What’s so special about a tent?

If you’ve never been a part of a tent meeting atmosphere you may wonder why I get so excited for this time of year. And whether or not I can adequately express what makes a tent meeting so special, only the end of today’s blog will tell. But I’ll attempt to stir your heart with the emotion I’m experiencing today.

Hebrews 9:1 begins speaking of

A worldly sanctuary

Then verily the first covenant had also ordinance of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary.

The first tabernacle was a movable man made temple with caretakers, priests and a high priest that he only could go into that Holy of Holiest places to make sacrifice for his sins and that of the congregation of the Lord. Though it was a temporary tabernacle, the grandness of it didn’t suffer, and I seriously doubt it was as easy as the tents we pitch today. It had layer upon layer of materials that God had laid out by design and great detail, and given to Moses. The tent then followed the children of Israel. Our tent is not of great detail, it was crafted by an Amish man in Ohio of red, white and blue vinyl to remind us of the Nation we call home and our burden to turn it back to God. We don’t have golden candlesticks, the Ark of the Covenant or the shew bread. We have the light of Jesus Christ that shines in the heart of the saved, the covenant promise of eternal life in Christ and the Word of God that fills our souls! That is what lies within the tent of Victory Baptist Church!

The way of the wilderness

Hebrews 9:8 ~ The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing:

The children of Israel could not imagine the privilege to come to us, though they were the symbolism of God’s plan for salvation. But they couldn’t even go into the tent! What a privilege to have the Holy Spirit dwell within us and regardless of whether we are inside the tent, out in the sun around it (though it’s calling for rain tonight) or experiencing the tent meeting via Facebook live, we are in the presence of God! The first tent meeting was a matter of necessity for wilderness wanderers. Our tent meeting is a reminder of the days of old when revival crossed America and a desire to bring that back to world caught up in the wilderness again.

A way from dead works

Hebrews 9:11-14 ~  But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

The children of Israel attempted and failed again and again to keep the works of the law. Glory to God that once and for all, through the blood of Christ we were released from that bondage and are now free to serve the Living God! There’s still plenty of bondage in the world around us, but nothing that Jesus Christ cannot free us from.

However, tent meeting is also a time for the church to remember that one of the bondages that is so easy for a child of God to fall into is the bondage of dead religion. Churches everywhere fall into apathy of religion rather than the awe of the Almighty! We forget the freedom we have in Christ Jesus and the Holy Spirit is expected to take a back seat until the service is over, lest we disrupt service.

This ought not to be. There is nothing traditional about a tent! And there shouldn’t be anything traditional about the service of God, whether in a building or in a tent. The Holy Spirit of God was so awesome in the days of the children of Israel that they stood outside the tent in awe and fear of His presence. That same Spirit is within us, how dare we take it for granted and treat Him as though He is not Amazing!

That is how I want to approach this tent meeting tonight. I want to be prepared in godly fear and awe to expect the Spirit of God to show up in my life in such a way that I cannot help but feel like the children who experienced the first tent meeting! Glory!!!

Somethin’s Got a Hold on Me!

It’s a time of confession. If you notice an absence of me from social media, blogging or life in general, it can often be attributed to a stronghold in my life. Such has been the case for the past few weeks. Anytime I am about to embark on a speaking or singing engagement I can expect an attack from somewhere. Sometimes I’m better equipped to handle it, and sometimes I’m ill equipped to handle it. When I had my recent surgery, I was just flat out ill. But once the recuperating time was over (or at least what time I had allotted myself) I thought I’d be out of the woods and away from the attack of my emotional and psychological condition. Yes, I am that foolish mortal. I was relatively sure that I had survived the worst part of it, the actual surgery. And physically that was the worst, but not psychologically. There was still plenty of time for Satan to get inside my head.

