days of Fibromyalgia kicking my tail and I am so appreciative of the sun shining
outside my windows today. It’s humbling how the feeling of hopelessness can
kick in so quickly and that defeat can consume the mind. Oh did I feel the
drama queen coming out of me during that time! It’s not something I let the world
see, or anyone other than the hubs usually. But it’s a very real side of my
personality. Or should I say “personalities.”
God! for the steadfastness of Jesus Christ. From the Old Testament to the New
Testament God is still God! Somehow or another as I read in Daniel this morning
it lead me to the book of Hebrews.
with me, I promise in my “drama mama” way, this road will lead to discovery, at
least it did for me.
6:26 ~ I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men
tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and
stedfast for ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his
dominion shall be even unto the end.
King Darius made that decree after Daniel was
delivered out of the Lion’s den. And Daniel wrote in the following chapter
(7:14)“And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a
kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his
dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom
that which shall not be destroyed.
same steadfast God of Daniel is the same steadfast God of the writer of Hebrews
who wrote in Hebrews 6:17-19 ~ Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of
promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two
immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a
strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set
before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast,
and which entereth into that within the veil;
Glory to God that stirs this girl’s soul this morning!
I made the mistake of tuning into a Fox newscast on Facebook this
morning of the church bombing in Sri Lanka that killed 300 people on Easter
Sunday. The day after I lay whining on the couch on Saturday.
It put my days into perspective.
What a wicked world we live in. Another thing that has not changed
from the garden is the evil of Satan and his intention of destroying this world
and taking as many souls with him as he can. He is the original drama king of
this world. His focus is on destruction. But Halelujah! He cannot touch our
world… you know… the one we’re headed to, not the one we live in. He’ll have
his day down here, but not there.
knew and shared with Darius what I know and share with my readers. We serve a
living God! That is reason to get dramatic on the side of good news!
Heirs of the Promise
Wherein God, willing more
abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel,
confirmed it by an oath:
Pain won’t last forever! My fibro-weekend wasn’t fun, but today is Tuesday, and
I’m feeling so much better. Can you imagine how much better I’ll feel in that Promised
Land! Glory to God let’s get dramatic!
Lay hold of His Hope
That by two immutable
things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong
consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:
For a split second, okay, maybe several hours I lost hold of that
hope on Saturday. The pain over took my mind and I was not in the mindset that
I should have been in. I have no doubt that it’s for a reason, and one such
reason is, it gives me a greater understanding of those who suffer. If I didn’t
suffer too, I could never say “I understand, and really understand.” But praise
God, I can share the hope He provides and the promise of a better day.
That hope is what brought Daniel through the lion’s den, because he knew that one way or the other there was a day Darius didn’t control. And so it was with the faith of the writer of Hebrews.
That Hope was Anchored at the Cross
Which hope we have as an
anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within
just celebrated the splitting of that veil that day of the cross when our
Savior died. We now have that anchor to the soul ready and waiting for us to come
to Him, not through a priest but personally, and it’s not going anywhere! From
here to eternity our Lord is Alive and so will we be with Him one glorious day.
may have many “fibro days” ahead of me. Or not… I still pray and believe my
Lord can heal. But if He chooses that I go through instead of out, I’ll live
for Him because He died for me.
I hope these words encouraged you today, because they sure did me… Let the Son Shine!
who are saved know there is power in the Word of God. But we sometimes forget
that the power is literal, not figuratively speaking. Just by speaking it out
loud, things can happen.
not magic. It’s understanding that the Holy Ghost is within us and when we
speak what He tells us to speak, there is power in those words. The key word
there is what “He” tells us to speak. When people put the power in incantation
(chanting or reciting something over and over in religious discipline) then
they’re actually saying that they have the power. Examples are: Reciting the
Lord’s prayer without thought of what those words mean, reciting the prayer of
Jabez for the purpose of greed. Those scriptures are not evil, they’re the word
of God. Us reading and studying and even reciting those prayers aren’t evil. They
can stir the soul and cause you to draw nearer to God through the testimony of
those writers. What’s wrong is putting the power in the word (little w) and not
the Word. (big W!)
