Deserving of Mercy?

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Who deserves it? Certainly not I. This is something that is a daily struggle in my walk with Christ. So much so that it is often detrimental to my service because I’m always feeling lower than a snail’s belly. Maybe it’s not so with you, but for the record I’m a wretched sinner. No, I’m not going to confess it to you, you’re not God. Just trust me, okay. And although confession is good for the soul I’ve seen too many people’s lives turn into an episode of Jerry Springer and he’s not in the building. James 5:16 does say “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” But it doesn’t say for you to air your dirty laundry or somebody else’s on Facebook and Twitter. A close friend will do nicely. Whew! That was tangent of a commercial break. Now back to the message.

So who does deserve mercy?

Psalm 103:17-18

17 But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children;

18 To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.

God’s Property for God’s People

Mercy is “of the Lord.” It’s entirely up to Him and His righteousness on who He chooses to dole it out upon. I know one thing for certain, I’ve been extended an abundance of mercy. But that’s okay, because there’s an endless supply. His word said it was “everlasting to everlasting.” That’s a really long time. For those that fear him. That’s the child of God. He or she who has made a confession of faith that Jesus Christ is Lord, crucified for our personal sin, risen again the third day, proving He alone has the power over death, Hell and the grave and now is our intercessor at the throne of God providing forgiveness for our sins, and yes, mercy. It’s one of the awesome benefits of a child of God that we take for granted, until we need it. And then we’re begging for it. It’s there for not only us but for our “children’s children.” My Grandbabies! I am the Mama of Mercy when it comes to them, I extend it far above what I should or so my children say. I consider it a privilege of grand parenting to have that right. That’s probably not actually biblical, but to say that God has the right to extend mercy to the undeserving is true.

God’s Promise to God’s People

If you’re disobedient you have no promise of God’s mercy, you may receive it, but you’ll not have peace in the process. But the Word says “To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.”  To them mercy is promised. Those who believe in the New Covenant, which is Jesus Christ, but not forsaking the law. Yes, Christ died because man couldn’t keep the law, but that didn’t make the law of no effect. We will sin, but we’re to turn from it and repent to God in sincerity. You cannot live in blatant sin and expect the mercy to continue to rain down upon you. But, to the child of God who sincerely tries to live in the ways of Christ, they have a promise!

I must confess again, I’m not the keeper of the faith. I fail God so often it’s ridiculous. Please live better than me. I’m trying to live closer to the foot of the cross, I want that promise and the peace.

May God’s mercy be with us all…

A Dangerous Attitude

As fate would have it, in the pop and chip aisle of the local grocer, I met an old friend I hadn’t seen in a while. Within seconds he turned to show me a scar down the back of his neck and to tell me of the miracle that had occurred in his life of a brain surgery that had taken him from a slobbering, stumbling, weak soul to a new lease on life. I praised God for it and encouraged him to come to church with me on Sunday and praise the Lord himself for what God had surely done. His response sent a shockwave through me that still reverberates in my soul, he said “No I don’t think so, people spend too much time worrying about eternity and less about this current life.”

I was sick, and disheartened. I felt for sure he would understand who it was that held his fate in the palm of his hand.

Daniel 5:22-23

And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this; But hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified:

That same night Belshazzar the King was slain.

Arrogance against God was dangerous business then, and it’s dangerous business today, yet so prevalent in our world. Because my parents brought me up in a God fearing household I had a healthy respect for God even unsaved. I didn’t know God as my Savior but there was an instinct within me to know that He was the God in whose hand my breath was. As my friend walked away my prayer was that God would shake him to the core that night. I was hurt for God and I believe righteously angry that this world is so deceived.

I had just witnessed the miracle of birth with my grandson Parker, and I knew that God held his breath in His hand and had blessed us with this beautiful little soul. And in the hours that followed that early morning call that Tiffani was being rushed in for an emergency delivery at only 30 weeks I knew that God could also choose to take Parker home, and Tiffani as well. And as I knelt in tears beside my bed asking God to spare them there was no arrogance within me only absolute reliance on the Creator of life.

