Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Art of Conversation

The PDF version of this tool with instructions are free and ready to print at the end of this post

Monday morning I had two of the grandbabies and breakfast protocol at Noni’s house is pancakes, and with pancakes being messy I distributed napkins accordingly. And these were special “conversation starting” napkins that I purchased from our local grocery store, Foodland.

Each napkin had a question printed on it to get family conversations started, which I think is really cool. And it worked perfectly.

The first question was “You had a dream last night and it came true, what was it?” To which Noah (age 11) responded “school was canceled.”

His dream however did not come true.

But it did get me thinking about conversation starters. And with Valentine’s Day right around the corner it got me thinking of Valentine’s Day conversation hearts, which I personally love the flavor of! But more importantly than the flavor I love the idea of using them to share Jesus by starting a conversation around the condition of a soul, or the topic of church.

I thought of a few…

  • Biggest Fear?
  • Got Faith?
  • Who do you Miss?
  • Dream Life?
  • Who loves you most?

I’d love if you posted in the comments some things you think would be a good conversation starting question. I’m going to make and print these conversation hearts for my youth class on Wednesday night. I’m going to make myself a set. Whether or not it’s Valentine’s day, it’s still a great soul winning tool.

Conversation Flavor

Philippians 1:27 

Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;

One of the reasons I like the flavors of conversation hearts is because they’re delicately sweet and not over powering. That’s how I like the Christians I meet. Just show me Jesus!

When Paul said “Whether I come to see you or not,” that causes me to think that perhaps there was dissention among the ranks. Maybe they weren’t happy he wasn’t there, or perhaps because he wasn’t there the leadership had gone awry. But whatever the reason for his comment, it brings attention to the fact that the world doesn’t need to see disgruntled Christians. There’s enough of that everywhere else.

And it leaves a bad flavor in the mouth of the unsaved. Why would they want to be a part of that?

Our main focus should be striving to share the gospel. That’s why I like this tool that the Lord gave me this morning. So I’m going to act on it. Our conversations need to lead to action.

Conversation Fun

1 Timothy 4:12

Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

I’d like to add, let no man forget his or her youth.

Some of the conversation starters that might lead to a salvation conversation can be a fun topic. A question like “What does your dream life look like?”

Very few people don’t like to dream about the perfect life. Wouldn’t we all want it? So what would it look like? And how easy that can enter into a conversation about the perfect life we’ll have in eternity.

That’s a fun time!

Conversation Facts

2 Corinthians 1:12

For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward.

Whether we’re talking to the saved or the lost we need to know the truth through the word of God. Not using our own wisdom, but what the Word of God says, because that’s going to speak the heart of those we’re having a conversation with.

A question like “What’s your biggest fear.” And the scripture to calm the fear such as 2 Timothy 1:7 will go a long way in starting a conversation.

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

I don’t know of a person who doesn’t have fear, and who’s not looking for peace. I have fears. I needed that scripture today. I needed it yesterday and every other day. What a great question to ask someone who’s lost. Because we know they likely have great fears.

What about the question, “Who do you miss?” For me it’s my Dad. Many, many others, but most him. And how wonderful that I have the scripture that tells me that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord! And that Jesus has prepared a home for me that He talks about in John 14.

So what’s your conversation starting questions?

I’m serious about listing them below. Even if you think they’re too long for a piece of candy, maybe together we can shorten them. The printable link to the ones I’m using tonight are below! Enjoy and let me know if you use them and how it goes.

http://thejesuschick.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/12-conversation-starting-hearts.pdf

http://thejesuschick.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/12-conversation-starting-hearts-instructions.pdf

Beware of Dry Bones

A Nation of Dry Bones

Ezekiel’s vision of the valley of dry bones (Ezekiel 37:1–14) came to him after God had directed him to prophesy the rebirth of Israel in chapter 36. God was using Ezekiel to restore Israel to her land of blessing. But it didn’t seem humanly possible. Israel was once again in captivity having fallen away from God’s grace through rebellion. In that state it would take a miracle to find hope! Something like dead men’s bones coming back to life.

When God told Ezekiel to tell the bones that God would make breath enter the bones and come to life just as He had created Adam, Ezekiel obeyed. He’d been transported to the valley of dry bones already so no doubt he was in a mind to listen. When that body of bones resurrected with flesh and blood to stand as an army it symbolized the coming together of the Nation of Israel in end times.

