Category Archives: Eternity

The Plan’s in Place

I don’t know who it was that posted on social media last night that they were glad Christmas was over because it was highly overrated. But I remember they were a saved person, and I remember the frustration in my mind and the desire to get in the flesh and comment. Not in anger, but in God’s rebuke that it wasn’t a very good message to send the lost. But then I remembered… I wasn’t God. And I didn’t know the circumstances. And so I scrolled right on off Facebook and onto something else.

But this morning that post is still on my mind. And I found myself saying, I’m glad Christmas is over too. But not for the same reason. I’m glad it’s post-Christmas because I have I can refocus on the message of Christmas. “Redemption!”

Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for He hath visited and redeemed His people;

Luke 1:68

I don’t know why it would surprise me when God’s people of today miss the message of Christmas. After all, God’s people of that day missed the first message! They’d been waiting for the Redeemer, but He didn’t come like they’d expected. They expected a King in all His royal pomp and circumstance! Not the baby of a lowly Jewish girl. Nor did many of them expect that He would die on a cross, crucified by their own. But He did.

When He died, I’m sure many believers thought, “What a letdown. We believed He was the Messiah…”

Christmas for many is just that, “a letdown.” We want the pomp and circumstance of the holiday, the tinsel and perfect family memories and they rarely ever measure up to our expectations. This year at our house was a little different than most years, we are all a little more grateful. I was grateful I had them, and they were grateful they had me. We laughed and carried on like a family that truly enjoyed the company, because we did. A heart attack and open heart will do that to you. But not every year has been like that.

Today, December 28, 2018 is three days past the celebration of Jesus’ birth. Post-Christmas. Just like it brings to mind the post-crucifixion after Jesus died. I’m ready to refocus on the message God sent me to speak! Jesus saves. He didn’t come to fix this world. That’s why Christmas gets messed up and that’s why families continue to be messed up. He came to give us eternal life and a perfect world to come. Glorrraaaaay that makes my heart happy.

In the corner of my living room I’ve redone the little pencil tree that was decorated for Christmas and made it a Valentine’s tree. L.O.V.E. My main focus in 2019 is to show the love of Christ to more people. I want to help them understand that there is hope in the name of Jesus and even when things don’t go to plan in this world, there is a world to come that we can anxiously anticipate without worry or regard as to whether or not it will measure up because the word of God says

But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. ~ 1 Corinthians 2:9

All we have to do is love Him. And He is going to take us to a world where there is no such thing as disappointment. That’s an awesome message and reminder for us as we go into 2019 that God’s got a plan, and we need to make sure us and everyone we know is a part of it!

Getting in Tight With God

To say that open heart surgery brings on a realization of mortality is a likely an understatement. We all have somewhat of a an understanding of it, but when suddenly the single organ in your body that keeps you alive isn’t functioning correctly, you realize how very, very close we are to eternity. Literally one heartbeat away. You also realize how very important that relationship with God is.  I wasn’t too awfully worried about politics, world antics or uncompleted goals and the fact that I’ve yet to master many, many chords on the guitar. I wanted to feel my Father stroke my hair and say “Shari, I’m here with you, you’re okay.” And so it was. He did not leave me nor forsake me and for the record, there were no dark hours, because where He is, is Light. I share this so you’ll know if a time comes (which I pray not) that you find yourself in one of those predicaments, He will not leave you either.

So this morning as I read the Lord’s Prayer, it was oh… so… sweet. and each word took on a deeper meaning. Six petitions, (three relating to God’s honor, three relating to our own concerns.

Matthew 6:9

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name.

FATHER: Creator, Redeemer, Adopter of me, an unworthy urchin of the Gentiles. Brought into a royal family, a blood bought nation, who though many of them have no earthy blood connection, treat me like a true sister through Christ Jesus. They prayed for me and petitioned Heaven on my behalf because they too love the Father, who we call Jesus. He hears our cry, just as an earthly father would and stays by our side. I know… I felt His presence in the hospital, ambulance, operating room and recovery. There is power in the name of Jesus! Our Father in Heaven, and also within the heart of His child.

