Don’t Walk Away From the Father’s Table

chick dinner

Although we are far outside the days of Old Testament Law, and we’re now living in the age of grace, there’s still much to learn from the Old Testament Word of God. Grace certainly doesn’t make it irrelevant or null and void, it simply means that rather than working for salvation we now work towards a relationship with Christ.  Salvation comes from the sacrifice of Christ alone. Nothing else. But relationship… that’s where many Christians miss out.

A Levitical law for the children of priests found in Leviticus 22:12 rang out in my heart this morning.

If the priest’s daughter also be married unto a stranger, she may not eat of an offering of the holy things.

Meaning this: If the priest’s daughter married outside of the priesthood she was no longer allowed to eat of the holy things and was cut off from the family of priests. Although this sounds harsh by today’s standards, on this Sunday morning I feel that they’re have been many children of the High Priest (Christ) who have willingly walked away from His table today to link hands with the world and have been cut off  from the holy things of God.

Sunday’s are the best! I long for fellowship with other believers and to hear the Word of God as preached by the man of God. My soul feeds on the all of it and carries me through the coming days. My heart has been broken on numerous occasions as brothers and sisters in Christ have walked away from that same blessing and married themselves to the world, forgetting the cross and the cost for which our Savior made. If they were truly saved it doesn’t change the fact that they are still children of the Most High God, but it stops the blessings received at His table.

No more hor s’oeuvres  The communion with brothers and sisters in Christ, that precious friendship of the saints is no longer enjoyed and thus giving Satan an avenue to implant all kinds of notions into your mind about those friendships that you once treasured.

The Meat of the Word – The Sunday School hour where the Word of God is expounded on in detail and a time that you never outgrow. To say that you no longer need to study the Word of God is to imply that you have learned enough… dangerous, dangerous ground.

The Main Course – 1 Corinthians 1:21 says that For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”  It was the means to our salvation and it is the means to our continued growth in relationship with Jesus Christ. How wonderful it is to sit in a service and listen to the Word of God, that whether there be twenty or two thousand in attendance, the same Word is something different for everyone and exactly what they needed. It never ceases to amaze me!

And then there’s dessert! – That time when the service is coming to a conclusion, you’ve received the meat of the Word, God is working in your heart and then He places the icing on the cake when you feel the stirring of the Holy Spirit as God lays out His best made plans for you today. You step out and kneel at the altar and God meets you there. Oh Glory!!! I love that time.

Has it been a while for you? I hope today finds you in the house of God. If you know what I mean… Praise Him today!!!

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His Wonderful Word!

chick word

Hebrews 4:12

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

The Air I Breathe

It wasn’t long after salvation that I realized the Word of God was as vital to my spiritual growth as air was to breathing.  If I was going to understand God, I needed to read His Word. As I began to read it, something else happened; I realized it was alive! That’s what the word quick means – Alive! The very breath of God breathed into my life and as He did a passage would come off of the page and take root in my heart. Something I had just experienced in real time would be written in historical time on those pages just like my experience. It was amazing… I was hooked!

I later learned that the Living Word of God would become my counselor, friend and confidant. When it seemed the whole world had walked out on me, God never left my side; speaking peace to my soul day in and day out. If I was living in a manner that did not please God, His Word became brought conviction into my heart and the peace would be gone until sin had departed. It was never any wonder to me why Satan has used every method possible to destroy it in futility. He can no more destroy the Word of God as he could destroy God, for they are one in the same.

The Awe I Believe

Powerful! Oh my goodness. Just by speaking His Word deliverance can come. By uttering nothing, God can answer the unspoken cry knowing just what’s needed. I’m in awe at the prayers that I have had answered. From the serious cries in the darkest times of my life, to the silliest prayer of asking for a parking spot close the mall ~ God has answered. God’s not in to formality. A prayer is a conversation between you and the best friend you’ll ever know. Have there been occasions where my prayer was not answered as I had desired, oh yes. But not one time has God’s answer been wrong, but my request on more than one occasion was not as it should have been.

