Posted in Bible Journaling, Faith, Health, Uncategorized

We All Need a Super Hero

Jesus Chick Graphics

1 Thessalonians 4:6

That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.

There are some days that you just need a Super Hero; and reading a text like this one was it for me. It’s not that I have an enemy in any man (or woman) as the case could be. But rather my enemy is Satan, and sometimes myself. I’ve said in a few blogs lately that Christmas was hard on me. I’m still not feeling up to par and that takes its tole on me spiritually and emotionally. It’s at that point, the lowest point, that I can feel Satan kicking the guts out of me because he knows I’m too weak to fight back. 

After the heart attack I was on a mission to better health, I had cardiac rehab three times a week which kept me motivated to eat better and look better. Then the rehab stopped, weight increased and my desire to eat well and live better slowly diminished and I went back to many of my old habits. You know… like bread and junk habits. Add the stressors of a holiday and by December 26th my body was wracked with pain. There was no super strength that I used to be able to muster. Just weakness. I would come home from the office and do a minimal amount of housework and collapse in the bed to Pureflix, Instagram and Facebook. But only scrolling… not even using it for what I had always done, which is the promotion of Christ. Ugh 😩

So what’s a girl to do? 

And then there He was. Where He had always been but I had neglected to see. My Super Hero and Avenger, long before Hollywood thought they had the market wrapped up on it. Although those are my favorite kind of shows. Well… they used to be, until the story line never changed and the gore got too much. Sorry. Squirrel 🐿! My ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) kicked in and I went by the way side. But interestingly enough, God never does.

I never lose His attention. 

Paul tells us in the 1 Thessalonians 4 that they’ve been warned and those warnings were backed up by testimony.  Not only Paul’s testimony but mine as well, and likely yours! I have story after story of how God has blessed my life and allowed me to do amazing things that a country girl from the ridge of Zion should never have had the opportunity. So when I hear the things like Satan has been whispering in my ear, I shouldn’t fall for it, but I do. Every time. 

But then… my super 🦸‍♂️ hero swoops in and rescues me, and tells that demon to “Back off, this child is Mine!” Glory to God! 

Paul continues on to tell the church to love one another, and another of my favorite verses in this chapter when he tells them to “mind their own business.” That cracks me up for multiple reasons. 

1 Thessalonians 4:11

And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;

In my weariness and busyness I neglected my business. Which is the ministry of the Lord. I was  commanded when I was called to serve to make that a priority in my life. But I had allowed that jerk of a demon to distract me away from what needed done, and in the process allowed myself to come under attack. 

This morning I feel somewhat better. Actually having talked to my second super hero, my husband David, about the fact I wasn’t feeling well. I hadn’t told him about it as not to concern him, or let him tell me I needed to see the doc. Which is my least favorite thing in the world.

I realize that this is somewhat of a random, all about Shari blog, but I felt the need to share. Possibly because you’ve been feeling overwhelmed and under attack as well. You too need a superhero!

Blessings!!!! And please share this post if it blessed ya ~ Shari.

Posted in Bible Journaling, Christian Service, Church Unity, Eternity, Evangelism, Uncategorized

Reunion Ready

Paul’s letter captivates my thoughts quickly this morning, causing me to wonder about my level of commitment to the saints of God and to the service of our Lord. The depth of his heartache can be felt so intensely if you ponder each line as I believe God intended in our study of His word and our desire to get to know Him through Paul. His greatest desire at the point of his writing was to see those in the church of Thesalonica. But because of his own obligations, he decided to stay in Athens alone and send Timothy to the check on the spiritual welfare of those he trained in the gospel.

His goal of discipleship is listed in the final verses of this chapter, 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13

And the Lord make you to increase, and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.

Three quick points for this Monday morning of the year 2019’s final days leading into the New Year of 2020. It’s my prayer for you.

That your church has

Love Abounding

Not only toward each other but toward all men.

It is so easy for us as separate denominations to feel superior over another. Believing that we are right and they are wrong. Forgetting that there is one gospel and that it was never Christ’s intentions to have the separation of the churches as we do today. No, I’m not suggesting we all join up into one church. That’s a good way to get a fuss going. But would it not be a grand gesture if our love could abound toward all men and women without regard to denomination. 