HALLOWED: Sanctified and set apart. There is none like Him. There is no other name on earth that can calm a raging storm in your life or bring an unexplainable peace upon you through the storm. Buddha, Allah, nor any other of the countless gods this world calls upon have the power of Jesus. And those who encourage people to “call upon the god of their choice” are allowing the demons of Hell to open a door of torment to someone already in trouble. Praise God for He Who calmed my sea. HIS NAME IS JESUS!

Vs. 10 – Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in Heaven.

THY WILL BE DONE: That’s a hard one for someone like me that needs control. So when I lay flat on my back without even the ability to go potty by myself, I suddenly understood that God was truly in control. He took every single earthly power I had away. It was just He and I. Like it always had been, but I had had forgotten. His will is for a relationship with His children that cause them to work toward all things eternal, not earthly. There is no fear in running towards Jesus, but there is a definite fear of leaving behind those who do not know Him.

Vs. 11 – Give us this day our daily bread.

DAILY BREAD: Just enough. When the children of Israel ate manna in the wilderness there was no excess with the exception of what was needed to eat for the Sabbath. Jesus tells us in John 6:48 – I am that bread of life. His Word will fill the soul like a hot buttered biscuit with jam fills the belly. Matthew 6 continues on to tell us not to worry for any earthly necessity, God’s got us covered. But we should strive to collect the thoughts of God through His word and fill our soul with it in abundance so that when we’re laying there flat on our back, we don’t need to see the book. We are the book. And we are filled to the brim in want of nothing!

Vs. 12 – And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

FORGIVENESS: I can say with all honesty that I haven’t been concerned with anyone who’s hurt or upset me over the course of a life time in the past few weeks. Life in perspective is knowing that the only forgiveness that matters is my Father’s in Heaven. Scripture says that we must forgive others if we expect it in return. If Christ can hang from the cross, a sinless man, only guilty of loving us and forgive we who take His act for granted, how can we dare say we’ll not forgive anyone? It makes me nauseous to think of the times I’ve held someone’s soul in the balance of un-forgiveness because of pride and pettiness on my part.

Vs. 13 – And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For Thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

DELIVERANCE: Temptation comes from the side of flesh, not Spirit and it is easily accessible and readily available to take us away from the peace of God. And for all that’s left in this wicked world, Satan is seeking the opportunity to devour us as a lion. Especially those who actively serve God and desire to make a difference. Daniel and the three Hebrew boys were not chosen for the lion’s den and the fiery furnace by happenstance. From the Old Testament to John the Baptist and the Disciples of Christ, Satan has targeted God’s chosen vessels. He’s still targeting us. But Hallelujah we serve the Living God whose Kingdom will never fall, He Who holds ALL POWER and will receive ALL GLORY forever. Satan loses, we just have to keep on serving. We who are in Him Win! Glory!

Forever Young!

You don’t have to get honest and point out any of the flaws in my being. Believe me, the mirror attests to the fact that I’m no longer 18, and should the makeup I apply conceal my age, my skeletal and muscular being cry out in agony most days as I attempt to keep up with the younger me within. This was a conversation that my friend Gloria had on one of our recent adventures in the big city. I remember the street we were on, the plaza we were passing and everything about that day just like it was yesterday. But in actuality it was day before yesterday, just like the time I was 18, or so it feels. How is it that our body ages so aggressively and yet our mind continues in the state of youth? At least until you lose it. And perhaps even then we are forever in a state of youth.

I love the scripture promise in Ephesians 5:27 when it says “That He (Christ) might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”

I’m going way, WAY, out of context of this scripture, but it’s truth none the less. I sooooooooo look forward to the day that I am presented before Christ, without age spots, or wrinkles or any blemish on this ever so blemished body that I now reside in. Now, of course, if you’re a theologian your right eye is probably twitching because you know that that scripture refers to the blemished, sin filled bodies, we now reside in and the presentation of them in that day when Jesus calls us home and we will receive a glorified body.

