Posted in Bible Journaling, Christian Service, Evangelism, Life Inspiration, Purpose, Uncategorized

Who is a wise man?

James 3:13

Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.

Who is a wise man? Good question right? I’ve known my share. Some of worldly wisdom beyond my comprehension, but I was never really impressed with those. They mostly irritated me because they speak over my head in hopes of impressing rather than speaking to my understanding in hopes of helping me. That is the difference between good and bad educators.

We had a preacher come to our church several years ago for a few nights of revival. The first night he was late and ill prepared because he’d gotten lost trying to find our church. It was obvious as he preached that he was having to rely on the Holy Spirit to guide him through his message. It was phenomenal! He came back the second night “prepared.” Yielding big words and theological discussions. Guess which one made the greater impact. Not the big word preacher. The Spirit lead preacher was so much more in tune with the congregation because the Spirit knew what we needed.

In my search for wisdom, I’m not seeking to become theologically greater, but spiritually greater. I want to understand scripture in greater depth, but only for the purpose of taking that information and applying it to my life and messages so that I can become a better child and servant of God.

So when James asks his readers, “Who is a wise man?” I don’t think he was searching for the scholars of the day. He spoke of those who were endued with knowledge. Another word for endued is infused. That is my desire. To be filled with the Spirit of God through the absorption of His word and knowledge. I love the essential oil infusers that fill the air with natural scents and healing oil. They arouse my sense of smell and create a happy response from my soul. So does the word of God!

Don’t Get Too Big for your Britches

...with meekness of wisdom. I pray I never feel as though I (personally) have something to tell. I hope that my ministry work is always a Holy Spirit lead adventure. Meekness is often viewed as weakness in this world. Because a person isn’t loud and boisterous, people believe them to be an obvious push over. And yet, someone like myself who has a naturally loud personality is often considered bold and brave. I know the exact opposite to be true. Meekness is strength concealed and controlled. I have to work on that daily. So a meekness of wisdom is not someone who flaunts what they know,  it rather someone who shares what God has revealed and gives credit where credit is due.

James 3:14-16

But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. 

Don’t get Bitter with your Brothers

Or your sisters as the case may be. On the occasions when I’ve been aggravated with someone I’ve realized that there is a pride involved that is straight out of the pits of Hell, and that I’m lying to myself and anyone else when I try to justify that anger. Satan loves it when we have strife with our family and friends, because in no way will God be glorified. Oh James, you are so wise. That type of strife will cause the wisdom of God and our purpose on earth to completely leave the track of our destined plan by God. That’s a dangerous pride that could have consequences resulting in someone never seeing Jesus because they could only see us. 

How very confusing it must be for the lost child to witness a saved child hating on someone. 

But godly wisdom is where it’s at! It’s why it so important to stay in God’s word. It keeps our heart in tune with Him. If you’re in love with God, you cannot be in hate with others. 

James 3:17-18

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. [18] And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

Get Better by being Broken

Understanding where we come from is a good place to start when showing someone how to get where you are and on their own path toward a deeper relationship with Christ. 

There is a fair amount of snow falling outside right now, and as it falls, it falls slowly, peacefully, covering up the mud and earth below that is so abundant outside this time of year. I’m not a fan of winter for a few reasons, though I do love the snow when I have no where to be… which is not today.  But it serves as a great illustration on the purity of God, and how He washes our sin as white as snow, covering up those muddy days in my life when I’ve failed Him miserably. And I was miserable. That’s a part of my testimony. 

I did not have the peace of God for 34 years of my life. I believed in Jesus, but I did not “know” Jesus. There is a vast difference. Satan is fully well aware that Jesus exists, but he has no desire to have a relationship with Him. And unfortunately neither does most of the world. They are lulled into accepting a false peace that comes from money, fame, even family. But get broken and suddenly you are looking for a repair kit. That repair kit came looking for me in 1996. I experienced it sitting in the back row of Victory Baptist Church, when Mike Worf opened his bible and shared his own brokenness with me. I’d never heard a preacher be so open and honest about his own failing. I needed to know I was not alone. 

Help me God to show that to those I come into contact with. Those who make peace, whether it’s law enforcement, judges, etc. do so by squelching conflict. That’s what the Spirit of God does. We were not made for this world, therefore there is an automatic conflict in our soul. But a soul saved immediately resides in Heaven, and that conflict (though we still experience it on earth) finds peace in Heavenly places. Glory to God! I just wrote myself happy! 