I felt alone, although I was daily surrounded by people who loved me. I felt as though my ministry time was coming to an end. Although my heart had been fixed it was still broken spiritually. I told no one of this state of mind because I am after all “the Jesus Chick.” I bear His name because He bore mine on the cross. I can’t allow anyone to see me as a failure. Though I surely am on so many levels, beginning with that manner of thinking. But it’s who I’ve always been and the theory of life I adhere to. The “I’m Fine Theory.” Unlike my biblical hero King David who wore and bore his heart on his sleeve so that all who read his God inspired words would know we are not alone.

Psalm 142

Confession is good for the Soul

1 I cried unto the Lord with my voice; with my voice unto the Lord did I make my supplication,

David wasn’t holding anything back. At the time he wrote Psalm 142 he had been forced by Saul into hiding in a cave with people he had no faith in at all. If you read 1 Samuel 22 you’ll discover he was surrounded by family who had never had any faith in him and some very needy men he described as in destress, debt and discontent. David had to wonder if they weren’t there just for what they could get from him as a known leader and successful warrior.

I hesitate to confess the thoughts that have run through my mind over the past two months. But they were akin to many of David’s. And not for the same reasons. I’ve always had a great support system in my life, but I’ve also had some very needy people in my life, for which I honestly didn’t mind helping but they were not of the lot that would have been there if I needed them. So following the heart attack I had to re-examine some things in my life. And it began by considering what was holding me back from my service to God.

Complaining is okay with the Savior

I poured out my complaint before him; I shewed before him my trouble. When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path. In the way wherein I walked have they privily laid a snare for me. I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.

I always feel guilty when I complain, whether it’s to God or my sounding board Gloria, who is my number one fan and closest friend. But Gloria encourages me to share with her the problems of life because I know that that conversation will not go any further. But even still it takes me a long time to get to that point and it’s usually when I’m on the verge of blowing up also known as “overwhelmed.” God doesn’t want us to get to the point of being overwhelmed. He already knows we have a complaint. Perhaps if we’d take it to Him sooner, it could get resolved sooner. He is after al the best friend of all.

Who hasn’t felt that way on more than one occasion and as times gets worse, those occasions are more frequent. When you feel that no one could possibly understand what you’re going through or why you feel consumed by it and tied down to the point of being unable to move to the left or right! That has been the condition of my heart for weeks.

But David knew, even in the midst of that struggle that God knew his path. What comfort in those words that God knows the path I’ve taken and the path I’m headed to, and He has me covered in both directions.

Confidence is found in Salvation

I cried unto thee, O Lord: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living. Attend unto my cry; for I am brought very low: deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I. Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me.

It has not only been emotional challenges but physical and ministry work related as well that has taken a toll on me. I did cry to the Lord and each time He brought me through with a victorious end. God has dealt bountifully with me as He did David.

When David was crying in that cave, he had no idea that that rag tag bunch of men, who he no doubt feared were there for what they could get, not give; those same men would support him in battle all the way to the throne! Glory to God!!! And those same struggles I have faced have caused me to count the blessings of those around me who support me and encourage me to be “The Jesus Chick.” That confidence can only be found as a child of God. The world will let you down, but God and His people, are there for the long haul…

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For more information about scheduling me to speak or sing, or other questions, call me at 304-377-6036. Please! Leave a message if I don’t answer (Unknown numbers are too often telemarketers for which I don’t want to contend with so I just don’t answer) But if you’re not one of them… I want to hear from you and will gladly return your call.

If you’d like to help out financially on the latest mission trip, or towards the purchase of a new computer… mine is on the verge of dying, hit the link below and I’ll be ever so grateful

It’s an Issue of the Mouth

Such truth in the word of God! That which everyone in the world says they want.  We want a government that speaks truth, a church that speaks truth, spouses and other family that speak truth, our employers to speak truth, but when it comes to the word of God, the world would rather not hear it, even though there is not one word, jot or tittle that is not absolute truth. I would be a liar if I told you that every word that comes from the Bible brings great joy to my soul. No, there are many, many words in the Bible that grieve my spirit and heap conviction upon my heart because that’s what truth does. But I read it and weigh it against my life so that I may draw closer to Christ. And if it grieves me that’s okay… because I grieve the Spirit of God on more than one occasion on any given day.

