4 reason we don’t have joy

Why is it that absolute joy always seems to be just out of reach? There is often in my life temporal joy, but the pure, unencumbered joy is always looming in the distance. I can see it… but I never quite reach it.

As I continued my reading in the book of 2nd Kings this morning I happened upon the history of King Jehu and perhaps the answer to that question.

2 Kings 10

28 Thus Jehu destroyed Baal out of Israel. 29 Howbeit from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, Jehu departed not from after them, to wit, the golden calves that were in Bethel, and that were in Dan. 30 And the Lord said unto Jehu, Because thou hast done well in executing that which is right in mine eyes, and hast done unto the house of Ahab according to all that was in mine heart, thy children of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel. 31 But Jehu took no heed to walk in the law of the Lord God of Israel with all his heart: for he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam, which made Israel to sin. 32 In those days the Lord began to cut Israel short: and Hazael smote them in all the coasts of Israel;

Israel came up short. They missed out on the full blessing of God because Jehu, although he got rid of Baal worship, continued on with some prettier sins.

It’s the little things in life that prevent the big joy. The things on the lower shelves of life that are readily available and a distraction from our walk with Christ, but we never remove them. I’ll start with the easiest thing to prevent us from having pure joy:

The Law

The Jews created 613 laws out of the 10 commandments. It was proven in the first generation of God’s people that we couldn’t keep one rule, (not to eat of the tree of life) and to add 612 more to the equation gave many more reasons to feel like a failure. So the wonderful Savior we have devised a plan to replace the law with grace. But we (or I) keep law on the shelf as a reminder that I’m a failure. I discard grace pretty often by reminding myself of past failures, as if the blood of Jesus Christ wasn’t enough. That thought just made my stomach roll over.

The Attitude

“Life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you handle it!”

What a great truth. I don’t’ know who said it but they were spot on. How is that Paul said from prison in Philippians 1:4 “Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy.” He could pray for those who were “living the life” with joy, even though he was in the worst of circumstances and he could do so because he had the right attitude. Much of my joyless days are created by the attitude that began them with.

The Appetite

Oh… I could preach to myself on this one.  Both spiritually and physically. Many, many, many of my issues arise because of my appetite. Those things that I desire that are not necessarily wrong, but are wrong for me. That delightfully pink cupcake on my counter is oh so tasty, but the waistline it creates is less than lovely, and yet I let my appetite rule. Let me put this one on for size… rather than reading the word of God when I get up in the morning, I press the home button on my iPhone to read the gospel according to social media, and then wonder why I’m not feeling all spiritual inside. It’s because I just digested somebody else’s heartache, anger, disgust, or perhaps it was a cute puppy pic, but it still took my mind away from the pure joy of the word of God.

The Belief

You’ll note that lie is italicized in the center. I more often than not believe the lie of Satan that joy is unobtainable. I’ll never be good enough. (the law) I’ll never be in the 10%, (the attitude), I need what I see (the appetite) I’m an what Satan says I am (the belief)

Although I went from the bottom shelf up, our problem in life is from the top down. BAAL. Jehu got rid of the big sin, but he kept the little sins in his life. And caused Israel to fall short. Wow, is there some truth in that for my life. What about you?


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A Great Word for the Day!

Persistence

If I’m anything, I’m persistent. But that still doesn’t stop the interference of Satan or the flesh of Shari that often arises in the form of discouragement or aggravation. I’m persistent… not patient. And there’s always plenty of avenues to take to another direction, re-plan the plan, so to speak; and plenty of people to tell you that perhaps that wasn’t God’s plan for you after all. So how do you know that you know? The same way everyone who’s been anyone has known for thousands of years, Stop, drop and listen, that’s how I roll! It was how Elijah and Elisha rolled as well in 1st and 2nd Kings.

Now… I’m not in the league of either. But I serve the same God. Elijah stopped the rain, and then started the rain in 1 Kings 17 and 18.

1 Kings 17:1

And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the Lord God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.