of my favorite mental images is that of Christ blowing people down with His
words. Wouldn’t that be a great ability for the child of God? J
What biblical super power would
you like to have? (Elijah’s fire) (Moses’ staff)
can’t blow people down, but sometimes the Word of God blows me away; especially
when it reveals things to me and causes me to think about the Word like I hadn’t
before; like Doug Rowe did in Sunday School class last week. It causes me to
search deeper into the word of God to discover what God wants me to know during
this Easter season that will help me appreciate Him more.
1When Jesus had spoken these
words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a
garden, into the which he entered, and his disciples. 2 And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew
the place: for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with his disciples. 3 Judas then, having received a band of
men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with
lanterns and torches and weapons. 4 Jesus therefore, knowing all
things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye?
5 They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth.
Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with
them.6 As soon then as he had said unto them, I
am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground.7 Then asked he them again, Whom seek ye?
And they said, Jesus of Nazareth.
There’s not always safety in numbers, as
Judas thought because God doesn’t control things from a human perspective. Judas
knew somethings about Jesus, but he didn’t know Jesus.
What are some things we know about Jesus
that the unsaved wouldn’t know or understand?
Where do you see people of the world thinking they’re in control?
When searching your life during this
special week before Easter, where do you see places in your life that you
“think” you have control or you’re taking control when you shouldn’t?
The Power of His
who had seen the Power of God at work and believed that He was the Messiah,
missed the mark as a child of God on several occasions. This was one of them.
He attempted to “fix” the problem.
Peter missed God’s directive.
8 Jesus answered, I have told
you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way:9 That the saying might be
fulfilled, which he spake, Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none.10 Then Simon Peter having a
sword drew it, and smote the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear.
The servant’s name was Malchus.
How many of
us are guilty of that?
Some of us
have that personality. I’m a fixer. I want to fix everyone’s problems. But
sometimes that makes me the problem. There are some things that from the
surface look bad, but the end result is a great victory. That was this
circumstance. Peter was trying to remove the cup from the Lord, and which one
of us wouldn’t want to do that from a human perspective, but from God’s
perspective, all of these circumstances lead to the end result of eternal
security for us.
just said, let
these go their way:9 That the saying might be fulfilled,
which he spake, Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none.
He wasn’t going to lose any in the garden by the battle, and He’s
not going to lose any out of Heaven because of the cross.
What was Peter focusing on?
Heaven in view, while Peter had this earth in view.
For my thoughts are not
your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
always have his focus on the wrong thing. When Jesus asked in Matthew 16:15 15 He saith unto them, But whom
say ye that I am?
Verse 16 says And Simon
Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
He knew God
like Judas did not. Simon proves again and again that he’s not perfect. Why do
you think God may have put someone like Simon in so many places of prominence
in the Bible? What is there about his character that God wants us to
relate to Peter on many levels. His jump and the net will appear attitude is
who I’ve been all my life. When looking at the Apostles, do you see yourself in
any one of the characters and why? (back page list)
The Power of His
Peter didn’t understand at that time.
11 Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy
sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink
it?12 Then the band and the captain and
officers of the Jews took Jesus, and bound him,13 And led him away to Annas
first; for he was father in law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that
same year.14 Now Caiaphas was he, which
gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the
didn’t understand the truth of those words the way that we understand them
Only one Man could die for the
people. All the people. And that Man was
Jesus had to drink from that cup, because He was the only One that could have.
Without the sacrifice that He made there would have been no hope for mankind.
That part Peter didn’t understand, but there would come a time that he would.
What About My Cup Lord
came a time that Peter would understand the cup of Christ, and the fact that he
too would have a cup. He would also learn, not to worry about what someone
else’s cup is filled with.
