The Games People Play


Another Monday following another Sunday; funny thing is they fall that way every week. It comes as no surprise and yet every Sunday I’m surprised by the people who think Sunday is merely a portal to a new week. They take serious that the Lord said it was a day of rest but consider the gospel as an option. My frustration mounts week after week, and yet I don’t do a whole lot about it either. I witness and warn but they take me about as serious as a tinkling cymbals on that monkey I remember as child. Goofy thing… it sticks in my mind this morning how he would clang the cymbals and dance around and serve no other purpose than making a noise. Even as a child I didn’t like useless noises, there had to be a purpose.

Have I turned into that dancing monkey?

I began writing today thinking that my focus was going to be on alleviating my frustrations with people who don’t attend church, and wouldn’t you know it God would turn that thing right around to me. Ha! He’s funny like that too.

Luke 7:32-35

They are like unto children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept. For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil. The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners! But wisdom is justified of all her children.

Can you see it? A prime opportunity to get on my high horse and rail on people who laid out of church  yesterday and yet God said I’d just be like that monkey with the tinkling cymbals, all noise and of no useful purpose. While they may be playing games with eternity (a scary thought) making a lot of noise is not a way to get something accomplished, I’ve got to find a better way at getting through.

Jesus didn’t play their games but he did show up on their court. He went to where they were and showed Himself friendly not judgmental. He knew they were playing games, he knew they didn’t take eternity serious but when they needed Him He was there. I guess that’s my cue for the day, go to where they are and be the constant steady source for which the sinner see.

Be the one who cares. Be the one whose kind. Be the one whose wisdom is justified. The one that they look at and say I want that… that peace, that love, that understanding. No games, make Jesus real to them.

We should do no less


What do you do when the world around you is full of wickedness and you’d like to lash out and do ungodly acts? When you’ve had it up to your eyeballs with bad attitudes and hatred spewed in the name of politics, when the Name of Christ is uttered in contempt and it seems as though it’s in vain that we attempt peace? There was a day that it took a woman to fix the mess that man had created.

Shocker right? Just kidding!!!! Kinda…

In the book of 1 Samuel chapter 25 we find the story of Abigail, wife of Nabal who was a wicked, self-centered man, described as Belial; a demon himself who no doubt made this woman’s life miserable, and yet she stayed. David who had yet to become King was on the run from Saul with a band of rag tag men who had been described as “every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented”. Not exactly an army of heroes that we read about with David in other stories. But at this point we find David and his men voluntarily performing the unpaid task of body guards over Nabal’s men as they were in the same fields shepherding. David thought it not too much to ask of Nabal for a few victuals  but Nabal’s arrogance railed against David, who he knew to be future King saying “ Who is David? and who is the son of Jesse?”

He was about to find out! The next thing you hear David saying is “Gird ye on every man his sword”. It was the equivalency of the Power Rangers of the day. But then came Abigail.

A few lessons from Abigail that help me this morning in the face of this adverse world we live in.

She waited in Adversity

Living with a man such as Nabal was not an easy task, and though it would have been the culture of the day for her stay it wouldn’t have made it fun. Yet we find her there with an obvious respect of her household and a desire to care for them. Our main role in this life (aside from the first serving God) is to take care of our family and make it as pleasant as possible. Abigail had garnered respect and honor, her husband’s staff obviously felt that she was competent to get something done because when they’d heard what Nabal did to David and knew that there would be certain repercussions, they came to Abigail for help.

It’s often not easy serving when the world around you disregards God and His people. But it’s important to stand strong in the faith so that in the hour of need, those around us know in whom they can depend.

She waited on an opportunity

As soon as the servants came to Abigail with the news of her idiot husband’s behavior she went into survival mode. She knew that she would need to fix what her husband had broken. She didn’t go to David with excuses, she went to David with humility. We’re not going to gain God’s mercy and grace on this Nation by making excuses, we’re going to have to go to Him in humility for our idiot leadership who spout off to God with their behavior “Who is God?” I have wonder how many times the sword could have been drawn on us if it had not been for God’s people taking that opportunity to intercede on America’s behalf.

Abigail waited… both in time and in service. We should do no less.

