Posted in Bible Journaling, Christian Service, Faith, Grace, Life Inspiration

Is Jesus Missing You?

The news came this morning of a fallen child of God. I’ve watched it over the years as they strayed further and further away from the Lord, falling backing into alcoholism, domestic issues and yesterday an arrest with multiple charges. My heart sunk, the tears welled and I became frustrated, hurt and then really, really sad. I also became really, really conscious of the state of being human. We’re all just one bad decision away from needing grace. While I can’t imagine myself falling into the sins of my friend… and yes, they’re still my friend, because they’re still he friend of Jesus… I am aware that life changes on a dime. We all have good days and bad, and every day we need to hold tight to Jesus. Not because He’ll ever let us go, but because it’s up to us build our relationship with Him. And relationship are relational. Shocker! Right? 

Then why are we surprised when we don’t feel close to Jesus? When’s the last time we spent some serious time in His presence? I love the scripture in 1 Chronicles 16:22 that warns the world

Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm. – 1 Chronicles 16:22

You see, I know that I am anointed. I’ve known it from the time I got saved and began serving Jesus. But I don’t always act like I’m anointed.

Over the past few weeks I’ve re-entered the workforce on a part time basis. I’ve had to restructure my life, which has been good. It calls for very early wake ups and very early bed times. It calls for organization skills, which doesn’t come easy for me and it especially calls for time management. My ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) is on overdrive. I feel like that cartoon where the guy’s head is spinning like a top. Which way do I look! And then I realize. Up!!!!!

For the past few days I’ve had to pull an extra shift, prepare for my first board meeting and then attend a days training out of town which was all extra time in my schedule that I had not prepared for. It took me out of the ministry work, and refocused my attention on secular business and not the Lord’s. While I know He understands; He is not surprised, our relationship suffered. Certainly not on His end. But mine. 

And I said all that to say this: when my friend fell, I felt the fall. I had felt it every time I seen this guy and his family around town. I missed his fellowship at church. And so I wondered as I zoomed down the road, hither, there, and yon if Jesus watched me zoom by and said… “I miss you Shari.”

Has He said it about you lately?

How can we feel the power of that statement of God, “Touch not mine anointed,” when we’re not spending time with Him. 

  • The scripture leading up to that verse reminded Israel, and us, that we need to look at the life of Abraham (known as the friend of God) and how his relationship down through the ages has brought blessing. 

1 Chronicles 16:11-22 KJV

[11] Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually. [12] Remember his marvellous works that he hath done, his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth; [13] O ye seed of Israel his servant, ye children of Jacob, his chosen ones. [14] He is the Lord our God; his judgments are in all the earth. [15] Be ye mindful always of his covenant; the word which he commanded to a thousand generations; [16] Even of the covenant which he made with Abraham, and of his oath unto Isaac; [17] And hath confirmed the same to Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant, [18] Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance; [19] When ye were but few, even a few, and strangers in it. [20] And when they went from nation to nation, and from one kingdom to another people; [21] He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes, [22] Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.

So as I head to work again today, these things are on my mind.

  • I sought the Lord and I’ve been strengthened in the Lord. Hallelujah!
  • I am mindful of His promises, not only to Abraham, but to me! Hallelujah!
  • And I am ever so aware that even though there are days when I feel like a stranger in my own world, I am God’s anointed. Hallelujah!!!

Please pray for my friend. He needs restored. And Make sure you take some time today to refresh in God’s word and prayer. So that you too can be remind that you are His anointed and you have a purpose for the Kingdom. 

God bless ya! ~ Shari

Posted in Bible Journaling, Faith, Forgiveness, Health, Life Inspiration, Uncategorized

You Can Fix Stupid

It’s Saturday morning, I’ve had a crazy week and I stand in need of some serious rest. Well. Guess where I’m going? It’s not to the world. And it’s not sleep of which I speak. It’s mental rest that I’m in need of. This world can drag me into oblivion and I feel like I’m drowning. And so I go to the only place I’ve ever found true rest. The Word of God.

Christ says in 1 John 14:27

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. 

John 14 is one of my favorite books. It’s speaks of that place for which God Himself is preparing for us, but until then, He has provided the Comforter. And just reading the word of God causes my anguished soul to calm and the peace for which I’m longing is there. 