I’ve asked in pure selfishness that God leave people on earth that needed to go be with Him. I’ve asked Him to pull someone from a fire that needed it for purification and the end result would have been disastrous. I’ve also prayed for innocent people to be delivered from ugly circumstances and they were not… and I cried in frustration. But I still believe that when I get to Heaven I’ll stand in awe of why it was so.

The Armament I Brandish

From nothing of my own I have been given the Words of God to share and encourage others.  A task that I’m more than a little uncomfortable with knowing that the weight of my words can serve to discourage as well as encourage if I’m not tuned in to God’s plan. Praise Him that He is the discerner of my own heart and that even when I fall short, He fills in the gaps because I’m a willing vessel. I pray that the words I write are forever His.  And I pray that they bless your soul.

Thank you for the past responses and the use of your words to encourage my soul in return. I’m grateful. I don’t need them to be “puffed up” in pride but they sure come in handy on the days I’m discouraged to feed my soul with your goodness.

I hope this morning finds you blessed!

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There’s a Rumor Goin’ round… and the Lord started it!

CHICK VICTORY

Turn on the news, listen in on any number of conversations or watch the trending topics of the internet and it’s bound to be there…any number of headings meant to incite fear or at the least cause alarm; end time warnings, antichrist theories and terrorist threats. Our minds are pummeled with images of destruction and yet those of us in America are blessed to live on a soil of peace, at least for today. I’m dumfounded by either the ignorance of leadership or their willingness to hand over the keys of freedom to a liberal, ungodly lot who have no conscience of evil. That’s a pretty harsh statement, but I’d argue its truth and win. I’m not saying that everyone in Washington is on board… but if they’re not, where in the world are they?

For quite a while it’s been on my heart to blog on this incitation of fear that my own heart has fell to upon occasion, but the words didn’t come until today.

2 Timothy 1:7 says “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” So how is that we can have a sound mind in this chaotic world? Only through the Word of God because it is the only true peace on earth.

In the book of Obadiah, in it’s one and only chapter we find the continuing saga of two brothers at odds; Jacob and Esau. A story that began in the book of Genesis and continues through to today, with Edom (the descendants of Esau) being viewed as an example of the antichrist and Jacob (Israel) the chosen nation of God. A little piece of ground that God chose as His own and is still desired to be the possession of anyone at odds with God. And at the root of it all – the pride of men.

Obadiah 1:1-4

The vision of Obadiah. Thus saith the Lord God concerning Edom; We have heard a rumour from the Lord, and an ambassador is sent among the heathen, Arise ye, and let us rise up against her in battle. Behold, I have made thee small among the heathen: thou art greatly despised. The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground? Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the Lord.

One thing for certain is if God starts a rumor, it still truth. The antichrist, the “heathen’s ambassador” is for certain in our path. Much speculation has occurred on who it is or will be, but he has yet to be revealed. We are however primed and ready to accept the god of lies because we’re allowing ourselves to be engulfed in this fear that the world would have us fall to. The world is looking for a Savior, Who’s been there all along, yet they desire one with cape and crown that they can see. And Satan will provide it. He’ll provide it by two methods: Fear and Pride.

Fear will come to those who do not know the Word of God. And they outnumber those who do. Pride is the political hierarchy that believe that “they” are the solution.

God says of pride in Proverbs 6:16-17 – These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,

The pride of man says “I am in control,” but the wisdom of God says, “I know Who’s in control.”

It was pride that caused Lucifer to be kicked out of Heaven, caused Eve to want to be as smart as God, caused the tower of Babel to be built which got the nations scattered, caused Herod to kill all those innocent babies trying to exterminate Christ, and will cause the antichrist to demand to be worshipped in the end times. But it is the humility of the Christian faith, that acknowledges the power of almighty God and His sovereignty that will bring peace to the soul in this world of woe.

Obadiah 1:18 – And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble, and they shall kindle in them, and devour them; and there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau; for the Lord hath spoken it.

