Tag Archives: blessings

Just for the Joy of It!

While there are numerous verses in the Bible for which folks can cling to and call their own for such a time as this in their lives; I may have found a new life verse for me. Insert smile here for the cupcake, but the verse does speak more to my heart than just that sweet treat! It speaks to my soul on a level that God knew I needed today.

I always say I have issues, but I really believe that I have my share and someone else’s too. I love to live life, I love to give joy, I always mean well even when it doesn’t end well, and I have the hardest time of receiving anything with joy. I’ll receive it with gratitude, and the consciousness that I am beyond unworthy, but joy doesn’t come easy.

So Nehemiah 8:10 pricked my heart this morning.

A friend had sent a message today that they were going to contribute to my ministry and I didn’t have words  (other than thank you) to tell them how I felt. It doesn’t come natural for me to receive things without guilt.

Why that is, I don’t know, because that’s never been the intent of the givers. They give with joy… so why can I not receive it with joy? Follow along with me in verse 10 and I think you and I will both discover why…

Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

Accept My Goodness

I don’t know why God is so good to me. I don’t say that in humility, I’m really clueless. I know my heart. I don’t deserve any of it. And yet, He pours His goodness down upon me and says, “Here it is Shari. Just take it and enjoy.

Share My Goodness

I don’t always have things to share. Not like people share with me. But when I do it does bring such great joy to me. It’s why I love sharing the art that I do and why I give so much of it away. Because it does bring great joy into my life. It’s also why selfish people are miserable. Because they don’t experience the joy God intended us to have.

Celebrate my Goodness

For this day is holy! That part of the verse got me. God intended this day to be used for His glory. That’s why He puts His blessing upon it and says, “I did this for you. I did this so you and I could celebrate the day together.”

Isn’t that a great thought? That God creates a party for no particular reason, just because He loves you. 

Now stop feeling guilty about it. You’re ruining His fun. That’s what I heard. God said I was a party pooper.

Draw Strength from my Goodness

Life is full of enough bad days. When we get a good one, we need to store up that goodness and remember it.

Much like me, the children of Israel were not always obedient. They were more often than not a rebellious nation. So there was plenty of guilt to go around and they were justifiable in the feeling. But God tells them to “stop living in defeat because of past mistakes.” It won’t fix them and it will mess up what He had planned next.

Glorrrrraaaaay! That’s a good word, right? Let’s celebrate with cake! Just for the joy of it!

3 Ways to Ruin a Church Service

I was at a service last night that actually started before anyone entered the building. My heart was stirring most of the day as I prepared for the service. I felt the Spirit moving when I stepped inside the building. By the time that service started my wheelbarrow was already filling up! That’s a reference from the church Pastor, Darius, last night. He said that “people can be blessed a thimble full or a wheelbarrow full, it depends on how prepared you are to receive it.” Oh, that stirred me. I came in with an empty wheelbarrow. No thimbles for me! I don’t take those kind of services for granted because they are for certain not an everyday occurrence or not even an every church occurrence. It’s not that they couldn’t be. And for me, it may have nothing to do with the church or service, but it might be that my heart isn’t right. Life takes its toll sometimes.

So how can you ruin a church service?

Come Preoccupied

The cares of this world can take their toll.

Matthew 13:22 says it like this:

He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.

Not only will the cares of this world prevent someone from being saved, but they can suck the life out of those who are saved! I sometimes think I need to wear a shirt that says, “Please, don’t ask me and I won’t ask you.” Everyone’s got struggles. Some may seem petty to someone else, but when it’s our problems, it’s not petty. The struggle is real… very real. And if I enter a service with the cares of this world on me to the point that my mind is preoccupied with nothing else, the preacher will be hard pressed to bless. So what’s the answer? Prayer’s a great place to start. Prior to last night’s preaching, the Pastor opened the altar. It was lined with praying people. What did they pray for? I don’t know, it wasn’t any of my business. I went to the altar to do my own business with the Lord. And that few minutes of time were honored by God.

Come Presumptuous

You want to leave a service as empty as you came in, come anticipating nothing. You’ll get exactly what you came for. Presumption is nothing short of pride. It’s saying that you already know what God is going to do. It’s an easy mode to get in, I’ve been there on more than one occasion. We go through the motions of salvation.

Romans 9:20-21

Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?