Sometimes the blog comes and then the image, but this morning it was the other way around. I could feel myself collapsing under the weight of the world before I got out of bed. I love the quote “The struggle is real!” Because it is. I’m sure I’m not speaking anything new to you. We all feel it. I’m not the only one with issues. Am I? Of course not. And our dilemmas are personal, and although the struggles of other people may be far worse, it doesn’t mean that ours will be ignored by the Lord. He understands. Long before He went to the garden, where He felt a struggle far beyond anything we will ever know, He still had earthly struggles. 

There were stupid people who walked the earth in Jesus’ day too. That may be a Jesus Chick original quote… just sayin’. Stupidity was a seed planted in the garden of Eden and we’ve been eating of that tree ever since. I won’t throw the rest of the world under the bus and say that I have not had moments of stupidity. Most of the pressures I feel are self inflicted. That seems to be a reoccurring theme on my blog and in my life. So I guess the question for today is “What do we do with the stupidity of this world?”

Fix What You Can

I’m looking at my own life and what’s going on right now. I’ve re-entered the workforce and have taken a job that needs some serious TLC. (Tender, loving, care). This week had me wading through paper work, checking accounts and new computer programs and the occasional stupid person. Mainly a computer programmer who I have no desire to ever meet. What I discovered is, I can fix this. But every problem has to be dealt with one at a time and with wise counsel. I’ll be honest with you, that’s never been my strong suit. Asking for help has always made me feel weak and less. But when the computer program kicked my butt this week, I had to call for counsel; and when the computer programmer talked to me like I was an idiot, and told me that his program took 2-6 months of training, which wasn’t included in what I’m paying him, I immediately knew who the idiot was, and it wasn’t me. So how do you fix stupidity. Get a new program.

The same is true in life. If what we’re doing isn’t working, we need to get a new program. It might be my stupidity or that of another that’s causing me issues, but I can’t keep doing the same thing and get a different result. So let’s change it up.

Don’t Let What’s Broken Cause you to Fall

For certain something broken can cause you to fall. My broken body has put me into the position of falling on several occasions.That feeling has caused me frustration and I’ve had to learn that aging is a process, but it’s not an ending. It’s just a new program.  And I’m slowly learning that the new program isn’t bad. I’ve just had to adjust my ways of doing things and my way of thinking, a lot! 

But what if it’s not something physical. What if it’s a broken heart or broken dreams. Perhaps it’s a broken promise. All of which can cause us to fall into a spiritual trap of the Devil. Satan loves it when something stupid happens in our lives that breaks us. When we’re down on our knees we have two choices; we can either cower to the demonic forces that want to make us miserable, or we can take what’s broken to the Lord Jesus Himself, and allow Him to fix it for us. It takes counsel. Sometimes from people, but always from the Lord. He is the only One that has the power to mend a broken heart or spirit. 

So you see, contrary to popular belief, you can fix stupid. 

I am aware that there is an exhaustive list of stupidity. And that it’s not a one size fits all. But it is a One size fix’s all. And that’s the Lord Jesus. Regardless of the category, the level or the depth of disaster. God’s got it covered and is more than willing to work with us. Isn’t that great?! You can fix stupid… who knew!

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

At what point will God say “Enough”

I have to ask myself that question as I read Revelation 3:14-22

The lukewarm church Is the modern day way. I see it everywhere I go, and I run the risk of falling into that spiritual category with my own personal relationship with Christ. I can get too busy, become too apathetic about my great commission; which is to go, observe and teach. So it makes me wonder, at what point is God going to say, “I’ve waited long enough.” 

There is coming a day when the door of opportunity for salvation is closed, be not deceived, it will be a sad, sad day… not only for the unsaved, but the saved as well when our opportunity to win the souls of our friends and family is over.

Revelation 3:14-22 KJV

[14] And unto the angel k of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; [15] I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. [16] So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. [17] Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: [18] I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. [19] As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. [20] Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. [21] To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. [22] He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

The Laodicean church was the wealthiest of the seven. It was known for four illustrative things in Christ’s message on their final days. Three industries and their source of water (a vital part of any community).

