The disease of dis ease

I for certain am a work in progress. Especially when it comes to the social graces in life. There are days when I think I have diarrhea of the mouth and I just can’t keep it from running. I know… that’s gross right? Well I warned you about my social graces. But put me in a new or awkward situation and it’s even worse. I want to spill out everything I know in 20 seconds or less. I’ve become increasingly more aware of this lately. Add to that the new health concerns since the heart attack and the times I question… exactly what is that pain? And I’m a mess! So what can I do, other than go to God and say, “Lord, please help.” And for the last few days I’ve heard

But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

1 Peter 3:4

That verse does not describe me. Mainly because people see Shari much more than they see the hidden man of the heart, which is Jesus Christ.

The Hidden

Apostle Paul understood the hidden Man when he wrote Galatians 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

But the difference between Paul and Shari, is though I too was crucified with Christ upon the day of my salvation; crucifying the flesh is something I have to do again and again. I am not always so willing to allow Christ to have control of the flesh. That’s a personal decision for every one of us to allow Christ to have control. It’s not that we’re not saved, it’s that I’m not obedient. That stings my heart to even say the words, but I know its truth.

The Meek

The most misunderstood personality of them all. More often than not mistaken for weakness. But meekness is the ability not to say what you’re thinking. Not to do what you’d like. Tell me that’s not strength!? Perhaps not for you, but for me it takes great gobs of muscle power of the heart through Christ to pull back the reigns as I lunge toward the fleshly feelings that want to take over.

Meekness is absolute power under perfect control.

In the book of Numbers 12:2-3, Aaron and Miriam were chastised by God for their murmering against Moses. They questioned “Hath the Lord indeed spoken only by Moses? Hath he not spoken also by us? And the Lord heard it. (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)

Moses would not defend himself, but you can better believe that God defended him and reminded Aaron and Miriam that He spoke to Moses “mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches;” (Vs 8) showing Aaron and Miriam the respect that God had for Moses and his meekness in that His relationship with Moses was far greater than with the two of them.

Would to God I would shut my mouth sometimes and listen as Moses did…

The Quiet

The very thing I long for, but am so unwilling to be. The ever so wise Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 4:6 “Better is a handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit.”

Stuff is not my friend. I want stuff. Lots of stuff. Which causes me travail and vexation of spirit.

Travail is effort. It’s a constant struggle for me to have more stuff. Things that take my focus off of the quietness of God. Not necessarily bad things, just stuff. I’m slowly, ever so slowly learning contentedness in my life. Learning… meaning I have by no means arrived. I perhaps may be barely out of preschool. But I’m learning that God perhaps did not intend for my mansion and my hearts desires to be fulfilled this side of glory. I am learning to be contented with my double wide home in a mansion frame of mind. Grateful for the gifts God has given…

Vexation is frustration and exasperation.  It’s difficult to find quietness in the midst of frustration. Almost impossible. My frustration with the state of affairs of the world and my life particularly vexes my soul and I lose my quiet. This morning my house is quiet. These words came “fairly easy.” But it’s been a week long struggle.

Oh God… that my soul would quiet down and the flesh would be squelched out of existence.

A meek and quiet spirit is to God of great price, because it was great price that He paid to get into the heart of man. God does not want my heart to ache in the manner it does, and not necessarily from heart disease. But more than likely from heart dis ease. Not a typo… I have to wonder how much of my life’s woes comes from not “dis” experiencing the “ease”, comfort of being a child of God.

A good question for myself today. Perhaps for yourself too.

Two Unlikely Characters

I love Bible study! Be it on my own or listening under the teaching of others. And one of my favorite times is the Teen Class at Victory Baptist Church. I co-teach with a couple of fella’s whose characters are as far from one end of the spectrum as the other, but both bring such wisdom to the table and allow the kids to see that God’s method of understanding is personal.

This past Sunday I sat with the youth and listened to a lesson from co-teacher Doug that I told him I was totally going to steal and not give him credit. I wouldn’t do that… at least not entirely. Below is what I gleaned from Doug’s wisdom on Isaiah chapter 1.