Ephesians 4:30 says “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”

Sealed. Just like the tomb for which Jesus was laid and rose from again the third day, we have had a seal placed upon us, that as a child of God we too will be raised again in the newness of life for eternity where there will be nothing but truth, and we’ll live with Him who is truth. But until that day, we live with liars. Often times our biggest issue is with the one in the mirror that doesn’t want to face the reality of truth that comes from the word of God. That would be me.

When you read Ephesians 4:30, you like I may shout, “Yeah, stop hurting God’s feelings you bunch of scoundrels!” But if you read the verses preceding and following it, which describe what grieves God’s spirit, you might just discover it’s you.

Ephesians 4:20-32

20 But ye have not so learned Christ; 21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. 25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. 26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27 Neither give place to the devil. 28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. 29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. 30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

  1. Lying
  2. Anger
  3. Stealing
  4. Corrupt communication
  5. Bitterness
  6. Wrath
  7. Anger
  8. Clamor (outcry)
  9. Evil speaking

I consider 8 of the 9 issues of the mouth. Each of those, with the exception of stealing, usually have words associated with them and most people in the world are guilty of most if not all in some form. When James said in the book of James 3:8: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.”  He knew of what he spoke.

We tell children “if you don’t have anything kind to say, say nothing at all.” But tune into most adult conversations and they are filled with gossip, judgment and anger.

This morning I caught myself in one of those conversations where I was ashamed that the words came out of my mouth. There was a person that was hurt physically by someone and I said to David, “It’s no surprise to me someone smacked him, most people want to kill him.”  What an un-compassionate knot-head I was! That surely grieved the Spirit of God. And I thought nothing of the statement until it left my lips and then I realized that person was God’s creation. How dare I speak evil of them. And then I thought back to many conversations I had had this week. Many were good, God glorifying conversations. But each of those could have been undone by someone hearing other conversations.

I have an issue of the mouth. Praise God it was covered by the blood. But I am still without excuse for hurting and grieving, my Father. He who blesses my soul beyond measure…

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For more information about scheduling me to speak or sing, or other questions, call me at 304-377-6036. Please! Leave a message if I don’t answer (Unknown numbers are too often telemarketers for which I don’t want to contend with so I just don’t answer) But if you’re not one of them… I want to hear from you and will gladly return your call.

What About Your Candle?

Luke 11:33-36

33 No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light.

As I read Luke 11:33 my first thought was, “Where’s your candle sitting Shari?” I love scented candles. Not of the floral design, but those that cause a visitor to wonder if I just pulled some fabulous dessert from the oven. The one I’ve had wafting through the house this weekend is salted caramel. Yum! But what about the candle that was lit within my heart in 1996 when I accepted Jesus as Lord? How evident is that candle? And where is it sitting? That was the questions I ask myself. I’m so frustrated with my own service for the Lord of late. I’ve allowed so much to strangle my spirit and my spirituality has suffered.

Some would say, that’s life. But for me, that’s death. That exactly how Satan convinces his prey that we’re “fine.” You can’t be on fire every day. I’ve heard that said numerous times and it makes me want to puke every time I hear it, because it’s a lie of the Devil. While it’s true we all have down days, we’re just a heartbeat from settling into as a lifestyle. So what about that candle?

Good vs. Evil

34 The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness.

This verse reminds me of the children’s song

Oh be careful little eyes what you see, oh be careful little eyes what you see

For the Father up above is looking down on you with love, oh be careful little eyes what you see.

What we see and hear every single day effects our character and witness. “Be not deceived” God warns in Galatians 6:7.

I love, love, love bluegrass music. But after about the third song about someone’s cheatin’ wife being buried in the back 40, my mind is in a dark place. I have to shut that off and listen to some gospel. But there are days that I don’t shut it off. I just keep listening, and the stories go from killing her to killing himself with alcohol to get over her “Four ounces at a time.” Yes… I actually have that song on my play list. And I say to myself, I’m fine… yet evil won out.

Lead vs. Follow

35 Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness.