Why God chose to allow me to be raised in a Christian home is beyond my understanding. I could have just as easily been in a home where God does not dwell. There is always that underlying seed of arrogance within me too that likes to rear its head thinking I hold the steering wheel of life. Parker’s birth was a “Jesus take the wheel” kind of moment for me. I knew the only power I had was the Holy Spirit of God speaking peace to my soul. He is in control.

Less than the length of time it took for me to type the punctuation at the end of a sentence is the length of time when your world can go upside down and out of control. Do me a favor and tell God how very much you love Him and that you know He alone is in control. Acknowledge His Sovereignty of your life. My heart hurts for Him and for my friend who’s missing out on the greatest blessings of life. Knowing the Creator of our existence.

An Anti-Memorial Day for your Enemy!

I’m generally not a whiner. Really I’m not. At least not out loud. In my head I’m a radical whiner, God knows. And over the past week or so, I’ve been on the verge of whining on multiple occasions; a lack of rest, coupled with concern and stress over the new early arrival of grandbaby Parker and multiple job and ministry related things on my plate have left me somewhat discombobulated spiritually. In a weakened condition as they say. A prime time for Satan to attack. Little things that I would normally fluff off suddenly aggravated me. It wasn’t until this weekend when I came into church with such an attitude of frustration over a Facebook post for crying out loud, that I realized I needed to check that attitude at the door and see what the Lord had in store for me. Woah! Was I ever glad.

Our services on Sunday were beyond. The songs, and testimonies were just what the doctor ordered to fix me up. An opportunity to lift a brother up who’s facing major surgery next week brought back to remembrance that life is fragile, and we need one another. We need an army of God’s soldiers around us to guard our back when the enemy is on attack.

Then came Amalek… Exodus 17:8a

Amalek is the nation that attacked the weakest among the Israelites as they fled from Egypt, when Israel was in a weakened condition; and God didn’t forget, He performed somewhat of an anti-memorial. When, through the power of God, Joshua in verse 13, discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword, God told Moses that he needed to write them down in a book, because otherwise nobody would know who they were.

Exodus 17:14

And the Lord said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.

That’s my God! He makes a note of the enemies of His people. I don’t believe it’s changed. It is believed that the book that Moses referred to was the Book of Wars written of in Numbers 21:14 ~ Wherefore it is said in the book of the wars of the Lord, What he did in the Red sea, and in the brooks of Arnon,

So the attacks that I’ve felt over the past few weeks didn’t catch God off guard. I believe He’ll use it for His glory when He allows me to minister to another child of God in the future, going through a similar battle that I just went through. And then I can say, “I understand,” and I will because I fought that battle and won! And I may not have seen what God did to the enemy, perhaps nothing as of yet. But there will come a day when God takes care of it. He may still be writing in the book of wars when He tells the scribe, “Make a note of that battle Shari fought today, because there’s coming a day when that enemy of hers, won’t be around to remember.

Glory!!!! I just wrote myself happy.

How about you this Memorial Day; is there an enemy you’d like to forget? It’s coming.

The One Thing

It’s human nature that we continually search for that “one thing.” That one thing that will make us happy, that one thing that will complete us, be it materialist or an accomplishment we’re no doubt searching for something. Just as I think I’m past it, the flesh rises in me again and I determine there is something else, one more thing that I need. As it turns out, God thought that there was a few “one things” that I needed in life as well. The following is a very brief study of the “one thing’s” we should have an understanding of.

One thing is Confusing

Religion.

Acts 19:32

Some therefore cried one thing, and some another: for the assembly was confused: and the more part knew not wherefore they were come together.