1 Kings 18:41-44

41And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain.42 So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees, 43 And said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up, and looked, and said, There is nothing. And he said, Go again seven times. 44 And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man’s hand. And he said, Go up, say unto Ahab, Prepare thy chariot, and get thee down that the rain stop thee not.

Seven times Elijah sent his servant up to look toward the sea. Six times there was nothing, and the seventh time there but a little cloud the size of a man’s hand. But Elijah wasn’t concerned with the size of the cloud, because he knew from his perspective something that looked small was anything but from God’s perspective it was an abundance. Elijah believed that before the first drop appeared because he’d heard it from God (vs. 41).

The things that God spoke into my heart in 2010… (7 years ago) have yet to come to pass. But God continues to say serve. He continues to say serve where I am. It ain’t easy. But He never promised that it would be. I’m waiting for the mantle to fall.

So was Elisha the successor to Elijah. He too believed in his calling. When he received word that Elijah’s job was about to be open he never left Elijah’s side, even though Elijah said stay.

Elijah said I’m going to Bethel, you stay here. Elisha went to Bethel.

Elijah told Elisha to tarry there, he was going to Jericho. Elisha went to Jericho.

Elijah told him to tarry there, he was going to Jordan. Elisha went to Jordan.

Elisha was persistent. He persisted until the mantle of Elijah rested on his shoulders and he received a double portion of his spirit.

Elijah’s seven time miracle of the rain, was followed by Elisha having two seven time miracles.

When the child died who he had blessed the Shunemite family with, Elisha in faith brought the child back and seven times the child sneezed when he was revived. And when Naaman was afflicted with leprosy, Elisha instructed him to dip in the Jordan seven times and be healed and so he was. Elisha proved the double portion blessing of Elijah more than once, but he wouldn’t have proven it once if he hadn’t have persisted when Elijah said stay.

And so it was my word this morning as I arose at the crack of dawn and God said read… and then said write… and then said… persist. And so it now is our word. Yours and mine. Because I don’t believe for a second this message is only mine, else God would have stopped with read…


If the Lord impresses up on your heart to support this ministry it would be much appreciated!

 

How to be on Team Jesus’ field

Nothing gets my dander up like an injustice to God’s people… especially if they’re my people. This is a thought that weighs heavy on my mind for more than a few reasons. You don’t have to look very far to find injustice in the world, and probably one of the craziest (in my opinion) is that of little league sports. It’s what prompted this blog, but this in actuality has very little to do with Little League ball. Mainly because little league ball “seldom” has anything to do with the state of one’s eternal destination. Although it could with the right coach! That being said, the coach that has my knickers in a knot isn’t really concerned with eternity, unless of course he thinks that God has a special place for league winners. Pretty sure He doesn’t, just saying.

But I’ve seen more than my fair share of little league coaches who act like the world is coming to an end because a 4th grade boy, who was afraid of being nailed by the ball of an inexperienced pitcher, wouldn’t “step in and take one for the team.” Or a dozen other scenarios that he was sure ruined his chances as a major league coach. Coaches who don’t understand why a child with ADHD can’t sit still on the bench after his meds have worn off from having to sit still in his classes for 7 hours of the day. Oh… yes… I’m that grandparent, or Noni as the case may be.

But I’m also that Christian. I could just as well liken the little league attitude to that of the church. Where many don’t understand the people any more than a little league, major league wanna-be coach. As I travel I’m afforded the opportunity to meet many wonderful church workers. At almost every location I see heartache and frustration from the top down. I see preachers who want with all their heart to serve God without the encumbrance of church politics but cannot. I see Sunday School teachers who want their students to understand how exciting it is to know God, but are worn out bfrom having to collect and provide their own materials because the church doesn’t see their program as being worthy of a few extra dollars. I see parishioners struggling with broken lives and no one knows. Not because the evidence of these issues weren’t there, but because nobody slowed down long enough to see it or because they were missing two essential characteristics of a successful leader. Spiritual eyes and ears.

Leadership is more than a title. It’s a role. And it’s more than acting. It’s real.