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Stay Put and Dig


Having watched my husband treat and supply water for our community for over 25 years I understand the importance, but I don’t think that I have a clue about the significance of the water in the days of Abraham and Isaac. After all, I turn on the faucet and the water magically appears, I waste water as I let it overflow down the drain when filling pots or running dish water, or running the dishwasher. Giving no thought to the value of it in comparison to its value in the days of Genesis 26 and of its spiritual implication and application in life.

Stay Put Shari… that’s what I hear this morning.

Genesis 26:1-3

And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar. And the Lord appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of: Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father;

Isaac was a new generation, he had begun his family and now had the responsibility of provider. Egypt would have made a lot more sense from the world’s standards with its great water supply and fertile lands, but God said stay… Gerar was a training ground for provision. It didn’t make sense by the world’s view point but from the perspective of Heaven it made perfect sense. God was teaching Isaac to depend on Him. Yes, he’d seen his father live by it but that didn’t make the lesson any easier for Isaac. I too have seen God’s provision for my parents in miraculous ways, I’ve seen Him provide for me in miraculous ways, but that doesn’t make it a breeze when I’m having to re-dig a well that has been stopped. When I walked away from a career in 2005 that was stable for the land of instability I second guessed that decision multiple times. It was a fertile land, but it was full of despair. So I traded it for a land with few resources, a land where I believed God said go. And after a short span of time, the new well I had dug dried up (A Substance Abuse Prevention Grant) but I struck water again at another location, but strove for it was well and it was soon gone. Again and again I’ve struggled, questioned, prayed and continued to stay where God has placed me. This morning as I grappled with unemployment, a land of little resource, God said stay put and dig. And so I dug for water where I knew it would be in the word of God.

Genesis 26:18-22

And Isaac digged again the wells of water, which they had digged in the days of Abraham his father; for the Philistines had stopped them after the death of Abraham: and he called their names after the names by which his father had called them.  And Isaac’s servants digged in the valley, and found there a well of springing water. And the herdmen of Gerar did strive with Isaac’s herdmen, saying, The water is ours: and he called the name of the well Esek; because they strove with him.  And they digged another well, and strove for that also: and he called the name of it Sitnah.  And he removed from thence, and digged another well; and for that they strove not: and he called the name of it Rehoboth; and he said, For now the Lord hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.

So… this morning I sit at my kitchen table… in my make shift office. Grateful for a husband with a wonderful job, who today is aggravating me with redneck hunting shows while I’m trying to blog and God speaks sweet peace to my soul. He put a giggle there too when my husband came in as I wrote that last sentence and asked if I’d like him to make himself scarce… and then read what I just wrote. We both laughed. God is good and God alone is an awesome provider.

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A Reason to Cleave

Me and my Dad

When my girls were little and we’d go shopping or out into the community I wanted them as close to my side as I could get them. As long as I was able I carried them or had them in a stroller for safeties sake. I was quite the nervous Nellie when it came to their protection. As they grew older it grew more difficult to keep them reigned in to my side and eventually as all good parents do I had to lessen my grip on the reigns and see if my training had stuck. It didn’t always… they had lessons to learn on their own, but many of the lessons did stick because I see them re-teaching them with their own children today.

God, Who’s not a nervous Nellie, still makes it a practice to keep His children close, but much like our own children we have a tendency to stray a little further and further away each day. If every day were like Sunday we’d likely be in great shape; we’d stay on fire and in focus. But then comes Monday, and Tuesday and by Wednesday we’re a pretty good piece from the Lord. However, if we attend Wednesday Night Bible Study that reigns us back in again, but by Saturday our focus is askew once more.

When my Tiffani was about three or four we were in the Mall at JC Penney’s shopping and she decided she would play in the circular clothing wrack. She climbed up into the center of it and was concealed by the clothes. In a minute or two I went into a frantic panic looking for her. She finally popped up out of the center just when I was on the verge of a heart attack. She was playing…I was sick. Although we’re never out of God’s sight we’re away from His protection when we continue to stray further and further into the world. Deuteronomy asks the question this morning “Are you as close as you once were?”

A Reason to Cleave

Deuteronomy 4:4-6

But ye that did cleave unto the Lord your God are alive every one of you this day.