The “I’m Fine” theory is what lead me to a heart attack and open heart surgery. I did not take heed. I wanted to appear healthy in the world’s eyes. As I scurried about the church in my little “church lady” ways, no one had any idea that in the basement of my favorite place in the world I’d just had a heart attack. I was following the world and not the Lord. God had told me that I wasn’t fine. He’s done the same thing spiritually and I’ve ignored that too. Leading vs. following isn’t necessarily right vs. wrong. You can lead yourself and others astray, or you can follow someone in the path of righteousness. You can lead someone to Christ, or you can follow someone to Hell. Your mind’s eye and your ears have got to be tuned into Christ to keep the candle burning and your body filled with the light of His word and ways.

Light vs. Dark

36 If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light.

In the battle of light vs. dark, the light always wins out when given the opportunity. Darkness has to flee when light enters the room.

James 4:7 says: Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Glory to God, He wins! But the key to personal victory is our submission. The world is ready to fill you full of darkness through music, television, books, magazines, internet and any other means of media as well as people. It can all be evil, the same way it can be good. It’s our choice that makes the difference.

What are you filling your eyes and ears with today? Is it filling you with light or darkness? Is your candle burning brightly for the cause of Christ, or is it so dim the world doesn’t even see its flame?

Light the world for Christ today! Fill your mind, body and soul with everything good!

Another Sunday in the Books

Another Sunday in the books. And what will be done for the cause of Christ? My heart is burdened for the state of the churches of America. Few and far between do you see the fires of revival in the house of God. Churches linger somewhere between social clubs and legalistic mindsets that, though they preach grace alone for salvation, works is mingled in in the form of man’s opinions of acceptable church behaviors. I’m bordering on meddling this morning and I really don’t want to go there. I just want to experience Jesus this morning for myself and others. I want to feel the Holy Spirit stir the congregations of God to the point of Amen Hallelujah! And a lined altar of worshipers.

In 1 Kings, Chapter 8, when Solomon had finished the temple and stood before the people dedicating it to the Lord, he had the attitude that should be the attitude of the churches of America. We are free. Although the world around us is in captivity, and there is trouble in abundance; through the grace of Jesus Christ we are free indeed. We’ve lived in the land of Egypt where sin held us captive and there was no hope until we made Jesus our Savior. Why would we not stand, shout and rejoice in Him this morning. Another Sunday in the books and what will our story tell?

1 Kings 8:54-60

Hands of Praise

54 And it was so, that when Solomon had made an end of praying all this prayer and supplication unto the Lord, he arose from before the altar of the Lord, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread up to heaven.

The altar for me is often a place of repentance, and it should be, but it should be a place of praise and gratitude. When Solomon stood up with the where the Spirit of the Lord had been on him like a thick cloud, he went from his knees, a place of humbleness to the position of praise and rejoicing for what the Lord has done.

Throughout the service today our hands should be raised in praise that we are free to hear the word of God and speak His name without fear of persecution and arrest that so many others around the world are facing. Solomon’s father David had been a man of war. How many of our family and friends from ages past fought for the right we have today.

Voices of Praise

55 And he stood, and blessed all the congregation of Israel with a loud voice, saying,

56 Blessed be the Lord, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant.

More importantly, not one word failed that was spoken by the Lord Jesus Christ! How worthy is He to be praised this morning. When the word of God is preached there should be shouts of glory! Yes in an order that allows the word to be preached without distraction, but if the Spirit is moving, the unsaved need to hear that when the word of God moves a child of God, He is worthy to be praised! Quench not the Spirit the word says!

A Cause for Praise

57 The Lord our God be with us, as he was with our fathers: let him not leave us, nor forsake us:

58 That he may incline our hearts unto him, to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and his statutes, and his judgments, which he commanded our fathers.