So what will God say to the leaders when we stand before Him? Will He say or ask:

  • Why didn’t you save more money for the church treasury and spend less on your departments? You didn’t know that Jesus wouldn’t wait another 20 years to come back.
  • Why didn’t you tell that Sunday School teacher to suck it up use the same materials as last quarter?
  • Why didn’t you remind that preacher who it is that pays his salary before the topic of your sin came up?
  • Why didn’t you remind that widow about the woman with two mites before she complains that she doesn’t have grocery money for her visiting children?
  • Why didn’t you tell that leader that’s hitting the altar every week to watch the clock a little closer or better still, just don’t go because it makes others feel guilty?
  • Even better, why didn’t you stop having altar calls so everyone can get home in time for lunch?
  • Why didn’t you tell the people in your church to stop stressing you out with their problems?
  • Better yet, why didn’t you insist that everyone wear smiles, and no one can be sad?
  • Why did you get the congregation so excited, someone could have had a heart attack?!

All of those are as ridiculous as expecting little league players to be major league stars.  And yet they’re real life stories.

In the book of Acts, where the acts of the church of that day are written, I see that they didn’t understand Paul either. So I guess the aforementioned attitudes shouldn’t surprise me.

Acts:14:9-11 ~ The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed, Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked. And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, the gods are come down to us in the likeness of men.

A few things that caught my attention in those few verses:

  • Paul was loud
  • Someone was moved
  • They were giving the credit of the power of God, to the gods that the people worshiped during that day.

So what should have happened? Do you think when Paul made it to Heaven, after having his head cut off for Jesus, that God said to him, “Paul, why were you so loud? You upset people.”

I know… that’s taking it out of context a little. The people weren’t as much upset as they were confused. But I don’t think God is going to call me on the carpet for reminding the church that we need to be careful about making our services about us. Paul was obedient  and observant of the needs of one man, and not long about straightening the people out on who was responsible.

We serve a risen Savior, who died so that we might serve men and show them the love of Christ. Sometimes, we’re not even on the same field when it comes to understanding our teammates.

  • Serve boldly (yet humbly)
  • Show mercy always (look and listen)
  • Send missionaries with money (provide what’s needed for every mission)

____________________________________***_____________________________________

meet shari

I’ll not complain when the power and blessings of the Holy Spirit bring unexplainable and unspeakable joys in my life for my service through the studying of His Word and the sharing of the Gospel. That is a gift of unmeasurable worth! But through the coercing of others in the ministry, who see my work as worthy, and the coercing of the Holy Spirit Who says “Through His blood I am worthy,” I have added a ministry donation button to this site. If you do not have, or do not feel inclined to give, then please don’t feel obligated. But if I have encouraged you and the Spirit speaks, your gift of any amount would be appreciated and honored by God.

I do what I do because I’m gifted and afforded the opportunity by grace and feel that I am accountable for the ministry that God has given. God has been enlarging my territory. For that I am grateful. But for that, there are expenses. Thank you for reading my blog. It encourages my soul, I pray I’ve encouraged yours!

To Contribute to this ministry follow the Paypal Link!

http://thejesuschick.com/pray-and-consider-supporting-this-chick/

How to be on Team Jesus’ Field

Nothing gets my dander up like an injustice to God’s people… especially if they’re my people. This is a thought that weighs heavy on my mind for more than a few reasons. You don’t have to look very far to find injustice in the world, and probably one of the craziest (in my opinion) is that of little league sports. It’s what prompted this blog, but this in actuality has very little to do with Little League ball. Mainly because little league ball “seldom” has anything to do with the state of one’s eternal destination. Although it could with the right coach! That being said, the coach that has my knickers in a knot isn’t really concerned with eternity, unless of course he thinks that God has a special place for league winners. Pretty sure He doesn’t, just saying.

But I’ve seen more than my fair share of little league coaches who act like the world is coming to an end because a 4th grade boy, who was afraid of being nailed by the ball of an inexperienced pitcher, wouldn’t “step in and take one for the team.” Or a dozen other scenarios that he was sure ruined his chances as a major league coach. Coaches who don’t understand why a child with ADHD can’t sit still on the bench after his meds have worn off from having to sit still in his classes for 7 hours of the day. Oh… yes… I’m that grandparent, or Noni as the case may be.