History has proven God’s word again and again and will continue to do so. Yes we live by faith, not sight. But we also have the historical facts as evidence.

When God said that there would not be any remaining of the house of Esau He meant it. The Edomite extinction began around 300 A.D. when a group of Arabs conquered their capital city Petra and continued through other tenemies until they were completely destroyed by the Romans around 70 A.D. And no one today can tell where an Edomite is located.

The spirit of fear that the world would desire Christians to have shouldn’t be there. If we read and understand the Word of God we can know, regardless of what appears to be going on in the world, God still has FULL CONTROL. And there will come a day that the pride and arrogance of those in the world who desire evil against the nation of Israel and the people of God will be as Esau. None remaining. Amen.

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The Ultimate Storm Shelter

chick shelter

On Tuesday May 27, 2015 I had places to go and people to see… and a flat tire. A fact that I had been alerted to by a light on my dashboard (a symbol I had known from before.) But when I looked at the tires a day ago, they were Rall round, so I “assumed” a tire was just a little low on air and I’d get to it eventually. Eventually came as I prepared to leave for a revival where I would be singing and my husband prepared to leave for a motorcycle ride before the looming storm was to hit. He happened to notice that my tire was no longer round! So being the dutiful husband he is, he frustratingly desired my presence at the Fire hall (Where he is chief) to put air in my tire. After 34 ¾ years he still has yet to figure out that car maintenance is not my forte. Turns out there was a nail in the tire and that was the prelude to things to come. After my hero husband fixed my tire I left for the my own church to pick up a sound system that I had left there, and seconds before arriving at the church heaven opened up! I could barely see to pull onto the church lot, quarter size hail began pummeling my Jeep, winds whipped this way and that, moving my car more than a little. I couldn’t get out of the car or the hail would get me and even though I was parked just a few feet from the door I was helplessly stuck. So I waited out the few minute storm that felt like several. The damage was horrendous all around me. Four trees had been snapped off like twigs on the hill above the church. One toppling across the church van and taking out a transformer. New spring leaves were everywhere! And when I say everywhere I mean they plastered every vehicle and home in the area. You couldn’t tell if you were driving on the highway or a lawn. A few homes in the area were damaged, power was knocked out and several roads shut down by falling trees, but praise God, no injuries. Until my husband got hit in the head and knocked unconscious later in the evening by a large branch while moving debris. Don’t worry, my hard headed husband is fine! I made it to revival and it was quite a night of rejoicing.

If I were building a house, that paragraph would be the front porch. But don’t fret, it’s a small house and I have just a few points  to make on a lesson in the storm. Perhaps you’re having one in your life.

Isaiah 25:4

For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.

Regardless of the storm we need not fret that God has it under control.

Financial trouble? He is strength to the poor. It didn’t say that He would make us rich, but that He is our strength. Being low on funds usually lends itself to being low in spirit. It takes a toll on you emotionally, spiritually and can even affect you physically… unless… you turn it over to God. And though it can still be an up and down struggle, for we are human; the load gets lighter, and if we can master faith it can dissolve completely. Because God owns the universe, and our struggle didn’t come without His approval. It has purpose. Perhaps to draw our eyes to Him.

Distressed? Be it literal or in the spiritual sense the Lord is our strength. He hears your every prayer and knows your ever need. He strengthens our hearts with His own grace if we’ll allow.

In a storm? Storms come in varying degree and much like the one that I sat through they can leave us feeling stranded yet not alone. That storm quickly came and went without warning giving little time for fear. It was more of a contemplation of action. That’s what needs to happen in our life storms. Start looking for God’s plan of action… He’s not going to let you be destroyed.

Feel the heat? The heartaches of life can feel like the sun is bearing down on you inches from your brow. But there’s a shadow you can run to that will cast shade over your life and give you a refreshment like a glass of lemonade on a hot summer day. It’s called the Word of God. It’s being in the presence of God whether reading His word or attending a church service. You need that filling station!

Because the “blast of the terrible ones” can come at any time from any direction we have to be prepared. If you’re going to stand like a wall in the face the adversity that’s coming your way you need to know where your salvation lies.