Some cried one thing and some another. The crowd had come together against Paul, and yet they weren’t in agreement with each other. They all had different beliefs and passions, and would be led first one direction then another, but for the cause of Christ, they were all against it. They didn’t know what they believed, they just knew they didn’t believe Paul. How true is that of the world today that Satan has so many convoluted ideas out there as to what is right and wrong. He loves religion, because religion is man’s works, not their relationship with the Creator. Be very wary of people who argue religion, they’re apt to cause confusion and attract an audience of demonic whisperings.

One thing is Consistent

God’s Plan.

While even friends and family let us down, and more often than they, we ourselves let us down; there is one consistency in the life of a Christian and that is God has never let you down. Things may not go as planned but He did not fail us.

Joshua 23:14

And, behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth: and ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof.

Israel took a long trip through the wilderness, but the plan that God began was finished. The struggles in our lives that seem as though they may consume us at times will beyond a shadow of doubt find us at our intended destination. Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: There is a consistency in the life of a child of God! Hallelujah!

One thing is Certain

Death.

It’s not something we enjoy discussing, we enjoy even less the facing of it, but it is certain. And yet so many people live each day as if they are promised another one.

Ecclesiastes 3:19

For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.

Solomon said it was vanity. Self-centeredness in the worst way not to understand that life is but a vapor, a fleeting moment. What are you doing with it that will have an eternal impact? There was renowned college professor once who was ask why he chose to teach, rather than preach before the thousands who would come to listen. His reply was “I can have a greater impact for eternity teaching preachers who will each reach thousands than I ever will alone.” Wise man. Don’t take time for granted.

One thing is Critical

Commitment.

Mark 10:21

Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

If you want to make the most out of your relationship with God, no “one thing” can come between you and He. You’ve got to be willing to give it all up, trusting that what ever is needed God will provide.

One thing is Chosen

Worship.

Luke 10:42

But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

In the story of Mary and Martha, Mary was found at the feet of Jesus worshiping while Martha worried in the kitchen. She was concerned about the formalities of the event rather than the fact the Father of all Creation was sitting in her living room. There’s a time to work, and a time to worship and we have to choose. It’s important to understand priorities.

One thing is Converting

Salvation.

To an unsaved person there are many things that seem to matter, it’s the confusion spoken of earlier. But to a child of God who’s been converted from a sinner to a saint by the blood of Jesus it’s as if someone turned the light on in their lives and what once made no sense at all, is now as clear as day.

John 9:25

He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.

One thing is Continual

Time.

2 Peter 3:8

But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

This is certainly not an exhaustive study, although if you read all 1038 words in this blog you may be exhausted. But how awesome it is to know that in all of life’s ebbs and flows there is One Thing that is assured for the child of God and that is an eternity without sorrow.

Life’s not perfect. But Hallelujah we serve the One True God Who is perfect in every way. He is the One Thing you need. Do you know Him? If not, get in touch with me, I’d love to introduce you.

The “ology” of Faith and why we don’t receive

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There is a new term I learned today, ‘riskology.’ The study of risk taking and concurrence with your success in life.  Several websites claim their expertise on the subject, and while they may make good sense from a worldly standard I’m not sure it’s anything new. Just new speakology, the study of things to talk about. Totally made that up. I’m not an expert on anything really, except knowing that experts are a dime a dozen and require no proof other than a catchy title, snazzy marketing skills and the World Wide Web. Dadaaa! You’re an expert.

I myself prefer faithology. The study of God’s word and will for my life, which by the way is without risk. You’ll never go wrong seeking God in any circumstance in life. As a matter of fact it’s well advised. I only wish I always took my own advice. Imagine what it would look like if we began life as a small child asking God, “Should I do this, or should I not? What difference will this make in eternity? Does this glorify God or man? Is this right for me?” And then, glory to God, we waited for His answer and did what He said! But unfortunately human nature has more of a tendency to trust the web before seeking God. I would probably lose count of the number of times in a day I google a word, a product or idea. It’s handier than a pocket on a shirt, but God is so much handier, and nearer, and He never gets a glitch or comes up with 1,472,462 answers for you to sort through. Just one. The right one.