The children of Israel were literally alive because they were close to the Lord. We’re physically alive because of His grace, but we stay spiritually alive when we stay close to Him through His word and service. God is not for Sunday only, but for every day. I love that old hymn

I need Thee, oh, I need Thee;
Every hour I need Thee;
Oh, bless me now, my Savior,
I come to Thee.

That’s how we’re blessed by staying up close the Savior every hour of the day, in constant need of His presence. I’ve played the hiding game with the Lord that Tiffani played with me at the mall. I’ve gotten wrapped up in pretty things and knew in my heart that the Lord was near by waiting for me to pop back up by His side. The problem with that game is the same problem that I had with Tiffani, although she knew where she was, she couldn’t see me, and some creep could have been hovering close by to snatch her out of my life. Makes me nauseous just to think about it. It makes me sick to think about how many times I’ve gotten away from the Lord and from his blessings to cleave to the world for a little bit.

I hope today finds you cleaving, believing and receiving the goodness of God.

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Dear Mr., Miss or Mrs. Weary… read on

wearyI know I’m not alone when I say that I have days when I’m weary. Those times when I look around and feel somewhat like Elijah who though he was the last one left when Jezebel sought to kill him and the Lord had to remind him that he was not alone. I know I’m not alone, I know that there are countless servants of God out there on the battlefield with me, but Satan loves to get you feeling weary so he makes you believe you’re outnumbered.

Two places in the Bible we find the phrase “weary in well doing,” both written by Paul, someone who assuredly had moments that he could have been weary. I found it interesting that both forms of weariness were tied to other people.

Don’t grow weary of the weak

I can handle an unsaved sinner’s bad behavior, but I run the risk of growing weary at a child of God who uses the excuse “Well it’s just how I am” for obnoxious and rude behavior or blatant sins against God. But Paul encourage the believers to take care of one another, encourage those who are serving in the faith, and leave all others to God; because we all reap what we sow, good or bad. So I’m here to encourage you today! March on soldier, we have work to do!

Galatians 6

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

Don’t Grow Weary of the Wicked

Watching the news is enough to make you want to tuck your head under a covers and yell “even so Lord Jesus come!” But couple that with attacks and persecution on the local level and the days are rough. We’re living in a time that our grandparents could never even fathom; a time when men (and women) embrace wickedness and shun the gospel. A time when people defend a religion of hate and hate a religion of defenders, it’s insanity is it not? But Paul said don’t grow weary.

2 Thessalonians 3:13

13 But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.

In reading the text that leads up to verse 13 Paul encourage the believers that he has confidence in them that they’ll continue on even in the face of wicked men that do not have faith. What a supporter Paul was even in the days that he himself needed encouragement to continue. Paul tells them to draw away from “that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.” There’s a time that you need to get away from the naysayers and the blasphemers and those who tear down our God and us.

I hope that today you’ll get your Bible and get alone with the Word of God and let Him speak great peace to your soul.

Perhaps this is your only time today and you chose to spend it with me. I’m honored and humbled. I pray that I encouraged you to keep on keepin’ on and that you’ll encourage me back by a comment or by sharing this blog with your friends.

Weary not my friends… I’m with ya!

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Not a Few!

rockstar mom

Acts 17:4

And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.

Elevated to an uncommon plateau, the women of Acts 17 must have made quite the impression on Luke, the writer of the book of Acts.  Important women in the community now consorting with the Christians and being saved… and not just a few of them! My oh my, what a testimony of the influence that we can have on our communities. If women of that day, who were more often than not viewed as a piece of property, could influence a multitude of people in their city, what can we accomplish if we’d set our minds to it.

It’s been a heavy burden on my heart lately that I don’t speak out as often or as boldly as I should; that I waste more time than I can afford on nonsense when I should be about the Master’s business. There are days I wish I was as brave as those street preachers who sacrifice themselves on the altar of ugly. Because that’s how people treat them when they see them open air preaching… ugly! I know why, because they’re convicting, but that doesn’t make it right in this supposed free country. Everyone wants the freedom speak their mind but Christians are not allowed to have an opinion at all. And not until the anarchy that’s making its way across American in rapid speed takes the rights of non-Christian’s as well, will they understand. But enough of that soapbox.