As I read commentaries of the Ezekiel’s valley experience, I couldn’t help but see the implications against us. We’re  in captivity and aren’t even aware of it. At least Israel knew.

This morning’s breaking news with regards to New York Governor’s celebration of the abortion bill passing that would allow unborn children up until birth to be aborted made my eyes well with tears and my stomach roll over. It’s murder. Plain and simple and there will come a day of judgment that I wouldn’t want to be in the vicinity of. That smug look of self-righteous indignation on the faces of the “victors” will be removed by God Himself.

These and other acts of rebellion as a nation are dry bones to beware of. We will be held accountable for our votes and our attitudes of remiss when standing against those who support such atrocities.

A Church of Dry Bones

The only thing worse than government leaders being elected who stand for abortion is churches that stand with them or those who take no stand at all.

Edmund Burke said it well when he said that “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

How true that is. It’s what’s happening in our churches today when church leadership is refusing to take a stand against what the bible plainly lists as sin for fear of government repercussion or offending their congregations.

I thank God for churches who stand in the gap for these unborn children. They are children, they have names! God that in Jeremiah 1:5 that before we were in the womb He knew us. We have a name and a purpose long before we’re born.

The infants that the governor of New York celebrated their death may have been the doctor who cures cancer, Alzheimer of eradicates drug abuse through some revolutionary tactic, but it will never come to pass because they were murdered. They may have been the preacher that leads your grandchild to Christ, but your grandchild will never cross their path, because they were never born. Drama? No, reality.

A People of Dry Bones

We cannot change our nation and our churches until we’re ready to believe that God can resurrect the dead.

I will not give up on my nation and the churches across this great land because I know a lot of great people who are willing to take a stand for the cause of right. I believe that’s the only reason God hasn’t eradicated us.

But there’s not enough of us willing to make that stand known. Sometimes it’s because we don’t know where to start. Other times it’s because we don’t have enough support in our own troops.

Start by taking a stand on your own. In life, on social media, where ever the opportunity arises. Ask your church to get involved in awareness and then contact every political leader telling them your position and assure them that you’ll make their position known.

When Ezekiel made those bones dance, he did it through the power of God but it no doubt made him shake in his own shoes a little; mainly with excitement that God would revive His people again. He will. And He will revive us if those who say they stand for right do it.

We need to beware of dry bones but we need to be prepared for possibility that they just might come to life and bring this nation back in God’s grace once more!

Whether or not it happens only time will tell. But we will stand before God and answer for our efforts, or lack thereof.

The Power of Drama

dra·ma

/ˈdrämə (noun)

  • a play for theater, radio, or television.
  • an exciting, emotional, or unexpected series of events or set of circumstances.
  • A self-centered social media post for the purpose of inciting concern by others without basis, reasoning, logic or the realization that there are people with real problems.  – Definition added by the Jesus Chick

The Bible doesn’t say anything about social media, because it didn’t exist in those days, but if it had, Jezebel would have no doubt been an avid user and abuser of it. Her husband Ahab’s page, would have no doubt been filled with vile and self-promoting posts while Jezebel’s would have spewed hatred and slander towards God’s people, all of which would have been shared by her 850 followers (prophets which ate at her table). She would have no doubt intertwined those posts with her own drama and that of her sniveling man. #IneedNabothsVineyard #NabothWontGiveMeWhatIWant #JezebelsMyWoman #ImGoingToBedUntilIGetMyWay

That same nauseous feeling I get when I read the story of Ahab and Jezebel killing Naboth because he wouldn’t sell Ahab his garden (which was a family inheritance), is the same feeling I get when I scroll the drama on Facebook.

Now granted, no one is killing anyone for a plot of land. Or at least they’re not posting about it. But they’re still stirring dung for the purpose of inciting anxiety – be it in their friends or their enemies. And Christians are in the mix.

I read a post from a “friend” who was so traumatized because someone hurt her feelings that she felt compelled to post it on Facebook. It was one of those I’ve been hurt too many times to count, nobody loves me but my mom and even she doesn’t understand me posts. Insert rolled eyes here and tell me “What Would Jesus Do?”

This may not be the godliest of posts of my own. I’ve just really had it up to my eyeballs with Mr. and Mrs. Ahab’s drama. I need to know who told these people that their life would be without issue. I didn’t get that memo. And lest I get a stone back through my window, I can’t say that I’ve never vented on Facebook. But I can tell you those times are rare and regretful.