But I’m here to tell you, my inward Shari is unblemished and forever young and eternal now. And so is yours if you’re saved. If you’re unsaved, you too have an eternal nature, but it’s not going to receive a new and glorified body. It will be cast into the eternal fire of damnation in Hell and away from everything good that you love. If that’s you, go to my plan of salvation page and fix that matter before God right now. Then you too will know the feeling of being forever young.

It was a stark reality for me the other day when I realized my first born child was the same age now as I was when I got saved. Wait a minute, I was a grown up woman! “How did we get here so doggone fast” I asked myself? I don’t feel 55. Except when I get out of bed and then I feel 85.

So Gloria and I both glorified God that He has given us the understanding of eternity and that this world is a step in the process of aging out to forever young. When we get that glorified body, we  will no longer experience the degradation of the one we now reside in. Even Christians forget that we are eternal beings. We want to hold on to this world and everything in it when we should be working to take everything that matters with us. And that’s the people we love. They too are eternal and need to know Christ as their Savior.

Gloria and I are going to a “bigger city,” than the usual big city this week. We’re heading south for a little R&R for the psyche and the soul as we follow the Marietta Bible College Choir on their Spring tour down south. I hope to get renewed and refreshed and feel the youth in my bones as well as my soul for a day or two. Follow our adventure on the Jesus Chick page on Facebook. I hope to share some live video feeds of our time. We’d love you to come along!

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This blog is in it’s 8th year. Hosted on godaddy.com for the past five. Expenses incurred for the operation of this site are without complaint and with gratitude for the opportunity. If the Lord would impress you to give to help cover some recent technology issues, I’d be grateful. I’ve not been in the world’s workforce for 3 years and for that I glorify God. It’s given me the opportunity to not only write and work on music, but minister to nursing home patients, volunteer in the Christian School teaching art and help other ministries with marketing. All of which require technology, communication, time and gasoline. Again it’s without complainT… but just in case you have a desire to help, or have “extra money” 🙂 Know that I would be eternally grateful.

Here’s the Link

A Letter to Jesus Easter Morning

Good Morning Lord:

Happy Resurrection Sunday! I’m excited about the coming events of the day, Sunrise at the Park… in the rain… at 48 degrees. Ummm, I’m excited about the day, not so much the weather. But then I think of You. Are these raindrops or tears this morning? I’m excited about our services today just like I am most Sunday mornings. But if I’m honest, I can’t say every Sunday morning. This ol’ flesh lets me down more than I care to confess, but then again, You know anyway.

Omniscient Father

All knowing Father. There were times as my girls were growing up, that I’m pretty sure I was glad I wasn’t an all knowing mother. What must it be like to watch your children every day and know that the very people for which You went through the horrific crucifixion for are so ungrateful. Myself especially. Today, those of us who know You, are celebrating not the crucifixion, but the resurrection. The end of Satan’s tyranny. He no longer held the keys to death, Hell and the grave but Victory was won for sinners like me who had only to confess You are Lord! That’s it. Nothing more. Oh God… I love You so much, for not nearly enough.

Omnipresent Father

Everywhere I go You are there. David said in Psalm 139:8 “If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.” Glory to God, in the worst of days and the best of days You’ve never forsaken me. I’ve forsaken You every time I turned away from the path You chose, the Words You spoke and the opportunities You provided. But You went with me, even during my mistakes, You stayed. The world let me down, You did not ever.

How can I complain? The world has let You down too. Every single person in it and yet You stayed not only with them through the presence of the Holy Spirit, but You stayed on the cross when the world spit on You and beat You to the point of death, and You lived on until You were ready to die. You said “Forgive them Father for they know not what they do.”  You stayed even though when those of us who accepted Your death as payment for our sin, and knew that that’s what it took to save us, and yet we still fail. I still fail You Jesus. I’m so very sorry.