The Banker

It was known for its banking industry, being a city of great wealth. How much of an Industry is that across America? It’s big business and it’s more often than not a merciless business. So when John writes the words of Christ “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire.” He’s not trying to sell them something, He speaks of the spiritual treasures. Those things that moth and rust cannot corrupt and cannot be obtained through earthly means. There will be no banker in Heaven, but there will be great wealth. 

What does that say about our time here on earth? Which is the more important to focus on, dollars or destiny! Gloray! I’m headed to work in about 40 minutes, but I can assure you, my heart is not on the dollars I’ll derive from my day at work. It’s on what spiritual gold I can lay up today by doing something for Jesus.

The Merchant

Another industry of Laodicea was the manufacturing of wool. As we are heading into the winter season here in West Virginia wool is a great thing. But the Christ speaks to the desire within most of us for “stuff”. Or perhaps it’s just me. I love stuff! But verse 18 continues with Christ’s counsel “that thou mayest be rich, and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear.”

I love, love, love clothes and shoes. I’m a fanatic . But I am aware that my trip before the throne will not find me clad in leopard boots and cute jeans. Nope. My apparel will be the robe of righteousness that Christ made for me when He took my sins upon His back on the cross. Christ reminds me that I need not be so focused on how good I look on the outside, but what is most important is what is going on inside with my heart. My robe and my position in Heaven, will be dependent upon the spiritual treasure I lay up through the winning of souls and my Kingdom work.

The Educator

Within the city of Laodicea was a medical school that produced eye salve. Can you see the spiritual implications there? Christ continues His counsel “anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mightest  see.” 

I am forever grateful for the medical team that did my open heart surgery. I’m especially grateful for those that I felt understood my reliance on Christ, not them. But of the team who did my surgery wasn’t a completely saved group. Yet God worked through them to save my life. How I wish that they would have healed their own hearts by accepting what Christ did for them. This was Christ’s counsel to the educated of they city… don’t forget Who created you.

The Water Source

At one time an aqueduct was built to bring water to the city from hot springs. By the time the water reached the city it was neither hot nor refreshingly cold, but was rather lukewarm. Christ used this for the illustration of the church that had lost its zeal for Him. The church had become as bland, tepid water, not fit for anything.

And so it is with religion of today. The churches who are more concerned with appearances and worldly acceptance have nothing that will satisfy the dry thirsting soul of the sinner, God help us.

I pray today that you and I will take the refreshing water of the Spirit and word of God to the world around us, I gotta go… but praise God,  I’m fired up and ready. 

Posted in Bible Journaling, Christian Service, Eternity, Evangelism, failure, Forgiveness, Life Inspiration, Uncategorized

The Door’s Still Open


Another church, another thought, as I continue through Revelation. I have to go back and post about two previous churches because those posts got tangled up in web design and technical difficulties. But today I’m doing my best to stay on track like the church of Philadelphia. A faithful lot, without rebuke. I’m sure that it wasn’t that they were perfect, they were faithful. There is a vast difference. 

People outside the church look at children of God and expect us to be unscathed in this sinful world. It’s not going to happen. We mess up, we fall down and we get dirty with sin just like the rest of the world; the difference is, I have a spiritual wash cloth that cleans me up. Glory! 

I was rebuked by my husband last night in a “joking” manner when I said I didn’t want to answer a message that I’d been sent. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to fix the person’s problems. It was the fact that I couldn’t. It’s a spiritual issue not a physical one. The spirit realm is this abyss of Satan and his minions that continually strive to create confusion, strife and opportunities to sin. And Christians willingly walk into it even knowing that it can destroy. And on the outside of Christianity is the unsaved only seeing the physical realm not the spiritual. And a testimony is destroyed. The unsaved seldom see the acts of repentance and restoration of the child of God. 

Life is about doors. Doors that open and doors that close on opportunity. 

A person who has accepted the saving grace of Jesus Christ, and His finished work on the cross has walked through a door that will never close. And that is the one to eternal  life. But the unsaved who has yet to make that decision is now running the risk of having that door shut for all eternity on the wrong side.

That literally makes my stomach turn.

It’s why I can’t fix the spiritual issues of another. I’m not holding the key 🔑 .