I’ve sang and spoken to churches of another denomination without concern for our differences. We had a common ground that made that very easy and is a necessity for communion with other churches, which is, that they too believe in Jesus, the way the truth and life. Only His sacrificial atonement though the blood as our way into Heaven. Not of ourselves in any way, shape or form. That said, I sing and speak Christ. And the Spirit of God joins in because of our love abounding to one another. 

Hearts Established

Unblameable and Holy? That’s tough right? We likely all feel that there is plenty of blame to share in us and holiness is far from an achievable feeling. Namely because we have an accuser who loves to walk this earth and remind us of our failures. But having your heart established, meaning that you are conscious of where your spirit actually abides, will bring you to the next level of service. Because God “hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:” (Ephesians 2:6)

Together. We are members of the body of Christ. There is no Baptist church in Heaven. Glory to God! There is no Methodist, Pentecostal or any other church in Heaven. When we meet together up there, there will not be no fussin! We will know the truth because we’ll be in the presence of the Truth! 

But here, in this place, we have to get our hearts established through the Spirit that indwells us. And that means staying in His word until we see the world and ourselves through His eyes.

Paul never claimed to be perfect. In Romans 7:15 he says “For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.”

Can you identify? I sure can! The things I want to do, I don’t. And the things I don’t want to do, I do. It’s the flesh. Paul battled it and so do we. But through Jesus Christ we are seen blameless and holy in the eyes of God. In that we have to get established and continue on doing the best we can, not the least, so that we are

Reunion Ready!

Paul said that we need to be established at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints. That glad reunion day when all those who we miss on earth, we’ll be joined with again! I have so many. I know that they have no concept of time, and as fast as time is going in my life, I hardly having any concept either; but our reunion day will be one of great joy and the beginning of a life without complexity. No denominations, separations, aggravations and failed expectations… just celebrations! Worship. Collective worship as one Nation! The Nation of Heaven. 

Just wrote myself happy! I am reunion ready, are you? 

But until that day there is a work to do and a people to care for. Let’s do it today! 

Posted in Bible Journaling, Christian Service, Evangelism, Uncategorized

Why my crown is rockin!

For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? For ye are our glory and joy.

1 Thessalonians 2:19-20

For the most part television evangelists miss the mark. Not all of them. There are guys like Cal Ray Evans on our local channel 3 on Sunday Morning that will bless the socks off of you, give you solid teaching and truly cares about the reach of his ministry. And then there are others… nameless others… who possibly seek to glorify God, but they’re concern for the congregation of cyber land, radio wave and satellite is more about how many wallets they can reach. Sound like I’m bitter? No, not bitter, but most assuredly frustrated. Because when I read scripture like the one above, and I see the true compassion and dedication of Paul and the others, I wonder where it’s gone to.  And I understand why there is a trust issue in the world when it comes to gospel teaching.  How many of those on the air waves today would be willing to go through a fraction of what bible disciples went through to reach the masses? Would I? Good question. While Paul and the others were preachers of the gospel, it wasn’t only the preachers willing to die for Christ, but the congregation as well. So before we throw stones at ministers of the gospel, we have to acknowledge that the accountability of spreading the gospel does not only lie at the preachers feet.

What is our Hope?

More now than ever the world needs hope. I see it and more aptly read it in the faces and posts of the people I meet through social media, visiting other places and in my own home town. Folks need hope, but they have no idea who to trust when it comes to sharing their struggle. I’ve shared my own struggles with people who I could tell by their reaction they really were not that interested in what I was going through. And so I too find myself retreating inside my head because I don’t want to bother anyone, and I certainly don’t want to feel unloved. And that’s the truth as I feel it when someone turns me off when I’ve risked my personal exposure of pain to tell them what’s going on. O boy… that’ll preach won’t it? How many people have felt like that? And how many of us (myself included) have been the one turning people off?

So what’s our Hope. Our hope is the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the one that we have to share so that people know when the world let’s you down there is ONE WHO WILL NOT EVER!!!

What is our Joy?

We sing “Joy to the World” this time of year, but who has a depth of understanding of it when the commercialization of Christmas has become so ridiculous?  When people want to get through the Holy Days so they can get to the Holiday. We don’t want to be inconvenienced by church services lasting too long, or the expectation that we should worship Christ in the ways of scripture. From Christ’s birth to His death we find powerful worship. And then post death, pre-return, we find disciples like Paul and his buddies who were willing to be imprisoned, beaten and killed to worship. And we, in a free world, won’t go to church on Sunday, but expect people to believe we’re Christ’s disciples. Nope… can’t do it. 