But I’m also that Christian. I could just as well liken the little league attitude to that of the church. Where many don’t understand the people any more than a little league, major league wanna-be coach. As I travel I’m afforded the opportunity to meet many wonderful church workers. At almost every location I see heartache and frustration from the top down. I see preachers who want with all their heart to serve God without the encumbrance of church politics but cannot. I see Sunday School teachers who want their students to understand how exciting it is to know God, but are worn out bfrom having to collect and provide their own materials because the church doesn’t see their program as being worthy of a few extra dollars. I see parishioners struggling with broken lives and no one knows. Not because the evidence of these issues weren’t there, but because nobody slowed down long enough to see it or because they were missing two essential characteristics of a successful leader. Spiritual eyes and ears.

Leadership is more than a title. It’s a role. And it’s more than acting. It’s real.

So what will God say to the leaders when we stand before Him? Will He say or ask:

  • Why didn’t you save more money for the church treasury and spend less on your departments? You didn’t know that Jesus wouldn’t wait another 20 years to come back.
  • Why didn’t you tell that Sunday School teacher to suck it up use the same materials as last quarter?
  • Why didn’t you remind that preacher who it is that pays his salary before the topic of your sin came up?
  • Why didn’t you remind that widow about the woman with two mites before she complains that she doesn’t have grocery money for her visiting children?
  • Why didn’t you tell that leader that’s hitting the altar every week to watch the clock a little closer or better still, just don’t go because it makes others feel guilty?
  • Even better, why didn’t you stop having altar calls so everyone can get home in time for lunch?
  • Why didn’t you tell the people in your church to stop stressing you out with their problems?
  • Better yet, why didn’t you insist that everyone wear smiles, and no one can be sad?
  • Why did you get the congregation so excited, someone could have had a heart attack?!

All of those are as ridiculous as expecting little league players to be major league stars.  And yet they’re real life stories.

In the book of Acts, where the acts of the church of that day are written, I see that they didn’t understand Paul either. So I guess the aforementioned attitudes shouldn’t surprise me.

Acts:14:9-11 ~ The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed, Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked. And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, the gods are come down to us in the likeness of men.

A few things that caught my attention in those few verses:

  • Paul was loud
  • Someone was moved
  • They were giving the credit of the power of God, to the gods that the people worshiped during that day.

So what should have happened? Do you think when Paul made it to Heaven, after having his head cut off for Jesus, that God said to him, “Paul, why were you so loud? You upset people.”

I know… that’s taking it out of context a little. The people weren’t as much upset as they were confused. But I don’t think God is going to call me on the carpet for reminding the church that we need to be careful about making our services about us. Paul was obedient  and observant of the needs of one man, and not long about straightening the people out on who was responsible.

We serve a risen Savior, who died so that we might serve men and show them the love of Christ. Sometimes, we’re not even on the same field when it comes to understanding our teammates.

  • Serve boldly (yet humbly)
  • Show mercy always (look and listen)
  • Send missionaries with money (provide what’s needed for every mission)

If you’d like to support this missionary… please follow the link below!

There’s a New Way of Doing Business

 

From the book of Isaiah 43:5-19

I heard a sermon preached from this text a few days ago, and I’ve been chewing on this scripture like a piece of Willy Wonka’s bubble gum that never loses its flavor. Again and again I’ve tasted that word in my mouth; and today I finally sat down to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and write what’s on my heart, and to determine what God has for me through this word. Perhaps He has something for you too. If you’ve ever experienced great fear, either from the known or the unknown, reading the words from Isaiah 43:5 will lead you to say, “Yes, but…” followed by why you fear in spite of it. I’ve been in a, “you couldn’t possibly understand why,” mode. Satan had all but convinced me that I am alone, leading to a series of songs that I’ve written (which are a blessing) but it’s also hard on the heart to let those words spring forth from my soul. I’ll post one below so that you might get a glimpse of that work. But first the Word.