Omnipotent Father

All Powerful God. Happy Resurrection Sunday! Today is the day that we celebrate not the failures of humanity but the power of God! The Power to say “It is finished” at the cross and the Savior reigns. Satan no longer has control over us. He has powers in this world to convince us to take our eyes off of You but He has no power to take our hearts. You hold the keys not only to death, Hell and the grave but the key to peace. Likely what I am most grateful for above all that You have given me in my life. Which is so very much. But the peace of eternal security, knowing that my soul rests in Your hands is overwhelming. Thank You. Thank You. Thank You.

Lord, for my own church, and for those around the world. I pray that the gospel in truth is preached today. Not sugar coated like the bunnies and baskets. But the truth that without Your death, there would be no life for us worth living. From Genesis to Revelation that was the plan. You knew we’d fail. You knew we needed a Savior and You told the Father “I’ll go.” I’m so sorry You had to, but so glad You did.

Today we celebrate not only Your resurrection but the resurrection of every earthly body that has professed You as Lord in the coming rapture. My Dad’s soul is with You, and so many others that I love. I’m ready for that day. But ever so glad that You’ve given me more time to be a witness for You down here. Praying today that there will be no circle broken in my family and friends on that day. But today the circle is incomplete. Lord, help me show them the way.

I pray I Love You more today and every day. You alone are worthy.

Your friend and child

Shari

Even the Easter Bunny Knows

I have no qualms with the Easter Bunny, or Santa Claus or any other fictitious character that has been created to give children happy childhood memories. It did not warp me, nor my children that we were told the Easter Bunny was watching in order to make us behave better, even if it were only for a few days. We gradually and gracefully grew into the wisdom that those characters weren’t real and there was no traumatization. My oldest grandbabies have figured it out too, but continue the charade for their younger siblings, even though any other time they’d love to squash their little dreams.  What baffles me is that the “logical” thinking world has yet to figure out what critters and new creatures in Christ have long since known.

Creation is by the Creator

Of all the things (and there are many) that point me to God as Creator, its critters. My chickens for example. I have plain ol’ ordinary chickens and then I have the “fluffies.” They’re actually called Silkies, and they’re the youngest of our brood. They recently just started laying eggs, and although there are no roosters in the vicinity it still doesn’t stop them from treating their eggs like there’s something other than breakfast inside. I have to fight her off to get the eggs. And she’s not happy about it.

I had been collecting several of their tiny eggs each day, but a few days went by and there were no eggs in the box. It had gotten a little colder and chickens tend to lay fewer eggs during those times, but I really would have thought that out of my four specialty chickens, somebody would have laid an egg. On the third day I went to move their water bin and discovered that everybody’s eggs from the previous three days were hidden behind it. I cracked up! That overprotective hen had pulled a good one on me.

How could that not be intelligent design? How on earth could an explosion create love?  I need to ask no other question for myself to believe in the Creator. Although there are the occasional critters who don’t have the instinct of parenting, (including humans) most understand their responsibility and the exact methods of taking care of their young. Birds know how to nest, and chickens know how to sit and all know how to protect.

Romans 1:20

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

Regardless of whether or not someone professes that God is God, and Jesus is Lord, and the Holy Spirit dwells within the saved and convicts the lost, doesn’t change the fact that it’s truth. Creation attests to the Creator.

Long before I knew the truth as the truth, God was working in my heart and mind to understand Who He is and who I was. I recently wrote another song titled “Salvation’s Song” and one of the verses speaks of the how I knew I wasn’t saved, and how I knew when I was. Before I was saved… no peace. After I was saved…. PEACE. Only God can make an internal difference. We are created with sin coursing through us. That explains the world. But when God’s presence comes within through the Holy Spirit, Glory to God there is peace on earth. Not outside… but in.

Yes, even the Easter Bunny knows God. Do you?

There’s a link at the top of this page titled “the Road to Salvation.” If you don’t know or are unsure of your salvation, and that if you died today you don’t know if you’d be in Heaven or Hell. CLICK THE LINK. And let me know so I can pray for you.