It’s when I get bitter. 

This year for Christmas I made my sweet delicacies in sparing because of time. I love to bake and cook and treat my family to special foods all year long. But in the process of making my fudge this year, one of my kids came in and I neglected the stove. 🤦‍♀️ Not good. So when I poured my fudge into the pan to cool, I knew it was off. I’d scorched it. It still sits beside me on the table taunting me of my failure and it’s bitter taste. But it also reminds me that Hell’s 🔥 fire will scorch the souls of men someday, and are scorching souls now that were neglected by the church. So you want to know about true joy? 

It’s the saving grace of Christ that allows a soul to go to Heaven and never taste the flames of Hell. That is true joy. It’s why I want to live bolder and pray that God gives me opportunity in 2020 to share the gospel of Christ with people. It’s my prayer every New Year, and at years end I always feel that I fail miserably.

What is my Glory?

You are. Those of you who read what I write, and receive encouragement from it. That is my glory, because I know that that is bringing glory to God. I do not seek the applause of men, but I sure do seek to see the fruits of my labor. I pray that I do better at posting and sharing the gospel every day in some form or another and I pray that I’ll be able to be face to face with many of you this year sharing the gospel in song and word.

The days of scripture being written are done. Revelation caps the book and no other words were added, regardless of what some religions tell you. It’s finished. But the word of God, written thousands of years ago is still as fresh today as it was the day it dripped from the pen of the writer. Every time you open the Bible it’s like a brand new book never read.  And we have need to share it! Because that is where this miserable world is going to find hope and joy and God will be glorified! And I just wrote myself happy!!!!

I pray you know Jesus. I pray you’ll make a commitment to live bolder in 2020. Because there are souls a plenty in 2020 who need Christ! Let’s get out there people and tell the world about our Savior!

Posted in Bible Journaling, Eternity, Evangelism, Uncategorized

What Does it Mean to Wait?

There are days that I consider myself a fairly good example to the children of God and to the lost… maybe two days out of the month. That would make it multiple so that I could use the tense of “days.” But most days I feel like an epic failure because I know that I’m not living up to the potential within me through Christ. 

These past few weeks have been a blur; I went from one project and one task to another until they all ran together like melted crayons. I felt consumed. That’s not a good feeling. I had very little rest, mostly just collapses of exhaustion and then I would wake up and begin again. But today… the day after our celebration of the Lord’s birth I feel renewed. There’s nothing pending… well except work. But that’s okay. There’s nothing that has my attention away from the Lord. His word is honey to my mouth, and oil to my joints. I’ve been stale and stiff. I have no other description of how I’ve felt of late physically. Nothing satisfied my tastebuds, and my body groaned under the pressures of the day. But today… not so much… That makes me sad and glad all at the same time. Because I missed Christmas this year. Or at least the Spirit of the season. I was too busy… again. 

But today my mind is slowed down, absorbing the word and the mind of God. I’ve missed Him (I moved, not Him). And I wasn’t a very good example; not like the children of Thessalonica  for which Paul, Sylvanus  and Timotheus wrote to.

1 Thessalonians 1:7-10 KJV

[7] So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. [8] For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing. [9] For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; [10] And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

Sounding Christians

Ensample is a large example; meaning that the Thessalonians were collectively serving as a group of believers, sounding out the word of God, not only in their hometown but spread abroad! Yes, that’s exciting for those of us on the internet and those of us who are a part of the body of Christ through the local church. Because imagine what the folks from Thessalonica could have done with such a tool. And while I have sore attempted to spread the word abroad, I’m not always successful because I’m not using the tools I’ve been given to their full potential. That’s what I believe the children of Thessalonica were doing. They were being heard… loudly!

Showing Christians

To be a part of an ensample, you have to personally be an example. Showing the love of Christ is more than a December thing. The world seems to get extremely good at showing love this time of year. But by January the feeling has long since faded into background of Christmas and the New Year and new goals and objectives are on their minds. This ought not be the case with Christians. We should have that Spirit of giving 12 months out of the year. Not that we should be giving out fruit baskets continually, but the fruit of the Spirit! 