The church of Philadelphia was a loving, faithful church that used their spiritual gifts for the Kingdom of God. They just kept going in the face of what ever came their way, bad or good. And that’s all any of us can do. 

It is my prayer that you know which side of the door you’re on when eternity calls. 

If not, follow the link to the plan of salvation. Please don’t wait.

Posted in Bible Journaling, Christian Service, Church attendance, Church Unity, Evangelism, Leadership, Life Inspiration, Uncategorized

A New Name and an Old Story

Revelation 2:12-17
[12] And to the angel l of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges; [13] I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is : and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth. [14] But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. [15] So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. [16] Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. [17] He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it. …

In this day and age there are plenty of issues in the church. But one of the most nauseating is the “compromising” church. Those who ride the fence on any major political issue and those who look the other way when folks in the church are boldly living in sin without regard for the Lord and how it reflects on Him.

I guess it’s not new!

The church of Pergamos was one such church. Built high on a hill, 1,000 feet above the surrounding countryside and right in the center of Greek culture and education. A very sophisticated city, but with it a very worldly and wiceked culture. It was the center of four cults and highly influenced with people traveling from all over the world to experience the god of healing. It sounds so familiar to those of today selling everything imaginable and knowing that none of it will heal. The world continues to buy the lie to the tune of a billion dollar industry,

The church of Pergamos wasn’t entirely bad; John had some great things to say about them. Including the fact that one of their members, Antipas, was killed for his faith. Obviously some of them were living right. But the trouble was, in their midst was this group of heathens that they simply ignored. Nobody calling them to task for leading people into idol worship or living in sexual immorality. And so, I would imagine that the churches name as a whole, in the surrounding areas, wasn’t of the standard God, or anywhere close.

We are running that risk today when we allow the worlds ways to go unmentioned for fear of hurting the feelings of a world going to Hell in a hand basket. A world who could care less that they not only offend us, but they tear at the very fabric of our being. That’s not being dramatic that’s being honest. Every time we compromise our faith it becomes less and less believable in the eyes of the unsaved.

Try convincing the unsaved that you have anything different when a church member that they know is living like the Devil. You’ll be hard pressed to make any headway,

But at the end of the letter to this church is that wonderful news, that even though there are those that fail around us, if we stay faithful we have so much to gain! The hidden mana that God provides His children in the form of spiritual food that fills the body with contentment and great peace, and a new name written on a white stone in Glory that will be known only to us and God.

I’ve always liked my name because it was a little weird in the way it was spelled, but imagine receiving a name from God. How unique and wonderful will that be!

I’m starting my day with the song in my head, “A New Name Written Down In Glory.” That’ll put a shout in your soul! Stick to the old ways, it will lead to a new day.

Posted in Bible Journaling, Christian Service, Evangelism

Candles in a Crazy World

Revelation 2

1Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;

Ephesus was the capital of Asia Minor, a center of land and sea trade. It was one of the most influential cities of the eastern part of the Roman Empire. The temple of Diana was located within the city, as well as the major industry, which was manufacturing the idols of the goddess Diana (Acts 19:21-41) Paul ministered in Ephesus for three years, warning people that false teachers would try to draw them away from their faith. But glory to God, the church of Ephesus had resisted them!

Paul could do a work here today if he were alive. Although we do not have a temple to the goddess Diana, we have an internet. We have crazy religions like “The church of the Spaghetti Monster.” Not joking… that’s a real thing. We have religions that indoctrinate people with a little bit of Jesus and a whole of world. That too was like the world around the church of Ephesus. The Nicolaitanes, mentioned in verse 6 of Chapter 2, were “believers” who compromised their faith in order to enjoy the sinful practices of the Ephesian society. Sound familiar?

It’s why the book of Revelation reads like the headlines of a newspaper laying on the counter of a newsstand today. And why those of us who truly want to let our little lights shine in this world should be reading it, heeding it’s warning and preparing for the sky to split open. And by preparing, I mean ministering to our friends and family that Jesus is coming soon! And that’s not just a song title.