And that my friend is in the arms of God. He’s the ultimate storm shelter! I pray you know Him… if not, please, please ask me to introduce you!! Comments are always desired and responded to. I’d love to hear from you today.

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Will it be likewise done for us?

chick memorial day

Memorial Day… pre-salvation it was holiday meant for family picnics and outings. The loss of family brought so much sadness to my heart that I chose to push it into the recesses of my mind and vowed I’d deal with it “later.” Later finally came by the way of grace and mercy, but not until. In an unsaved state I could find no goodness in death. But on the other side… oh glory… tears well up in my eyes and my soul threatens to burst from my heart when I think of the death of God’s saints now!

I was invited to sing once again, for probably the 15th year, at a Memorial Day Service at Minnie Hamilton Health System, our local Nursing Home facility. I can see some of you flinching now at the thought of such a heart wrenching service. Open your eyes… it’s fine! It’s a service I look forward to every year, because in no way is it a sad service for me. As they read the names of patients who have passed away over the 17 years of the facility, I looked back on my ministry in that place. I’ve been saved 19 years, and when the facility opened God burdened my heart to be a part of it, and what a blessing it has been! I had been touched by almost every name on that list in some way. By their smile, their encouragement to me as a singer and to praise my work for the glory of Jesus Christ. He is Worthy!

Psalm 145:4-7 says:
One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts. I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works. And men shall speak of the might of thy terrible acts: and I will declare thy greatness. They shall abundantly utter the memory of thy great goodness, and shall sing of thy righteousness.

What a privilege it is to be a part of the Word of God. I am “that” generation. And many of those nursing home residents who have gone on to glory have been that to me, and comedic relief as well!

Not long after I started visiting the nursing home and trying to encourage them, a tiny little lady (a societal sort) bellowed to the aid delivering her lunch, “A peanut butter sandwich, you people charge me $3,000 dollars a month for a peanut butter sandwich!” I still laugh today and can hear the curtness in her voice. In the Nursing Home’s defense there was more on her plate than that, but she was not impressed! I will also enter here that Minnie Hamilton is one of the top 10 Nursing home facilities in the state… it’s a great place. They just didn’t impress Miss Ena that day!

Another resident was a man crippled from birth, named George. No brighter smile was ever seen for the glory of the Lord than this man. He viewed his time there as ministry and wheeled himself bed to bed to make sure every soul was saved. Oh goodness, how can I be sad to have known such a man.

I sat in awe for many years as I watched a husband come daily with a chocolate pudding cup and a Hershey ® bar, and feed it bit by bit to his disabled wife following her lunch. He lovingly stroked her hair, and told Este how much he loved her…

Often times as I’ve ministered in song using a standard hymn, I’d notice a patient who didn’t even know their name or family mouth ever word of that hymn that God had seared into their mind.

I discovered a distant cousin one day on my journey through the halls and she was quite the character! “Po Ol’ thing” she’d say about the other residents. Not realizing she was one too, she assumed she was there for entertainment.

My Magistrate Court lunch break for many years was spent with Miss Hettie and Miss Mabel where it was like a tea party every day to be in their presence. I have good memories…

It’s not all roses and sunshine. There were days that I wept, but they were tears of compassion and when God called them home I rejoiced! And now we memorialize them because God said to remember the work they did for Him. My question for us all is will it be likewise done for us? Have you told someone about Jesus today? Go tell it on the mountain… over the hills and everywhere…

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The Invisible Jesus

chick invisible

Someone becoming aware that I’m “The Jesus Chick” usually brings three typical reactions:

  1. Joy from fellow believers (I love that!)
  2. Rolled eyes from people who believe I’m a fanatic
  3. Changed conversation from those who don’t want to talk about Jesus

I’m okay with all three because it doesn’t change who I am, and it certainly doesn’t change who Jesus is! It also doesn’t change the truth; which is what everyone says they want, and yet they really don’t. In John 8 we find the story of the woman caught in adultery, and the religious sect that wanted to stone her. But when Jesus challenged them with the truth “…and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her,” (vs. 7) We find the world walking out. They knew the truth… we all sin!  We just don’t like to name it.  I always wondered if what Jesus “wrote with His finger on the ground” was their sins. Jesus knew them too. Conviction is a powerful tool of the Lord. That’s why when people hear the truth their reaction is much the same as the typical reactions to me. They love it, ignore it or change the conversation!