The Thessalonians were so good at being an example that it says nothing else needed to be said. Oh that I were such a one! 

Serving Christians

The word “wait” gets a bad rap. It is so more often thought of as a spirit of setting, not serving. But add an “er” at the end, and suddenly the spirit of serving, as in being a waiter or waitress, shines a different light on it’s meaning. The children of Thesalonica were not sitting around twiddling their thumbs, waiting for the return of Jesus, they were telling the world about the One that was to return and save this world from the wrath to come. For the record… the wrath is still on our timeline. 

Those who don’t know Christ will not be spared the wrath of God when He pours out judgement upon the earth in the last days. We see the signs of it everyday. God has a calendar too. 

My friend Sue gave me another beautiful date book for me to keep my busy life in view. I love it… but this morning it reminds me that God has something else I need to keep in view. Eternity. Where will you be in eternity? Where will your friends and family be? Let’s find out today and add another mansion address!

What does it mean to wait? Serve not Sit!

God bless ya! Shari

Posted in Uncategorized

More Important Than God

I have a 4-5 a.m.  morning routine and 3 critters that know it well. Izadora, who as I write lay curled up with her master in bed, and she would lay there as long as her little puppy bladder would allow, because it’s warm and toasty and it’s her favorite place in the world. And then there is my alarm clock Versace, my beloved Jackjuajua (Jack Russell/Chihuahua mix). And then the most important of all (in her world) Cali the Calico cat. Who is the subject matter of this blog today. 

Versace knows my morning routine so well that he, by repetition, meets me where I’m going when I get up. He knows my first 🛑 stop is going to be the potty. And so he runs before me and waits for me to get there. His potty break is to follow.  He knows my third stop is the coffee pot and the fourth is the kitchen table where I have a bowl of cereal. It never enters his mind to interrupt that process. He is a loyal servant minded dog. 

That was my routine this morning, and as I sat down to have my cereal, I began to pray; but I prayed a little long for Cali. She was outside my kitchen door wanting back in, as she does every ten minutes after having been let out five minutes prior. I continued to pray, and she climbed the screen door and began shaking it to get my attention. She didn’t care that I was talking to God, she wanted in. She believes she is indeed, “more important than God.”

It reminds me of the joke about the creation of dogs and cats. It’s been said that God seen that man needed a loyal companion, to hang on his every word, and be there at will… and knowing the nature of woman, and that she probably wouldn’t, God created the dog 🐕 , And the dog was so loyal to the man, that the man got arrogant, and began to think he was more important than he was. So God created the cat 🐈 , who ignored the man, until she needed something, and then she demanded the man’s attention, and got it. So God created the 🐁 mouse to attract and entertain the cat, else the man would spend all day doing what the cat said and never get anything accomplished. 

I’m pretty sure that may be a true story from the perspective of my critters. But are we too much different than Cali?  The vast majority of us are an impatient, demanding lot of people, who thinks the world 🌎 should be at our disposal, as well as God. He should be there when we have desires, and He should not when we have ideas other than His. When we’re hanging from a thread (or a screen door) He should fix the issue. But He should not interrupt day with the expectation of service. He is so often treated as Cali does me, I am her servant, not her master. And the dogs are a nuisance unless she wants entertained. Much like those who need us in the world are to Christians.

Today is a day I dread. I’m going to work to meet a man at 8 a.m. who is going to fix a problem that I created. He’s a very expensive software project for my company, which makes me sad. This guy is arrogant and loves to speak down to the lesser sort, for which he considers me because I don’t understand his 20th century computer program for which I wasn’t trained. And he wanted to do that for $1800. But I want his antiquated system gone, and so I “thought” I could muddle through until we get a new one next month, and in that process, I created a problem that today will cost us $900. My company is fine with it. I am, as I said, sad. The board doesn’t care for the computer man either, and they realize the problem was partly my impatience, combined with the software companies terrible business practice, but also the jam our company is in right now with a correlating new board and staff. But it is what it is, and I must go deal with it. 

But my question for myself today is, am I going to be like the dog or cat? And will this man see Jesus? Am I here to serve or be served? The flesh in me says for 900 dollars this man should entertain me all day, and pat my head every time he passes by. But I have a feeling he is going to be the cat today. And I will buy his food, praise him for being so beautiful, and will understand that I was put on earth to make him feel better about himself. 