Candlesticks and Stars

We’re about to go into the holiday seasons of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Candlesticks and stars are a center portion of the décor and this year the meaning will be a little deeper for me having read the book of Revelation at the start. John said “These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;

He that was holding the candlesticks and stars was none other than the Lord Jesus. The candle sticks were the churches, and the stars are said to be the church leaders or angels that guard the church. Church leaders are earthly angels that guard the church, are they not? Tears fill my eyes when I think of those in my own community who I adore, and have such a burden for their church, not just my own. I know they struggle. Every day is a fight for the believer. Funny, how thing haven’t changed so much since this book was written.

I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:

John commended the church of Ephesus for their stand. Just as he would commend the churches of today who stand for the gospel of Jesus Christ. He alone as the way of Salvation. The churches who believe that there is a separation from the ways of the world, not from the world. We have to live here and minister to the people in our community and let our little lights shine. But we also have to stand with unwavering faith in the doctrines of the bible. I know that that is my calling for this website.

There are times I want to be funny and trendy and do all the things that entertain. That’s just my nature. But then there are mornings like today that as I’m going back into the work force for the first time in years, that I know I’m about to go back into Ephesus again. And my focus has got to be right.

So, this morning I went back into the routine of years gone by. A 4:30 a.m. wake up call, which came naturally, no alarm. Not because I’m “all that and a bag of chips” spiritually. But because I know I need it. I have to have the guidance of the Lord on my day. Christ, through John said of the Ephesus church:

And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

Even thought they were good people, they had lost their zeal. I don’t want that said of me. I want my candlesticks and stars to shine brightly in my community and for that to happen I have to stay excited for the coming of Christ. I have to let them see Christ in me.

Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

I’m going back in the world. But I’m not apart of them!

My home is in Heaven and I have the very Spirit of God within me that is sitting on the throne of Glory! That gives me a much better vantage point for the day.

I pray your day is blessed! Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!

Posted in Bible Journaling, Church attendance, Evangelism

My Burden for the Little People!

When I make the statement “I have a burden for small churches,” I get a multitude of looks and responses. If the person to whom I’m speaking is not a member of a small church, or usually any church, they just don’t get it at all. But if they are a member, their response depends upon how active and concerned they are for their portion of the body of Christ. Most are very concerned, and bewildered perhaps, on how to do anything to get their church motivated and growing. I get that. The struggle is real in every church regardless of size. It’s very difficult in our apathetic society who sees no need to arise on Sunday morning with their family and attend their local church. That is what drives me to be up at the crack of dawn on Saturday morning to write about it. And my soul stirs within me because I know I’m called to exhortation of the “little people.” The forgotten church houses in the hills and hollers of the United States. No, not just Calhoun County, West Virginia. Although that is my first mission field. But after traveling to New Mexico and seeing the battle firsthand on that side of the country, my burden is for everyone from east to west and north to south. That is my mission field.

In reading the book of Revelation, I see the little churches. Although the churches for which John is writing may or may not have been little in size. They were notable churches of the day. But read verses 12-16:

Revelation 1:12-16

12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; 13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. 14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; 15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. 16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.

First of all, the image of John seeing God should get you excited. That will be us one day who know the Lord Jesus as Savior! The seven candlesticks are the seven churches to whom John writes. The seven stars in the hand of Jesus are the seven angels of the seven churches as written in verse 20.

That thought caught my mind this morning as I began to think about my own beloved (a very churchy word with a very deep meaning) Victory Baptist Church and the fact that we have an angel. I have to tell you, with our tribe, that angel gets a workout. That’s spoken part in fun and much truth. Victory Baptist has been my training ground for 23 years. The Lord placed me there because He knew I’d be under great leadership and receive the edification necessary to make a difference in this world. He allowed me to go through trouble, strife and anxieties within and without the church. That too was training ground.

I’ve experienced the power of Jesus in the midst. That’s where He is. Just like He was in the midst of those seven candlesticks, He’s in the midst of our churches. No matter what our church faces, Jesus is there with all power. We lack nothing of what’s necessary to thrive in his world, and yet we all struggle because the battle is very real. Jesus knows that, and that’s why He’s there.

Those angels that are with Jesus are also there to remind us that although Satan and his minions are out there wreaking havoc, we have our own spiritual realm of defenders. Glory to God! that makes me very happy!

Today I am encouraged in this word. I hope you’re encouraged too! Tomorrow is the Lord’s day and we have a few hours before the bell rings. Let’s do what we can to strengthen the body of Christ by prayer, and an invitation or two! That’s where the growth starts.