So why is it that we fail to seek His wisdom? Most likely, we’ve failed faithology.

Hebrews 11:1-6 ~  Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.  By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.  But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

The Test:

Question 1 – What does it take to receive what I’m hoping for?

Answer: Faith, plus nothing. (God speaks, stuff happens) Without limitation.

Question 2 – Are there any pre-requisites for stuff to happen?

Answer – Obedience. Abel offered a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain because his was by faith that he offered a blood sacrifice, which God required. Abel’s was a works offering. How often do we put a pretty ribbon on a bad offering? We go to church, appearing to have the right relationship with God, but its only fruits and veggie faith. When it comes to the meat of the matter, committing ourselves to the full service of God, we choose rather to hand over the basket of produce than to risk the faith in allowing God to do with us what He chooses. Owch!

Ahhhh, but you said it was faith plus nothing, why then was there a second question? Because God knows, that without a right relationship with Him our faith will fail, and a right relationship requires obedience.

So, are you praying for something? Ask yourself “Can I look God in the eye and ask Him for it?” That question may change your desire.  Sometimes the things we desire, are not what we need, and we know it. And sometimes it’s not what we need because our relationship with God is out of kilter, and our focus is not on the things of Heaven, but rather on earth.

Did you pass the faithology exam?

When you’re going through the fire…

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When you have to pray the prayer you didn’t want to pray…

It was that wee hour in the morning phone call no parent wants, your child’s in distress and you’re 2 hours away. Daughter Tiffani just headed in to surgery for delivery of our 6th grandchild. She’s only at 30 weeks. I’m scared, concerned for both her and the baby; needing to hug my son-in-law who is facing it alone. And I hit my knees and gave it to God, who is the Creator of all life. Who alone makes those decisions; and I want to hug Him too. But instead He hugs me.

I do the only thing I’ve known to do since 1996. Go to God and get in the Word.

It is well… He speaks to my soul.

It doesn’t feel well Lord….

It is… I hear again.

Our 2 lb 12 oz miracle came just a little after 5. Breathing on his own, and we are rejoicing.

The reality of that story is the whole time I was praying I knew it was the Creator’s decision.  I didn’t feel well; I knew “it” was well, but I still so wanted it to go the way I wanted. It is with great joy that I can say the Lord answered my prayer. Both Tiffani and Parker Keith came through with flying colors. When my son-in-love called he said, “He’s breathing on his own.” My heart skipped a beat. I hadn’t evening thought he wouldn’t. The fragility of life is such that at 2 lbs 12 oz., that was a distinct possibility. God is good!

At choir practice at church on Sunday evening, I belted out the solo to the song “Through the fire.” My neighboring friend Lola said, “Wow, Shari, I don’t even think they’re going to have to ‘mic’ (microphone) you.” I knew what she meant… I have a big mouth. I told the choir there was likely a genetic reason my new grandson came out breathing on his own, God had blessed us with good lungs. But I had a reason to belt that song out, I’d been through a little fire this weekend.

Just a few hours after Parker was born, by beloved and best pal, Sammy the Jack Russell was hit by a car. It wasn’t like Sam to go near the road, but that day he did. And so I went into another spiral of emotions. He was a true companion and there for me so many times, and I didn’t even get the chance to pray. My heart was broken but the day was filled with too many responsibilities to grieve.  And so I handed him to the One Who created Him. And it was again a reminder about the fragility of life. Puppies or people, life is but a vapor.

I’m glad I know the Creator. I’m glad when the fire came, the water that quenched my thirsty soul in salvation also dampened the flames that tried to consume me.

Zechariah 13:6-9 ~ And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones.  And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the Lord, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God.

Those words… what an awesome tale they tell. An Old Testament prophecy that bears the name Jesus Christ.