59 And let these my words, wherewith I have made supplication before the Lord, be nigh unto the Lord our God day and night, that he maintain the cause of his servant, and the cause of his people Israel at all times, as the matter shall require:

60 That all the people of the earth may know that the Lord is God, and that there is none else.

There is no other God besides the Lord Jesus Christ. We serve the One and Only! Glory to God is that not reason enough? But couple that with the fact that we not only serve the One and Only, we are privileged to carry Him with us and have a relationship of Friend and Father that no other religion is privileged to have. The Creator of the universe is in our presence, a joy far greater than earthly royalty, and we are the honored guests.

I have to get ready for church else I’ll be late. But please, praise Him today like you’re in the greatest concert of your life. Because His word should be a such a song in your heart that you’re bubbling over today!

Is Your House On Fire?

My husband David has been a fire fighter for many years. He’s been Chief of his department for several years and he and I share a commonality in passions. He puts out fires on earth, and I do my best to put out the fires of Hell by showing people the way to Jesus Christ. But the reality of it is, I’ll never put out the fires of Hell. It’s a very real location that was created for Satan and his band of angels who rebelled against God. Isaiah 14:12-15 says this about Satan, also known as Lucifer:

12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:

14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

Lucifer held a position of authority in God’s realm. But pride caused him to desire the position of God. And because of that, he fell, and Satan/Lucifer’s desire is to keep as many people as he can out of Heaven.

If you think about Satan’s goal you are aware that it is played out here on earth again and again in the hearts of men who want to be in control. And if we’re honest with ourselves, we too want to be in control of our world, even if it’s just our own lives. That was my desire until 1996 when I gave my heart and life to Jesus Christ by accepting His gift of salvation. It was then that God took control, and I no longer feared death and hell. I had the very real promise and peace of Heaven!

From a child of about the age of 9, I had a fear of Hell. I knew in my heart that it was real, but I was clueless on how to avoid it because the gospel was never clearly presented to me. I pray that I can present it to you in a way that you’ll understand, and if not, please message me so I can help you. But this is the gospel of salvation in its basic form:

You and I are the creations of God. A one and only design that He desires a relationship with; Just like the one that He had with His first creation, Adam and Eve. But Satan deceived them, and the sinless man and woman became sinners. It was then that the Holy God could no longer have that relationship, because He could not be in the presence of sin. There had to be an atonement (a price paid) to cover it. And so a temporary sacrifice was made of the lamb, but it was only temporary.

For a permanent sacrifice to be made, it had to be a perfect sacrifice, which would not be found in any earthly animal. So God’s only Son, Jesus Christ, became the perfect sacrifice. It seems unimaginable for us in our earthly minded ways that someone would be willing to die for us. But on the cross 2000+ years ago, Christ died for everyone who would accept that He was God, that He died on the cross and that He, in His God power, rose again three days later and returned to Heaven where He is now the intercessor of those who accept this as truth.

God now has a relationship with those who do, and He places His Holy Spirit within their heart so they’ll know! And believe me when I tell you, that’s exciting!

When that happened to me in 1996, the fear of the fires of Hell immediately disappeared. I had and have the most amazing peace in my heart. Now, the world occasionally tries to take that peace away, but I have a Savior who gives it back when I give my burdens to Him. Even the burden of open heart surgery. God’s Holy Spirit speaks to me through my heart and through the word of God inspiring me to live my life for Him and share His love with others.

Prior to salvation, so many times I went through serious heart ache and trouble and I would turn to the Bible for help, without understanding of anything I read. But as soon as I became a Christian, by accepting Christ as Savior, the scripture (through the Holy Spirit) was opened up to me like never before and I understood the word of God like it was a love letter written just for me. That’s Salvation!

Would you like to put out the fires of Hell in your world? There’s only one way.

Admit you’re a sinner who needs saving.

Romans 3:23 says this: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”

Knowing we are a sinner is the first step. Every one of us have sinned… and just like Adam and Eve, even one sin keeps us from the presence of a Holy God. Just like a child who has to be punished for doing wrong, there is a penalty for sin. But praise God! The penalty has been paid.

Romans 6:23 gives us the problem and the solution: “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Jesus paid that price for our sin. It’s covered by His blood. And every time God looks at one of His children, He sees the red blood of His Son that makes us white as snow. How wonderful is that?!