Drama is powerful

1 Kings 21:25 says of Ahab and Jezebel:

But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the Lord, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up.

Ahab had basically sold his soul to the Devil and his wife stirred him with a big stick. That’s what drama does. It stirs people up and not in a good way. When Ahab threw his temper tantrum on the bed (1 Kings 21) his wife’s solution was to kill a man because he wouldn’t share his inheritance. That seems crazy right?

What’s crazy is that that mentality is still alive and well. But because we have laws that frown on murder, people kill each other with words. So here’s a thought for you and I to ponder today.

Matthew 12:36

But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

That includes social media posts.

So perhaps my thinking is a little melodramatic. It’s not the first time I’ve been accused of such things. But I’m not bitter.

We’re really not killing people right? But we are killing the power of our testimony! If I see an unsaved person on a rant, I always try to remember that they are not privileged to have the Holy Spirit dwelling within to help them out. But the child of God is without excuse.

Our job is to edify the body of Christ and to point the lost to His saving grace. If we look back at our posts, how many qualify?

It’s a question I ask of myself today. How can I do more for the Kingdom, and less for the cause of Shari? And may I never be guilty of inciting anxiety in the world. There’s enough there already.

I Can’t Make You Listen

The hardest part of being a child of God, parent, grandparent, niece, cousin, aunt, and friend is when your heart breaks as you share the gospel and they won’t listen. They’re not rude. They’re not unkind. They’re just indifferent.

I debated for a few seconds on whether or not to write this blog today. My heart is tender and I’m weepy. But that’s okay. I need to share while the pain is fresh.

I’m not a super saint. I’m a messed up child of God that was saved by grace alone, that’s my greatest fear on why people won’t listen to me. They look at me and think “Why does she think she has it (life) figured out?” And I don’t, but I have eternal life figured out and that’s my message.

Ezekiel was not only a spokesman, he was a watchman. He watched as the world around him spiraled into destruction because of a nation that rejected God. I see the same thing, only now God is not viewing us as a nation, He’s viewing us individually, and every single one of us is going to stand accountable for what we’ve done in this life. Alone, before God.

I envision my family and friends standing before God and having Him say, “Depart from Me, I never knew you.” I feel Ezekiel’s frustration. But I feel God’s pain of rejection and I feel my broken heart that those people will miss out on Heaven and suffer Hell. Yes. There’s a Hell. Why won’t they hear?

I can’t make them listen. I can only blow the horn again and again and say Jesus is Coming Soon whether or not you believe. He will step out on that cloud and call His people home because the Bible says He will and not one word of that book has failed yet.

Christmas can be a sad time because loved ones aren’t with us, but at least if we know Jesus Christ as Savior we know that we will spend eternity rejoicing with our loved ones. But what about the ones that aren’t there? I don’t believe we’ll remember them. But you can believe (because the word says it’s true), that they’ll remember us.

After the heart attack and surgery, I’ve struggled with playing games with faith. I wasn’t guaranteed another Christmas, and I almost missed it. I don’t want to miss the opportunity to tell everyone I can about the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

I can’t make them listen. But I can keep blowing my horn and telling the world Jesus is coming soon! Be ready!!!!

Do you know you’re ready? If not, follow the link for the plan of salvation at the top of the page! And then tell me and everyone else in the world you can about Jesus!

Lead Me On Lord!

Below are the notes from my “not another manic Monday” Facebook Live video feed. If you’d rather watch the video, scroll down to the bottom of the page and follow the Youtube Link.

I’m not sure what has got me in the Christmas spirit so early this year, I’m usually a November 25th kind of gal, but I’m blaming it on the heart attack. I blame a lot of things on the heart attack, but this one may be closest the truth. I think I come to realize how precious holidays and holy days are.

So somehow or another, I tend to relate all scripture to Christmas, which is true as well, because scripture all relates to Christ, and Christ is Christmas. But this Christmas verse is found in the book of Psalm Chapter 16 and although it doesn’t have anything to do with Christmas, it will help you out on your Monday manic if you happen to be in that mode. And I happen to be.

Psalm 16:11

Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

I am

Always Looking for Direction

When it comes to life it doesn’t matter how old I am, I’m still directionally challenged. And as a directionally challenged person who takes a picture of her car before I go into a store, I need more help than most. So I appreciate how God took care of the wise men by giving them a sign that could not be missed.