Sunday morning’s prayer requests at our church were almost surreal. I wasn’t the only one going through a fire, and many of them their flames were higher than mine. But the God we serve was able to bring songs and shouts of praise throughout the congregation, because He’s awesome like that.

Are you going through some flames yourself? Give it to the Creator. He may not put them out, but He’ll carry you through. If you have time today, comment and let me know how the Lord is bringing you through!

What Develops After the Camera Clicks

pinterest-craft-fails-21-1So I stole today’s blog post idea from Pastor Steven Furtick, just sayin’ that up front in case any of you are fans of his pod cast or watch him online. Yes, he uses the wrong Bible…you probably won’t like his music and you may find a dozen other things you consider faults. Before you judge, check the mirror. This sermon was just so spot on I felt the need to do the Jesus Chick version. It was like he took a page out of my life and scribbled it on his sermon notes. Seriously.

Almost every time (if not every time) I speak, someone says to me, “I love how you’re so very real.” The reality of that statement for me is, they’re saying, “I love how you let us see how very messed up you are.” And that’s the truth. I’ve never professed to be a model of how you should live your life, I’m more the “what not to do” version. I realized this again when I spoke at the Ladies Retreat at Five Forks Community Church and they had decorated their platform with the goal of showing a messed up, packrat home. My first thought was, wow, I’ll be right at home here. My home will never be on the better homes and gardens cover, unless it’s as a cleaning project. I run from daylight to dark (literally). So for someone to judge my housekeeping, they have to take over some of my responsibilities. But they’ll have to fight me for them, because I’d rather serve the Lord than clean house. Yes, I’m using that as an excuse to be messy, I’m sure God will line me out about it when I get to Heaven.

Steven Furtick’s sermon title was “The Problem with Pinterest.” His problem was that when the projects on Pinterest (a social media sight) were tried by the average mortal soul they never quite turned out like they had anticipated. More often than not they were epic failures that cost you money, left you discouraged and feeling inadequate and in constant comparison of the “perfect people” whose children are well behaved, their homes are immaculate and they look like they just stepped off the cover of Vogue. Personally, I prefer another sight Steven Furtick tuned me into which is www.pinterestfail.com, ‘where good intentions come to die.’ How precious is that! Now that’s a website I can identify with. It’s filled with pictures of Pinterest projects gone wrong. You can literally burn up hours laughing at what would been your picture had you actually tried the project.

Ironically enough times haven’t changed since the days of Moses.

In  Corinthians 3:13 Apostle Paul says:

And not as Moses, which put a veil over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished:

It’s often thought that Moses put the veil over his face because it was too bright to look upon, but more than likely the veil was there to keep them from seeing that the glory was fading away, and thereby they’d become discouraged because the old covenant wasn’t a permanent fix. (Exodus 34:29-35). And such is life…

We are continually looking upon Pinterest posts, Facebook profiles, Twitterpics and Instagrams and believing that that perfect image is everlasting. As far as Instagram growth goes, followers play an important role. It lasted for the split second the picture was taken. And then more than likely the child threw a tantrum, the happy couple got in a huge fight because someone was unappreciated or spent too much money and that perfect family went back to being perfectly dysfunctional. The picture perfect home may very well have a huge crack in the foundation of life and although it looks beautiful, the reality is very ugly.

But nobody posts that. Well some do, but I’m quick to hide them, who wants to see it! Well some do… those who are every bit as miserable but love looking and judging someone else’s misery.

Praise God for the New Covenant! Even though the perfect children fade into tantrum throwing, backing talking, door slamming teens, the picturesque home has Oreo’s ground into the carpet and dog hair on the couch, and the happy couple isn’t always so happy when the door closes behind the company that showed up unannounced, we still have a perfect plan.

It’s the one that we’re not in control of.

It’s the one that covered by the unconditional forgiveness and grace of our Savior, who loves us in our messes and in our brokenness.

