Posted in Christian Service, Faith, Leadership, Life Inspiration, Uncategorized

Who are you Joshua to?

Deuteronomy 34:9

And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him: and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as the Lord commanded Moses.

Oh to be “filled” with wisdom! It most certainly is possible, I guess. But for me there is always too much other junk that wisdom has to work it’s way around. Wisdom has to fight for it’s place in my world. This should not be, but I’ve left so many other pieces of junk in it’s path. Of course I speak metaphorically, but… you have no idea how very real that concept is. 

Even my dream world is filled with garbage and chaos. It may or may not be medicine related that I’m having crazy dreams again. And while I do not believe I have the gift of dream interpretation, I don’t think it’s happenstance that my dream last night was filled with clutter. And that Miss Betty and Louis’ sister Kay had to come and straighten me out. But then again, if anyone was going to straighten you out, and make your world pretty, it would be my previous choir director Miss Betty.

So what does that have to do with wisdom?

Wisdom creates great leaders. Joshua followed the greatest leader of all time. What shoes to fill! And yet he did. But it didn’t just happen, it was intentional. The Lord had a plan to redeem His people, and that plan was to use people to create models of the final plan, the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Joshua was a type of Christ, as well as Adam. But before I get ahead of myself, let’s talk about leadership and the wisdom needed.

My husband and I spoke this morning about the need of every organization having good leadership. Else 90% of staff will just do what comes natural. Nothing. Were it not for the leadership of Moses and Joshua the children of Israel would have still been in the dessert wandering around, and the giants of the promised land would have thumped their gourds. That of course is the Bible according to Shari. But I know this because I know me. If it were not for the leadership of Christ, and His encouragement in my heart I would just sit around all day and draw and pick guitar. Perhaps play the fiddle or any other fun thing that came to my mind. The clutter would consume my life and I would get overwhelmed and sit in my self made wilderness. But there is wisdom in me that scripture foretells in the book of Isaiah

Isaiah 11:2

And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord ;

This scripture speaks of Christ and the wisdom that was upon Him, qualifying Him to the office of King! And glory to God, it is the same wisdom at our disposal through the Spirit that now resides within the heart of a child of God. Christ was filled with the Spirit of wisdom from the womb, the Spirit of God came down from Heaven and rested upon Him at His baptism. He Who was anointed to be Prophet, Priest and King and He would loves us so much that He’s willing to share that wisdom with us. Does that not put a shout on you! I love examples like this in scripture that can give me an image in my mind of what God wants me to know.

I’m still in the picture book stage of faith. Don’t judge me. 😀

So why I “think” I had the dream last night…

My life is cluttered with stuff. It’s good stuff, but most days it’s a jumbled mess of what I create it to be. If you went to my office right now there are stacks of “stuff.” Payroll. Billing. New Accounts. Marketing ideas. Stuff to do… stuff that should have been done two days ago. It’s clutter!  But it has to be that way until i can get in there and get it sorted out. The same is true spiritually with me.

I praise God for the Spirit that dwells with in me and is directing me not only in my spiritual life but my work life too. Holding me accountable for what I do. Moses held Joshua accountable as he taught him how to lead and if we allow the Lord, He will will guide us through every facet of life. We are leaders in our own domain and there are people watching to see if we take our jobs seriously. 

As I wrote this today I felt the tension leave my body. At least for the moment. It was the wisdom of God that I received through this word this morning, reminding me that I am not alone. His hand is upon me guiding me day to day. But I have to listen! I have to take this time in His word to reign myself in. I think that’s why God sent Miss Betty to my dreams last night. Betty is a woman I look up to for leadership. She trained our Miss Susan who is a great leader in her own right. 

God gives us Moses’ and Joshua’s to follow so that when we are the leaders we’ll know what to do. 

Who are you Joshua to? There are people looking to you for leadership. Teach them well by example. 