I wrote all that to tell myself this, I am not God and I should treat no man as they are. I should be a servant to all mankind, because Christ Himself was. Never take my word for it, take it from the Word of the Almighty God.  

1 Peter 2:9-17 KJV

[9] But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: [10] Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. [11] Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; [12] Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. [13] Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; [14] Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. [15] For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: [16] As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. [17] Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.

I don’t think it’s happenstance that God took me to my life verse (1 Peter 2:9). But the verses that follow put me in my place. However… me being me cannot forget the fact that Christ put the arrogant Pharisees in their place when needed. While I am a humble servant, I am also a child of the King and should act accordingly. 

I covet your prayers! Love ya 💕

Shari

Posted in Christmas, Eternity, Uncategorized

It’s Going to Happen!

But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; after those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for light by night, which divide the sea when the waves thereof roar; the LORD of hosts is His name.

Jeremiah 31:33-35

The house of Israel. God’s original chosen and still His people He has a massive plan for them; one that breaks my heart as a tender hearted woman. I wish the world wasn’t “the world.” I wish that the original sin in the garden with Adam and Eve, never happened. But it did. I wish that Israel had not continued to rebel against God and refuse to acknowledge His Son, and in the finality of their decision making, crucified Him. But all of that happened. I wish that the woman who sat beside me in the lobby of the Holiday Inn this morning didn’t have a rebellious son that had caused their separation. But it happened. Life is real and it’s filled with poor decisions from the beginning of time, to some of my breakfast decisions. The degree is not always the same, but it is all the product of a fallen world. But I love the “buts” of the Bible. Times they are a changin’! Glory to God!

The lobby has cleared out, and so as the distractions for me… well, except the news. But I can’t help to be tunnel focused on this word this morning. God made that covenant of Jeremiah with the house of Israel; but He, in His great mercy, grafted me into the family so I too share in that promise. And if you are a child of God, so do you! It’s the Christmas 🎄 gift 🎁 that keeps on giving! Every day… Amazing grace. It’s like the simplicity of the Christmas tree in the hotel lobby, just for ever green with specks of red. It reminds me of eternal life because of the blood of Jesus.  

Israel doesn’t get it…yet. But God’s covenant isn’t going anywhere. It’s going to happen. And there will come a day that they will experience what we have the blessing of experiencing now: they will KNOW GOD! We will dwell in eternity together. Us and them. Us and God. Us and Jesus! Yep! Just wrote myself happy!!!!!

I’m headed home today after having come to this area to watch the Cirque Musica at the Keith Albee Theatre in Huntington, WV. Personally… I don’t recommend it. The show for the money wasn’t there. But what was here in this place is the presence of God because He travels with this chick. And every other Christian. Some folks just seem to put Him in the bottom of the suitcase, rather than letting their little light shine. Let Jesus shine in your life today.  Talk about Him, share Him… Talk to Him. 

Blessings!!! ❤️ Shari

Posted in Christian Service, Christmas, Life Inspiration, Uncategorized

What are you Magnifying this Christmas?

Jesus Chick Graphics

My mind has been on Mary, the mother of our Lord this week. And also a writer of the 300-400 AD era by the name of Epiphanius. It was his name that came up in my study on Monday from Luke 2, when I read in a commentary that it had been “hinted to” but not documented in scripture (which is very important) that Mary was martyred. That would not surprise me with the evil of the world then and now. Satan would have loathed the woman who brought our Lord to fruition through her womb, by the power of God. And who would have better known the facts of the matter than she herself. Oh my stars, my stomach just turned over to think of her life and watching the crucifixion of her child.

My youngest, who is 32, just left on a trip to New York, I worry for her and her safety, it’s the way of a mother. My soul hurts, literally, when one of my girls or grandchildren struggle. So to imagine… and I can’t, the pain Mary went through as the mother of our Lord, is beyond what I could possibly comprehend. But I am also very careful not to put her in a position of magnification above what the Lord allows. She’s wonderful. But she is not to worshiped or idolized as some would have us believe. She too was just like those of us willing to serve. A vessel of the Father. 