Save this meme, and share it with your friends… you don’t know until you ask!

Posted in Bible Journaling, Christian Service, Life Inspiration

Go Face the Day, You’re Amazing!

I have to wonder how much of my life I’ve taken for granted who I am. Not that I, on my own, am anyone. Because I am truthfully very well aware that I’m nothing. But in Christ, I’m everything. I can do “all” things through Christ, according to Philippians 4:19, not just some things. All things. And just as I take for granted who I am, I also take for granted Who God is.

So as I began a study in Revelation this morning, I only made it 8 verses until I had to stop. Realizing that it’s amazing that the God of all the universe is living within me. Woah. That’s beyond amazing!!!

The study notes in my bible said that “in reading the book of Revelation, don’t get lost in the imagery and events, so much so that you lose sight of the infinite love, power and justice of the Lord Jesus Christ.” I kind of feel like I do that in life. I get lost in the sights, sounds and emotions of the day and lose the concept of Who I belong to and what my role in this world is.

I want to make the most of every day, but in so doing, I’m wrapped in chaos. I need to slow down. That’s what I keep hearing this week. Perhaps you do to. We need to slow down this weekend and just ponder the fact that we are children of the Almighty! Who was at the beginning, when all the world was spoken into existence, and will be with us through the end and everlasting! Glory!

John, on the isle of Patmos, in the Aegean Sea, off the coast of what is now Turkey, writes this letter to the seven churches that are there. Those letters cause me to wonder what John would have written to me? I realize he wrote to the body of Christ, but in looking at my walk with Christ, what would he have said. Would he have said “You’ve left your first love,” as he did to the church of Ephesus in Revelation 2.

Would he have predicted my persecution as he did the Church of Smyrna or said he wanted to puke me out the church of Laodicea? And what would be my reaction if I heard those words.

Scripture tells us to examine ourselves.

Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

2 Corinthians 13:5

So I am.

If Jesus were to split the skies today, What would I be found doing? Well… at 11:00 I’m having my hair done. Which is all good and well, a fellow child of God is doing it. She and I together chat about Jesus, sing hymns and have a grand time of fellowship. Her parlor is like a church service. But I don’t think Jesus is too worried about my outward appearance. The examination is one  of my heart. And on any given day, it falls short of what I desire it to be for Him.

Like understanding the concept of Alpha and Omega. The beginning and the end. The Creator of time! Living inside of me. And yet I don’t think I can do stuff. I have not forsaken my first love, but I’ve forgotten Him. I need to remember what it felt like when I first experienced that flutter inside my chest when I realized He was knocking on my heart’s door from the inside. That’s another “woah!” moment. He’s literally in there. God Himself!

Now… go face the day Shari. You’re amazing!

Posted in Bible Journaling, Christian Service, Church attendance, Eternity, Life Inspiration, Not Another Manic Monday, Peace, Word of God

The Great Escape

Every time I reach the point of exhaustion, brought on by too much list and not enough time, I have one of those wishful Calgon take me away moments. If you remember the commercial, it’s where the mom soaks down into a tub full of Calgon bubbles and somehow her world goes away.

While that’s awesome. The problem is you have to get out of the tub eventually! Monday comes. That’s where the manic Monday concept comes from. The dishes need done, the work needs done, people need stuff, the phone’s ringing, the bills need paid and it all gets to be too much.

It’s then that I need my life to make sense. I need order in my chaos. And because I am personally my own chaos, I can’t do it. So I go to the word. And I look for my escape from the manic I call Monday.

I knew it was coming. So when the Pastor preached from Philippians four last night and I heard the word escape, my mind began to drift from Sunday night to Monday and I felt that overwhelmed feeling and thought, “that’s my word for the week.” I need to escape!

But just like the Calgon bath, I knew I would eventually have to face it. Just as we all do. So I might as well face it with the Lord and His word.

When looking for an Escape, Don’t Ignore the People

Hebrews 11:32-35

And what shall I more say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae, of David also and Samuel, and of the prophets: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out o the weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in the fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:

Glory to God what a line up of people for us to gather encouragement this Monday morning!