God bless ya!!! Hope this thought encouraged you today. ~ Shari

Posted in Uncategorized

The Heart of Wisdom

At this present time my thoughts are going wild! Every scripture I read on wisdom sends me in so many directions seeking the truth of that word. Of course it makes sense, since wisdom is found in seeking that one would go a seekin’. And so I have been and God is so faithful to give as He said He would in the book of James, to all who ask. 

But seeking and then finding wisdom will most assuredly require an action. That’s when the rubber meets the road and we’re going places. 

The Heart of Wisdom is Willing

Exodus 35:1-35 KJVS

[1] And Moses gathered all the congregation of the children of Israel together, and said unto them, These are the words which the Lord hath commanded, that ye should do them. [2] Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the Lord : whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death. [3] Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon the sabbath day. [4] And Moses spake unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying, This is the thing which the Lord commanded, saying, [5] Take ye from among you an offering unto the Lord : whosoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it, an offering of the Lord ; gold, and silver, and brass, 

I wrote a new song recently and it has become a fave when I sing at the Long Term Care on Monday’s. It’s called “You Know Where I’ll Be.” And that will be at church on Sunday morning. It’s a priority in my life. It’s one of the big rocks!

The Pastor spoke last Sunday and used the illustration of the rocks in the jar.

A teacher once stood before his students with a jar full of large rocks. He asked the students if the jar was full? To which they replied, it was. He then took a hand full of small pebbles and added them to the jar, shaking them so they’d disperse around the larger stones. He asked again, “Is it full.” To which they replied.  “Yes.” He then took a cup of sand and poured it into the jar and it quickly filled the remaining spaces. He asked again,  is it full? “Oh yes!” They replied. Certain that that was the final filling. But then the teacher took a cup of water and slowly poured it into the jar, where it flowed around the sand and rocks and topped the jar off completely. “Now the jar is full!” the teacher exclaimed. 

The illustration as he explains it to his class goes to show that once we have the big things in our life in place, like the large stones, the other things in our life will fall into place so long as we have them in order. We have to prioritize what goes into our lives, just like we had to put the largest stones in the jar first, then the pebbles, the sand and the water last. If we had reversed the order by putting the water in first and filling the jar, it would have overflowed and caused a mess. 

Prioritizing our life is the same way. 

This morning I almost made a mess of my day. I have things that need done at the office and I was going to forgo this time to get started there. But as I began to read and write, it was clear I needed the preacher’s message again.

God first… then all else will fall into place. Family. Purpose. Life.

Check. 

Thank You Lord. 

That sounds so simple. But that wisdom comes from the willing heart that Moses spoke to the children of Israel about. He was preparing them to go into the promised land. A land that was full of all the things they’d not had for 40 years. It would be like me receiving the newest version of Apple technology. I’m always overwhelmed with it’s goodness and it occupies my mind and time for days and days. Imagine going from he wilderness into a land filled with all the goodness of God. I’m sure they didn’t know what adventure to go on next! But Moses was reminding them… “God first.” And it was serious business. They put to death those who didn’t take it serious. 

That sounds so harsh. It should certainly make us appreciate the grace of today. But instead, in our land flowing with milk, honey and grace; the world has turned aside to seek earthly pleasures rather than Heavenly promises. And Sunday mornings are made for sleeping in and going on outings for most families and church is no where on their radar. 

I’m so grateful that upon salvation in 1996, God put a desire in my heart to be in the Lord’s house at every opportunity. Not just Sunday. Any day there’s something going on, I want to be there and I’m elated to be! Sunday church should be a big rock. But not Sunday only for seeking the wisdom of God… every day some of those stones should be the Lord. That takes a willing heart, and an open heart. Ready to hear the word of God. 

This morning I really wanted to get to work as soon as I got up. But I’m so glad, with the coercing of the Holy Spirit, that I slowed down. Put the big rock of God in first and now I can begin filling my day with the pebbles… sand… water. 