What I found interesting in John 8 this morning were verses, like so many others, that I have previously just skimmed over.

John 8:58-59

Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

Convicted by Jesus’ words the religious sect picked up stones to kill Him. But it wasn’t His time. So Jesus hid Himself. Literally vanished from their sight. But an invisible Jesus didn’t change the truth, whether or not they wanted to hear it they were still held captive.

In verse 32 Jesus said, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” On the counter side of that, if you ignore the truth you’re willingly being held captive by a lie.

The Invisible Jesus. He’ll eventually stop revealing the truth to you, and salvation will be further and further away; just where you thought you wanted it. And Jesus will have “passed by.”  The two saddest words ever.

Failing to acknowledge Jesus may make Him invisible, but it doesn’t mean He doesn’t exist. And what you’ve allowed to pass by is what you know you’re looking for and why I love being a Jesus Chick:

  • Peace (regardless of circumstance)
  • Love (when nobody’s around to love on you)
  • Healing (even of a broken heart)
  • Answers (to every question)
  • Solutions (to every problem)
  • Insight (to the mysteries of God)
  • Oh the list is endless…

Do you see Him?   He’s precious… and so  worthy of following.

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How To Deal With An Idiot

chick idiot

Do you ever have those days where you’d like to jerk a knot in someone? I know… that’s not very godly is it? But I’m being honest when I say that I’ve had multiple lately. I will confess that often times it’s entirely me, but other times there are people who I fully believe need a knot jerked in them. I’m not sure where that phrase came from, and although I’m pretty sure it’s just an idiom and you cannot literally jerk a knot in someone, it still leaves room for fantasy and makes me feel better when I imagine I’ve done it. Especially when I’m in the presence of an idiot. I know… I know… another ungodly word but the world is full of them! At least since the 14th century when that word came into existence. And I need wisdom today on how to deal with them, and me. And there in God’s word, at Biblegateway.com was the answer in the verse of the day! God didn’t even make me look for it, He laid it out in pure sight as if to say… “Yes Shari… you need some help.” Perhaps you do too!

James 3:17-18

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

How to deal with an Idiot:

  1. Remember first that in comparison to God, none of us are even close to intelligent! But the wisdom that is from above is first pure. However, the Creator of all the universe saw fit to infuse us with His wisdom through the Holy Spirit, therefore we have access to that pure wisdom from on high, but fail to access it. That is idiocy. We rather trust in our own though process which most usually ends in disaster or at least a lesser blessing than God intended.
  2. Seek Peace and speak Peace. Then peaceable, gentle… When I say idiot, I’m not referring to a person’s mental aptitude, I am more often than not speaking of a person’s moral attitude. In the political climate of today it seems that idiocy was a prerequisite for office and the nation just blindly follows along as if we have no say in the matter. Dear gussy…. I’m an idiot too! It’s frustrating, is it not? But God instructs us to live in peace with all men. Meekly… anger in control. Getting up on a soapbox with contention and hatred toward people won’t fix America. Getting down on your knees in prayer would be a good start. That would be seeking peace. Speaking peace would be to stand on the Word of God boldly, but meekly (gentle).
  3. And easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits. A sure fire way to stop a productive conversation is to assume those who disagree with our opinion have nothing good to say. Sometimes their adverse opinion is there because the Lord’s good Words came out of a foul Christian’s mouth.
  4. Pick Apples. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace. If you sow peace with your words, you’ll reap peace in your soul. If we go to the Word of God, and eat of the fruit that God provides, and take the seeds that God plants in our souls and replant them in the world… how awesome will our harvest be!