Coming into a service with the attitude that it’s going to be “just another service,” is a prideful way of saying that God doesn’t have the power to make it an amazing service. Just stomped my own toes there…

Come Pretending

Church isn’t just an obligation, it’s a necessity. And coming to church for the purpose of checking that off your list is pretending, not serving. My wheelbarrow was filled last night because I ask God to fill it with what He’d have me to hear. I heard one thing, someone else may have heard something entirely different from the same message. The gospel is exclusive and inclusive. It’s for everyone (collectively), and for every one (individually). But pretenders seldom get anything from the Word of God because the second it starts to make them uncomfortable they turn the preacher off like a bad radio station.

2 Timothy 4:3

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

The truth hurts. It convicts and sets a soul in search of rightness. It’s not for pretenders.

I will confess that I can be all three of my bullet points. Last night was the exception because I needed to hear what God had to say and I ask Him to say it. I ask Him to leave me out of it. And just give it to me straight. I came expecting Him to rake me across the coals for failed Christianity. But He rather soothed my troubled heart like Daddy does. Abba. Father. God.

He knows me. And praise God… I know Him.

John 4:23

But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.


This ministry is for the exclusive purpose of glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ and encouraging folks along the way. If I have blessed you, and you feel lead to support this ministry, click the link below and know that I am grateful…

Don’t Miss Out on the Blessing!

chick blessed

If there is one thing (and there are many) that our new Pastor teaches as he preaches, it is that the Word of God in part or in whole is the Word of God and not to be taken out of context. The world today loves to take a piece of God’s Word and twist it to fit their fancy or should I say their agenda. The Word of God offends those who are not right with God, it does not offend those who are but it can hurt like a swift kick in the pants. I say that with confidence. I didn’t say it wouldn’t offend saved people, because there are saved people who are not right with God. I’m sure there have been times that I’ve been one. But I do strive to understand and rightly divide the Word of God. Believing that I will stand before God for every stroke on the keyboard done in His name.

This morning as I sought to see through God’s eyes via a challenge from a man journeying through cancer, I landed in the book of Luke to see what God’s eyes saw. And I was amazed that He saw me.

Luke 6:20-23 ~ And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh. Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.

He lifted His eyes on His Disciples

Hey! That’s me. Although I wasn’t there in the multitude that had seen the many miracles He performed, I’m in the multitude who has been the miracle. One that God chose to use in spite of all my imperfections. When Christ lifted His eyes it didn’t say He looked at the crowd, it said His eyes were on His disciples, His fellow servants and friends. And then He ran down the list of why they were blessed.

If you’re poor you’re blessed… because you realize that it’s not a cliché to say that God is everything. Any material possession that we strive to own (and I do) is going to pale in such comparison to the riches that wait for us in glory. I have no idea what musical instruments await me in Heaven, but compared to the ones I long for down here… well… I doubt they’ll compare.

If you’re hungry you’re blessed… I’m always hungry so I must be extra blessed! But God speaks not of food, although He knows it’s tasty; but rather He speaks of the Word of God that so offends the world but fills the soul of the hungry child of God. It can’t be explained it must be experienced. When you read the Word of God it is every bit as satisfying as supper at the end of a long day.

Blessed are they that weep…for ye shall laugh! That’s the Heaven I’m talking about. I cry because I’m sad, happy, blessed and concerned. I wear my tear bag on one sleeve and use the other sleeve to wipe the snot. Oh… I know that’s ugly, but you have no idea how often I cry! So what a wonderful thought that God says I’m blessed because I’m a bawlbaby and that God’s got a thousand corny jokes waiting for us in Heaven. The Pastor will be so pleased!!!!

Blessed are the hated. I don’t think too many people hate me, but it is for certain that I create a level of discomfort with all my Jesus chatter. And Satan and his cronies hate me. But even if they hate me, it’s okay! Because God said when they part company with me… we can dance! Leap for joy He said, that sounds like dancing to me.

Well, I hope I rightly divided the Word. And I hope today finds you blessed for all the right reasons. Father. Son. Holy Ghost. Child of God.

But Now… a 2015 kick in the pants

 

chick kick

G. Wodehouse (Reader’s Digest[July, 1984], ) told about a member of the British Parliament who was once standing in the lobby of the House when a tall, distinguished looking old gentleman came up and begged for a moment of his time. He had a sad story to tell.

By hard work and thrift he had amassed a large fortune, and now his relatives had robbed him of it and, not content with that, had placed him in a mental home. This was his day out. “I have put the facts down in this document,” he concluded. “Study it and communicate with me at your leisure. Thank you, sir, thank you. Good day.”