I am Called By His Name

Isaiah said in verses 5-8

Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him. Bring forth the blind people that have eyes, and the deaf that have ears.

Isaiah is specifically speaking to the Israelites. But being engrafted into the family of God through the blood of Jesus Christ, means that he speaks to me as well. I am a daughter of the Most High King. I am called by His name when it is said of me that I am a Christian. Those facts I believe, as well as the fact that I have been created for His glory. Yet I am often still blind and deaf as to what exactly God is doing in my life much of the time. I fear…a lot. It feels as if God is having to drag me forward into a place that I know not what. I’m not fighting Him, I’m simply dead weight. Paralyzed. I am called. And sometimes I am called chicken.

I Am Confirmed by His Work

Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled: who among them can declare this, and shew us former things? let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified: or let them hear, and say, It is truth. 10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.11 I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no saviour. 12 I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, that I am God.

God for certain bears witness in my life. He has done some amazing things! Much like the children of Israel I have been brought though the sea on dry ground. He has rescued me from myself so many times. Until now. And now I am in need of rescuing, I’ve been waiting for the waters to part and there hasn’t even been so much as a drop that has fled from before me. I feel as though I am drowning. Again and again I bear witness to myself of God’s deliverance. I bear witness of His confirmation of my purpose in life for which He has not only given me the passion for the purpose but the ability as well.  But not in a way that sustains my life which leaves me drowning and opens a door for Satan to ask “if you are called and confirmed, why are you not cared for?”

I Am Created By His Ways

13 Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it? 14 Thus saith the Lord, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; For your sake I have sent to Babylon, and have brought down all their nobles, and the Chaldeans, whose cry is in the ships.15 I am the Lord, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your King.16 Thus saith the Lord, which maketh a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters; 17 Which bringeth forth the chariot and horse, the army and the power; they shall lie down together, they shall not rise: they are extinct, they are quenched as tow. 18 Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

When I identified myself in Christ, I became a new creation. Yet the old Shari resurfaces on a pretty regular basis. I often find myself thinking to have “figured God out.” Ha! That’s hysterical when I write those words out. How could I possibly think that I have figured God out? What I mean is, I believe to have figured out God’s ways. And yet I know that the scripture is clear when it says His ways are not my ways. I think that Israel may have thought they too had God figured out. They looked for Him to snap them out of their bondage in the same manner that He had brought them out of Egypt. The water that they were sure would be their demise, He parted. He got rid of the issue of water. But now water is not the issue. The barren wilderness is their issue. But the children of Israel are stuck remembering the parting of the sea. And while it’s good to recall how God brings us out, it’s not to say He’s going to bring us out the same way. God doesn’t change, but His methods certainly do. He told them He’d be doing a “new thing.”

I’ve been waiting for God to deliver me in the same manner as before, He has not. There’s a new manner of business. And clearly I need my eyes open and my ears ready to hear what the Lord says.  I covet your prayers if you’re so inclined. I know my purpose. But I need to understand the provision.

So What Shall the Two of Us Do?

Lamentations 3:26

It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.

Waiting is hard enough. Waiting quietly is out of my wheelhouse completely. I want the Lord to come quickly and fix my heartache and sorrow, and yet He has not. Perhaps you are there as well. So what shall the two of us do?

In times like these I have but three strategies of dealing with life.

Strategy 1: PANIC!

I do that quietly as well. Inwardly my heart will be in turmoil, but outwardly I will appear as to have life under control. Those who know me, know better; but those who don’t can be fooled by my smile and boisterous personality that is a great disguise for a woeful heart. It also prevents anyone from asking the dreaded question “What’s wrong.” I will not tell you it’s healthy. It is quite the opposite. But if I’m honest, it’s who I am.