15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to
Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto
him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my
lambs. 16 He saith to him again the
second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord;
thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.17 He saith unto him the third
time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said
unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou
knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed
my sheep.18 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When
thou wast young, thou girdest thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but
when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall
gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.19 This spake he, signifying by
what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto
him, Follow me.20 Then Peter, turning about, seeth the
disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper,
and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee?21 Peter seeing him saith to
Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do?22 Jesus saith unto him, If I
will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.23 Then went this saying abroad
among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto
him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that
to thee?24 This is the disciple which testifieth of
these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true.25 And there are also many
other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I
suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be
Peter would be crucified like the Lord, although it is said that
he was crucified upside down by his own choice. John wasn’t crucified, but his
life wasn’t a piece of cake either; he was boiled in oil and banished to the
isle of Patmos where he wrote the final book in the Bible.
Peter’s conversation with Christ helps us to understand that we’re
to look at no other persons walk with Christ and judge it, or compare it to
ours. We each have our cup to bear if we’re doing anything for the cause of
Examine your life this week. Draw and Write inside your cup the things (both good and bad) that God has allowed you to go through because it made you a better child of God.
– quick to speak and act, crucified upside down
– Soul winner (Peter) Often in the background.
– Inner circle, one of the Sons of Thunder, First martyred. Brother to John
– Loyal, fiery temperament, leader, last of the apostles to die. Brother to
James, the other of the Sons of Thunder
– quick soul winner (Nathanael) died a martyr.
– skeptic but loyal
–Left everything and devoted himself to Christ.
– doubter, risk taker and prone to extremes.
For God doth know that in the day ye eat
thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good
don’t want to scare you but I have a 22 point message. And before you tune me
out, they’re actually sub points of a __ point message and they’ll only briefly
be mentioned, and in a manner I think you’ll come to appreciate regarding the
tree of good and evil from Genesis 3.
think often about that doggone tree in the garden that started it all when it
comes to sin and mankind. If it hadn’t been for that tree, life would have been
so much different for each one of us. And Then I think of who I’ve become
because of many the evil things in my life, and it makes me ponder the tree a
little deeper today.
The Fallacy of the Fruit
God created the fruits of the tree, it says in Genesis 2:9 And out of the ground made the
Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for
food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of
knowledge of good and evil.
doesn’t say there was any difference,
with the exception that in verses 16-17, God said And the Lord God commanded
the man, saying of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the
tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the
day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
were all good for food, but one was forbidden, and yet it wasn’t entirely evil.
It was the tree of good and evil. That’s where some confusion on my part comes
in. How can a tree be filled with both. And why was it even there? Why would
God put something so tempting in the garden that He knew would reap such destruction
for all of mankind?
there’s one thing that I have figured out in my 56 years of life on this earth,
it’s that “Nothing just happens.” God has purpose for every single thing on and
in this earth. And while it was not ever God’s intention for man to sin; God
still knew the story before it happened. He also knew Satan’s starring role in
the story and how Satan twisted the words of the Lord to confuse Eve.
shall not surely die:” he said.
so Eve ate of the tree and the rest, as they say, is history. But what Eve set
in motion isn’t just history, its future as well. There are things that have
happened and things that are going to happen that are horrible because of the
circumstances of the original sin.
the fruit of the garden was good, and Eve could have had any one of them and
been satisfied. But it says that upon the temptation of the Serpent’s words,
6 … saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to
the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit
thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. 7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they
were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
Something happened when they discovered evil. They already knew
good, but now they’d discovered the opposite of good, which is evil.
They knew they were naked.
For the first time they experienced fear, shame and guilt. They no
longer had confidence in who they were. Where they had once looked forward to
the arrival of the Lord in the garden, now they were hiding and covering their
bodies up because of that doggone fruit of the garden. And we’re still doing it
today, even though it’s no longer necessary.
I created the drawing and used all the words I could think of that
began with “D.” But there’s a thousand others that start with many other
letters that could fit on the branches as well. All things that cause our
relationship with the Lord to suffer. That was Satan’s goal. He was jealous of
Adam and Eve and what they had with the Lord. He was out to destroy it. And
he’s still destroying it today. He hates our relationship with God. How many of
us are suffering one of the afflictions I’ve listed on the tree, or multiple. And
how many times do they drive us away from God because Satan convinces us that
we’re unworthy of God’s love. That’s what Adam and Eve discovered that day.