For marketing my blog and speaking, I call myself “The Jesus Chick.” That doesn’t mean I’m so spiritual I have all of life figured out. It just means I’m pretty tight with the One Who fixes the disaster I call life.

 If you’d like to see Steven Furtick’s video message from Elevation Church, here’s the link!

 http://elevationchurch.org/sermons

What to do when God says “no”

For one thing, He may not have said no, He may have said wait. But let’s just suppose He, for real, said ‘no’ to something you were desperately desiring. What’s your reaction? I know what mine’s been often times. Panic! I thought that was for sure the answer. I knew that would make it better, why would God think it wouldn’t? And then there have been the rare occasions that I’ve actually gotten the spiritual tee shirt that says “I did it His way.”

So He said ‘no…” Let’s see what scripture says about it, pray, and follow God’s lead. And remember, you’re in good company.

Paul said in II Corinthians 12:8-9

For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Paul was persistent, God was providing

Three times Paul asked God to remove the thorn from his side. There have been many theories as to what exactly this thorn was—so many theories in fact, that it is impossible to diagnose Paul’s situation with complete assurance, but none the less it was troublesome enough for him that he wrote about it. I always believe that if a bible event doesn’t have a name or description it’s intended for me to be able to insert my name and circumstance there. I have my own issues that I’ve sought God for and have been told no, way more times than three. You’d think I’d get the picture, but I know regardless that His grace is sufficient.

It sounds so cliché, does it not? And so easy to roll off your tongue to a friend when they’re going through hard times; but not nearly as easy to say to yourself. God’s grace is sufficient, but it’s okay to ask God to talk you through as your waiting on provision to come. As a matter of fact, I highly recommend it. In talking to God your relationship grows closer and that problem may have been the provision of restoring a right relationship with our Heavenly Father. It was a time to re-focus.

The problem continued, the praising did too

We miss the mark, or at least I do, on praising through the bad times. What a testimony of the Lord’s provision when an unsaved soul can see you going though it with a smile on your face. Sometimes you’re the provision for someone else. If they can see you holding on to hope in the hard times, it just might be the deciding factor that keeps them from going to Hell.

Paul said he would glory in his infirmities. They were a part of the plan! Again, not what we want to hear but truth none the less. In this fallen world we’re going to have troubles and struggles; and be it health, finance or people problems they’ve all been covered by the cross if you’re a child of God. They’ve received His stamp of approval for having a purpose for your gain. It may not be clear, but keep on the path and praise Him all along your way.

Because there’s power in God’s promises

The issues with promises is we can’t see them from the other side as we’re going through. A point brought up in church this past Sunday. It’s easy to look back on a problem and see how God’s woven the provision into the circumstance, but not so clear as you’re gasping for air and feeling as if you’re going down for the third time. This is where faith, even if it’s no more than a mustard seed, has to take place. Nothing happens in life that doesn’t have purpose for God’s glory and for your good. Romans 8:28 – And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

The power doesn’t come from anything you can do. It comes from faith in what Christ has already done. He died for you that you may have hope in eternity and serve a God that will work everything out for your good, even when there seems to be no good in it.

Hold on!

Facing the Experts

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au·thor·i·ty

əˈTHôritē ~an individual cited or appealed to as an expert.

A favorite statement from my 3 year old granddaughter, who may or may not have a slight attitude, is “You are not the boss of me.” I hear it multiple times a day when she’s with her brother, and then she will proceed to run down a list of adults who are in charge of her. She gets authority, she doesn’t always heed to it, but she gets it. I’m amazed at the knowledge and comprehension packed into those babies. I’m pretty sure I was a much dumber child, and as an adult I consider myself an authority on very little, possibly nothing. Jack of a few trades, master of none mentality. I’m blessed with people in my life who put far greater faith in me than deserved when it comes to creativity be it in written, music or artistic forms. I know a little about a lot. Not a lot about anything. Just enough to be dangerous usually. What makes me the exception to the rule I’ve discovered is there are far more people in the world who believe themselves to be an authority on life. If you don’t believe me, just ask them, they’ll tell you they are and why:

  • One bad relationship and suddenly they’re suitable for counseling.
  • One good steak and they’re a chef.
  • One child and they’re a parenting expert.