Isaiah 1:1-3 

1The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.

Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the Lord hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.

The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.

God uses two unlikely Characters… hmmm…. Just like Doug and me, to teach a lesson about the rebellious heart. The ox and the ass. Two animals who knew more about submission to authority than the nation of Israel. But before we step out of the stall and consider ourselves to be above that, perhaps we should check the bottom of our shoes to see what we’re treading in.

It seems that no matter how far I come in my walk with Christ, I still always have plenty of path before me. I have nowhere near arrived! There has always been a rebellious, just roll with it, side to me that gets me into trouble. I never give God full control. I always hold back just a little of Shari to mess things up.

Israel had unfortunately kept a lot of themselves in their Nation and rebelled again and again on God their Creator.

Doug’s lesson had four wonderful points that are so very worthy of pondering.

  1. We were Created by God.
  2. We were Stolen by Satan (separated from God through sin)
  3. We were Bought back through the blood of Christ! Glory!
  4. We were Gifted life by God

We were created in God’s image (Genesis 2:16-17). The ox and the ass know their masters here on earth, although they too can be rebellious and stubborn. But so much can be learned from God’s creation.

We have several critters around our home, but the three who I deal with beneath my feet daily are Izadora, Versace and Callie. A Chihuahua, a Jack-Huahua (1/2 Chihuahua and Jack Russell) and a calico cat. The dogs are adoring creatures who just want to love us continually. They cannot get close enough. Callie the cat is a vicious creature who loves nothing more than to come from nowhere to grab your bare feet with her claws and scare the daylights out of you! She is self-absorbed and could care less if you like her, so long as you feed her. True story! But which creature sounds more like God’s human creation?

That’s because Satan stole our hearts. Oh my goodness! That thought makes me so sad. When Satan tempted Eve in the garden, he tempted her with something that would steal her heart from her Creator God. She fell, Adam fell and because of that, we are all a fallen, stolen creation from the Savior. (Romans 6:23) The wages of sin is death. Once we get to the age of knowledge, when we can determine right from wrong, Satan has us in his clutches, just like he did Eve underneath that tree.

But praise God! We were bought back. 1 Peter 3:18 ~ For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.

It’s a price my mind cannot fathom. I try. But I just can’t wrap my mind around the physical pain that He endured for me, and His separation from His father. How could He love me that much (John 3:16) even in my rebellion? A point Doug brought out that sorrows my soul is that Christ even did it for those who will never accept Him as Lord. He loves us all the same.

God’s greatest gift to us was the freedom of life.

Doug’s favorite verse is Matthew 11:28. It’s one of mine too and it’s a reminder that we do not have to live with the burden of sin and strife.

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

The ox and the ass know where to go when it’s time to rest. They go to master’s crib. We too should find ourselves cradled in the arms of God when life gets too much. O God… to be so wise…

Thanks Doug for the thoughts, and thank You Jesus for your word.

3 Steps to a Great Day

I love being live on Monday’s! But what ever the day is you’re tuning in, I hope that his video serves as a word form God to encourage you and help make your day a little sweeter. Tune in every Monday at 10 a.m. to my “Not Another Manic Monday” Vlog and please share this with your friends! For questions or comments, send me a message or find me on Facebook by searching for The Jesus Chick!

Why Will You Die?

Another milestone in the zipper club (heart bypass) journal was the completion of my first week of cardiac rehab. Also another  reality check on the lack of care for myself over the last several years of life. Following my decision to stop smoking on May 26th, 1997 (with the prompting of the Holy Spirit after a year of salvation) I traded my addiction to tobacco for an addiction to all things tasty. Gradually I blossomed into the well-rounded person I am today both spiritually and figuratively.