Romans 10:9-10 sums up the way of salvation:

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Just as God spoke this world into existence, you need to speak your new life into existence by openly confessing (which means to agree) that you believe the every word of God, and that the Jesus died to cover your sins, that He rose again the third day and He is now in Heaven, waiting for you. Until then He’ll be covering every one of your sins with His blood. You are forgiven. You can live in the perfect peace that He promises.

If you believe that, pray this prayer:

Dear God, I believe that You gave Your only Son as the sacrifice to cover my sins. I believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose again the third day. I believe that He is in Heaven and that I too will be with You one day. Until then, I trust that You will continue to cover all my sins, past present and future and I’m trusting You to guide my life and keep me in Your will. Thank You Lord, for saving my Soul! Amen!

If you prayed that prayer, please let me rejoice with you by messaging me or finding me on Facebook. And please! Find a church that preaches the truth of the Word of God and makes you feel like you just found home. The world is too harsh to go it alone.

How Well Do You Know God?

How many times today have you said that you loved someone or something? Things like “I love French fries or cake, or the shoes on my feet. Perhaps you told someone you loved them, and genuinely meant it, or maybe not.” The point is we use the word “love” a lot. And often as nothing more than a term of affection meaning “really like.” We wouldn’t dare compare the love of chocolate cake to the love of our family. So if we rated love on a scale of 1-10, where would chocolate cake rate, and where would our mother rank. And if by comparison we threw the love of God into the equation, in that He gave His only begotten Son to die for sins, where then would chocolate cake rate? I know it really is relative, but it’s a point worth pondering.

How much do we understand the love of God?

What does God know about you?

God knew you, before you were you

Jeremiah 1:5 –  Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest  forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

Of course God speaks of Jeremiah the Prophet, but being that God is no respecter of persons, He put the same thought into you prior to your birth. Your life was a blue print in God’s mind before you became the child of your parents. While your parents were planning the color of your nursery, God was planning your career. I know the love that I had for my girls and the planning and preparing that went into each of their arrivals. But I didn’t love them to the depth that God loved them. While human love created the children, God’s love created the possibility for it to happen, in that He allowed me to conceive. He created the Passion for David and I to love each other and He created the potential for my girls to become who He wanted them to become.

When the world tells us that we are unworthy, and for me that is often. God says, “You have no idea of the time I’ve invested in you.” That should make us pause for reflection on why we feel unworthy. It’s not because the Creator makes us feel that way.

That is why, I believe that God starts speaking into our lives at a very young age, and so does Satan. Satan loves to try to undo, God’s creation. He’s very good at it in some areas. But in our lives, he is only as good as we let him be.

God Knows the Hairs on your Head

Matthew 10:30 – But the very hairs of your hair are all numbered?

What attention to detail! Most of us don’t even notice when someone we care about gets their hair cut, but God not only notices, He has each follicle numbered. It shows the depth of God’s love and concern for everything aspect of our lives.

Following the surgery, my hair was showing a lot of damage. Possibly from the stress on my body overall. It was frustrating to look in the mirror at the broken and dead ends of my previously healthy-ish hair ( I do color it after all). But I have friends who have lost their hair because of cancer treatments. How can I complain about split ends. Because God knows for me it’s not about vanity as much as it’s about wanting to appear healthy so that people aren’t concerned and worried about me. To the world, it may seem vain. But God knows and cares about my heart. Maybe for you it’s another part of your anatomy or life that causes anxiety. Believe that God cares.

God Knows your Desires

Psalm 37:4 – Delight thyself also in the Lord; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

I can’t tell you how many times that I’ve read and favored this verse. But today as I read it, the word “also” jumped from the page of scripture.

If you read the verses going into that verse you’ll see in the context that there is method to God’s plans. Psalm 37:1-3 says Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.