Yes. The heart of wisdom has to be willing to listen.

Part 2:

The Heart of Wisdom is Ready

EXODUS 35:10-20

And every wise hearted among you shall come, and make all that the Lord hath commanded; [11] The tabernacle, his tent, and his covering, his taches, and his boards, his bars, his pillars, and his sockets, [12] The ark, and the staves thereof, with the mercy seat, and the vail of the covering, [13] The table, and his staves, and all his vessels, and the shewbread, [14] The candlestick also for the light, and his furniture, and his lamps, with the oil for the light, [15] And the incense altar, and his staves, and the anointing oil, and the sweet incense, and the hanging for the door at the entering in of the tabernacle, [16] The altar of burnt offering, with his brasen grate, his staves, and all his vessels, the laver and his foot, [17] The hangings of the court, his pillars, and their sockets, and the hanging for the door of the court, [18] The pins of the tabernacle, and the pins of the court, and their cords, [19] The cloths of service, to do service in the holy place, the holy garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments of his sons, to minister in the priest’s office. [20] And all the congregation of the children of Israel departed from the presence of Moses.

They didn’t depart from his presence to go play Nintendo. They departed from his presence to get it done! Moses had laid out the instructions for what was necessary to construct the parts and pieces of the tabernacle. But today, we are not building a tabernacles of earthly hands, but rather we are building the Kingdom of God. And the plan is still the same. Although we never leave His presence, because He is always with the child of God. The plan for us is, to get it done through sharing the word of God and the wisdom that He has instilled in us. 

What fascinates me most about the children of Israel in this text, is they didn’t question Moses’ leadership. He spoke it, they did it. So my next question is, what are we doing with the wisdom that’s being imparted to us through church leadership today. When you depart from the presence of the Pastor on Sunday morning, hopefully Sunday night and Wednesday; what are you doing with that wisdom. 

The illustration of the jar is one I’ve heard multiple times. It always stirs me up, because it’s a true illustration. But the illustration’s purpose stops if I don’t take it and apply it to my life. It’s not enough to just prioritize our lives. We then have to go out and get busy doing what God’s called us to do. 

Perhaps the children of Israel departed from Moses and spent a little time reflecting on what part of the tabernacle was there’s to build. 

People look at my talents (for which they are many) but I always say I’m the jack of all trades, but the master of none, although that may be disrespecting the Lord’s gifts. It’s not that I can’t master them, I just have always been so scattered among them, I don’t feel that I do any of them well. 

For instance, last night I started taking Mandolin lessons. What!? Like who has time for that, right? Well, I guess I do. About ten years ago, a friend called me to say that he had bought me a new mandolin at the Lord’s leading. It’s either hung on my wall, or laid in its case since that time with me randomly strumming it every once and a while. I was willing, but not ready to put the time in to get it done. Let’s pray I’m there. 

The same is true with our service to the Lord. We can say we’re willing, but if we’re not ready to put legs on those words it’s futile. Futile defines is “incapable of producing a useful result.” Ouch! That stings, does it not? Nobody want us fill as though they’re not useful. At least I hope not. We all want purpose. But purpose is useless unless it’s acted upon. 

The Heart of Wisdom is Able

EXODUS 35:10-20

 [21] And they came, every one whose heart stirred him up, and every one whom his spirit made willing, and they brought the Lord’s offering to the work of the tabernacle of the congregation, and for all his service, and for the holy garments. [22] And they came, both men and women, as many as were willing hearted, and brought bracelets, and earrings, and rings, and tablets, all jewels of gold: and every man that offered offered an offering of gold unto the Lord. [23] And every man, with whom was found blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats’ hair, and red skins of rams, and badgers’ skins, brought them. [24] Every one that did offer an offering of silver and brass brought the Lord’s offering: and every man, with whom was found shittim wood for any work of the service, brought it. [25] And all the women that were wise hearted did spin with their hands, and brought that which they had spun, both of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine linen. [26] And all the women whose heart stirred them up in wisdom spun goats’ hair.