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Comments and Contributions are always welcome

This blog is in it’s 8th year. Hosted on godaddy.com for the past five. Expenses incurred for the operation of this site are without complaint and with gratitude for the opportunity. If the Lord would impress you to give to help cover some recent technology issues, I’d be grateful. I’ve not been in the world’s workforce for 3 years and for that I glorify God. It’s given me the opportunity to not only write and work on music, but minister to nursing home patients, volunteer in the Christian School teaching art and help other ministries with marketing. All of which require technology, communication, time and gasoline. Again it’s without complain… but just in case you have a desire to help, or have “extra money” 🙂 Know that I would be eternally grateful.

Here’s the Link

 

What are you feasting on today?

I have the day after Thanksgiving attitude of gratitude. A gift from the Lord this cold blustery morning. I received it from reading a book recommended by a friend, which allowed me to delve into the deeps of scripture. What joy comes from reading His word! It was if I was sitting at a Thanksgiving buffet with every delectable food of my favorite persuasion crossing my tongue. I kid you not, the Word was just that sweet to me today. It brought to mind the joy that I received over the past couple of days while baking and preparing food for our family’sThanksgiving dinner. I thought about those who would enjoy the food and the time of fellowship we’d have, much like I receive when sharing the gospel.

A student from Marietta Bible College had messaged me in the midst of our feast yesterday to ask for prayer so that God would use her in a mighty way to minister to family she was spending the holiday with. She later informed me that she had the glorious honor and privilege of leading two new souls to Christ! Oh what a Thanksgiving moment. She had given them a “taste” of her God and they partook of her feast!

Shouldn’t that be how we treat our responsibility of sharing the gospel. It tastes sooooooo good. Why would we not share it.

Put on your praise today!  In the book of Isaiah he was having one of those crazy praise days in chapter 61.

No meal is complete without a little oil!

As children of God we have the anointing upon us to grease the way for the gospel to be accepted.

Isaiah 61:1-3

(1)The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

When my friend messaged me yesterday she did so because she knew the power of prayer to make the way where Satan would be striving hard to stop it. I see heartache in every direction this time of year. People are hurting, they’ve family estranged, they’ve lost someone to death, relationships are torn, families have problems and we have the sweetest gift to give anyone of them. It may not make the problem go away, but it will give the oil in their life that will ease them through the troubled times.

Every meal needs comfort food

(2) To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;

Most of us have those favorite foods that bring into mind a sweet memory or an easier time of life. It may just look like food to some but to us it’s a sweet piece of comfort. For me that’s pie! I had a sliver of comfort for breakfast this morning in the form of Cinnamon Apple pie and a cup of coffee. And as much as I enjoyed it, it didn’t bring me a smidgeon of the comfort that I found in God’s word, which lead me to a reason to share this thought. We need to be as excited about sharing the comfort we find in God’s word as we are with sharing our favorite foods. In these troubling times people need to see the comfort we find in our relationship with Christ.

Everyone’s burned something!

(3)To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.

I didn’t burn any of the Thanksgiving treats I baked this year, but something from a previous baking had dropped into the bottom of the oven and was charred into a piece of coal while my scalloped potatoes were baking. My husband was panicked that I was trying to burn the house down (ever the fireman that he is.) I assured him it was the old not the new, and so I removed the old and the sweet scent of the new was all that we smelled from then on.

Past hurts and trials can certainly leave us burned. But Isaiah reminds us that God gives us beauty in exchange for the ashes. But we have to give him the charred remains of our burdens and with it He promises to replace it with joy and praise.

The illustrations I shared were just a few moments in my real life that God used to remind me that I have a purpose on earth. And that’s to share not just the earthly gifts He gives, but above all the spiritual gifts so that He may be glorified and that my friends and family will be drawn in by the aroma of Christ in my life. Oh what a sweet savor and a sweet Savior!

Thank God for what you have today and share that goodness with someone else! You too have purpose.

Don’t look back, just go!

If I were ask to look back on my life and choose the life altering times of my life, the greatest of those times would be the day I accepted Christ as my Savior. Nothing else in my life had the power to change the inner being. Marriage changed my name and devotion, but not who I was. Having children changed my concept and depth of love, but again, not who I was. I was still a self-centered, worldly minded person with an inner arrogance that wanted what I wanted and I wanted it now. I can still resort to that mindset if I’m not careful. But the thought of being saved from the wrath that is to befall this earth, leaves me with no desire to look back on yesterday with any longing to return.