Strategy 2: PRETEND…

This is where being born with a creative mind comes in handy, though still not healthy. I can imagine a thousand ways to be happy. I can write and sing myself into a stupor of happy productivity, all the while, lurking in the distance is strategy one looming, waiting to take back over. And then alas, when I have panicked and pretended myself into a state of depression that would kill a horse, I finally resort to the last

Strategy 3: PRAGMATISM

The act of rationality. The reality that I cannot do this alone. And so I turn to the Word of God which is a tangible piece of the Lord that I can hold in my hand and it brings great comfort to my heart. Those pages that are filled with His words, His advice, His compassion and mercy, which is what I need when I’m panicking and pretending my way through life. I need to feel His touch. To know that I am loved.

So late into the night I began reading Lamentations. Ha! Not the cheeriest book to read in the dead of night. Until you come to Chapter 3 and the following words allowed me to close my eyes in peace knowing that I could rest in hope.

19 Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall. 20 My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled in me.21 This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.22 It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. 24 The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. 25 The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. 26 It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.

I hope that all is well and wonderful in your life. But if not… you too have strategy 3. Although I highly recommend you make it number 1. And forgo the other 2 completely.

In His love and for His glory I earnestly pray for the peace of God for us all.


I’ll not complain when the power and blessings of the Holy Spirit bring unexplainable and unspeakable joys in my life for my service through the studying of His Word and the sharing of the Gospel. That is a gift of unmeasurable worth! But through the coercing of others in the ministry, who see my work as worthy, and the coercing of the Holy Spirit Who says “Through His blood I am worthy,” I have added a ministry donation button to this site. If you do not have, or do not feel inclined to give, then please don’t feel obligated. But if I have encouraged you and the Spirit speaks, your gift of any amount would be appreciated and honored by God.

I do what I do because I’m gifted and afforded the opportunity by grace and feel that I am accountable for the ministry that God has given. God has been enlarging my territory. For that I am grateful. But for that, there are expenses. Thank you for reading my blog. It encourages my soul, I pray I’ve encouraged yours!

To Contribute to this ministry follow this Link!

A Cry Worthy Cause

Being on the inside of a situation doesn’t always give us the best vantage point for viewing a situation. I realized this again this past Sunday as I studied through Esther, Chapter 4 for my teen Sunday School class. When it came to the attack on the Jewish people devised by Haman, the King’s right hand man; Mordecai, who was on the outside, knew more than Esther, who was on the inside as the King’s wife. Esther was no doubt busy doing what Queen’s do. Mordecai was out with the people. My thought was this, “In order to understand the heart of God’s people, you have to spend time with them, and really listen…” In ministering to God’s people, or in the day to day of life, it’s very easy to look on the situation and speak from a personal perspective rather than from the person’s perspective to whom we’re speaking too.

How is it that we can best serve those in our church and in our lives?

The Town Crier and the Town Critics

Ester 4:1 ~ When Mordecai perceived all that was done, Mordecai rent his clothes, and put on sackcloth with ashes, and went out into the midst of the city, and cried with a loud and a bitter cry;

Mordecai went very public with his outcry. There is a time to be silent, but there is definitely a time to cry aloud. And as church leaders we should be looking for the lead town crier. That’s usually not the one crying the loudest. Most churches have the person or persons that finds it their personal responsibility to point out every flaw in every service, those would be the “Town Critics.” But there will always be a few who, if they cry, it is a cry worthy one. For those on the inside of ministry it’s very easy to make it personal. We put so much time and effort into an event and then to have someone tear it apart because it wasn’t to their liking is heartbreaking. I have worn that tee shirt many times. I’ve also deserved it a few. Because I wasn’t listening.

Mordecai mourned because he was anticipating the death of his people if action wasn’t taken. His was in the very literal sense of the world. Haman wanted to annihilate the Jewish people. He hated them. But for those of us who serve the Lord, we love our people! Even those who don’t necessarily like us. So we must position ourselves to hear their cry.

The Town Calmer

Esther 4:4 ~ So Esther’s maids and her chamberlains came and told it her. Then was the queen exceedingly grieved; and she sent raiment to clothe Mordecai, and to take away his sackcloth from him: but he received it not.