The criticism and judgement of sometimes well-meaning people (sometimes not) served me well in the department of discouragement and depression. The added pressure added extra weight. However, before anyone thinks I blame others for my blessed figure status, the answer is no. I’m the one who lost her will power. And so today as I read Ezekiel 18, I remembered my week at cardiac rehab. The struggles that I had as I pushed through each piece of equipment and so did not enjoy it. As I tried to clean up the mess I had created over the past 21 years.

Ezekiel 8:31

“Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?”

I believe Israel had gotten on God’s last nerve. They’d sinned, worshiped idols and used their children as sacrifices. What a mess they’d gotten themselves into because they’d gotten their eyes off the Lord and put them onto the things around them. I won’t throw any stones in that department either.

But the end result of a life without God, is always death. And no matter what I try to do in life without God as the central focus, it will surely die, because I am His, and He is mine and He expects to be a part of my life.

So how do I make sure that’s the case when living everyday life and making decisions that can change my future? And how many times have I gotten on God’s last nerve by not listening to Him.

The Word tells me.

CAST IT

Cast away from you, all your transgressions.

Easier said than done, right? Well, yes and no. We know that nothing is impossible for God! But we must first allow Him to have it. For me and my transgressions… there were many. The overeating and desire for food replaced an addition that had begun when I was a child. I smoked my first cigarette at 13 years of age. I had been addicted a very, very long time. But when God got involved the desire for that substance was replaced with a desire to be better for Him. But the cigarettes had also come with a stigma of non-acceptance by the world, both saved and unsaved people alike. So it wasn’t hard to not desire it. But everyone loved food!  It was acceptable.

But the weight gain was not.

Add to that the fact that God had called me into ministry work and I was now standing before people every week, I became very weak emotionally.

I allowed the pressure of that judgment, whether real or not to get the best of me and I ate all the more because it made me feel better.

So what did I need to cast off?

Addiction. Self-Condemnation. Irresponsibility.

If Jesus had cast my sins as far as the east is from the west, I needed to cast my transgression to Him so He could take care of them. Because when I threw them down, they never failed to land out of arms reach and I would pick them up again 

Psalm 103:12

As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

CREATE IT

…and make you a new heart and a new spirit:

So how do I do that?

I have to change somethings about my life. Beginning with my mindset. Your brain tells your heart when to beat.

In the course of the day, your heart will beat somewhere around 100,000 times and over a calendar year might beat up to 35 million times. Over the course of a lifetime then, your brain and your heart have to work together to engineer 3 billion heartbeats.

However there’s something in the heart called automaticity.

Meaning that the heart, even if it’s disconnected from the brain, will continue to beat at a set rate.

For me that shows that there’s a thought controlled side of the heart and a God controlled side of the heart. Praise God! He knows when to kick His side in.

But when it comes to decision making He leaves that to me for the most part. So I need to create within myself a new heart and spirit. Basically new desires and passions that align with God.

I can only do that if I focus on godly things casting those things that are unhealthy to Christ so that He can help me get them out of my life.

COMMIT IT

…for why will ye die,

Commitment was something that Israel didn’t have. They’d make and break promises as fast as the ink would dry on the paper.

I’m not any different. I yo yo diet, and I yo yo commit to the promises that I make God that “I’ll do better.”

We take commitment too lightly. Forgetting that God doesn’t take it lightly. Over time, God allowed many of His chosen people to be killed because they couldn’t keep their commitment to live for Him.

When I quit smoking, I partially did so because I believed God was going to allow me to die a dreadful death because of the effect of smoking. He warned me to quit… and so I did.

The transgression of poor health was not so easy for me to commit to overcome. I allowed emotions and lack of self-respect to play the major role in controlling my diet. Scroll forward to May of 2018, three heart attacks, open heart surgery and now cardia rehab and I am beginning to think I should have listened sooner.

Duh. I’m a Slow learner. Israel and I have a lot in common. Most of all, and Hallelujah, we have God’s grace in common.

But eventually God’s patience runs thin and we get on God’s last nerve. Before that happens, it would be much better to give those transgressions to Jesus. Everyone has them, and their personal to them.  

There’s a 3 step plan for it. Cast. Create. Commit.