That they were unworthy. Shameful. They didn’t know that before they discovered
evil. But from that one act of disobedience, look at how many problems came.
When I think about how many offshoots of sin came from the seeds
of that one forbidden fruit I realize how very important it is to get to the
Root of the matter. Pun totally intended.
The Foreknowledge of the Father
What happened in the garden did not catch God off guard.
9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none
else; I am God, and there is none like me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the
things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all
“Why” God created the tree in the garden isn’t as
important as the fact that He “created it.” He spoke it, and it came to be. We
want to question everything, rather than acknowledge that God is just amazing!
He knew everything that would happen and he allowed it to happen because
everything has purpose.
For certain Satan is to blame and there will come
a day that he’ll be taken care of. But what the fall of man proves is that man
and woman need God. The very thing Satan didn’t want. Every single bitter fruit
on the tree does one thing, it causes us to search for hope and hope is found
at the root of the tree.
I’ve experienced every single
thing on that tree. But I’ve also experienced everything at the root of that
tree. And because Christ is, (and this is the final point)
of our Faith
He is the Root of all we need in Life.
10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which
shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his
rest shall be glorious.
We can find rest in His knowledge that is provided to us through the Holy
Spirit because of His sacrifice.
All of the evil that Eve unleashed on that tree is covered by the blood
of Jesus. Adam and Eve tried to use fig leaves to cover it up. Something else
from a tree. But that wouldn’t do it, only the blood sacrifice would cover up
what they’d done.
What I came to realize from this study, is that all of the things on the
tree that I thought were evil, God used it for His good. That’s why I believe
it’s called the tree of good and evil. Satan could only see the evil. The
destruction, death, doubt, depravity of man. But God, who knew the ending would
see what His Son would offer in its place. Devotion, deliverance, defense, our
Too many other good things to count. But we have to take responsibility
for our part of the evil. And then God’s shows us the goodness of His
We are the good fruit of someone. God handpicked us for a purpose.
I pray today you’ll remember that when Satan tries to show you the bad
fruit in your life. And you’ll remind him of the good that’s come out of it.
There is some.
And I pray you’ll never lose sight that we’re going to get to see that
perfect garden someday when it’s redesigned by God.
Is there not an appointed
time to man upon earth? Are not his days also like the days of an hireling? As a
servant earnestly desireth the shadow, and as an hireling looketh for the
reward of his work.
a soul on earth has likely ever felt the frustration of ministry work like Job.
Here he was, a man who the scripture described as “Perfect and upright and one
that feared God,” ~ Job 1:1, and because of that he was targeted by Satan and
tested by God. There is a vast difference between Job and I. Yet it doesn’t
stop the ministry frustrations at times and the feeling that my eternal
difference making is sparse. The only difference, I’m not worthy of the right
to complain. Still
doesn’t stop me from doing it though.
morning Job 7:1-2 gave me the kick in the pants that I needed.
The Appointed Time
have not felt well lately. Mainly because I’m not taking care of myself. My
friend Gloria has told me that she is having a difficult time raising me. This
damaged knee of mine has me feeling like I’m a rebellious teen ager who has
just been told they’re grounded. I’m sneaking out at every turn, but
unfortunately I’m closer to being a senior citizen than a senior in high
school, and sneaking out means that I’m walking and working more than I should around
the house. That’s sad isn’t it?
But my ministry work suffers because my psyche suffers. If I sit, I feel worthless. Imagine how Job felt. It literally makes me nauseous to think what that man went through. It’s why his words carries weight. He earned that right.
knew that there was an appointed time to die, and that unfortunately this wasn’t
it for him. He was wishing for death.
am wishing for life! If there is an appointed time to die (and there is) there
is also an appointed time to live; and by live I mean serve. Until we draw our
last breath there is work to be done. This is our appointed time. What are we
going to do with it?
you’re not dead, God’s not done!