Religion Wants Evidence

Luke 17:20-33

20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: 21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

The arrogance of those Pharisees never ceases to amaze me (until I look in the mirror.) They “demanded” Jesus to answer them when the Kingdom of God would come. Jesus responded by telling them that the Kingdom of God isn’t going to be found on the earth, but rather within.

The Pharisees couldn’t understand it because their religion was that of works, Jesus was describing that of relationship. The Pharisees wanted an evidence beyond what Christ was willing to offer. Christ said “follow me.” Religion wants to know where, but faith follows without the knowledge of destination. It was that faith that caused the Savior to turn away from the Pharisees and speak to the disciples, because religion won’t listen, it’s already got its mind made up. I know this because I lived it.

Faith Wants Emanuel

Emanuel, God with us. It was the defining, life changing factor of who I am.

22 And he said unto the disciples, The days will come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it. 23 And they shall say to you, See here; or, see there: go not after them, nor follow them. 24 For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day. 25 But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation. 26 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. 27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. 28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; 29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. 30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. 31 In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back. 32 Remember Lot’s wife.

When Lot’s wife looked back, longing for that life of sin and worldliness, she rejected the salvation of God. Jesus warned the disciples not to fall into the trap of looking at anything other than the salvation that came from Him. The world is full of shiny bolts of lightning to take our eyes off faith and putting it onto what can be seen. Stay focused! Again and again God brings this word to my mind. Likely because my mind is so weak when it comes to bling! Shiny things get my attention. God needs me (and you) to focus on the mission field, not the mine field. The world is going to be destroyed, just like it was in the days of Noah and Lot. But our eyes should be on that of eternity and the return of Christ.

We have friends and family who need salvation, else they’ll be left in the mine field. God said that for those of us on the mission field of life, not to turn back, keep going! Remember Lot’s wife.  A pillar of salt, left behind. Her husband and daughters went on without her, and that didn’t end well either. Mistakes were made. If we don’t continue on, leading our families away from the destruction of this earth it will be a sad, sad day. But oh! What a glorious day to have our families together in Heaven.

God knows I need reminders, especially on the tough days, to keep moving forward in faith. The evidence is within me, I just have to trust in He who leads the way. Stay on the mission field! Don’t look back! Just go!

Don’t be Caught off Guard… be caught up!!!

rapture readyCaught up in this thing called Faith

There will come a day that I will be caught up in the Rapture, but for today I am caught up in the faith that will carry me through until Jesus takes me home, be that by rapture or another design of His choosing. Let it be known, I am ready! Now, I’m not desiring a quickening away from my friends and family; oh contraire! But rather I long for the day when I shall see my Savior and I shall not see sin, death and the heartache of this side of glory.

Believing that I am here with divine purpose, I awoke this morning with the desire to follow His will where ever that may lead, and so it lead to me sitting in restaurant in Clarksburg, WV waiting on my car to be detailed. As I traveled the long stretch of highway this morning at 6 a.m. to get here, I had plenty of time to pray and listen to the Word of God. I prayed for my peeps, those related by blood and those that I serve with who are saved by the blood. I prayed that if the trumpet would sound today, those that I love would be ready!

Trumpet? Perhaps you haven’t heard. While it’s true that the word “rapture” isn’t in the bible, the word “rapture” simply means “caught up!” And those words you will find in the scripture in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18:

13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

That’s a pretty definitive scripture that requires little explanation as far as what will happen… now the when… that’s a whole other issue. But for now let’s talk about the preparedness for that day.

Any Minute!

Mark 13:32 says – But of that day and [that] hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

There will come a day that God will say, “Son, get your church. Gabriel, go blow your horn!” and when that trump sounds there will not be a time to get online and order tickets. It’s a done deal! That’s why I pray for my family and friends. That’s why I pray for God to send a soul across my path that I might help them pack their bags for glory! Perhaps you are at soul.