Most of them did escape. They eventually got their Calgon moment. But some went by the way of great escapes because they escaped to the best Calgon Moment of all, the one that never ends called eternity.

And while none of us are likely wanting to shorten our time here. We can still have those Calgon moments if we stay in the word.

Those people, as well as others in our life are there for an example.

Hebrews 12:1 says

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.

God knew there would be “Calgon take me away” days. He wanted us to be prepared for them, so He put examples of the others who faced worse, and many in our own lives today. You know who they are. The people that you just don’t know how they do it.

I think of Louis Milam. A man in our church who had crippling arthritis and the deformities that came with it, and yet he seldom ever missed church. He’s my go to guy even though he’s already gone on to Heaven. Every time I want to throw in the towel, I think of him. I don’t figure Louis had one Calgon day in the last 20 years of his life. And yet he didn’t quit.

Don’t ignore the people that God put in your life to encourage you.

My second point:

When Looking for an Escape, Don’t Ignore the Preacher

Hebrews 12:25

See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from Heaven:

If that’s not a warning, I’ve never heard one!

October is Pastor appreciation month. It may be one of the most unappreciated professions of all times in this day and age. The world doesn’t want to hear preaching. I crave it. I listen to it more than music, because to me it is music.

It restores my hope! Last night the preacher said something that really made me take note. He said “Nothing should make us go to one extreme or the other, because nothing changes the fact that the Lord is going to return!”

Wowzer!

Nothing that happens today is going to change the fact that Jesus is coming back! Woohoo and Glory to God! that should put a shout on you. Because you can say that to Satan and it will for sure get his goat, because he knows it’s true.

Someone once said “If Satan reminds you of your past, remind him of his future.”

That’s why we go to church and take every opportunity we can to listen to good solid preaching because we need that reminder that we will have our day.

Which brings me to my third and final point:

When Looking for an Escape, Don’t Ignore the Promises

2 Peter 1:4

Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

We have within ourselves the divine nature of God in the Holy Spirit. We have a Calgon moment in the making anytime we want it, but we have to have the promises of God in our lives to escape the corruption of this world which is also still in us. Those promise are found in the word of God.

I don’t think any of us realize how precious the book is. But we can see how precious Satan knows it is because he keeps doing everything within his power to destroy it. It’s why we have to fight for it.

Not nearly enough came to the fight with Madeline Murray O’Hair in 1963 when she single handedly managed to get prayer and the word of God out of public schools. I wonder what our lives would be like today if she had lost her battle. I read the story of her distorted life and horrific death this morning and praise God for her only living son, William, who is saved and serving God in D.C. as an author, Baptist minister and chairman of the Religious Freedom Coalition.

So I’ll say this in closing, the only way to escape the wickedness of this world, is to understand that Jesus is the way, truth and the life. No man comes to the Father except through Him. He is the only way to a true Calgon moment. Do you know Him today. I needed this message today. Take heart child of God, Jesus is coming soon!

Please share this post and I pray your week is awesome!!!

Posted in Bible Journaling, Christian Service, Evangelism, Uncategorized

This is How He Works

Good morning New Mexico!

My heart is full this morning as I prepare to head your way with a message that has me shouting the Glory of God in my office this morning. It’s a message that I’ve heard 1,000 times, (well maybe or maybe not so many) but it is a familiar word. But  the thing about the God we serve is, though it is familiar text, it is unique to the circumstances of the day, and to this trip.

The picture in this message is one that I drew in my bible this morning as I gloried in what God was speaking to my heart. That’s how He works in my life, through images and outlines of His word. He spoke to me about purpose and plans and I listened… And now it’s time for us to pray.

  • Pray for my journey (and specifically my guitar) Airports are not musician friendly. I need favor!
  • Pray for Gloria and I, that we’ll be obedient to everything the Spirit tells us to sing or say.
  • Pray for your congregation that the Lord will prepare the hearts before the service even starts.
  • Pray for your church that they’ll be blessed, and that our trip will be an opportunity to exhort our brothers and sisters in New Mexico in such a way that a fire is stirred in their hearts and ours and forever unite us as friends in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Can you tell I’m excited? I don’t take this opportunity lightly. I love you and cannot wait for our fellowship time.

This is how He works: through His people. That’s us!