Leading up to the often-quoted verse of God granting us the desires of our heart is the acknowledgement that we are often aware of others who seemingly have the world as their oyster while we have crawl crabs on the creek bank. Can I get a witness on that!? Today as I traveled the highways I was having one of those moments as I looked at the countless blessing of folks who were far from serving God and yet they had “so much” materialistically speaking. I was ashamed of myself as soon as the thought came into my mind; but it didn’t stop me from thinking about it again.

But God does know the desires of my heart, and how many of those has He given me? Countless! And what does the lost have if they have not Christ? Nothing of any value. So when I read “also.” What that said to my heart was God allows our hearts to desire things of Him and things that are not of Him. And so long as they are not harmful to the cause of Christ, they are fine. But it’s up to God when to dole out the blessings. Just as it’s up to Him to call the final day in the life of a lost soul.

Verse 5a: Commit thy way unto the Lord;

Stay committed regardless.

God knows every thought we have before we have it. He knows our down rising and our uprising. David said I Psalm 139:8 – If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed hell, behold thou art there. There is no where that we can go, no thought nor action can we have that God is not aware. No sin…

That is what’s so amazing about John 3:16

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

He knows every sin and failure, yet He was still willing to allow His Son to pay the price for our sin.

Who would you do that for?

How well do you know the Love of God and the depth of it? He knows everything about us. Every second of the day He is prepared to hear us and provide for us. How many seconds of the day are we prepared to hear His voice and get to know Him better? How many minutes on Sunday do we commit to know Him better?

 

A Skyrocketing Revelation!

The chaos of unbelievers and naysayers changes nothing in the order of God. If the saved could get a hold of that, it really would be a skyrocketing revelation. Myself included. In this free country where freedom of speech tears at the very fabric of our faith and causes us pain, fear and confusion, it does nothing to change Who God is. This world may be full of utter chaos and it may have gone drastically downhill since the ages of old when churches were filled, but it still does not change God. The God of the 1850’s Great Awakening is the same God of the sparsely attended American revivals of today. He didn’t change, we did. Our priorities as a nation and our personal allowance of outside interference to our own relationship with God has squelched the Holy Spirit’s moving in our churches. Revivals have become nothing more than annual “events” with very little (if any) change in the lives of those who attend.

On this Fourth of July, when we’re celebrating the birthday of our nation, founded on Christ, whether or not anyone wants to confess that fact, I felt it was a good time for me to remember that the God of order is not out of order.

Isaiah 24:6-9

Only One Big “G”

Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.

Allah, Buddah, Venus, Aphrodite or any thing else the world calls a god, still doesn’t get a big G. They can pray to it, dance for it or swear by it and it changes nothing. But as a child of the Living God, my prayers are heard, answered and in the Lord’s will they’ll change things! Capital G makes a difference.

Only One God Who Can See

And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order for me, since I appointed the ancient people? and the things that are coming, and shall come, let them shew unto them.

Prophecy after prophecy has been fulfilled in the Bible. If God speaks it, it’s going to happen, and that bother’s people. Nobody wants to hear the worlds going to end and God has an order for it. He has appointed people into places of authority since creation and He’s still appointing people who will no doubt have their share of cause and effect in the end time events. Add to those prophesies fulfilled, God’s promises made, and we should be rejoicing like no body has ever seen. As scary as times can be, if you are a child of God this should be a time of excitement too knowing that your God is going to see you through it all.

Only One True Peace

Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.They that make a graven image are all of them vanity; and their delectable things shall not profit; and they are their own witnesses; they see not, nor know; that they may be ashamed.

All the “delectable” things of the world that appears to satisfy the souls of men means nothing. We know it, and yet we still desire it because we are so very human. As I struggled with my computer again and again this morning I could very easily fall into that mode of vanity where I thought I was justified in my desires. But in my heart, I could hear the Lord saying, “Shari, you have the one thing that everyone in the world wants. Peace. You have been given the privilege to be my witness and share that with a lost world. When those in the world stand ashamed because they denied me, you shall receive My Glory.