Esther tried to soothe Mordecai’s fears by covering him with new raiment but he refused. Covering up his body wouldn’t remove the vexation from his spirit. He needed Esther to act, not cover. Words are wonderful! I love the spoken and the written word, but it they’re not attached to an action by the deliverer and receiver, they’re of very little purpose. We must act on what we hear and what we hear should bring a call to action.

The Total Conviction

Mordecai finally got through to Esther on the seriousness of the threat against God’s people. Esther genuinely listened, but not until Mordecai had given her a copy of the decree of death for the Jews, and not without words of his own that convicted her too.

Esther 4:13-17 ~ Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king’s house, more than all the Jews. For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this? Then Esther bade them return Mordecai this answer, Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish. So Mordecai went his way, and did according to all that Esther had commanded him.

Esther knew what she had to do. She had to speak to the King on behalf of her people, even if it meant she die. Well, that’s a little more dramatic than most of the situations in our life. But I gleaned a valuable lesson as a leader and as one who’s being lead. We must take care of those we’ve been called to minister too and for. Our messages should be messages that are for “such a time as this.” They should convict and call every listener to action. Mordecai wasn’t complaining to call attention to himself, he was calling people to action for his cause. He didn’t want his people to perish… nor do I.

My words… anyone’s words who share the gospel should be what the people need. And when they’re delivered there should be a conviction and a call to action.

If Esther hadn’t accepted her call to action, God’s people would have perished. I fear that’s what’s happening in the churches. We need messages that convict. Our cause is cry worthy!


I’ll not complain when the power and blessings of the Holy Spirit bring unexplainable and unspeakable joys in my life for my service through the studying of His Word and the sharing of the Gospel. That is a gift of unmeasurable worth! But through the coercing of others in the ministry, who see my work as worthy, and the coercing of the Holy Spirit Who says “Through His blood I am worthy,” I have added a ministry donation button to this site. If you do not have, or do not feel inclined to give, then please don’t feel obligated. But if I have encouraged you and the Spirit speaks, your gift of any amount would be appreciated and honored by God.

I do what I do because I’m gifted and afforded the opportunity by grace and feel that I am accountable for the ministry that God has given. God has been enlarging my territory. For that I am grateful. But for that, there are expenses. Thank you for reading my blog. It encourages my soul, I pray I’ve encouraged yours!

To Contribute to this ministry follow the Paypal Link!

Lame Sacrifices and Wet Wood on the Altar

I fear… I wrote those words with the intentions of writing what I feared to follow. But I just had to stop there and ask myself, “Do you really fear? Do you have that godly reverence in your soul that was there 20 years ago when you were first saved and realized what God had saved you from? Do you remember those trips to the altar when you were sobbing because the Spirit of the Lord was upon you so heavy? Then you had fear… now you have guilt.” That was a conversation in my head at 3:30 this morning.

David had just gotten called out on a traffic accident and the continuous squawking of the radio kept me awake. I scrolled through Facebook, watched a few videos, enjoyed the warmth of the covers, and then finally my mind returned to the original thought. “Why is the altar empty?”

For my friend Gloria and me, many of our miles lately have been traveled with a conversation about the empty altars in the church. Where the altar used to be lined with praying souls, it is now a handful of broken saints and an occasional child who finds themselves knelt down at the altar. “Why?” I asked myself again. So I ask google. Not even google had an answer for me. So I went to He Who has the answers and this was what read.

Malachi 1:6-10

A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the Lord of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name?

You’re probably saying what I said. “But God, I love you!” To which He replies:

Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the Lord is contemptible.And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the Lord of hosts.

Israel wasn’t bringing their best to the altar. They were bringing their leftovers to the altar. And so am I if I’m honest. Going to the altar has become somewhat ritualistic for me. I go because I know I need to go, and will continue doing so; but I’m not giving my best while I’m there. I give God a halfhearted “help me please…” and then get up unchanged. My heart is not prepared, I’ve brought a lame sacrifice and wet wood. So what will it take to set the altar of God on fire in our church?

And now, I pray you, beseech God that he will be gracious unto us: this hath been by your means: will he regard your persons? saith the Lord of hosts. 10 Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nought? neither do ye kindle fire on mine altar for nought. I have no pleasure in you, saith the Lord of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand.