The Appointed Work
work for that time in his life was to be a witness. He didn’t realize. He didn’t
know we’d be writing, talking and preaching about him for thousands of years
later. And we don’t know what our tough times will mean either on the other
side of eternity.
think God has some reading for us to do when we get to Heaven.
56:8 says “Thou tellest my wanderings:
put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?”
we’re serving, they’re talking about us in Heaven. Our tears are in a bottle
and there is a book of our story! I don’t
want my book covered in dust because it’s never written in. (not that they’ll
be dust in heaven.” Maybe angel glitter. But I want my book to be a best seller!
The Appointed Reward
And, behold, I come quickly;
and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
forget that God’s idea of quickly and ours is two separate notions. But “quickly”
just might mean before this day is through, and the opportunity to collect
those rewards are limited.
rewards are those I love. I have a house full of kids today, I’m believing that
they’re going to make my life easier. Yeah…. I didn’t believe that any more
than you do. But, it’s an opportunity for them to see Noni serving God in hopes
that they too will have that desire. And that will be reward enough!
It was a thought that seemed
almost foreign to me this morning as I read John 3:16…
For God so loved
the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him
should not perish, but have everlasting life.
It’s likely the most widely
known and quoted verse in the bible. We say it without thinking. It just rolls
off the tongue of most Christians regardless of how long they’ve been saved. The
point being, even if you can’t quote it, you know it. But this morning, it just
seemed brand new.
Not necessarily the verse,
but rather the concept of the depth of God’s love and the vastness of His
being, and the fact… I need to repeat… the fact that He did what He did for
someone like me. A nobody. That this morning in my living room and in the home
of my friend LuAnn, God spoke to us and said, I have a work for you to do.
I received a message from my
friend Faye yesterday, and through her God said… there is a work to do.
My friend Dewey and I speak
most every day. But lately God has given us a deeper love for the ministry and
a desire to do more. There is work for us to do.
Why does God put these
awesome people in my life?
Because His concept is beyond
what anyone of us can imagine. And the possibilities of what He can do with us
are beyond what anyone of us can even think. And I know this because today John
3:16 was a brand new verse in this ol’ girls head.
The concept of the “Father,
Son and Holy Ghost” three in one has often boggled my mind. How can three be
one? It just doesn’t make sense to the earthly mindset. I’ve heard it explained
by using the illustration of the egg which has three parts (the white, yolk and
shell) yet it is one. It’s a great illustration. But it’s an egg… not God.
But lately as God deals with
me, trying to get me to a better place spiritually to where He can use me, He
speaks to my heart about understanding who He is, so I can better grasp who I
am in Him.
He is Huge!
hand also hath laid the foundations of the earth, and my right hand hath
spanned the heavens: when I call unto them, they stand up together.
hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with
the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the
mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance.
Who did that? My God! He is
in the details.
If God can measure Heaven
with His hand, that means He’s a pretty big Fella. That means that these people
who make light of our God, should really think twice. He can flip them off of
the planet. I have to be honest, that image kind of made me giggle. And kind of
made me want to watch! But then I remembered that He could flip me off the
planet too, and that God died for the “whosever.” Not only Shari.
He Has Always Been
How can God have “always
been, and how did God, “beget” Christ, His Only Son? I don’t know. But when I
think about the Creator of the universe and His Son, who were from the
beginning, which is what the Bible tells us in John 1:1, I am somewhat
awestruck like a rock and roll fan at their favorite concert. I want to get
close enough to hear One whisper to the Other, and close enough to know them as
intimately as a bestie. But in order to do that, I have to get out of my little
brain get into Heaven as the Bible tells us we are in Ephesians 2:6 that says “And hath raised us up together, and made us
sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”
That’s present time, not
futuristic. So if I’m sitting in Heavenly places, that means I should be able
to overhear a few conversations of God and His Son. So can you.