The star…

That star lead the Wise men to the place where the Christ child lay and then it stopped.

Matthew 2:2 has the Kings asking:
“Where is He that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the east, and are come to worship Him.”

Matthew 2:9 reads … the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.

That is my kind of signage!

And the bible is filled with historical information, but it’s also filled with today’s information.

I still rely on the word of God in some form or another, preacher, teacher and reading myself to finish this journey. I’ve found the Christ child and the Savior, now I’m trying to stay on the path until we meet face to face.

Part of that journey is that I’m

Always Looking for Joy

Psalm 16 tells us exactly where it’s at and to what extent we can achieve it. In His presence is the fullness of joy! But being in His presence doesn’t guarantee that result. After all, we have Him in our heart, and yet we’re not always happy if we’re honest. Sometimes, on the bad days we have to prepare for it. If we show up to a party with an attitude of dismay and discouragement, pretty soon the rest of the party is brought down with us. But if we show up anticipating the joy of the event, it’s a great day! Well, it’s a great day if we go into this week with an attitude of anticipation for what the Lord can do. One thing I’ve been learning myself lately is that the words we speak have more power than we understand.

If we say something like “I’m dreading this week, I have so much to do and it’s never going to get finished.”

Satan and his merry men will jump that band wagon and ride it all the way into Saturday. But if we speak the word of God over it, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13

For thou Lord, wilt bless the righteous; with favour thou wilt compass him as with a shield.  – Psalm 5:12

Speaking those words causes my attitude to change and Satan to flee. The wise men knew the word of God was the way to Christ because within the word of God it was prophesied 700 years before the event. That proves the power in the word of God.

Micah 5:2

But thou, Beth-lehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from old, from everlasting.

That prophesy foretold of the birth of Christ in that little city, long before the wise men were given directions.

God knows our destinations as well. Isn’t that great news! But it wouldn’t have been great news if the Kings had had the attitudes most of us have when God gives us directions. 

We doubt and fear because we don’t prove God’s words by stepping out in zones of discomfort. And we miss the joy of the adventure.

That’s what I want in November and December. I want to experience an adventure with Christ! And I can only do that by finding out what God’s word said and how it pertains to my manic Monday or terrible Tuesday, or wicked Wednesday that Satan would like me to experience.

I want victory over every day.

Always Looking for Pleasure

Who doesn’t want to please God? Pleasing God is following, worshipping and acknowledging Who His Son is and Where He is. The third part of our scripture said at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

1 Peter 3:22 tells us that Christ is on the right hand of God. But to understand that is to understand the symbolic gestures of Old Testament.

In Genesis 48, Joseph brought his sons to Jacob to be blessed,  but he got upset when he seen his father lay his right hand on the head of Ephraim because that was a blessing reserved for the oldest child and Ephraim was younger than Manasseh. So Joseph called it to his father’s attention, and his father replied, I know what I’m doing, leave me alone. Shari quoted bible.

So Jacob was basically saying that the younger son was going to be greater than the older. And as harsh as that seemed for Joseph to hear, it was prophetic. And He needed to hear it.

If we want the blessing of God, we have to trust that the Son on the right hand of God has our best interest at heart. But we’ll never understand that unless we get into a deeper relation with Him.

There was some serious relationship issues within the families of the bible. But if we want to experience the pleasures that God has for us in life, we cannot have relationship issues with Jesus Christ.

God didn’t send His Son to this world, to be taken for granted.

Before the heart attack I took a lot of things for granted. One of them was Christmas. That’s why, this year I’m starting early. I want to “experience” this season by having greater clarity and joy about my purpose in life. And I want a greater relationship with the Lord Jesus.

When I read the words in Psalm, it just leapt off the page at me like a Jack in the Box on Christmas morning. God’s verse to prepare my heart for this season.

It doesn’t matter if I’m talking about the Christmas season, or a season in your life that you’re going through. You and I both need the same thing. A deeper relationship with the Lord.

We can only have that if we’re prepared to invest some time.

We have to turn the television off, or the radio, or the computer. Whatever it is that is distracting us from this journey that God is taking us on in November and December!I’m excited about it! And I’m excited that you joined me today and I hope that you’ll let me follow you on your journey by messaging me and clueing me in on some of the things the Lord has been doing in your life. 