Talent is often looked at as the ability to create music, art, construction, etc. But there are talents that go far beyond the realm of creativity. Talents I would love to have! Yes, I covet other peoples abilities the same way people covet mine. And I hope that doesn’t sound arrogant, because it’s not meant to be. But people look at my ability to do art and music and would love to have that skill (and many of them just haven’t discovered their own). And God’s purpose for their own. 

One of the talents I was not necessarily gifted with was that of finance. If I was, I totally missed the memo. And yet, my new job is marketing and finance. My first thought was “are you kidding?” This is what I am the worst at. Not the marketing… but the finance. And yet I’m there. And so I’ve had to work very diligently at doing this job. And what I’ve discovered is, I kind of like it. Although I still don’t consider myself good at it. But it’s a new adventure. It’s me stepping outside of my comfort zone to try something new at the age of 57. 

I also am working in my husband’s realm of expertise. A water company. So he and I have a new conversation going and all those years of my eyes glazing over when he told me stories about work, I’m now listening intently to try and glean from his wisdom. Because he’s very, very good at his job. 

I said all that to say this. God gives people talent in a variety of ways and it often goes unnoticed. It perhaps is a secular job, that makes an abundance of money that will allow you to contribute to the ministry in multiple and needful ways. Perhaps it’s the ability take the things you already have and give them away. That’s what was happening in the day of Moses. They were shopping in their closets to see what they could contribute. 

We all know that there are things in our closets that we don’t use, but is there something there that could bless God? Right now I have a passel load of clothing that I need to get rid of. I could have a yard sale, but it’s a lot more fun to gather it together and give it to a like sized lady who could use some nice things for her wardrobe. Now, I just need to get that done. 

Ability is just taking what we have and using it for the Lord’s work. Everything is a possibility. Love to cook? Make someone some bread. Love to sew? Make some small things to give to widows and widowers. Love to talk? Call someone lonely. Everyone has something to offer!

The Heart of Wisdom is Spirit Lead

[27] And the rulers brought onyx stones, and stones to be set, for the ephod, and for the breastplate; [28] And spice, and oil for the light, and for the anointing oil, and for the sweet incense. [29] The children of Israel brought a willing offering unto the Lord, every man and woman, whose heart made them willing to bring for all manner of work, which the Lord had commanded to be made by the hand of Moses. [30] And Moses said unto the children of Israel, See, the Lord hath called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; [31] And he hath filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship; [32] And to devise curious works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, [33] And in the cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of wood, to make any manner of cunning work. [34] And he hath put in his heart that he may teach, both he, and Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. [35] Them hath he filled with wisdom of heart, to work all manner of work, of the engraver, and of the cunning workman, and of the embroiderer, in blue, and in purple, in scarlet, and in fine linen, and of the weaver, even of them that do any work, and of those that devise cunning work.

Bazaleel was not only able, but he was lead by the Spirit in how to use his talents for the Lord. It’s why I think when the children departed from Moses after his instructions, they pondered their abilities and the ways in which God would have them be used. 

If you’ve followed me for long you know that I am notorious at leaping before any net appears. That’s what makes me fun, and that’s what makes me foolish more often than not. And it’s how God designed me. However, He didn’t want me to do that every day. That’s the foolish part. There comes a time when I need to ponder and pray about the direction of my day. Being Spirit lead is complex. It can mean just jumping and assuming that net is there. But it can also be assessing your abilities and praying about where God would have you use them. 

I pray that as we move forward in the year of our Lord, 2020, that we allowing the Spirit’s leading in our direction. So here’s a few question to get you started:

  1. What gifts or talents do you have?
  2. What do you love to do?
  3. How are you using those things spiritually?
  4. Have you prayed about all that you have to offer?

Questions I need to ask myself.