I’m sure you know them. I’m sure they’ve grated on your nerves as they have mine.

But there was One who was an Authority of all.

Mark 1:22

King James Version (KJV

And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes.

Not as the scribes. That had to cut. The scribes thought they were an authority on it all. They were keepers of the law after all, they knew it backwards and forwards. They had head knowledge, but Christ had God knowledge. There is a difference in a head knowledge and a heart knowledge. We’ve all heard it or said it, “I knew it my heart it was right.” There are people who have made light of those unlearned in certain subject matters or trades only to discover later that they were gifted. They had a heart knowledge not understood by those who considered themselves an authority because they’d studied it. I don’t want to belittle the work that goes into an education, it’s immense! I just want to give kudos to my Lord who is the Author and Authority of life and encourage you who may be struggling with inferiority issues to remember (if you are a child of God, saved by the blood of Jesus) you have the Authority for what needs done in your life living within your heart. Don’t sell yourself short.

The scribes couldn’t understand how this carpenter’s son could possibly be an expert on the Holy word of God and on life, and yet He was.

One of my favorite commercials that I refer to often is the Holiday Inn Express commercial where the guests leave the hotel feeling much smarter having stayed there. To the point that they consider themselves an expert in an untrained field. Well, I’m not going to tell you that having God in your heart will qualify you to do brain surgery, but it will give you a pool of life’s wisdom to call upon that will put you far ahead of the game than most who deem themselves an expert.

Having issues? Talk to Jesus about it first. He may tell you to seek advice from another one of His peeps. But don’t sell yourself short on what you and He can accomplish together!

To Sob, Sing or Believe?

question & meAfter about the 4th or perhaps 40th bad news post on Facebook this morning, my heart was overwhelmed. I was on the verge of either breaking out in tears or song, I knew I had to do something, so rather than explain myself to the rest of the office, I opted to do a quick blog. The page was full of God’s children from birth to retirement fighting battles. They were hurting, their family’s hearts were broken and worry consumed many of their minds and the why’s started coming upon me.

God why does that innocent little child have to suffer like that?

Why does that mommy have to go through that?

Why is it that that man of God, who wants to do nothing more than serve you, has to suffer so?

Why does that man who served our country have to suffer through the rejection of government accountability?

Good grief and o my goodness, that list of why’s went on and on!!

So I turned to the Word of God for reasoning as He is the only One who I know I can trust for answers and I found myself at a familiar passage of scripture:

John 14:1

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

I have to believe God’s got this heartache in His hand and under control… “But it would be way better if I had a reason Lord,” I continued to question God. So I read on until I came to verse 14 of chapter 14 to which it read “If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.”

Woop… stop the record. “Anything?” But God, that’s not how it works. I’ve seen things not go as we ask, why is that in there? In my soul I heard… Go back and read it as I intended it.

Verses 12-13 prior to that read:

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

Twice it is said that He will do whatever we ask, but not once did it say “as we’d ask it.”

So that child that I asked God to heal, He will. That veteran that I ask God to assist, He will. That Preacher that needs healing and provision, He will provide for. But there’s something attached to that healing and provision, and that is “that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” It’s the Son’s decision on how my request is answered, but it is for certain that God will get glory, and it will be well. That’s hard for us to understand when we’re witnessing the pain in this moment of time that way out there in eternity is reason to rejoice. I don’t have the answers… I want the problem fixed, and now would be a good time. But God’s word says I may have to wait, and in so waiting, glory!

If God fixed everything the way we want Him to, how much would we miss out on? And how much worse might things be.

I’ll trust God.