God honestly doesn’t care who we are. He wants to know how serious we are. He wants the doors shut and the fire stoked when we approach Him with request. In my mind I read that as the world being shut out, and the fire within my soul blazing with passion when I make my plea. My focus needs to be on the perfect sacrifice that Christ made on the cross. My sacrifice will always be lame. His was perfect.

I have a tendency to look at an empty altar and get discouraged because the rest of the church is in their seats. That ought not to be…

This morning I want to focus on what I bring to the altar. What will I bring and how will I bring it? I’m believing if I go with passion in my soul that fire will fall from heaven and ignite my wet timbers.

Bring down the fire! Let’s go to church!!!

3 Reasons to Add More Preaching to Your Diet

I love good preachin’! I’ve often said, and it may sound odd to those who know how much I love music, but for me I’d rather listen to preaching. It’s much like a song to my heart because it stirs my soul much like music does. With one exception… music doesn’t generally convict. Some songs may… but for the most part they soften and tenderize the heart for the word of God, or they encourage us in our walk with Jesus Christ. Both are needful and the Bible speak of both, but the greater share of emphasis should be on the preaching of the word.

Romans 10:13-15

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

3 Reasons you should make Preaching a Large part of your diet:

Seeking Salvation

Yours of course, but once you’re saved, you should be seeking salvation for others. It’s the primary purpose of the child of God but it seems to be lost on most of the world. Many Christians lose sight of it past Sunday morning. We rejoice when someone gives their life to Christ! But then the world takes over Monday morning. It’s hard to stay focused on the mission when Satan is so very good at his, which is to take our focus off the mission of seeing souls save and putting it on the problems in and around us.

Seeking Solutions

The Word of God is amazing! Whether it’s read or preached it speaks to heart of the matter in our souls. Countless times I have left a service pretty sure someone had spilled the beans on the sins of my life to the preacher because his sermon stepped all over my already tender toes. All the while someone else receive an entirely different message from the same sermon. How could that be? Because that’s the power of the Word of God. When seeking answers to life’s problems the bible should always be our first resort, not our last. But is it? Not generally speaking.

Seeking Sanctuary

One of the sweetest times of life is in the presence of the Holy Spirit. For certain He loves good Christian music, but the Word of God being preached can be so soothing to the soul in days of distress and doubt. It reaffirms our faith, builds strength in our souls, highlights areas of our life that need work and most of all creates a dialogue between us and the Lord.

I’m a preaching junky. I seek it out. I’m in church every service available and when I’m not I love listening to it via YouTube and Podcasts. I have my favorite preachers, and for the record they’re not all Baptist. We don’t’ have the exclusive on the Holy Spirit.

That being said, I do listen to preachers who preach what I believe. And I’d advise great caution in choosing an online ministry to follow. There’s some junk that people throw into their sermons that will undo the good work your preacher is doing in your life by causing you to doubt what you’ve been taught. If you’re unsure of who you should follow, ask your preacher. And you should have your own personal, local pastor; one that you attend his services and have a relationship with that allows you to ask questions like that.

Seek God’s word today!


I’ll not complain when the power and blessings of the Holy Spirit bring unexplainable and unspeakable joys in my life for my service through the studying of His Word and the sharing of the Gospel. That is a gift of unmeasurable worth! But through the coercing of others in the ministry, who see my work as worthy, and the coercing of the Holy Spirit Who says “Through His blood I am worthy,” I have added a ministry donation button to this site. If you do not have, or do not feel inclined to give, then please don’t feel obligated. But if I have encouraged you and the Spirit speaks, your gift of any amount would be appreciated and honored by God.

I do what I do because I’m gifted and afforded the opportunity by grace and feel that I am accountable for the ministry that God has given. God has been enlarging my territory. For that I am grateful. But for that, there are expenses. Thank you for reading my blog. It encourages my soul, I pray I’ve encouraged yours!

To Contribute to this ministry follow the Paypal Link!

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