God’s final verse in chapter 18 was  For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.  

There is life in Christ! And a much better, more rewarding life. Live it! And live it well. 

The Deceiver

I cannot count the times I’ve heard people say, “I no longer watch the news.” There are varying reasons, but they all boil down to a lack of trust, myself included. The news industry is more of an entertainment industry; even Fox News, which I trust a smidgen more than others, have a tendency to spin their own opinions at times on things that I don’t agree with. So I choose to wait until someone comments on social media about an event or a person that’s in the news and then I go in search of information believing I’m likely only getting half the story.

But praise God! There is a place where the news is fresh every day and even the Old Testament can read like a newspaper headline. Difference being, the Word of God is pure truth.

Ezekiel 12:22-25

Rejected Vision

22 Son of man, what is that proverb that ye have in the land of Israel, saying, The days are prolonged, and every vision faileth?

Those words sound all too familiar. Even the times that they’re not spoken, I feel that the majority of earth have fallen lacks to the idea that time ends for everyone, and so will the earth.

2 Peter 3:9 says it plainly that The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Yet because of God’s longsuffering and wiliness to allow us to get our hearts right with Him, man has been deceived by Satan into thinking that there will not be a judgment day.

The beautiful faces of the media, who often are snakes in bunny clothing, spew lies as fact and the world buys in.  Ethics are at best situational if there are any ethics at all. It’s considered the norm and acceptable and the next generation will be worse because of it.

And before any Christian cast stones, the church as a whole isn’t much better. If we truly believed God’s word as fact, (and it is) that He can come back before the period is put on this sentence, why then are we not more diligent about soul winning? I don’t have any stones in my pocket. 

Reality Verified

23 Tell them therefore, Thus saith the Lord God; I will make this proverb to cease, and they shall no more use it as a proverb in Israel; but say unto them, The days are at hand, and the effect of every vision.

God warned Israel, His very own, that judgement day was on the horizon, and it was. The false prophets and idolaters were condemned and Israel was judged as a harlot for betraying our Lord. (Ezekiel 16:35) Will He do any different for those of us who have been offered grace through the blood of His precious Son? No.

In the days of Ezekiel, judgement was by the law, which I personally wouldn’t have lasted a day under. But by His grace I am saved and protected from the judgement of the earth, but still very much accountable for my actions as a child of God. As well as all other Christians.

Our churches and their leadership are going to stand before God and answer as to why we did not heed His warnings and share the truth outside the walls of the church. Why did we not take a greater stand on matters and rebuke the media rather than accepting it as the norm? And why did we accept the wickedness in and around us as “probably not right,” but  “okay?”

Rebellions Verdict

24 For there shall be no more any vain vision nor flattering divination within the house of Israel.

25 For I am the Lord: I will speak, and the word that I shall speak shall come to pass; it shall be no more prolonged: for in your days, O rebellious house, will I say the word, and will perform it, saith the Lord God.

I don’t have a clue when the end of time will come, but I do believe it’s very much in the not too distant future. Every time I see the clouds rolling in the sky, I wonder… is this the day?

Judgement came for Israel and it will come for us as well.

God’s words citing Israel’s vain visions and flattering divinations very much reminded me of the media today. And the world is every bit as gullible to believe in it.

God’s going to speak to His Son one day and say, “Go get Your children.” And I’ll be ready. But how many won’t? It scares me, but does it scare me into doing something about it besides writing these words? Only time will tell.

The great deceiver may be hiding behind an anchor desk, but that’s not his only locale. He’s in every school, business, church and home, wreaking as much havoc as he possibly can. It’s our job to step up and take back the ground he’s conquered.

The Final Authority

Why I did it, I don’t know. I knew it would end badly; but the show’s title intrigued me. “The Good Place.” This is not a recommendation! The premise of the show is, that a woman dies and is in error sent to the good place. Which happens not to be heaven. Because, in the words of actor Ted Danson who plays “Michael” the architect of the good place, “Buddhists had it a little right, Muslim’s had it a little right, as well as Christians and all other religions, but all were wrong.” There was not one way. It was by the weighing of good and bad deeds in life that were determinate of your destination. The bad place was however called eternal damnation. Interesting I thought, since most of Hollywood doesn’t believe in Hell at all.

