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

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, 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 Christian Service, Eternity, Faith, Heaven, joy, Uncategorized

Keep reading… the war ain’t over.

Revelation 2:8-11 

8 And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was de-ad, and is alive;

I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.

10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

The church of Smyrna was just 25 miles north of the church of Ephesus. To me it’s symbolic as well. There’s not a whole lot of distance between being on fire for the Lord Jesus, and having your world turned upside down by the troubles and trials of life. Some of which can be brought on by the fact that you’re just trying to do what the Lord called you to do.

The persecuted church of Smyrna was facing tribulations that most of us have never experienced, nor can we imagine. Facing death for our faith isn’t something that Americans understand. Most won’t even live for Jesus, dying for Him would be unimaginable. But it was a very real possibility in the days for which John wrote. And it will be again.

According to the website www.Opendoorsusa.org. An in-depth investigative report focusing on global church persecution showed “a staggering 11 Christians are killed for their faith in the top 50 countries ranked on the World Watch List.” If you’d like to read the article, here’s the link:

While most of us cannot comprehend persecution, we can certainly understand troubles and trials. I’ve had my own and I continue to watch as friends and family suffer. But what I also see is the glory of the Lord.

Last Monday I went to the Long Term Care unit of our local hospital to sing. But before I could get my guitar out of the case, a dear lady pulled me to the side and whispered in my ear, “Shari, I’ve been diagnosed with cancer again, but I’m not seeking treatment. Please just pray for my comfort.” My heart sunk. But what joy there will be in Heaven when this dear friend meets Jesus face to face, for Whom she trusts her life to. I’ll be very sad. She will be very happy!

I’ve watched friends lose children, I’ve seen marriages fall apart and watched them restored, I’ve seen others disintegrate, I’ve seen people lose their jobs and I’ve been victim of that too. But the common thread that always made my heart smile, was the fact that we all held onto hope even on the darkest days because we knew there was a better day coming.

This was John’s message to the church of Smyrna and it’s God’s message to us today. Hold on! It ain’t over until God says it’s over! We may, or we may not have the victory we desire on this earth. But either way, Satan’s going to lose.

This brief and not so in-depth study of the book of Revelation is stirring my soul for Heaven. I’m tired. And not just because of the physical stress. But because of the spiritual stress on my soul. I’m back in the workforce on a part time basis which allows me to continue my ministry work and pay my bills. Win! But what it also does is put me back into the world where I see firsthand the brokenness of society. It’s not that I didn’t know it was there. But being home every day allowed me to retreat into my world more often. Now, one day on the job and I realize I’m among it; and we are not winning that battle.

This world is under the curse of sin and the power of Satan. So what’s a girl to do? Keep reading… the war ain’t over.

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, 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 Christian Service

A Day in the Life with Tire Marks and yellow stripes

I get a fascination with Bible characters and think about what their take on today’s society. What would they think of social media? What would they think of the modern churches? Would our services be any thing close to theirs? If they sat in our house on a Tuesday night and viewed firsthand what we did and watched, what do you think they’d teach on, on Wednesday night?

I watch people with a curiosity much the same. How can a Christian so boldly speak foul language and mock sin, and then profess their faith as if it’s a girl scout badge?

Our Examples

Apostle Paul is a character that I cannot wait to meet! He was so bold. He didn’t play church! He died for it and his letters reflect that when he taught the church the manner in which we should live our lives and the degree of dedication. That is my personal biggest issue with the modern church. Their commitment and dedication is ridiculous in comparison to the scripture.

I don’t fair very well either, so I’m not throwing anyone under the bus alone. I’m getting scuffed by the tires too! But this is check list of just a few of Paul’s model ideas for the church.

1 Thessalonians 1: 4-5

Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God. For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power; and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance: as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.

Paul and the other Apostles and Disciples that traveled with him set an example for not only those of their time but of our day too. But I know from my own life that I’m not following their examples any where close to the biblical standard.

Most of the world doesn’t have a clue what the biblical standard is. Christianity is far more than a title. It’s a position.

Our Election

Not to an office, as President of the United States, but rather the fact that each of us who accept so great a salvation of the Lord Jesus Christ are elected to an everlasting life and happiness. It is the effect of His pure love and favor that we are given this position. We were elected by the majority vote. God’s. And yet we live like the underdog. Some of us live like strays. Like we don’t even belong to the church.

Paul calls the elect “beloved.” He has a deep devotion to the churches that God called him to work with. For me this is the bell ringer for whether or not a child of God is taking their election seriously. Do they show up for the meetings? That time that should by all means be set aside to not only fellowship with the brethren but to study God’s word together and receive our messages for the week.

It’s a time that many Pastor’s across America have failed to take seriously. Perhaps because their congregation stopped showing up, or perhaps they need to examine their own commitment.

If the doors are open and the body is able, we should be there. Sunday morning, Sunday Night and Wednesday and any other opportunity! Why? Because this world wants to take us out and we need the Armor.

It’s why Christians aren’t living as they should. They’re not putting on the armor of God. They’re just letting their flesh be exposed the ideals of the world, which Satan loves. Once a person is saved, he’s lost them. He cannot have a child of God. But he can influence them until they’re of no effect to the world around them because their standards are no different and they’ve forgotten that they even hold a position in Heaven.

Our Encounter

Paul mentions that they not only taught the word of God they lived the word of God with the power of the Holy Spirit and in much assurance.

Because the world lives so far from the biblical standards their assurance suffers immensely. Paul had the assurance because his eyes were on Jesus and the mission that He have him. Paul didn’t dabble in the world Monday-Saturday and attempt to show up with a message on Sunday.

Yes, I’m preaching to myself! No, I’m not at bars or destroying my testimony with foul language, but I can turn on Netflix, a magazine story or any of the number of other things that garner my attention away from God and get wrapped up in Hollywood which takes my armor and lays it aside for a sparkly cape and cute boots. I am fickle with the world.

True story.

I must question myself. What kind of encounter am I creating for those who come into my home on any given day? Mainly the grand kids, but there are others and it could be the people I meet on the street. Do they see Jesus, or do they see worldly adorations?

The main question is what effect does my encounter have with the people I meet?

When I was in New Mexico, I had a different boldness that I do not have here. It was obvious to my soul. I do not speak with the same power there that I spoke with there. Because I know the people here, I let the flesh intimidate me into saying less than I’d like.

Being less of an influence. My encounters are not up to standard because they are influenced by location.

In New Mexico I felt the power of Satan fighting against me from the day I agreed to go. When I got there, I knew it was because God had given me that assignment and I didn’t want to fail. Even though I often felt like I did. But I fought on to give the song and message to the people for which I’d been called to serve. At home I slump into a routine and the boldness digresses and I become the Jesus Chick. Not near so bold. Not near so focused.

I just really scared myself there. I know that I’m under the bus with skid marks going up my backside and a yellow stripe. Because I don’t have the bravery that I desire to have. I allow the world to beat me down and convince me that I’m not called to do what I know I’ve been called to do. Speak Boldly!

Life is our mission field. I need to stop forgetting.

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!!!