I know this was a pretty lengthy study for a blog, but I pray that you found it useful in your search for wisdom 2020. And I pray that you’ll share it.

Posted in Bible Journaling, Christian Service, Evangelism, Life Inspiration, Purpose, Uncategorized

Who is a wise man?

James 3:13

Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.

Who is a wise man? Good question right? I’ve known my share. Some of worldly wisdom beyond my comprehension, but I was never really impressed with those. They mostly irritated me because they speak over my head in hopes of impressing rather than speaking to my understanding in hopes of helping me. That is the difference between good and bad educators.

We had a preacher come to our church several years ago for a few nights of revival. The first night he was late and ill prepared because he’d gotten lost trying to find our church. It was obvious as he preached that he was having to rely on the Holy Spirit to guide him through his message. It was phenomenal! He came back the second night “prepared.” Yielding big words and theological discussions. Guess which one made the greater impact. Not the big word preacher. The Spirit lead preacher was so much more in tune with the congregation because the Spirit knew what we needed.

In my search for wisdom, I’m not seeking to become theologically greater, but spiritually greater. I want to understand scripture in greater depth, but only for the purpose of taking that information and applying it to my life and messages so that I can become a better child and servant of God.

So when James asks his readers, “Who is a wise man?” I don’t think he was searching for the scholars of the day. He spoke of those who were endued with knowledge. Another word for endued is infused. That is my desire. To be filled with the Spirit of God through the absorption of His word and knowledge. I love the essential oil infusers that fill the air with natural scents and healing oil. They arouse my sense of smell and create a happy response from my soul. So does the word of God!

Don’t Get Too Big for your Britches

...with meekness of wisdom. I pray I never feel as though I (personally) have something to tell. I hope that my ministry work is always a Holy Spirit lead adventure. Meekness is often viewed as weakness in this world. Because a person isn’t loud and boisterous, people believe them to be an obvious push over. And yet, someone like myself who has a naturally loud personality is often considered bold and brave. I know the exact opposite to be true. Meekness is strength concealed and controlled. I have to work on that daily. So a meekness of wisdom is not someone who flaunts what they know,  it rather someone who shares what God has revealed and gives credit where credit is due.

James 3:14-16

But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. 

Don’t get Bitter with your Brothers

Or your sisters as the case may be. On the occasions when I’ve been aggravated with someone I’ve realized that there is a pride involved that is straight out of the pits of Hell, and that I’m lying to myself and anyone else when I try to justify that anger. Satan loves it when we have strife with our family and friends, because in no way will God be glorified. Oh James, you are so wise. That type of strife will cause the wisdom of God and our purpose on earth to completely leave the track of our destined plan by God. That’s a dangerous pride that could have consequences resulting in someone never seeing Jesus because they could only see us. 

How very confusing it must be for the lost child to witness a saved child hating on someone. 

But godly wisdom is where it’s at! It’s why it so important to stay in God’s word. It keeps our heart in tune with Him. If you’re in love with God, you cannot be in hate with others. 

James 3:17-18

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. [18] And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

Get Better by being Broken

Understanding where we come from is a good place to start when showing someone how to get where you are and on their own path toward a deeper relationship with Christ. 

There is a fair amount of snow falling outside right now, and as it falls, it falls slowly, peacefully, covering up the mud and earth below that is so abundant outside this time of year. I’m not a fan of winter for a few reasons, though I do love the snow when I have no where to be… which is not today.  But it serves as a great illustration on the purity of God, and how He washes our sin as white as snow, covering up those muddy days in my life when I’ve failed Him miserably. And I was miserable. That’s a part of my testimony. 

I did not have the peace of God for 34 years of my life. I believed in Jesus, but I did not “know” Jesus. There is a vast difference. Satan is fully well aware that Jesus exists, but he has no desire to have a relationship with Him. And unfortunately neither does most of the world. They are lulled into accepting a false peace that comes from money, fame, even family. But get broken and suddenly you are looking for a repair kit. That repair kit came looking for me in 1996. I experienced it sitting in the back row of Victory Baptist Church, when Mike Worf opened his bible and shared his own brokenness with me. I’d never heard a preacher be so open and honest about his own failing. I needed to know I was not alone. 

