creation requires justice, a payment for sin. Sin leads to death and destruction; blood is required as payment for sin. The sacrifice of animals was a temporary, insufficient payment that foreshadowed the Perfect Sacrifice to come.
Jesus is the Lamb that was slain for all humankind. When we receive Him (John 1:12-13), His blood pays for all our sin for all time.
Jesus rose from the dead and gives new life to all who receive Him. His redemption transforms our hearts to love Him by the power of the Holy Spirit. Imbued with the Spirit of the Living God, we possess expressions of His life called spiritual gifts. As we yield to Him, He works through our unique personalities.
The Bible is the inspired Word of God. I know this in many ways. Here are four ways:
The Bible declares it. In 2 Peter 1:20-21, Peter writes, “But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”
His Spirit confirms it within me. When I received Jesus the Messiah, He gave me the gift of the Holy Spirit, and I was born anew. His Spirit filled my mind with His thoughts. The beautiful words He was filling my life with, I then found in the Scripture. The revelation that the Holy Spirit gives us confirms His Word and never contradicts it.
His Word feeds my soul and gives me life.
Good translations allow us to see the connections that tie the entire Bible into a beautiful whole that could only have been orchestrated by the Sovereign Lord of the universe over hundreds of years.
Jesus is coming back for all who have received Him and we will live with Him forever!
Some of this information was gleaned from the book How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth by Gordon D. Fee and Douglas Stuart.
The Old Testament was originally written in Hebrew with a few spots of Aramaic in the books of Daniel and Ezra. The New Testament was written in Hebrew and translated into Greek, the main language of the region.
No original documents exist, but only thousands of copies called manuscripts. They were produced by hand and copied repeatedly for over 1,400 years for the New Testament, and longer for the Old Testament.
The thousands of early New Testament manuscripts are consistent and, therefore, can be trusted. However, later manuscripts began to show inconsistencies after being copied over and over, and biases being inserted. It is important therefore, to study Scripture using Bible translations that are based on the early manuscripts.
Most often, one English word cannot convey the full, rich meanings of Hebrew and Greek words. But, good news! – We don’t have to become Hebrew or Greek scholars to understand their fuller meanings. We can easily learn from a good Hebrew/Greek dictionary in order to ponder their truth and be amazed and changed by their beauty!
Discovering the fuller, beautiful meanings of the original Hebrew and Greek words of Scripture has been the basis for many of my writings.
It is a miracle that these manuscripts have been preserved and that we can bask in the wealth of their meaning with the revelation of the Holy Spirit.
To receive emails from Shale Fragments, please subscribe here.
All artwork, photography and writings on the Shale Fragments website is the intellectual property of Flower Girl Greetings, LLC.