In Jeremiah 1:5 it also says
that God knew us before we were in the womb. So… exactly how long has our
conversation been going? I don’t know. But what I do know is that as a child,
before salvation, I had a desire to know God. So Jeremiah 1:5 is not hard for
me to understand. And because of that it is getting easier to understand John
He knew me, before I was me.
He chose me before I even came out of my mother’s womb and He placed me like He
placed the stars in Heaven on this piece of dirt in Calhoun County, West Virginia.
And He connected the dots with North Carolina, New Mexico, the Philippine
Islands and so many other places, in a
way that others may not understand, but I’ve experienced. So yes… I’m a fan of
my Savior. Yes, I reverently respect and fear Him because of the enormity of
Who He is. And today I feel so loved because of John 3:16.
There’s a story of a little
orphaned boy who is found on the street and a man sends him to an address with
the instruction to knock on the door and say “John 3:16.” When he gets there he
taken in, bathed, fed and tucked into his bed where he for the first time in
his life feels safe. He later says when he becomes a preacher that he didn’t
understand John 3:16 at the time but it made a dirty boy clean, a hungry boy
full and a scared boy feel safe.
Yes… yes it does. I don’t
have to comprehend the vastness of God. I can feel it.
He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is
of an excellent spirit.
might think (and often correctly) that me and the phrase “sparing words” would
never be in the same sentence. It is however a family trait. While I have no problem speaking what’s on my
mind, there are times (sometimes days upon days) that I’d rather say nothing to
anyone. The ringing of a telephone causes my stomach to go nauseous and even
messages on social media overwhelm me. I like silence. Because I know that in
those times is when I am most likely to hear God speak. And then there are
other times, if I’m honest, that I am drawn to the noise of the earth around me
because I know in the silence I’ll hear God speak, and that scares me too. It’s
crazy, I know! But it’s me being real.
I attended the funeral of a sweet cousin who’s epitaph verse was Proverbs
17:27. He was a very well educated man with much to say, but seldom said it.
His daughter said it best when she said “if he spoke you should listen, because
his words were weighted.” What an awesome testimony he had.
As I sat there and watched his children work through their grief in front of an audience and do it so God glorifying; it did what a funeral should do, it caused me to reflect on my own life and the cause and effect of silence. Silence can be good, or silence can be bad, there must be balance as in everything in life. Even Cheesecake. I know that’s random… but it’s true.
times in Psalm 46 the Psalmist says that “God
is our refuge.” Refuge being a safe haven, sanctuary or shelter. As a child
of God I understand that. I have run into that place to escape the sorrows of
the day so very many times. I’m in that place right now. I needed this word
this morning to send me to the feet of Jesus to speak to Him about the many burdens
in my life. They accumulate so quickly. Too much, too often and I’m consumed by
it. They’re a racket in my mind. God
understands. That’s why He spoke this Psalm into David. Not only for him, but
1God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and
though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;3 Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the
mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.
Those roaring waters and trembling mountains that feel as though they’re going to bury us in defeat are exactly what runs us into the refuge. If it were not for that trouble, we’d think we didn’t need help. We’d be sure that it was us who could get us through the issues of the day. God doesn’t make the trouble, but He’ll get His glory in the midst of it! I witnessed that yesterday.
My cousin’s death was not a death of God’s timing. But God knew the heart of the man and used the occasion of his memorial to quiet the noise in my life and probably many others. Death has a way of putting life in check.
This is important. √
This is not. √
4 There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of
God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help
her, and that right early.
I sing a song titled “Tell Me One
More Time About Jesus” and in that song there is a line that speaks of the
Pastor’s words being like a “cool drink of water.” The Psalmist’s words are
such. So were the words of the memorial, because they all point to Jesus. Jesus
is that river, that makes glad the city of God! When a child of God comes home,
whether timely or not, you better believe there is rejoicing in Heaven! Should
there not be on earth.
I told my cousin Duke last
night when he called to see how the funeral went, that “I love a good funeral!”