Help me God to show that to those I come into contact with. Those who make peace, whether it’s law enforcement, judges, etc. do so by squelching conflict. That’s what the Spirit of God does. We were not made for this world, therefore there is an automatic conflict in our soul. But a soul saved immediately resides in Heaven, and that conflict (though we still experience it on earth) finds peace in Heavenly places. Glory to God! I just wrote myself happy! 

The world would like you to believe that being humble and broken brings shame. The Spirit of God shows us that being broken is when we’re at the point were we can absorb the Spirit of God and allow His goodness to leak back out of us so that others may see. It leaks out of my eyes a lot. 

Praying that today you are getting better in your relationship with Jesus. Blessings! Shari

Posted in Bible Journaling, Christian Service, Purpose, Uncategorized, Word of God

Just for the asking!

I didn’t get a great start off to 2020. I have a few reasons to blame, though truthfully they won’t hold water, but it is what it is. For the time being we have little to no internet because we’re switching providers and there were “issues” with installation. Next, my part time job turned into a full time job for a while, and lastly and most frustratingly, exhaustion cluttered my mind. But today, at least for a couple of hours I’m home. And I’m trying not to feel guilty about the disarray of the house, and focusing on my time with God, and other ministry labors for which I don’t consider labor. 

For the last several years, thanks to my friend Sue Walker, I’ve chosen, or had chosen for me by God, a word for the year. It usually happens when I began to ponder the thought and then over and over again a word will appear in my mind and other places, and it will become clear that that’s where my focus needs to be.  Last year my word was “courage.” For which I needed much. This year my word is wisdom, and I need it more than courage! Though courage may be necessary as well when it comes to the wisdom I am granted. And I say “am” because the word tells me, if I ask, it will be given. 

James 1:5 KJVS

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

Change can be Scary

Now the problem with wisdom, is it’s wiser than me. And when it’s granted, sometimes I’d rather go back to being ignorant. Because ignorance, which isn’t ever really bliss, is usually easier. Wisdom comes with responsibility and most often, change. 

Change is usually in the zone just on the other side of comfort. Once you get there it’s good, but stepping into it is like those other dimensions we see on futuristic shows. We don’t know what’s there, but we’re pretty sure it’s monsters. We know that’s not rational thinking, but when we’re scared we’re not rational. That’s why we need the word of God because it turns our irrational thoughts into intrigue.

Scary can be Exhilarating

Some of the greatest times I’ve had in life usually began with, “No way under the sun would I do that.” And then I did it… at least once. It’s like the time I went repelling with my husband. Once and only once, to say that I had done it. The first time of stepping off the cliff into absolute space was scary stuff! Once I got over the edge and got my feet placed onto the rocks it was still a little scary, but exhilarating as well. And I knew the worst was behind me. That’s much like it is stepping out into new territories of life. 

So what does all that have to do with wisdom? Just in case you’re asking. 

Exhilaration can lead to Wisdom

It reminds me of the lyrics from “O Holy Night”, when it says “A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices, for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn, fall on your knees….” Can you imagine. The day the Lord was born and the changes that were on the horizon for the world?! There could be some glorious changes for us in 2020. But we have to have our minds in the position to hear the leading of the Lord and be willing to step off that cliff into a new space. Wisdom is an exciting thought for me. That I will learn some new and glorious things this year that the Lord would have me know. 

I pray that for you as well. And that together on this journey we’ll go amazing places. Perhaps literally, which I always love, but more importantly, spiritually. 

Please continue to follow along with me on the blog, share my posts and if the Lord leads invite me your way to speak or sing. Blessings!!! Shari

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