But anyway… back to my blog and my scripture for the day which proved that “The Good Place” had somethings right, and everything wrong.

I know… that’s confusing right? Well one thing that is not confusing is the word of God. It’s ironclad clear on eternity.

Ezekiel, an Old Testament Prophet is called up into Heaven either in body or in spirit, it’s unclear. But God allows him to see some things that we are not privy to. One thing is the throne room of God. But He’s also privy to a conversation between God, 6 men and a Writer clothed in white linen, believed to be Jesus. It does not say His name, but it does speak of an authority that only One would have. The Pen of the Writer Who determines who goes to Heaven.

Ezekiel 9:2-6

And, behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate, which lieth toward the north, and every man a slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer’s inkhorn by his side: and they went in, and stood beside the brasen altar.

And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer’s inkhorn by his side;

And the Lord said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.

And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity:

Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.

Old Testament History is a bit gory for my taste. I have a weak stomach and a tender heart. But although I find it a hard pill to swallow, I’ve studied enough bible to understand why it had to be so. And contrary to Ted Danson’s theory, Christianity wasn’t wrong. Even in the Old Testament we find the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He was and is and always will be.

The Writer

The Prophet wears the writer’s inkhorn. The Lamb’s book, the great things of the law and the gospel which God has written to us, for it is  the Spirit of Christ in the writers of the scripture. Christ is the Lamb and the only One with the power to write the names of those in the Lamb’s book.

So when I read in Ezekiel 9:4 that the Lord said to him go and spare those who sigh and cry for all the abominations, sins that were done before Christ died on the cross; I know Who it is that would have that power. The One who will come in the future as prophesied and who died for sins past and future. Christ is exonerating those who had shown mercy and kept true to the law of the day. Those who had compassion for God’s people and His ways. He is the writer as well as …

The Righter

The problem with Hollywood, is they want to justify sin to which there is no justification.

That’s why I felt it particularly odd that they used the words “eternal damnation” for the bad place on the show. The world doesn’t believe there will be a judgement day of any kind.

So the show had it a little right in the fact that there is a good place and a bad place. Even the main character of the show was upset because she wanted an “in between” place to which there was not one. Nor is their one in the Bible. It’s Heaven or Hell. Nothing in between.

A little right is still all wrong. Without Christ in the equation and an understanding of the price He paid for us as the reason behind His authority, the world is destined for Hell. But those of us who know and believe that Christ died, and paid the price for those sins of the past, present and future, know that He has made right all our wrongs by His blood. And therefore He alone can write our names in the Lambs book of Life. Glory!

The Wrong

When I read that God told the six to go through the city and kill, not sparing even children, my heart sinks.  

I don’t profess to have complete understanding of why God did it as He did. But I do understand that children left to be brought up in wickedness would fall to a far greater damnation than those who were saved from Hell by an early demise. 

I also understand that those who are wicked and anti-Christian do far more damage than we are aware of. Even a show like “The Good Place” which is meant for entertainment has an undertone of Satan that serves to convince the unsaved there are other ways to Heaven.

But there is a Final Authority. His Name is Jesus, and every Hollyweird soul and child on the planet will meet Him face to face and answer as to whether or not they accepted His payment for their sin as the final authority of their eternity.

I pray you know Jesus. And if you do not, or have questions, please comment or find me on Facebook!

A Jealous God

I love being live on Monday’s! But what ever the day is you’re tuning in, I hope that his video serves as a word form God to encourage you and help make your day a little sweeter. Tune in every Monday at 10 a.m. to my “Not Another Manic Monday” Vlog and please share this with your friends! For questions or comments, send me a message or find me on Facebook by searching for The Jesus Chick!