We laughed, but he knew what I meant. Because we both know Jesus. And there is
joy in knowing that a loved one’s struggle is over and they are sitting beside
of Victory! Glorraaaaaay! That puts a shout in my soul.
The Refuge from the Rage
6 The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice,
the earth melted. 7 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.8 Come, behold the works of the Lord, what desolations he hath made in the earth.9 He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the
bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire.10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen,
I will be exalted in the earth.11 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.
You can better believe that
Satan was not a happy camper at Gassaway Baptist Church yesterday. He expected
worlds to fall apart when he moved “his kingdom.” But this world is not our home,
and this world was not what my cousin’s children had their eyes on. They were standing in the refuge of the God
of Jacob. The same God and Savior who gave Jacob a new name when he wrestled
with God in Genesis 32.
Every battle of a child of God
ends in Victory, even if it doesn’t always appear that way.
My cousin was described as a man of few words, yet he was a writer, a thinker, a ponderer… and he and I had many times talked about our ponderings of God. He left his testimony with us through his children when his daughter said, “Our dad was a humble man who wouldn’t want you to focus on his education, successes and the many things he did that no one knew. He would want us to tell you of the day he made Jesus his Savior.”
So, I’m back in Ezekiel again today, and I’m enjoying the Lord’s work in me through His word. Even the words I don’t understand.
Ezekiel 40, according to the commentary of John Gill, tells me that the Jews under the age of 30 were not allowed to read chapters 40-49 until they were of the age of 30 years old. And then they were to read it with the understanding that they wouldn’t understand. Finally, someone who gets me!
It speaks of a temple, of glorious grandeur and it speaks in great detail. I mean GREAT detail. As my eyes were glazing over while I read the cubit after cubit detail, the number of steps, the width of the rooms, the length of the porches, I begin to wonder why? Why does God give Ezekiel this information? So I looked closer. And began to try in my feeble brain to imagine what those images would have been. And I came across a few words that captured my attention for a minute and took me to a happy place. A pickin’ parlor.
In verse 44 of chapter 40 it says that “without the inner gate were the chambers of the singers in the inner court. ” That’s when I understood that God is all about the details. As He described this location to Ezekiel it didn’t really matter when it was, only that it was going to be, and when it was and where it is, we will be.
I don’t have to understand the future events, I only have to believe that God has got an amazing place for the believer and that it has been designed in great detail for us.
Don’t miss out on it by not knowing Jesus as your Savior. And if you’re saved, tell your family and friends so they don’t miss out!
Below is the teen lesson I’ll use for tomorrows Sunday School program where I teach 9-12th grades. It’s certainly a suitable study for adults as well, after all, I teach these teens as the spiritually mature adults they are. On more than one occasion they’ve taught me.
Most days I feel like the underdog. I fail, I fall, I get up and try again. I leap in faith only to look more like a leap frog than leaping a building in a single bound. I venture a guess I’m not alone. I’ve yet to meet a saint of God (at least any I cared to be around) who thought they were an absolute success. Servitude brings a humility that allows us to remember who the real super Hero is: The Lord Jesus Christ! But even the bible recognizes the making of a hero. We’re not super heroes, but yet we too have the potential to be a hero by using the power within us. We (or at least I) fail to remember that it’s never me who has the ability to make things happens when leading souls to Christ or serving God in any capacity. But rather the Holy Spirit.
of heroes in the book of Hebrews gives me great hope that God can use someone
like me. So what is our role on the roll and what is our superpower.
One of my Dad’s
favorite verses was Hebrews 11:1 ~
Now faith is the substance
of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
#1 – Seeing the Unseen
Christians see things in me that I don’t see. Or I don’t have the faith in my abilities
to bring them to fruition. But if we view life through the vantage point of God
what are the unseen things we’d see? And how do we see them?
Through faith we understand that
the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were
not made of things which do appear.
things do you “see” in creation?