That’s a Skyrocketing Revelation for me! It makes fireworks inside my mind to think I serve the God of the universe Who is the only true God. The only one who has an order and a purpose for everything in this world and I’m a part of His team. I hope you know Jesus Christ as Savior. He was the finishing touch of God’s final plan for order. There had to be a sacrifice worthy to pay the price of all our sin, and the only sacrifice that would pay that price was God’s Son, Jesus. He died to pay the price for every sin we commit, so that on our final day, when all is said and done, we will be found worthy to enter that Holy City where our God dwells. No body else’s gods promise anything close to what we will receive.

Only One!!!! Glory! He’s mine.

Foolish chick… Praise God for Chick Grace

Perhaps it’s an oxymoron that the Jesus Chick has chickens, but I love my little brood.  I have nine laying hens, or at least they’re all supposed to lay. Some do not. I have a two Leghorns (Laverne and Ethel), a Rhode Island Red (Lucy), two Silkies (Glo and Sue), two Black Australorps (Shirley and Rhoda) and two Belgium deUccles (Butterscotch and Toffee). They show so much familiarity with the modern day church that it really does seem fitting for them to be in my care. I guess chicken farming is a little like Pastoring. Each of them have their own personality. One’s a little bossy, a couple of them are sometimes lazy, there’s the showboats and the strutters. They all have purpose and potential, but it’s not always evident in the service of the coop. They expect feed and water to be at their beckon call, but if I need productivity on their part… well that’s debatable.

I’ll bet every preacher reading this just shouted a big Amen. If only inside their mind.

If I’m being honest, I’m anyone of those chicks at any given moment in time. Last week was a low productivity week for me. I’m excuseless. Perhaps it’s still the effects of the heart surgery lingering on, or perhaps I just had a lazy week. I don’t know. I just couldn’t seem to come out of my funk. I’m praying since this is Monday that God has mercy on my soul today and my productivity will be up, because He and I have been talking a little this morning about the life of the Jesus Chick. Actually I was listening to another brother’s message and God spoke to my soul in such a tender way, that I had to share it with you. Perhaps today you’re not feeling too productive for Jesus either. Or maybe you feel like you’ve let God down in one of the millions of other ways that I quite often do. Failure is a fact in my life. Whether it’s a chick or sheep, we all stray.

Luke 15

1Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him.

And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.

And he spake this parable unto them, saying,

What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?

And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.

And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.

I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

The crowd gathered to hear Jesus. The religious and the lost alike had a desire to see and hear Jesus. But for two entirely different reasons. The religious hoped they’d find some way to accuse Him; the lost hoped that find hope. There was no doubt those in the crowd who knew Jesus as Savior and were there for the encouragement. And then there would have been someone like me, who loved the Lord, but let Him down pretty often. Even the saved sheep sometimes stray away from the flock. So what great and awesome news to hear that Jesus would leave the 99 and seek the one who was I!

The other day, David built me a bigger coop for my chickadees and we were taking them from the old coop to the new. In the process of the move one of the hens made a run for it. It took us twenty minutes to get that rebel red back into her place. I’m sure it would have looked like a great comedy as I tried to pin her into an area so David could latch on to her. That’s how God does me sometimes I think. He chases me down through the Holy Spirit, desiring me to come back to Him and commune in sweet fellowship. That liar Satan would have me to believe that God is angry and has no desire to have me home. And I’m dumb enough to believe his lies every time. But the Holy Spirit is relentless! And Praise God He is!!!! The great truth of that is, God doesn’t have to leave the 99 to bring me back, He never leaves any of His children.

There is a multitude of reasons we stray from the Word of God. Sin. Sorrow. Suffocation. Life gets on us and it’s hard to shake. God should not have to come after His children but He does.

My chicks are not free roamers. Mainly because I don’t want chicken poop in my yard or the worry of them bothering the neighbors. I don’t want to be a roamer either. I need to stay penned in the word! I not only speak of the writing of this blog but of the safety of God’s protective fence. The Word of God places a hedge around my heart that keeps the world out, and when I fail to read and study it as I should, it allows a breach for Satan to come in. And just like Lucy the Rhode Island Red, I run for the border! Foolish chick… Praise God for Chick grace.