The world would like you to believe that being humble and broken brings shame. The Spirit of God shows us that being broken is when we’re at the point were we can absorb the Spirit of God and allow His goodness to leak back out of us so that others may see. It leaks out of my eyes a lot. 

Praying that today you are getting better in your relationship with Jesus. Blessings! Shari

Posted in Bible Journaling, Christian Service, Purpose, Uncategorized, Word of God

Just for the asking!

I didn’t get a great start off to 2020. I have a few reasons to blame, though truthfully they won’t hold water, but it is what it is. For the time being we have little to no internet because we’re switching providers and there were “issues” with installation. Next, my part time job turned into a full time job for a while, and lastly and most frustratingly, exhaustion cluttered my mind. But today, at least for a couple of hours I’m home. And I’m trying not to feel guilty about the disarray of the house, and focusing on my time with God, and other ministry labors for which I don’t consider labor. 

For the last several years, thanks to my friend Sue Walker, I’ve chosen, or had chosen for me by God, a word for the year. It usually happens when I began to ponder the thought and then over and over again a word will appear in my mind and other places, and it will become clear that that’s where my focus needs to be.  Last year my word was “courage.” For which I needed much. This year my word is wisdom, and I need it more than courage! Though courage may be necessary as well when it comes to the wisdom I am granted. And I say “am” because the word tells me, if I ask, it will be given. 

James 1:5 KJVS

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

Change can be Scary

Now the problem with wisdom, is it’s wiser than me. And when it’s granted, sometimes I’d rather go back to being ignorant. Because ignorance, which isn’t ever really bliss, is usually easier. Wisdom comes with responsibility and most often, change. 

Change is usually in the zone just on the other side of comfort. Once you get there it’s good, but stepping into it is like those other dimensions we see on futuristic shows. We don’t know what’s there, but we’re pretty sure it’s monsters. We know that’s not rational thinking, but when we’re scared we’re not rational. That’s why we need the word of God because it turns our irrational thoughts into intrigue.

Scary can be Exhilarating

Some of the greatest times I’ve had in life usually began with, “No way under the sun would I do that.” And then I did it… at least once. It’s like the time I went repelling with my husband. Once and only once, to say that I had done it. The first time of stepping off the cliff into absolute space was scary stuff! Once I got over the edge and got my feet placed onto the rocks it was still a little scary, but exhilarating as well. And I knew the worst was behind me. That’s much like it is stepping out into new territories of life. 

So what does all that have to do with wisdom? Just in case you’re asking. 

Exhilaration can lead to Wisdom

It reminds me of the lyrics from “O Holy Night”, when it says “A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices, for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn, fall on your knees….” Can you imagine. The day the Lord was born and the changes that were on the horizon for the world?! There could be some glorious changes for us in 2020. But we have to have our minds in the position to hear the leading of the Lord and be willing to step off that cliff into a new space. Wisdom is an exciting thought for me. That I will learn some new and glorious things this year that the Lord would have me know. 

I pray that for you as well. And that together on this journey we’ll go amazing places. Perhaps literally, which I always love, but more importantly, spiritually. 

Please continue to follow along with me on the blog, share my posts and if the Lord leads invite me your way to speak or sing. Blessings!!! Shari

Posted in Bible Journaling, Faith, Health, Uncategorized

We All Need a Super Hero

Jesus Chick Graphics

1 Thessalonians 4:6

That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.

There are some days that you just need a Super Hero; and reading a text like this one was it for me. It’s not that I have an enemy in any man (or woman) as the case could be. But rather my enemy is Satan, and sometimes myself. I’ve said in a few blogs lately that Christmas was hard on me. I’m still not feeling up to par and that takes its tole on me spiritually and emotionally. It’s at that point, the lowest point, that I can feel Satan kicking the guts out of me because he knows I’m too weak to fight back. 

After the heart attack I was on a mission to better health, I had cardiac rehab three times a week which kept me motivated to eat better and look better. Then the rehab stopped, weight increased and my desire to eat well and live better slowly diminished and I went back to many of my old habits. You know… like bread and junk habits. Add the stressors of a holiday and by December 26th my body was wracked with pain. There was no super strength that I used to be able to muster. Just weakness. I would come home from the office and do a minimal amount of housework and collapse in the bed to Pureflix, Instagram and Facebook. But only scrolling… not even using it for what I had always done, which is the promotion of Christ. Ugh 😩

So what’s a girl to do? 