God Bless and I hope to see you next Monday at 10 am. on Facebook live. 

Oh How He Loves You and Me

Hosea 3:2

So I bought her to me for fifteen pieces of silver, and for an homer of barley and an half homer of barley:

Have you ever wondered why God puts up with you? I certainly do. Most every day I’m asking myself that question. I have a feeling that nobody asked that question any more than Gomer, the wife of the prophet Hosea.

The story of Hosea’s prostitute wife was not that of the ordinary man of God. God had instructed him to marry a prostitute. That is what I would all an extreme sermon illustration! Once they were married, Gomer’s infidelity and abandonment meant that Hosea had to buy her back out of prostitution, in a very public way and then tell the children of Israel how his wife’s infidelity was no different than theirs was to the Lord; which would bring great judgment upon themselves.  

Praise God for grace… but Gomer’s life story still rings my bell. I long for a relationship of deeper proportion with the Lord, but I stay so busy and scattered about with various things that the Lord more often than not, gets scooted over to make a seat for some vain desire. Thinking I’ll get back to Him later. What? Even writing that makes my stomach roll over to think that I would treat the Creator of all the earth in such a manner.

It’s why I can identify with Gomer. Hosea married her and made an honorable woman out of her, but she refused to stay away from the world from which she came out of. She had children, and she even abandoned them to go back.

Infidelity has a much broader meaning when it comes to our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

He’s not asking us to turn our backs on family, forget about hobbies or favorite pass times, He merely wants included. And yet, even I, who the world around me knows me as the Jesus Chick, will not bring Him into a conversation for fear of it being an unwanted conversation sometimes. Or I’ll get distracted by some worldly television show or social media and my day has dwindled away and I’m left wondering why I feel like a dirt dog at the end of the day.

It’s the equivalency of not showering! The Word of God is a spiritual wash cloth as one of my favorite preachers use to say.

My relationship with Christ cannot possibly get to a deeper place, if I’m not willing to wade out into the water where He is.

It reminds me of those times that He and the disciples would get away from the rest of the world for some ministry training and rest and it would be in a quiet place, or in the midst of the sea. It wasn’t in a crowded room, dusty street, or in front of a blaring television with idiotic commercials every 3 minutes.

So today in an attempt to understand why God tolerates me I looked into the eyes of Hosea through the eyes of Gomer. I realized it was for no other reason than He loves me. Thank God, I am redeemed. Bought back with the blood of Jesus Christ after I went astray.

He loves you too you know…

They Shall Know

EZEKIEL 28:24 Bible Journaling

And there shall be no more a pricking brier unto the house of Israel, nor any grieving thorn of all that are round about them, that despised them; and they shall know that I am the Lord. ~ Ezekiel 28:24

A week ago today, a hostile, violent, prejudiced person took the lives of innocent people in a Jewish synagogue in Pittsburgh on what would have been a celebratory day in the lives of those families. My heart breaks for the victims and for our nation; our children are having to be raised in a society of fear. I hope we’ll all take time to lift those families effected to the Lord today. All of this was a matter heavy on the heart as I continue to struggle to read through the book of Ezekiel. Although Ezekiel was just the messenger boy, his words pierce my soul knowing that America is suffering much of what it is because many believe that God is not in control and that they are. I’m thankful for those of us who know better.

Ezekiel’s words in chapter 28:24 spoke peace to my soul. That’s the advantage of knowing our God is in control! I imagined that thorny crown as the earth beneath our feet, and the day when the crown of Jesus Christ will crush and burn every jagged edge that has pierced His head and hurt His people.  There will come a day when the world will know that Jesus Christ is Lord.

No Pricking Brier

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. ~ John 15:5

Satan loves the deception of holding the titles of God. While Jesus is the true vine, Satan can be no more than a pricking brier to the children of God. There is no life in him, only death. While he can cause us some misery on this ball of dirt, he will not always. His fate has been sealed. It was good reminder to me this morning as I thought of the synagogue victims. God’s chosen people. Those that were killed may, or may not have known Jesus Christ as Lord. I pray they did. But there will come a day when Jesus Christ will be Lord of the lives of Israel. The Christians will have been called home ahead of them, but Satan will be crushed as a dead brier and he will no longer have the power he yields today to incite fear and ridicule God’s people. Glory! That is good news!