Do you have yours packed? Before we depart for Christian teen camp each year I give the kids a list of mandatory and recommended necessities to make their camp experience the best! So today I’ll give you a list to see if you’re prepared if the trump sounds and that quick ticket is called for.

Mandatory:

Your Ticket to Heaven

Just like our teen camp, it’s free to all who attend, but it for certain cost something. And Heaven, although it is as free as free can be, it still came with a mighty cost, which was the Son of God. He paid for your entrance into Heaven and eternal life by His death on the cross. He proved His power over death, Hell and the grave by His resurrection and ascension back into Heaven. He was, is and always will be the virgin born Son of God. You’re faith in that truth and belief that He died exclusively for you is your ticket.

Optional:

 5 Crowns

  • The Incorruptable Crown – (1 Corinthians 9:24-25) Anything from earth would certainly burn up on entry to Heaven. But an incorruptible crown is what we’ll receive for our faithful endurance and continuance in service as we go through the many trials and temptations of earth. It won’t be for the faint of heart. Tipping a waitress a little extra won’t do it, giving up the internet for lent won’t do it… running the race in a sacrificial way will push a Christian way outside of the average commitment zone, and that will obtain a special recognition from God.
  • The Crown of Rejoicing – (1 Thessalonians 2:19) The crown of rejoicing will be our reward for those who joy in the salvation of Christ and in so doing lead others to that same knowledge. There’s a party in Heaven each time a soul makes a confession of faith and there for certain will be joy when a soul winner makes it home. There used to be a day when we honored our veterans returning from the battled field with a parade and celebration. And although we neglect that responsibility now… God won’t neglect our return to glory when we’re home from the battlefield.
  • The Crown of Righteousness – (2 Timothy 4:8) Nothing that we have done on this earth would entitle us to any piece of Heaven; but Christ will reward those who not only talked the talk but walked the walk. There will be many in Heaven who will assume their saying of the sinner’s prayer was enough. And while it is enough for entrance, God had so much more in store for you if only you had continued growing and walking in Christ.
  • The Crown of Glory – (1 Peter 5:4) For all those who have been ask again and again and again to teach, and felt in their heart they should have, you’ll be missing a blessing in Heaven! The crown of glory is for all those who teach, preach and minister the gospel. What an honor it is to serve God in such a manner.
  • The Crown of Life – (James 1:5) This crown is also referred to as the Martyr’s crown. Those who receive it have paid the ultimate price for serving Christ

Those optional adornments won’t come easy. But they’ll be more than worth it when we stand face to beautiful face of Jesus our Lord and Savior.

A little longer blog than usual… but I need to know if you’re packed?

Nothing this side of glory with the exception of our soul will make it into Heaven. The crowns (if they are won) are waiting. Don’t be caught off guard. Be caught up!!!

The Promise of Hope

hope
In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

There is hope! I wanted to put that across every social media site this morning in big bold letters. It’s won’t be found in a lottery ticket, in the government of the United States, it won’t be found in our family, friends or your critter. If there is a giant hole in your heart you cannot fill it with money, things or other people. If someone or someone is missing you have only one hope, and that’s Jesus.

I speak from experience, else I’d not write it.

When my family lost my brother Richard, I was but a child, and a lost child at that. I didn’t understand eternity. I was brought up in church, I’d heard about Heaven, but it was nothing more than a word. A misunderstood concept. But then… Jesus.

It’s what the world doesn’t want to hear. That Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, and nobody gets to Heaven without Him. Not hearing it doesn’t change it, and not accepting it only hurts you further because He is what’s missing in your life that fills the hole you have inside. He does not replace the person that caused the hole, He simply fills the void where they are and gives a bridge to seeing them again. That was the sweetest gift in my own heart today when I thought of the people I can’t see. Even some who are here on earth…

When I ask my Mother once why she wasn’t angry with God for taking my brother at the age of 19, she simply responded “Because He is my only hope of seeing Richard again.” My Mom had found the bridge back to my brother. When my Dad passed away I missed almost everything about him, except one thing, the faith he shared with me. He had Jesus and that bridged the gap between us. I knew it was not goodbye, it was “save a place for me at dinner.”