And then there He was. Where He had always been but I had neglected to see. My Super Hero and Avenger, long before Hollywood thought they had the market wrapped up on it. Although those are my favorite kind of shows. Well… they used to be, until the story line never changed and the gore got too much. Sorry. Squirrel 🐿! My ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) kicked in and I went by the way side. But interestingly enough, God never does.

I never lose His attention. 

Paul tells us in the 1 Thessalonians 4 that they’ve been warned and those warnings were backed up by testimony.  Not only Paul’s testimony but mine as well, and likely yours! I have story after story of how God has blessed my life and allowed me to do amazing things that a country girl from the ridge of Zion should never have had the opportunity. So when I hear the things like Satan has been whispering in my ear, I shouldn’t fall for it, but I do. Every time. 

But then… my super 🦸‍♂️ hero swoops in and rescues me, and tells that demon to “Back off, this child is Mine!” Glory to God! 

Paul continues on to tell the church to love one another, and another of my favorite verses in this chapter when he tells them to “mind their own business.” That cracks me up for multiple reasons. 

1 Thessalonians 4:11

And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;

In my weariness and busyness I neglected my business. Which is the ministry of the Lord. I was  commanded when I was called to serve to make that a priority in my life. But I had allowed that jerk of a demon to distract me away from what needed done, and in the process allowed myself to come under attack. 

This morning I feel somewhat better. Actually having talked to my second super hero, my husband David, about the fact I wasn’t feeling well. I hadn’t told him about it as not to concern him, or let him tell me I needed to see the doc. Which is my least favorite thing in the world.

I realize that this is somewhat of a random, all about Shari blog, but I felt the need to share. Possibly because you’ve been feeling overwhelmed and under attack as well. You too need a superhero!

Blessings!!!! And please share this post if it blessed ya ~ Shari.

Posted in Bible Journaling, Christian Service, Church Unity, Eternity, Evangelism, Uncategorized

Reunion Ready

Paul’s letter captivates my thoughts quickly this morning, causing me to wonder about my level of commitment to the saints of God and to the service of our Lord. The depth of his heartache can be felt so intensely if you ponder each line as I believe God intended in our study of His word and our desire to get to know Him through Paul. His greatest desire at the point of his writing was to see those in the church of Thesalonica. But because of his own obligations, he decided to stay in Athens alone and send Timothy to the check on the spiritual welfare of those he trained in the gospel.

His goal of discipleship is listed in the final verses of this chapter, 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13

And the Lord make you to increase, and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.

Three quick points for this Monday morning of the year 2019’s final days leading into the New Year of 2020. It’s my prayer for you.

That your church has

Love Abounding

Not only toward each other but toward all men.

It is so easy for us as separate denominations to feel superior over another. Believing that we are right and they are wrong. Forgetting that there is one gospel and that it was never Christ’s intentions to have the separation of the churches as we do today. No, I’m not suggesting we all join up into one church. That’s a good way to get a fuss going. But would it not be a grand gesture if our love could abound toward all men and women without regard to denomination. 

I’ve sang and spoken to churches of another denomination without concern for our differences. We had a common ground that made that very easy and is a necessity for communion with other churches, which is, that they too believe in Jesus, the way the truth and life. Only His sacrificial atonement though the blood as our way into Heaven. Not of ourselves in any way, shape or form. That said, I sing and speak Christ. And the Spirit of God joins in because of our love abounding to one another. 

Hearts Established

Unblameable and Holy? That’s tough right? We likely all feel that there is plenty of blame to share in us and holiness is far from an achievable feeling. Namely because we have an accuser who loves to walk this earth and remind us of our failures. But having your heart established, meaning that you are conscious of where your spirit actually abides, will bring you to the next level of service. Because God “hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:” (Ephesians 2:6)

Together. We are members of the body of Christ. There is no Baptist church in Heaven. Glory to God! There is no Methodist, Pentecostal or any other church in Heaven. When we meet together up there, there will not be no fussin! We will know the truth because we’ll be in the presence of the Truth! 