So back to Epiphanius. When I read his name and what he “hinted” at, I became fascinated with him. Who was he? And when he spoke those words, if he did, in what context were they spoken? Was he one who idolized Mary? And if so… I couldn’t give weight to his words. So I did what all tech gals do, I went to the web in search of information. And boy did I find some! Now I’m kind of in love with the guy. But my husband has no worries… he’s long gone. Having died as he lived in the year 403 A.D. Serving. 

There is a story for which I read, there were many, and not always so factual. But one that had facts to back it up was the story of “the curtain incident.”

A letter from Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis, in Cyprus, to John, Bishop of Jerusalem covers the  incident of the curtain, which unlike other passages attributed to Epiphanius, is accepted as authentic by scholars. All of which is according to the web. Which we know wouldn’t lie, right? (Insert rolled eyes here). But I guess as far as we can tell, this is truth. 

The letter reads as follows:

Moreover, I have heard that certain persons have this grievance against me: When I accompanied you to the holy place called Bethel, there to join you in celebrating the Collect, after the use of the Church, I came to a villa called Anablatha and, as I was passing, saw a lamp burning there. Asking what place it was, and learning it to be a church, I went in to pray, and found there a curtain hanging on the doors of the said church, dyed and embroidered. It bore an image either of Christ or of one of the saints; I do not rightly remember whose the image was. Seeing this, and being loth that an image of a man should be hung up in Christ’s church contrary to the teaching of the Scriptures, I tore it asunder and advised the custodians of the place to use it as a winding sheet for some poor person. They, however, murmured, and said that if I made up my mind to tear it, it was only fair that I should give them another curtain in its place. As soon as I heard this, I promised that I would give one, and said that I would send it at once. Since then there has been some little delay, due to the fact that I have been seeking a curtain of the best quality to give to them instead of the former one, and thought it right to send to Cyprus for one. I have now sent the best that I could find, and I beg that you will order the presbyter of the place to take the curtain which I have sent from the hands of the Reader, and that you will afterwards give directions that curtains of the other sort—opposed as they are to our religion—shall not be hung up in any church of Christ. A man of your uprightness should be careful to remove an occasion of offence unworthy alike of the Church of Christ and of those Christians who are committed to your charge. Beware of Palladius of Galatia—a man once dear to me, but who now sorely needs God’s pity—for he preaches and teaches the heresy of Origen; and see to it that he does not seduce any of those who are intrusted to your keeping into the perverse ways of his erroneous doctrine. I pray that you may fare well in the Lord.[10]

See why I love him! He kind of reminds me of my David. Who is often harsh when it comes to correctness and those who live in err and profess to be right. Now… don’t tell him that I told you (I’m joking, he knows) he is not always right either. But David indeed does have the work ethic of similarity to the biblical ethics of Epiphanius. 

So this is why I am thinking much on Mary and Epiphanius today and the days prior. When Mary said  in Luke 1:46 ~“And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,” she knew what we all should know, it wasn’t about her. And even though to some (but not to my David) they would say that Epiphanius’ reaction was brash; when rather than politely asking the church to remove the curtain, he ripped it to shreds. But he knew what this world does not, how much the Lord loathes religion over relationship. 

Religion is everywhere. And I really hadn’t thought about the images we project into our mind and lives that are not biblical. So over the last few days when I drew what I imagined Mary to be like, you’ll note I did not put a halo over her head, I however did add some sparkles, just because I think every woman of God should shine. 

So as we go into the Christmas season, I’m challenging myself and you to rethink some of the images you have in your mind about what this season should look like. Remember, Jesus “was a baby,” Now He’s a very grown up King. And our images will in no way do justice to the real King of glory. Wow! I just wrote myself happy again. 

Love ya. Mean it. Shari

Posted in Eternity, Evangelism, Life Inspiration, Uncategorized

How to Know if You’re Religious

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Luke 1:17 ~ And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

John the Baptist. One of the characters of Christmas that I seem to gloss over until it comes to his beheading. And then I quickly read past it because it breaks my heart to think of the profound immorality of the world then and now. Not much has changed in regard to religion. And I use that word only to generally define us. John the Baptist wasn’t religious. Religion wore a fancy robe, John wore camel hair. Religion drank wine and had fancy hors d’oeuvres, John ate locust and honey. Religion pointed a finger, John pointed people to Christ. Religion was pompous and societal, John was loud!!!! “Prepare ye the way!!!” He cried. Even Isaiah warned the people about  him. 