So when I see a social media post of despair, I want to bridge that gap in their heart by telling them that I truly do care and that Jesus is their answer to the hopelessness they’re feeling inside. He doesn’t replace the person lost… He is what the song writer wrote with the words “He built a bridge with only three nails and two pieces of wood, with one rugged cross, Jesus built a bridge.”

Glory to God for the bridge that I found in 1996. Glory to God for the preacher who preached the gospel. Glory to God for the patience that God had in waiting for me to come to Him. Glory to God for there is hope on earth and peace… His name is Jesus. Amen!

God Does Not Think You’re Cute

cuteWhat a week! A roller coaster of emotions and I praise God tomorrow is Sunday and I can once again be in the house of the Lord. It’s a treat for me! I love my Pastor and I love our people. I love having the opportunity to share the Word of God with the teen department and receiving the Word of God for myself through the preaching. I need it for weeks like this when the world went chaotic and left me shaking my head as people were proud of their two year old behavior and touted that it was in protest of their rights being violated by my rights being respected. I could not believe my eyes and ears as I watched news reports of people using the election to justify rioting and burning the American flag that represented their freedom to do that and not be shot as they would in another country.

Zephaniah’s Old Testament words had modern day bearing as another of God’s warnings reminded me that God doesn’t think their behavior was any cuter than I do.

Zephaniah 1:12

And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their lees: that say in their heart, The Lord will not do good, neither will he do evil.

It’s Gonna Happen

There will be a reckoning day in Heaven and on earth for what is happening on earth now. The news media, the government and our citizens will answer to God for their mocking of Him and their arrogance. Their attempts to discourage and degrade God’s people and His plan did not go un-noticed. I am encouraged (not by their demise and or penance) but rather encouraged by God’s word which keeps me grounded in the fact that God is very much aware of us. And He will still provide mercy for those who come to Him requesting it.

It’s Gonna Come to Light

Just like the infamous emails, God is going to uncover everything that has been done in the darkness of this election and this lifetime. It won’t matter which side of the fence you’re on: Democrat, Republican, Saved or Heathen… what you’ve done is already known by God. He may allow it to remain covered down here for a while, but there will be a day when all its ugliness will have the blanket pulled back and there it will lay with nothing to say except… Oh God, have mercy on me.

It’s Gonna be Settled

There is a song that says “My account was settled long ago.” Glory to God how awesome that is for the child of God whose sin is covered by the crimson flow of the blood of our Lord Jesus. But there is still an accountability factor for what we’ve done with that salvation. How have we served? The lees settled in this scripture speaks of “wine, quiet and undisturbed. A good outward estate, abounding in wealth and riches and trusting and enjoying therein,” so says the commentary of John Gill. Ignoring the decay around them. I would dare say that is America in a nutshell. We bask in what looks good while there is suffering surrounding us. Those rioters were not concerned about the election or the atrocities of Nation. They were concerned about self. There way was rejected and they were upset.

How must we have looked to God? Did His eyes turn from the child of God that is being martyred for standing up for their faith, and look to the tantrum thrower on the ground in the United States and say “Oh how terrible for you child that you didn’t get your way.” According to the Christian Post *7,000 Christians were killed for their faith between Nov. 1, 2014, and Oct. 31, 2015.

God isn’t mocked by your anti-God rhetoric. Just because God didn’t strike you dead when you shook your fist at Him and dared His action, doesn’t mean He doesn’t exist. It only means you received the gift of mercy one more day.

Now, I don’t believe too many (if any) of the protestors will read this blog. But to the child of God, take heart and keep serving. Keep proclaiming and head to church in the morning to thank God for another day of grace.

*Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/open-doors-world-watch-list-2015-deadliest-year-christians-killed-for-faith-jesus-christ-154875/#pvQxVM8qQ2i2Lljk.99