When you're with Thelma Wells, you're in good company. Thelma has walked the dusty trail of life and come through praising God. The pages of her Bible are worn from constant use. But it's in the sweetness of her spirit, the expansiveness of her heart, and the readiness of her laughter that you'll discover how much Thelma is a woman of the Word. These sixty choice devotions show why countless women have drawn counsel and encouragement from her wisdom. Like Thelma herself, this book will reach out and hug you whenever you most need a heaping dose of comfort. Kick your shoes off, settle back, and unwind. Or give this book to someone you know who would enjoy a chuckle, a reflective pause, an "Aha!" moment, maybe even a tear. Insights and encouragement lie withinand more than a few grins!
Author Biography: Thelma Wells is a popular author, speaker and businesswoman. As an African-American woman, Thelma was instrumental in bringing racial diversity to the Women of Faith conferences. Thelma has had her own television show, been an assistant vice president of a bank, and an inspirational public speaker/business consultant.
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Saying the Three WordsBut the greatest of these is love. 1 CORINTHIANS 13:13 For the first eighteen years of my married life, I wanted my husband to say three specific words. Maybe he had said them once or twice but, apparently, so seldom I couldn't recall hearing them. I would say, “Please, baby, just tell me you love me. Even if you're lying, just say it!” He would respond, “Why do I have to say that? You know I do. It don't make sense to have to say that when I show you all the time.” Then I'd beg, “I know you show me, and I appreciate that. But just say it. It won't hurt.” Do I have to tell you that nothing ever came of those conversations? Now, my husband's background is different from mine. His father had thirty-one sisters and brothers. That's what I said, thirty-one. I have the names and birth-days all recorded to prove it. They grew up on a huge farm in south Texas where they raised everything they ate. They had cattle, pigs, chickens, sugarcane, vegetables, wheat (and their own flour mill), cotton, fishing tank, andGod forbidhome-made whiskey. The kids worked all the time when they weren't in school. The family lived in a seven-room home in which the bedrooms were nearly as large as some houses. The boys slept in two rooms, and the girls slept in two rooms. I suppose they were together so much that the words “I love you” never occurred to them to say. At least, not to the boys. They were taught to be men, and men didn't show emotion. Men didn't cry. Men didn't say mushy stuff. That's the environment my husband was raised in. Me, I'm a city slicker from Dallas. No horses, cows, and pigs for me. The closest I came to a farm was Granny's yard where she planted a patch of greens and beans. Concord grapes grew on the fence, and one year a couple of watermelons showed up in the garden. Three of us lived in our house. We had one bedroom, a sleep sofa, and a rollaway bed on the screened-in front porch. But something was practiced in our house that I will forever appreciate. We often used the words “I love you.” So when I married George, we wrangled over those words and getting him to say them. Years later we hosted our eighteen-year-old daughter's debutante reception. During her presentation she had great things to say about her parents. But one story she told captured the hearts of the two hundred people attending. “Ever since I was a little girl,” Vikki started out, “my mama would tell us she loves us. My father would never tell us. I would say, ‘Daddy, I love you,' and he would always say, ‘I know it, Vikki.' “Well, Daddy, I finally figured out what you mean when you say, ‘I know it, Vikki.' You're really saying, ‘I love you too.' So Daddy, it's all right. Keep on saying what you say, and I'll know what you mean.” That story set everyone off. Some people were sniffing and crying. Some had wet eyes that they tried to dab when no one was looking. Even my macho husband was crying. Mr. Non-Emotional, Won't-Speak-in-Public-Before-a- Large-Group meandered to the microphone and said, “Come here, Vikki, Daddy wants to tell you something.” Holding the microphone in one hand and putting his arm around Vikki, he said, “Daddy loves you, Vikki. Daddy's proud of you.” Almost every week since that monumental day in 1981 he's been telling us he loves us. Hallelujah! Do you enjoy hearing those tender words from your spouse, children, family, and friends? Of course you do. However, to know that we are loved by an omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient Lord is the grandest feeling of acceptance anyone can have. When other people fail to express their love to us, we can always depend on Jesus. Imagine Jesus himself saying to you, “Child of mine, I love you with an everlasting love. I love you with unconditional love. I love you because I want to! I love you when others think you are unlovable. I love you when you have sinned and come short of my glory. I love you in the good times and in the bad.” *** God, we can't comprehend the depth of your love. We do know that without your loving protection we would be in danger. Without your loving provision we would be in want. Without your loving correction we would remain rebellious. Without your loving care we wouldn't know compassion. Without your loving Son we wouldn't be saved. When we begin to attach strings to our love for someone, even by demanding they tell us they love us, remind us that you have no strings attached to your love. Amen.
Table of ContentsForeword by Patsy Clairmont 9Saying the Three Words 13 The Road to Glory Ain't Always Easy 16 Fire! 20 Listen to Your Heart 23 First Impressions 26 I Like Smart Women 30 Ah, Sweet Repose 33 Snoozin' 36 Daddy Harrell and the Prayer Meetin' 39 Uncle Brother 42 Jumping the Gun 45 Harmony 49 God's Mouthpiece 53 My Shepherd 57 The Infamous Bra 60 You-nique and Chosen 64 Tub Talk 68 Pressing Onand We Ain't Talkin' Ironing 71 A Song in Her Heart 75 The Main Line 78 No Coincidences 81 I Said I Was Sorry! 85 Payday 88 Firsthand Knowledge 91 This Is the Lord's Day 94 Overcoming Distractions 96 Dealing with Anxiety 98 Don't Go It Alone 100 I Will Fear No Evil 102 Yes, I Believe! 104 Rejoice in This Day 107 Anger Is Not a Virtue! 109 Did I Have to Get Burned to Listen? 115 I Thought I Knew What I Was Doing 118 God Sent Us to College 122 My Child Would Never Do That! 126 Why Do You Complain? 129 Who Likes Criticism? 134 Victims or Victors? 138 Praise Is a Two-Way Street 142 His Eye Is on the Sparrow 146 Our God Reigns! 150 All Messed Up 154 Grace Period 157 Lost and Found 160 Stormy Weather 163 Granny's Grace 167 I Blew It 170 Who's in Charge? 173 Be Yourself 176 Grace at Home 180 Flowers for Erin 184 For the Sake of Love 188 No Flies in Africa 192 The Fetish Priest 196 What's in a Name? 200 Sheep Tending 206 Ooey-Gooey Bible Love 210 Watch-Night Service 214 Let's Have a Party! 218