My point here today is defining your chiefdom. We’re all famous in our own world but what are we doing with that influence. I have no doubt that my children love me, they both verbalize it quite often for  which I’m grateful, but how much do I use that influence to encourage them for Christ? I try not to be a nag about church… I know it will have an adverse effect. After all they’re grown women. But am I vocal enough in a non-judgmental way to let them know that time is running out? Look at our world and the control that the Islamic State has over us by inciting fear. It consumes the television news and the internet cyberspace constantly. So instead of talking about Jesus, we’re talking about them… there’s something wrong with that.

Today we need to talk about Jesus. You’re a chief in your own land… use it wisely today. Commit to talking about Jesus as much as they’re talking about Islam. If we all did that, we’d influence “not a few!”

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7 Things About Getting to Heaven

I love God’s Word. Old Testament or New Testament, it matters not to me because there are such awesome truths lying on the pages just waiting to jump out at you like family at a surprise party! It’s fun when God reveals His plan a gain. It’s the story that never gets old, the one about going to Heaven, the one I long to talk about from the other side. This morning in Isaiah as I read His word there was that wonderful promise again!

Isaiah 55

Its Free

55:1 Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

It is for certain that the Old Testament conceals what the New Testament reveals. Isaiah (whose name means “The Lord Saves”) began his ministry around 740 BC long before Jesus came into the picture. Yet the promise is there in his words about the final sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross. Jesus Christ, God’s only Son was the only payment worthy of our entrance into an eternity. A Holy God could accept nothing but a Holy Sacrifice, so His own sinless Son became the payment for us to enter Heaven. There’s only one catch and it’s pretty simple, accept it. He built you the finest mansion and prepared you a banquet of delicacies unimaginable and ask only that you confess that He paid for it with His life.

It Fulfills

55:2 Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.

Even after salvation, when we find the one thing that satisfies our every longing we still try to buy happiness or expect to find it in someone. Though we need a roof over our head, clothes on our backs and water food in our bellies to survive, all else is optional. Jesus said in Matthew 6:30-34~

Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

It’s Forever

55:3 Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.

Forever is hard for us to imagine when the earth is so temporal, and promises are so easily broken. But not so in Heaven… God’s covenant (promise) is evident in His word, as your read prophecy after prophecy that has been fulfilled. The more you read, the more you understand and look forward to the forever that is filled with the goodness of God.

Follow Jesus

55:4 Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people.

Jesus wasn’t on earth in the Old Testament and He’s not on earth now, but He has always been present in the lives of His people and the plan little by little was disclosed until the revealing of it when Christ came in the form of a man. He walked among them, they witnessed His miracles, they seen His death and were there for the resurrection. Hundreds of people witnessed it and we’re still witnessing His work today in the lives of people who set the example we’re to follow.

I’m Family

55:5 Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the Lord thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee.

The Jewish Nation is and always will be God’s chosen people, but those He knew not as His own (that’s us!) the gentiles, He has accepted into His family. How awesome is that!

I’m Found!

55:6 Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:

I was lost, yet the Bible says that He may be found. I think we’re given opportunity after opportunity to accept God’s Son as our Savior, but this verse is a warning that you can continue to get farther and farther away by rejecting Him until He can’t be found. I’m so glad that in 1996 I accepted His salvation and that His mercy was extended another day.

I’m Forgiven

55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

There’s nothing quite like the squeaky clean feeling you get when the sins of the past are lifted from your shoulders. Every mistake you’ve ever made, every regret… gone! Life’s still not perfect, but knowing that forever my mistakes are covered by the blood of Jesus that He shed on Calvary so that I might have eternal life with Him it a “Wow!” feeling every day. It’s unimaginable what God has in store for His children.

I heard once that “We live far beneath our means.” And while that’s likely true, I think there must be a humility that comes into our minds when we understand just how unworthy we are to be called a child of God. The Creator of all. That’s why verse 55:8 really sums it up.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.

Get a Grip! God’s got this

get a gripIt likely will not be a shocker to anyone who knows me to hear me say that I’m not a sports fan. Sports has its place in life and God Bless those who enjoy it, but for me personally competitive games usually leave a bad taste in my mouth from the over zealous fans who take it a little too seriously. They watch a game like I watch a church service. I’m shouting hallelujah and encouraging God’s man to get in their and give it his all for Jesus. There’s nothing wrong with encouraging the home team, just don’t be ugly about it and mean to the fans on the other team, after all we’re all playing football, right? Yes… there was a hidden agenda in that analogy. But that’s not my point in this blog; no shocker there either!