No Grieving Thorn

For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned. But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. ~ Hebrews 6:4-10

When Christ removed that crown of thorns placed on His head and took His rightful place in Heaven, those of us who know Him, know His power. Having been brought out of dead religion I want no part of that grieving thorn again.

The world around me may reject He who bore the thorns and briers today, but not always. As for now, God has not forgotten His children or those of us who labor on in love for the Kingdom.

I have felt like such a failure lately. I’m so grateful to have found that priceless nugget of truth in God’s word today. I pray it encouraged you too!!!

Two Unlikely Characters

I love Bible study! Be it on my own or listening under the teaching of others. And one of my favorite times is the Teen Class at Victory Baptist Church. I co-teach with a couple of fella’s whose characters are as far from one end of the spectrum as the other, but both bring such wisdom to the table and allow the kids to see that God’s method of understanding is personal.

This past Sunday I sat with the youth and listened to a lesson from co-teacher Doug that I told him I was totally going to steal and not give him credit. I wouldn’t do that… at least not entirely. Below is what I gleaned from Doug’s wisdom on Isaiah chapter 1.

Isaiah 1:1-3 

1The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.

Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the Lord hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.

The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.

God uses two unlikely Characters… hmmm…. Just like Doug and me, to teach a lesson about the rebellious heart. The ox and the ass. Two animals who knew more about submission to authority than the nation of Israel. But before we step out of the stall and consider ourselves to be above that, perhaps we should check the bottom of our shoes to see what we’re treading in.

It seems that no matter how far I come in my walk with Christ, I still always have plenty of path before me. I have nowhere near arrived! There has always been a rebellious, just roll with it, side to me that gets me into trouble. I never give God full control. I always hold back just a little of Shari to mess things up.

Israel had unfortunately kept a lot of themselves in their Nation and rebelled again and again on God their Creator.

Doug’s lesson had four wonderful points that are so very worthy of pondering.

  1. We were Created by God.
  2. We were Stolen by Satan (separated from God through sin)
  3. We were Bought back through the blood of Christ! Glory!
  4. We were Gifted life by God

We were created in God’s image (Genesis 2:16-17). The ox and the ass know their masters here on earth, although they too can be rebellious and stubborn. But so much can be learned from God’s creation.

We have several critters around our home, but the three who I deal with beneath my feet daily are Izadora, Versace and Callie. A Chihuahua, a Jack-Huahua (1/2 Chihuahua and Jack Russell) and a calico cat. The dogs are adoring creatures who just want to love us continually. They cannot get close enough. Callie the cat is a vicious creature who loves nothing more than to come from nowhere to grab your bare feet with her claws and scare the daylights out of you! She is self-absorbed and could care less if you like her, so long as you feed her. True story! But which creature sounds more like God’s human creation?

That’s because Satan stole our hearts. Oh my goodness! That thought makes me so sad. When Satan tempted Eve in the garden, he tempted her with something that would steal her heart from her Creator God. She fell, Adam fell and because of that, we are all a fallen, stolen creation from the Savior. (Romans 6:23) The wages of sin is death. Once we get to the age of knowledge, when we can determine right from wrong, Satan has us in his clutches, just like he did Eve underneath that tree.

But praise God! We were bought back. 1 Peter 3:18 ~ For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.

It’s a price my mind cannot fathom. I try. But I just can’t wrap my mind around the physical pain that He endured for me, and His separation from His father. How could He love me that much (John 3:16) even in my rebellion? A point Doug brought out that sorrows my soul is that Christ even did it for those who will never accept Him as Lord. He loves us all the same.

God’s greatest gift to us was the freedom of life.

Doug’s favorite verse is Matthew 11:28. It’s one of mine too and it’s a reminder that we do not have to live with the burden of sin and strife.

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

The ox and the ass know where to go when it’s time to rest. They go to master’s crib. We too should find ourselves cradled in the arms of God when life gets too much. O God… to be so wise…

Thanks Doug for the thoughts, and thank You Jesus for your word.

Just Do Something!

Some mornings the start is rough. The older I get it seems the rougher it seems and our 54 degree morning here in West Virginia made this morning a little crunchier. The sky is clear and the sun is shining but my bones feel like mid-November. That’s enough whining… now I’ll get to the point of today’s very short message. Weep. Pray. Do Something!