But here, in this place, we have to get our hearts established through the Spirit that indwells us. And that means staying in His word until we see the world and ourselves through His eyes.

Paul never claimed to be perfect. In Romans 7:15 he says “For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.”

Can you identify? I sure can! The things I want to do, I don’t. And the things I don’t want to do, I do. It’s the flesh. Paul battled it and so do we. But through Jesus Christ we are seen blameless and holy in the eyes of God. In that we have to get established and continue on doing the best we can, not the least, so that we are

Reunion Ready!

Paul said that we need to be established at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints. That glad reunion day when all those who we miss on earth, we’ll be joined with again! I have so many. I know that they have no concept of time, and as fast as time is going in my life, I hardly having any concept either; but our reunion day will be one of great joy and the beginning of a life without complexity. No denominations, separations, aggravations and failed expectations… just celebrations! Worship. Collective worship as one Nation! The Nation of Heaven. 

Just wrote myself happy! I am reunion ready, are you? 

But until that day there is a work to do and a people to care for. Let’s do it today! 

Posted in Bible Journaling, Christian Service, Evangelism, Uncategorized

Why my crown is rockin!

For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? For ye are our glory and joy.

1 Thessalonians 2:19-20

For the most part television evangelists miss the mark. Not all of them. There are guys like Cal Ray Evans on our local channel 3 on Sunday Morning that will bless the socks off of you, give you solid teaching and truly cares about the reach of his ministry. And then there are others… nameless others… who possibly seek to glorify God, but they’re concern for the congregation of cyber land, radio wave and satellite is more about how many wallets they can reach. Sound like I’m bitter? No, not bitter, but most assuredly frustrated. Because when I read scripture like the one above, and I see the true compassion and dedication of Paul and the others, I wonder where it’s gone to.  And I understand why there is a trust issue in the world when it comes to gospel teaching.  How many of those on the air waves today would be willing to go through a fraction of what bible disciples went through to reach the masses? Would I? Good question. While Paul and the others were preachers of the gospel, it wasn’t only the preachers willing to die for Christ, but the congregation as well. So before we throw stones at ministers of the gospel, we have to acknowledge that the accountability of spreading the gospel does not only lie at the preachers feet.

What is our Hope?

More now than ever the world needs hope. I see it and more aptly read it in the faces and posts of the people I meet through social media, visiting other places and in my own home town. Folks need hope, but they have no idea who to trust when it comes to sharing their struggle. I’ve shared my own struggles with people who I could tell by their reaction they really were not that interested in what I was going through. And so I too find myself retreating inside my head because I don’t want to bother anyone, and I certainly don’t want to feel unloved. And that’s the truth as I feel it when someone turns me off when I’ve risked my personal exposure of pain to tell them what’s going on. O boy… that’ll preach won’t it? How many people have felt like that? And how many of us (myself included) have been the one turning people off?

So what’s our Hope. Our hope is the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the one that we have to share so that people know when the world let’s you down there is ONE WHO WILL NOT EVER!!!

What is our Joy?

We sing “Joy to the World” this time of year, but who has a depth of understanding of it when the commercialization of Christmas has become so ridiculous?  When people want to get through the Holy Days so they can get to the Holiday. We don’t want to be inconvenienced by church services lasting too long, or the expectation that we should worship Christ in the ways of scripture. From Christ’s birth to His death we find powerful worship. And then post death, pre-return, we find disciples like Paul and his buddies who were willing to be imprisoned, beaten and killed to worship. And we, in a free world, won’t go to church on Sunday, but expect people to believe we’re Christ’s disciples. Nope… can’t do it. 

It’s when I get bitter. 

This year for Christmas I made my sweet delicacies in sparing because of time. I love to bake and cook and treat my family to special foods all year long. But in the process of making my fudge this year, one of my kids came in and I neglected the stove. 🤦‍♀️ Not good. So when I poured my fudge into the pan to cool, I knew it was off. I’d scorched it. It still sits beside me on the table taunting me of my failure and it’s bitter taste. But it also reminds me that Hell’s 🔥 fire will scorch the souls of men someday, and are scorching souls now that were neglected by the church. So you want to know about true joy? 