I was listening to someone talk about watching a game that had already been played and that the score was announced prior to the games airing. It changed his viewpoint of the game; when a guy dropped the ball or fumbled a play, there was no surprise. No fear of what the end result would be. He didn’t scream at the players to do better, he didn’t get upset when things went awry, the game was already over. I have to wonder how life would change if we viewed it from a game over prospective?

Genesis 22

1 And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.

And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.

And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.

Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.

I have to believe that when Abraham “saw the place afar off” that he had that game over prospective. He didn’t know how the game was going to play out, but he knew the score. God, Abraham and Isaac 1, Satan 0.

I have a feeling Satan messed with Abraham’s head all the way up that mountain. I figure Abraham did some serious praying and contemplating about the event to come. He had to have wondered what Sarah’s reaction would be to the story. He was the man of the house, he was the man of God, but I don’t figure Sarah would have been laughing about this message from Heaven as she did the day God told them of the coming birth of their son. Abraham may have even had one of those “What happens on the mountain stays on the mountain” conversations with Isaac. Just as Jehovah-Jireh was on the mountain, having provided a ram, God’s got our sacrifice in the bush too. It’s no coincidence that it was the third day that Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place afar off. Those three days that Christ spent in the grave, having took the keys of Hell from Satan was our game over experience.

What ever it is that Satan has planned to thwart the grand plan of God is a moot point. There may be a few fumbles on the play (on our side of course) but it won’t change the ending score. How awesome is that thought today? I don’t know about how it is for you but it brings great jubilation to my soul to know that no matter how the game looks in play… we win.

Yes I drop the ball, I go the wrong direction I have occasionally been the other team’s best player, but God is my number one fan. He loves me, He created me and He’s got me covered!

Another Lesson in Faith: Reset


Faith. I say I have it, I truly try to live it, but it’s not evident unless it’s tried; and tried it is again and again. I try not to whine for my trying of the faith really is piddly by comparison to so many others I know. My trials of faith are for the most part about provision and my stress level is about a 3. I often wonder if my stress level is so low because I don’t have sense to know how much trouble I’m in. Insert grin here. I know that’s not the case. My God is Jehovah Jireh; my Provider! Its an awesome thing to know God as a personal friend and have that continual abiding presence in your life. I write bold but my heart is humble.

Three things about faith that keeps my stress level down:

1. Faith in God Alone

1 Timothy 1:4-6

Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.

Godly edification comes from reading and studying the Bible, going to church and Christian fellowship. Those are the things that fuel faith in God alone. We were certainly meant to have relationship with people, but its those very relationships that can get our eyes off God’s design and onto the world agenda. There has got to be a stable force in ones life that you can hit the reset button and come back to that place where security lies and that is our relationship with God alone. Where you tune out the world and their agenda and get into the solace of the Savior and stop trying to control your own life. Let Him lead.

2. Faith unfeigned is untainted

Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:

A pure heart in this world is hard to come by.  We’re bombarded with the vulgarity of media that draws our minds in directions God never intended and each time it occurs it draws us further away from God and that security is now a broken trust in people and God because we’ve allowed our minds to view things in good conscience we shouldn’t have. Faith is hard to maintain when our focus is off of God’s design for us which is to serve. By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you love one another, John 13:35. By serving people in the relationships that God has entrusted us with our minds are refocused on Him and our soul revitalized. The world would have you believe that satisfaction comes in serving and appeasing self, when the truth is charity with a pure heart thrives on serving others.

3. Faith Janglers are everywhere, even in the church.

From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling;

The importance of knowing and studying the word of God cannot be stressed enough to me. I need to hear it everyday, else I take the lazy way out and trust men (and women) to fuel my faith. The number of people who call themselves Christians and yet never feel compelled to study the Word and attend church is staggering. And what happens is that the world fills their heads full of “vain jangling” (nonsense) and when trouble comes they don’t even know where the reset button is located. They trust in man’s ideals to get them through.

This is a new day for me, full of the unknown. Today I began unemployment again. It’s a good thing I work for God, His grant funding is called grace and He has an unlimited supply.

Reset! Ahhhh, there You are God…