That was my mindset this morning as I attempted to wrap my head around a thought as I read in 2 Chronicles again today, trying to finish up my Bible reading list. But my thoughts were going back to scripture in the days before when the Levites had to help the Priests out because there wasn’t enough of them to do the job. My heart breaks for the little country churches across America who don’t have willing leaders, or for some of them any leaders, but for most of them, worn out leaders!  I also have many friends with broken hearts for various reasons and my heart breaks too. As the tears fell down my cheeks this morning I was frustrated at my inability to fix “stuff” and people. And then the thought popped into my mind and the burden lifted from my heart.

“Weep. Pray. Do Something!”

In Psalm 126:5 David writes, “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.”

I was sowing tears in my Bible this morning and believing that God was going to turn the mourning hearts of friends into joy one day. Maybe not today. But today I could reap the joy in knowing that God had their lives in His hands and He was faithful to answer their prayers and mine. I just needed to do something. Even if it was cry. Sometimes that’s enough.

Psalm 56:8 says

Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?

On some days tears are enough. God obviously appreciates that effort, else why would He put our tears in a bottle and write it down in a book. He commemorates our weeping. That thought captured my attention.

On the days when I don’t think I’m doing anything, God takes note…

So I dried up my eyes. Sketched todays image. Wrote these few words to remind you and I both. “Just do Something.” Whatever it is, if it’s done for the Lord it’s a worthy effort.

I love you… I’m praying for those that read todays blog and asking God to help you understand what your ‘something’ is.

Getting the Spirit Back Where He Belongs

I refuse to be a judger of men when it comes to how other people and churches conduct themselves in services. I will only stand before God for the manner in how I conducted myself, and how I, as a leader, lead others. A lesson King David learned when he attempted to bring the Ark home from Kirjath-jearem. Uzzah lost his life because of David’s error in leadership. Uzzah was a Levite, but not a priest, who had been ordered to carry the Ark. One stumble of the oxen, one touch to the hallowed property of God and a man was dead. God takes order serious. (1 Chronicles 13)

Now I realize we’re not in Old Testament times, we no longer live by the law, but when I looked at the original church (Israel) it reminded me very much of the mega churches of today that so many people are critical of. I have to wonder if they’d be so critical of a mega church if it were theirs? But back to my point: be it mega or a little country church up the hollow, God still expects order.

David finally caught onto that the second time he brought up the Ark when he said in 1 Chronicles 15:13, “For because ye did it not at the first, the Lord our God made a breach upon us, for that we sought him not after the due order.”

So the order was fulfilled and the Ark and the presence of God was back where it belonged! Is that not what we want in our churches? The presence of Almighty God! Certainly it doesn’t require an Ark, but I still think it requires order.

The presence of God is carried within each child of God. What Uzzah couldn’t touch, because of the blood of Jesus, we are allowed to carry. My how things have changed.

Titles have changed within the church; we no longer have Priests but Pastors, Bishops, preachers, teachers, deacons, trustees and others who are put into place to hold order inside the church. The New Testament is clear about the order of the church (1 Tim. 3:1-12) with Christ always as the Head of the church. And those things will often be in line (for the most part) and yet the Spirit of God will not be felt. Then other churches will not have all things in line, and yet the Spirit of God will be felt. What’s the deal?

That was my question to God this morning?

Then like a brick off the brick yard being hurled at my mind an answer came.
“I’m no longer in the box. So stop putting Me there.”

God, through the sacrifice of His Son has made Himself personally touchable to everyone who has accepted Him as Lord. The problem is, those who carry Him into the church, don’t touch Him. They don’t stir up the Spirit within, they just let Him sit there inside of them, waiting for church to be over, all the while the Spirit cries “I want to be loosed!” And it is those who find criticism for the wild behaviors in mega churches, which I too believe may cross a line not intended by God. So who’s right and who’s wrong? I’ll let God decide.

I do however know in my heart that God intended for no man to take the Spirit of God for granted. When David returned with the Ark, there was music, dancing, instruments and shouting and it upset Michal, David’s wife. There will likely always be someone who “doesn’t get it.” It didn’t stop David and it shouldn’t stop us.

God’s mega church of the Old Testament had order. It had leadership and small groups, and all things had honor and respect for God. God is still every bit as Holy today as He was then, the only difference is we are granted far greater access as commoners by the cross. How we treat Him matters and the world needs to see a difference in how we approach Him and how we react when we get there. Less He be considered no different than the gods of this world.