It really is so very simple, that even the simple minded can understand it. Christ is the answer.

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Are they glad you’re gone… or did you leave them longing…

chick longing

Good night a mighty! I’ve seen so many Christians tear down the body of Christ with their words and actions that there’s nothing left but the knee caps! Praise God… at least they can still pray. This is where my mind was when I awoke this morning in frustration. Coffee did make it a little better, but didn’t make the thought go away. Just so you know up front… I’m a Christ lovin’, Church goin’, Hymn singin’, Bluegrass pickin’, Blood Bought child of God, Saved by Grace through Faith alone, and not one bit concerned about what denomination you are so long as you have those last two in your statement of who you are as well. I’m not here to argue, I’m here to edify and encourage the body of Christ. When you leave my presence I want to have added something to your life, not taken away.

Ephesians 4:11-12 says:

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

To edify is to educate, illuminate, inspire, and nurture. Nowhere in its definition, nor biblical intention does it tell you to make someone feel like a dirt dog because they don’t believe as you do. That attitude will only serve to drive them away, which may not be a bad idea…Am I on a soapbox today? Oh possibly. Will the person who needs to read this see this post… probably not? My point of this ramble this morning is to encourage you to share Christ’s love and encourage someone today with your presence.

God said He sent us into the world with those job descriptions with a three fold purpose:

1 – Perfecting the Saints

We’ll never be perfect in these fleshly forms, but we are perfect in Christ Who is perfect. To perfect the saints is to bring them out of being babes in Christ to adulthood, ready for service on their own. It’s where I feel most churches are failing miserably and that’s in discipling young Christians , training them how to serve God and being an encouragement in their lives. So when they meet a negative Nellie of the faith that tries to suck the life out of them by pointing out their faults and failures, they’ll be spiritually prepared.

2 – Work of the Ministry

It is a labor of love, but it most assuredly labor! Working in the ministry is a 24/7 job whether or not you are full time ministry or a Sunday go to meetin’ kind of Saint. Somewhere within that Ephesian 4 description is your job title; now it’s between you and God which one it is.  But for certain it’s our job to tell someone about Jesus!!!!

3 – Edifying the Body of Christ

Back to my soapbox… who have you encouraged today? When you leave their presence are they longing for more… or glad you’re gone. I hope that I left you longing…

Is Your Light Still Shining?

CHICK LIGHT

On my heart again this morning was the scripture from yesterday’s blog in Judges, Chapter 9; so off I went in pursuit of more information on that matter… which lead me to other places…people… things. All of which brought me back to Judges 9 and the pursuit of God’s will for our lives and leadership.

The character of Abimelech (which evoked Jotham to share the parable of the trees) is one of seventy sons belonging to Gideon. Yes… the same Gideon who we love to tell the story of from Judges 6-8 and his victory over the Midianites. But the story of what happens in Gideon’s life after the great victory is not one for the wall of fame… at the end of Gideon’s life the people tried to make him King (which he refused, because God alone is King) Thumbs up for Gideon. But he did allow the people to put up an idol for himself, which the Israelites worshiped. Committed fornication with the bible says, meaning they had an affair on God with Gideon’s image… Thumbs down!

How do we get so far?

Judges 8:23-27

And Gideon said unto them, I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you: the Lord shall rule over you. And Gideon said unto them, I would desire a request of you, that ye would give me every man the earrings of his prey. (For they had golden earrings, because they were Ishmaelites.) And they answered, We will willingly give them. And they spread a garment, and did cast therein every man the earrings of his prey.  And the weight of the golden earrings that he requested was a thousand and seven hundred shekels of gold; beside ornaments, and collars, and purple raiment that was on the kings of Midian, and beside the chains that were about their camels’ necks.  And Gideon made an ephod thereof, and put it in his city, even in Ophrah: and all Israel went thither a whoring after it: which thing became a snare unto Gideon, and to his house.