It’s the saving grace of Christ that allows a soul to go to Heaven and never taste the flames of Hell. That is true joy. It’s why I want to live bolder and pray that God gives me opportunity in 2020 to share the gospel of Christ with people. It’s my prayer every New Year, and at years end I always feel that I fail miserably.

What is my Glory?

You are. Those of you who read what I write, and receive encouragement from it. That is my glory, because I know that that is bringing glory to God. I do not seek the applause of men, but I sure do seek to see the fruits of my labor. I pray that I do better at posting and sharing the gospel every day in some form or another and I pray that I’ll be able to be face to face with many of you this year sharing the gospel in song and word.

The days of scripture being written are done. Revelation caps the book and no other words were added, regardless of what some religions tell you. It’s finished. But the word of God, written thousands of years ago is still as fresh today as it was the day it dripped from the pen of the writer. Every time you open the Bible it’s like a brand new book never read.  And we have need to share it! Because that is where this miserable world is going to find hope and joy and God will be glorified! And I just wrote myself happy!!!!

I pray you know Jesus. I pray you’ll make a commitment to live bolder in 2020. Because there are souls a plenty in 2020 who need Christ! Let’s get out there people and tell the world about our Savior!

Posted in Bible Journaling, Eternity, Evangelism, Uncategorized

What Does it Mean to Wait?

There are days that I consider myself a fairly good example to the children of God and to the lost… maybe two days out of the month. That would make it multiple so that I could use the tense of “days.” But most days I feel like an epic failure because I know that I’m not living up to the potential within me through Christ. 

These past few weeks have been a blur; I went from one project and one task to another until they all ran together like melted crayons. I felt consumed. That’s not a good feeling. I had very little rest, mostly just collapses of exhaustion and then I would wake up and begin again. But today… the day after our celebration of the Lord’s birth I feel renewed. There’s nothing pending… well except work. But that’s okay. There’s nothing that has my attention away from the Lord. His word is honey to my mouth, and oil to my joints. I’ve been stale and stiff. I have no other description of how I’ve felt of late physically. Nothing satisfied my tastebuds, and my body groaned under the pressures of the day. But today… not so much… That makes me sad and glad all at the same time. Because I missed Christmas this year. Or at least the Spirit of the season. I was too busy… again. 

But today my mind is slowed down, absorbing the word and the mind of God. I’ve missed Him (I moved, not Him). And I wasn’t a very good example; not like the children of Thessalonica  for which Paul, Sylvanus  and Timotheus wrote to.

1 Thessalonians 1:7-10 KJV

[7] So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. [8] For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing. [9] For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; [10] And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

Sounding Christians

Ensample is a large example; meaning that the Thessalonians were collectively serving as a group of believers, sounding out the word of God, not only in their hometown but spread abroad! Yes, that’s exciting for those of us on the internet and those of us who are a part of the body of Christ through the local church. Because imagine what the folks from Thessalonica could have done with such a tool. And while I have sore attempted to spread the word abroad, I’m not always successful because I’m not using the tools I’ve been given to their full potential. That’s what I believe the children of Thessalonica were doing. They were being heard… loudly!

Showing Christians

To be a part of an ensample, you have to personally be an example. Showing the love of Christ is more than a December thing. The world seems to get extremely good at showing love this time of year. But by January the feeling has long since faded into background of Christmas and the New Year and new goals and objectives are on their minds. This ought not be the case with Christians. We should have that Spirit of giving 12 months out of the year. Not that we should be giving out fruit baskets continually, but the fruit of the Spirit! 

The Thessalonians were so good at being an example that it says nothing else needed to be said. Oh that I were such a one! 

Serving Christians

The word “wait” gets a bad rap. It is so more often thought of as a spirit of setting, not serving. But add an “er” at the end, and suddenly the spirit of serving, as in being a waiter or waitress, shines a different light on it’s meaning. The children of Thesalonica were not sitting around twiddling their thumbs, waiting for the return of Jesus, they were telling the world about the One that was to return and save this world from the wrath to come. For the record… the wrath is still on our timeline. 

Those who don’t know Christ will not be spared the wrath of God when He pours out judgement upon the earth in the last days. We see the signs of it everyday. God has a calendar too. 

My friend Sue gave me another beautiful date book for me to keep my busy life in view. I love it… but this morning it reminds me that God has something else I need to keep in view. Eternity. Where will you be in eternity? Where will your friends and family be? Let’s find out today and add another mansion address!