When I think
of framing I think of an incomplete project. God created this world by speaking
it into existence. “Framed by the word of God.” But there is still work to do. We
are that work for which we do by stepping and leaping in faith to show others
Why do you
think that unsaved people, especially those in the field of science, struggle
with believing in God’s creation?
# 2 – Willing to Kill
The first hero
mentioned in the book of Hebrews 11 is Abel. His super power was a righteous
By faith Abel offered unto God a
more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was
righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
Abel killed in
obedience. Cain on the other hand killed out of jealous and pride and the
killing was of his own brother.
Why was Abel’s
killing of the sacrifice righteous?
that hard for us to understand, especially if we are critter lovers?
Of course it
is! But it may be a little less difficult for those of us who are not
vegetarian. We can understand the sacrifice a critter makes for us to have a
to sacrifice an animal was his unwillingness to recognize that sin required a
blood covering. It still does. But Christ made that final sacrifice on the
The death now
is our own. We are dead to ourselves and alive in Christ!
# 3 – God Pleasers
By faith Enoch was translated
that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated
him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
What can we do
that would please God and allow the world to see this superpower?
One thing for
certain, without faith we will not please God. Hebrews 11:6 says
But without faith it is
impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe00 th0at he is,
and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
If by seeking
God, it pleases Him, how do we seek Him? And how does seeking Him show faith?
Superpower #4 – Boat
By faith Noah, being warned of
God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving
of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the
righteousness which is by faith.
In that day,
that was more than a little bit crazy. From this side of it we know how wise he
was, but at that point it had never rained one drop.
we want to be obedient to God’s calling we have to be a little bit crazy!
Have you, or
do you know someone who’s been a little bit crazy?
Superpower #5 – Going
to the unknown and believing the impossible
By faith Abraham, when he was
called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance,
obeyed; he went out, not knowing whither he went.
Stepping out in
faith isn’t for the faint of heart. Abraham had no idea where God was sending him,
but he was willing to go.
you fear God’s calling on your life? Has He called you to do something you now
country(s) would you fear being called to?
Through faith also Sara herself
received strength to conceive seed and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she
judged Him faithful who had promised.
Sarah was 90
and Abraham 100 when Isaac was born. There is nothing that God cannot do?
something that you struggle believing God will do in your life and then
remember the principles of your superpowers!
Superpower #6 – Eternal
By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and
Esau concerning things to come. By faith Jacob when he was dying, blessed both
the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff. By faith
Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel;
and gave commandment concerning his bones.
All these men
knew that there was an eternity to live for. Until their dying breath they
handed down that legacy. We should never stop believing that we need to tell
people about Jesus.
How should an
eternal mindset cause us to live?
Superpower #7 – Facing
the Fire and Water
23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was
hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and
they were not afraid of the king’s commandment. 24 By faith Moses, when he was come to
years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction
with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater
riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of
the reward.27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing
the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.28 Through faith he kept the passover, and
the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them.29 By faith they passed through the Red sea
as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.
before the fire when God called him out of the burning bush and he stood before
the Red Sea believing through the power of God they’d get through it. Even as
an infant he was placed in harms way. All this is evidence that even the chosen
children of God are not immune to heart aches and danger. His own family
rejected his wife and gossiped behind his back, but God took care of it all.
How does this
encourage you in your everyday life?
Superpower #8 – Girl
By faith the harlot Rahab
perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with
only use men for the higher powers. Rahab is listed as a “harlot” and yet she
is in the lineage of Jesus Christ. What does that tell us about the people God
will use for the Kingdom’s glory?
Rahab and her family’s
life was spared because she believed in the God of Abraham and protected His
people. She truly had girl power to face certain death if she was caught. She
also proved that God can use people even with questionable pasts.
Paul went onto
mention more heroes of the faith, but what we might find when we get to Heaven
is that in a book of the things we’ve done for Christ we too are mentioned as
heroes of the faith!
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!”
be the Lord God of Israel; for He hath visited and redeemed His people;
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
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!
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.
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!
Writer, Speaker, Singer… but most of all, Servant of Jesus Christ