Gideon didn’t have those 70 children with one gal… which means he likely had many wives and concubines and his sites were not centered on God. So much so that by Judges 9, we find his son Abimelech conspiring with the people of Shechem to capture and kill his brothers so that Abimelech could become King. The failure of one generation in leadership can create deterioration of the next generation’s morals to the point of destruction. I believe we’re living in those days.

Gone are the days when children have the numerous godly role models that we were blessed to be brought up with; people who knew and took serious their station in life. And it’s a proven fact that if one generation accepts something as “the norm”, the next generation embraces it and also promotes it. But this can also be said of good role models as well; although it’s harder to overcome the negative effects of the world.

So this is where I see myself captivated by the tree parable. I have a station in life, given by God, to be a role model and an encouragement to women and children. If I leave that role… going after the world… those that I was intended to influence for good will now have the power of evil to influence them in my stead. Because where light is absent, darkness takes hold.

Where did God call you to be? Is your light still shining?

Should I go, or should I stay… a leadership lesson from Jotham

chick plan

I’ve all but stopped listening to the news… it merely leads to frustration. And my ever so up to date husband gives me regular updates on his frustrations. I really am not one to say that’s it’s my way or the highway on who’s elected to office. I fully believe that no one gets in without God’s stamp of approval. That being said, just because God let them into office doesn’t mean that He allowed it because He agreed. Sometimes we get what we ask for because God needs to prove a point. I think we’re living out the “point.”

I spoke over the weekend at a Women’s retreat in Lexington on women in leadership. A great study on Miriam and a joy to expound what God had spoken to my heart over the weeks of preparation for that event. One such quote that I used from an article on Bible.org was profound…

Miriam’s problem is one that I think is very easy for women to fall into, and it’s one we have to be alert to guard against. We must be content with the influential role that God has given us within the framework he has instituted. Do you hear that? That’s really important! When we make a play for power we can often lose influence.

So what happens when we put people into positions that they were never mean for? When I’ve been put into those positions it usually lead to disaster! As I read through Judges 9 this morning I found a follow up thought to my leadership study.

Judges 9:7-15

And when they told it to Jotham, he went and stood in the top of mount Gerizim, and lifted up his voice, and cried, and said unto them, Hearken unto me, ye men of Shechem, that God may hearken unto you. The trees went forth on a time to anoint a king over them; and they said unto the olive tree, Reign thou over us. But the olive tree said unto them, Should I leave my fatness, wherewith by me they honour God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees? And the trees said to the fig tree, Come thou, and reign over us. But the fig tree said unto them, Should I forsake my sweetness, and my good fruit, and go to be promoted over the trees? Then said the trees unto the vine, Come thou, and reign over us. And the vine said unto them, Should I leave my wine, which cheereth God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees? Then said all the trees unto the bramble, Come thou, and reign over us.  And the bramble said unto the trees, If in truth ye anoint me king over you, then come and put your trust in my shadow: and if not, let fire come out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of Lebanon.

The Olive Tree – Filled with the oil that would be used in the lamp of God, in the tabernacle, sacrifices and the anointing of the kings, priests and prophets. Why would the olive tree dessert such a useful station in life to be king of the trees. That is not the purpose for which God designed it. And why should a man or woman leave the station in life that God has designed for them, the one that brings great joy into their life, to serve elsewhere? I had to ask myself that this morning… my heart was quick to answer.

The Fig Tree – A bearer of sweet fruit that would nourish the souls of many that passed by. Why would the fig tree desire to be King and leave hungry souls in want? I know I just spoke to my heart… did I speak to yours? Have you wondered if you are in your intended place?

The Vine – Another emblem of a good and purposeful plant. The fruit of that vine cheered not only men but God! If it did not fulfil its intended design, God would be sad. I truly don’t want that laid to my charge.

I cannot control when men and women of power get put into those positions out of the will of God. I can only pray and vote with godly wisdom and discernment. And pray again…. And again… and again. We need God’s people back at the helm of this nation. But as for my role in life. I need to be what God designed me to be.

Shari… speaker…. Singer… lover of God… Sharer of the gospel.