What does it mean to wait? Serve not Sit!

God bless ya! Shari

Posted in Bible Journaling, Christian Service, Evangelism, Life Inspiration, Praise, Uncategorized

The Fruit of our Lips

Hebrews 13:15

By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

In search of a word from the Lord, He reminded me that I have words too. Words of praise, words of encouragement… words.

Lots of them. 

His words come first. For guidance, instruction, chastisement, peace, and sometimes just wonderful conversation. All of which is an example to me that I should be more about my Father’s business. It came in the form of a visit from a childhood Sunday School teacher, Miss Janet. One of the sweetest ladies in my life. She stands just a little over four feet tall, but inside that tiny frame is one of the first people I met in Calhoun County who forever impacted my life for Christ. She’s was a soul winner, long before I had heard that terminology. She loves Jesus and she uses her words for that purpose. She uses her words to tell her little part of the world that she loves Jesus. That is a huge part of our Father’s business.

The Thanksgiving Holiday is just a few weeks away. Can you believe that? Where has another year gone. I stand in awe at how very quickly life is passing. I’m 57 years old. Yesterday I was in Miss Janet’s Sunday School class in the basement of the Mt. Zion Methodist Church. And I know that for her it seems like yesterday that she too was a young woman. We have less and less time to make our words impactful. But along that pathway of life, we need to take the time to show our gratitude to the Lord for all He’s done. To praise Him continually. It’s what I learned from Miss Janet yesterday. She’s still a teacher. Never stop praising Him. 

Words are the fruit of our lips. What’s the flavor of your fruit. Sweet like an apple, hardy like a pear? Perhaps in that ooey goodness of a banana. I hope if you’re a lemon you add a little sugar. Are you a peculiar fruit like a star fruit. Oh my goodness. My mind is going so many different places. God’s creation is a great place to start praising Him!

What’s in your frig today? If you have anything, and I’ll bet you have more than that! We need to thank Him for it. So many in the world have nothing. They don’t even own a frig. I learned that from my friend Martin in Africa. They harvest, kill and eat. No left overs. No frig. Just living day to day. Oh… we have so much to praise Him for today! 

I pray you’ll use your words wisely. Be sweet and fruitful. Using your words to glorify the Father. Happy Saturday! And if you’re reading this today, remember tomorrow is Sunday. A good day to go and praise Him!! I’m ready!

Posted in Bible Journaling, Eternity, Life Inspiration

You Can Do It!

Those are the words of Christ, that spoke to my heart this morning. He did not say it in that manner of course, His words were documented by Matthew in chapter 19, verse 26:

But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

All things? Well, let’s unpack the context of that verse and see what Jesus says about “all” things. I need to unpack it, because I hear that verse yielded around so often. It’s a great Instagram and Facebook verse. It encourages those who are down and need a word to continue on. It’s encouraged me in like fashion. But that response wasn’t toward something that most people use that verse for. Jesus had just told a young man to sell every thing he owned and give it to the poor. 

So is that a word for everyone? Yes and no. When the young man asked the question “what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?” God knew the intent of his heart. As well as ours. Scary thought. In my teen class a few weeks ago, one of the younger of the boys was there when we were discussing the fact that God sees every thing. And I said to them, “God sees all the good you do.” To which he replied with direction to his peers, “Yeah, God sees it when we’re good!” To which I followed it up with “And, God sees when you do something wrong.” At which time he responded with a a look of concern on his face, “He does?” Makes sure you draw that word “does” out to about three syllables. Because he did, and I cracked up. Because I knew he had just fed me a line about something he did that wasn’t true. Well that attitude is in little boys and boys, and little girls and big girls. And God knows our heart.

The rich young man wanted eternal life. And in all honesty, God did not need his money. But Christ’s response about a rich man going to heaven being as likely as a camel going through the eye of a needle, bothered them all. It bothers the vast majority of the earth today. The young man wasn’t willing to even consider giving up what he had to serve Jesus. And Jesus knew that. It wasn’t that he couldn’t be saved, it’s that he wouldn’t be saved. That broke my heart. Because I see it everywhere I go… including the church house, and including my own heart.