Isaiah 40:3 ~ The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

Sunday as we prepared for the Christmas Cantata, our sound man Carl, struggled to hear the voices of the music. (He didn’t know there wasn’t any on this particular part of the sound track.) In his attempt to find them he turned the split track up full blast, unbeknownst to the choir. When voices did finally come onto the track they blared out full decibel, and the entire choir just about jumped out of their skin! It was hysterical! We laughed and laughed and it took five minutes to regain our composure and get back to the matter at hand of rehearsal. Good times! 

This morning it reminds me of what must have been the reaction of those stuff shirt religious Pharisees when they heard John the Baptist coming out of the wilderness and into their part of the world. Religion doesn’t like to upset the🍎 apple 🍏 cart.

My text today, Luke 1:17 likens John the Baptist to Elias, also known as Elijah. Both were men of the same spirit and disposition. They were zealous, leaders and loners. They dressed weird. 2 Kings 1:8 says that Elijah was “an hairy man, and girt with a girdle of leather about his loins.” Neither really cared about what the current trend of the day was. They both reproved kings and both suffered persecution because of it. 

Religion makes me nauseous. 

How to know if you’re religious. (I do, because I was)

  1. You not only care about what you wear (which is fine) but you judge the apparel of others (which is not.)

I personally love clothes. But, I like every kind of clothes. Yesterday I wore the cutest red 👠 shoes ever, a black lace skirt and a shiny jacket! I love them. But to the evening service, I wore 👟 sneakers and jeans. I’m truly not about impressing the masses with my apparel. I wear what I like. I fully believe it is more about my relationship with God than my relationship with a tailor. 

  • You care about where you live (which is fine) but you judge where others live. (Which is not.)

I love beautiful homes. I however do not live in a home that will ever find it’s way to the cover of a design magazine. It’s a double wide that’s had work done, and needs work done. It’s small, but it’s home. I raised my kids here, and they come home here. It’s got a lot of hand made goodness by my husband that makes me smile every time I see it. Because he was proud of his handiwork. It’s loud. And the kids are rowdy and sometimes annoying, but it’s where we live. 

When John the Baptist came out of the wilderness, he must have looked a sight! But those who listened didn’t care. They got the message. In Luke 3:3 it says of John that he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;”  and some folks listened and others loathed him (much like today), especially Herod the tetrarch, because John called out his sin of having an affair with his sister in law! 

John didn’t judge… he left that to God; he just spoke truth and the world doesn’t want the truth. And the truth of the matter is, religious people really do care where you live and where you come from. And they care for the wrong reasons. John didn’t care where people came from, he cared where they were going! That’s good stuff right there isn’t it? Forget the neighborhoods we live in, let’s talk about where we’re moving too! Glory!

Posted in failure, Grace, Health, Life Inspiration, testimony, Uncategorized, Word of God

You Don’t have to Pay for Common Sense

Can you believe it? Here we are smack dab in the middle of the Holiday Shopping season. Today is Black Friday, and I can’t say that I’m sad to be working. While Black Friday is fun, kind of… it’s also, at least in my experience, a waste of money. A trip to the big city requires a half a tank of gas, eating out a few times, and buying things that I usually discovered weren’t that great a deal. There would be a few bargains, but the bulk of it was not. This message is brought to you by God. He actually gave it to me, but I decided it was a worthy share! You’re welcome. 😀

My text today is from Hebrews 5:8-14

[8] Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; [9] And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; [10] Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec. [11] Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. [12] For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. [13] For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. [14] But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

Wisdom In Common with Jesus

He is the Son of God, for which we too have been made. 2 Corinthians 6:18 tells us “And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” And as the children of God we are entitled to wisdom the world is not. Although I know that, I have a tendency to forget, and it was a commercial for a diet plan that popped up on Instagram that brought it to the forefront of my mind, where it has been for several days. While I truly believe this woman has some wonderful ideas to share about our relationship with God in diet decisions, and her plan wasn’t that expensive, for me I knew wasn’t something I needed to spend $50.00 for. God spoke to my heart and said, “Stick with me kid, and I’ll show you the way.” It’s true! While there are specific diets that I need instructions for, the Bible is truly all I need if I read it, and use it for guidance in every day decisions. We have the Spirit dwelling inside of us, making us in common with Jesus’ wisdom. 