I am viewed, and I’m humbled by it, as an outspoken child of God. I am very vocal about my love for Jesus and the worlds need for salvation. But if I truly examine myself, and I don’t have to dig very deep; there are parts of my heart that I have yet to surrender to God. I’m hanging on to my riches… Anything I have, I owe it to the one who gave it to me. So when Christ says “with God all things are possible,” He means all. As I said, it’s a great verse of encouragement. But God speaks in spiritual terminology. Not of monetary means. Which is why the young ruler wasn’t willing to give it all. He valued that more than heaven. While the unsaved often will not surrender their heart to the Lord because they don’t want to leave the pleasure earthly means give; Christians, who have already been given enteral life, forgo all the spiritual goodness of God because they forget that He knows their heart.

He knows. Two little words that render the feeling in my soul of inadequacy. Praise God for grace. So back to the title “You can do it!” Yes we can. We can do all things through Christ Who strengthens us. (Philippians 4:13) He gives us strength, but He expects some effort on our part. So a word for me, and perhaps you today is this: in the examination of your heart, what is it that you refuse to give up for Christ? 

I give up a lot to serve God. Mostly time. And I know my Lord is grateful. But there’s this thing in my heart that I’ve yet to trust Him with… and He knows. Emphasis on “knows.” Draw that out to about three syllables. Because that’s how I feel today.

Posted in Bible Journaling, Christian Service, Life Inspiration, Uncategorized

Life is Heavy

One of the few things (other than a ton of memories) that I got from my Mother’s home place was yoke that my Uncle Dennis gave me. Thinking that I, in all my weirdness, would no doubt find it to be a treasure. And I did. I did, because it had a spiritual meaning to me, knowing that I had been yoked to the world for so long, but now was yoked only to Heaven. Glory Hallelujah for that! But the meaning of the yoke goes far beyond what I was released from. It is a reminder of who took the burdens of that world upon Himself.

Matthew 11:28-30

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

A yoke is a large wooden harness that fits over the shoulders of bulls or oxen. It attaches to piece of equipment that they’re to pull. A “heavy laden” animal has a big load to pull, and so do those of us laden with the cares of this world. The demands of life can flat weigh ya down, and cause you to buckle beneath it unless you are blessed with the saving grace of Jesus Christ. It is He Who removed these burdens from His children, when He took them upon His shoulders on the cross. It’s hard to imagine that something happening today was on the cross 2000 years ago, but it was. Jesus frees  us from all the burdens of today. The rest, peace, promises of love and healing that we receive from God does not end the toiling that we have to do here. But it changes that toil into a labor of love.

I told my friend Chief this week that I had not looked forward to going back into the workforce. I know what comes with it. But the stresses of the day have been outweighed this week by the opportunity to be blessed and be a blessing to the people I come into contact with. Even though I’m in the secular world of work, it’s still a partnership with Christ. He’s opened doors that I had no clue He would ever open.

So at weeks end, when I came home and collapsed in exhaustion, feeling frustrated and overwhelmed, a nap and a new day has caused me to reflect on the opportunities that I was given this week. I bet you were given your share too!

As we go into our day of worship, I pray that you and I will take the blessing with us in the form of a testimony at church tomorrow. God bless ya! And I look forward to seeing you in church… even if it’s in a different one.

Posted in Bible Journaling, Christian Service, Faith, Grace, Life Inspiration, Purpose, Word of God

All the things!

There are days when I think that I have gone completely mad and that the world is in a tailspin that cannot be stopped. And then I realize that I need to take the “L” out of the world, and latch back on to the word. 

I spent yesterday going from one work project to personal project and back all day long. I had computer software, billing programs issues, cheerleading squad projects and a load or two of laundry thrown into the mix just for fun. By the time I hit the sack last night I was not just physically exhausted but mentally as well. And I “almost” complained. And then I realized, Shari, you are blessed beyond measure as my friend Loretta Propst always reminds me. 

In the midst of exhaustion I hadn’t bothered to realize that I had the strength to do it all and it was only through Christ that I had it. Isn’t that wonderful!? How the word of God refocuses your mind. I woke up a little late this morning and my wise husband said… just rest a minute. And so I did.

I did however have enough time for a quick piece of art and a short blog today. I hope it blesses you to realize that you too can do ALL things today through Christ. He is so very faithful. Have a blessed Friday (or what ever day you read this). And know that you are loved by the Lord Jesus, and me as well. Blessings! ~ Shari