Suffering In Common with Jesus

While Christ was indeed the perfect Son of God, one thing that He he not experienced in Heaven was suffering. Verse eight said “yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered.” Which is where some of the greatest lessons in my life have come from, because I am anything but perfect. I make the same mistakes over and over again. Jesus didn’t make a mistake that brought suffering, I made His mistakes, and you did. It was our sins that brought on the suffering of the cross, but what He learned was that He was willing to suffer it all for us to have a relationship with God the way He does. Did that knock a knot on your head like it did mine? Wow! Every time I come to the realization of what the Lord did for me, I stand amazed. 

Sense in Common with Jesus

We should have sense in common with Jesus, but as the writer of Hebrews says, many are still suck babies who haven’t moved out of the bottle stage. Truth? I think so. I too can fall into that category. Especially when it comes to making life decisions that I know the right answer too, but go in error because it tastes better. Literally. The young lady with the diet plan speaks of praying her way through the grocery store. Isn’t that a great idea, and it should be common sense, but it’s not something most of us consider because our mind is in the cheesecake isle… or maybe that’s just me. 

Verse 14 says “But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”

Good and evil speaks to what’s good for us, and what’s bad. Exercising is good. Even though scripture says it “profiteth little.” (1 Timothy 4:8) That’s my favorite part of that verse. But the problem with me, and many others, is that we want the milk of the verse, and not the meat. The full verse says “For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the the life that now is, and of that which is to come.”

We all want Heaven. Most of us want it a long time from now. But we make decisions like we want it tomorrow. Ouch. I just felt another knock on the top of my head again. It’s like Black Friday shopping, it’s only a good deal if you need it. Whether it’s dieting or shopping, do you need it? That’s where the wisdom and sense of God come into play. Else there will be suffering.

I don’t know about you… but for me that was good word going into this shopping season of insanity. Amen! 

Love ya! Hope you have a blessed day. ~ Shari

Posted in Christian Service, Evangelism, Family, Life Inspiration, Praise, Purpose, Uncategorized

What is Needful, What is Vanity?

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Thanksgiving Eve. I feel as though I have been so very ungrateful for the goodness of the Lord. My days are running one into another, my nights are little more than naps in the dark. I understand the psalmist when he says in Psalm 127:2 It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.

Why am I always shocked when the Lord gives me the very word I need for such a time as this? But I am. Every time. I haven’t been in the secular work force for years. And it has upset my apple cart, and I feel like I’m letting the Lord down and friends down, and my church down… and the guilt is heaping upon my soul unresolved because I’m not dealing with it. Hello. Can anyone identify? 

So this morning I went one direction, and the Lord said… nope, you’re gonna deal with it Shari. So here I am. In a very public way; dealing with it in hopes of helping you this holiday season when the world gets you overwhelmed. And we all know that this is just the season to do it!

Vanity. For me the definition of vanity is “self promotion and elevation.” It’s when I put myself before all else. And while the job I’ve landed in seems like trying to untangle a tiny gold chain that has been pulled taunt and laid in a drawer for years…it’s also like a puzzle that needs put together. And in that I’m somewhat fascinated. And so it’s on my mind. A lot. So is decorating for Christmas and shopping for gifts and finding the right shoes for the right outfit. Yep… vanity.

I’m being real. This is why the guilt is on me. What is needful and what is vanity? Back to Psalm 127:

[1] Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. [2] It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep. [3] Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord : and the fruit of the womb is his reward. [5] Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.

My job title is “Marketing and Finance.” I see that in psalm 127. My job in marketing is to promote the company. Not me. Not who I am. But rather using my talents to promote some one else. Is that not similar to our faith? It’s not my job to put myself in the forefront of my life,  but rather He who redeemed me! Glory! I love that. Unless God is building my life, it’s vanity.  It’s vain for me to rise up in the morning and put my will above God’s. It brings me the bread of sorrows, when God desires my rest.

I think that verses 3-5 speak to prioritization. God. Family. Ministry. All else.

I am so very thankful to those of you who have patiently awaited my return this week. You drive me to seek God for us both.i pray you have an amazing Thanksgiving! Blessings…. Shari