Much moved by the man’s exquisite courtesy, the Member of Parliament took the paper, shook hands, promised that he would do everything in his power and turned to go back to the debate. As he did so, he received a kick in the seat of the pants that nearly sent his spine shooting through his hat.

“Don’t forget!” said the old gentleman.

I smiled when I read that story, mainly because I too tend to forget important commitments that I make. Oh the world gets so busy and I am in such demand and yada, yada, yada… it still doesn’t excuse it. I’m a compassionate person, often hurt by others insensitivity, frustrated by a dried up generation of Christians who forgot what God did for them and yes… I’m taking my frustration out in this blog but it still doesn’t excuse the fact that I too forget.

And then God makes me laugh…

Numbers 11:6

But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes.

Those whining Israelites have nothing on me. How many times do I find myself whining that something isn’t how it should be? And then God kicks me in the seat of the pants and says, “Do you remember where you came from?”

And then I hear myself say “But now God…” Like it’s an excusable whine. When truthfully my but now is crazier than theirs. They at least were in the wilderness, I’m crying about my manna in the U.S. of A. Israel frustrated God, frustrated Moses and I’m sure at times frustrated themselves.

But our soul is dried away… meaning that they were disappointed and withering away like the water from a brook in the hot sun. The manna was the same ol’, same ol’ every day and every day. I have a feeling that’s what God thinks about our gratitude and attitudes. I see it everywhere I go and I see it in the mirror every morning. For 2015 it’s my goal to start the year looking at the 56 “But now’s” in the Bible and learning the lesson behind each one. It’s my proverbial kick in the pants. I’ve been whining because God’s manna wasn’t enough, I wanted everyone else to enjoy the manna too. Well, the truth is, I’m only responsible for my manna. I can’t collect anyone else’s or deliver it for them and I certainly shouldn’t allow that to affect my enjoyment of the manna God has for me, but it has been.

God’s manna is new every day, just as it was for the children of Israel. It’s new and a miracle of grace and my gratitude needed and attitude check. But now, I’m grateful… tomorrow I’ll probably whine again.

If my words stirred your heart, share it with your friends. Blessings! from the Jesus Chick.

 

 

I Settled for a Creek when I could have had the Sea

DSC_0048I’m never any more shocked at the depravity of man than when I look in my own heart. The selfishness and continual desires to feed my own will always amazes me. I wonder why I’m not spiritually satisfied until I realize that I’m too carnal minded to obtain it. I want “stuff”, to be entertained and to certainly not be inconvenienced. I want quick understanding of the Word so that I can get back to the business of the day. Ah… I can put God first and look holy so long as it doesn’t take too long. Yes… this trip has been a reality check for me. Our couple of day get-a-way served to remind me that I can experience that same feeling of rest in the arms of Jesus, from Calhoun County, West Virginia. And the view is every bit as nice.

Isaiah 48:16-17

16 Come ye near unto me, hear ye this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord God, and his Spirit, hath sent me.

17 Thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the Lord thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.

Get Close

Come ye near unto me… You won’t hear God from a distance. He’s not a shouter. There’s a reason that scripture has God speaking in a “still small voice because it is then that you have purposed to hear what He has to say. God is not going to vie for your attention.  Satan will yell and distract from afar, but God will speak as a friend who’s telling you the greatest secret on earth except it’s not a secret.

Get Real

God’s message (although tailored to our soul) is a universal message. He’s not an exclusive God He’s an inclusive God; He wants everyone to come to Him and hear what He as to say. From the beginning of time He’s been the creator of knowledge. Whatever it is that man discovers, God created it… how much better is He! He sends a message through preachers, teachers, friends, even the wind so that we may know what it is He needs us to know, He not only controls the message, He controls the messengers… He’ll make sure it’s delivered, but we have to be in a mindset to receive it.

Get Ready to Go

The plan’s been established and everything is in place for us to profit and receive direction and yet there always seems to be one thing standing in my way; complete obedience.

18 O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea:

I could have had an endless sea of goodness from the Lord, but I’m willing to settle for a shallow creek. Oh the water is pretty, cool and good… but how much more God had instore.

It’s good to be here…

There’s a quote that people say when something bad happens in life, ~ “It left a bad taste in my mouth.” The polar opposite of that is found in Psalm 34, when David said in verse 8 “O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.” At the time this was written, David had just fled from Saul. A man called to be King, chosen by God, a servant of servants and yet he finds himself under attack and on the run for no other reason than King Saul’s fear of losing power; which David, though he was entitled to it, had no desire to take. David fled into the enemy territory of Gath, the home of Goliath who he slew. Saul’s fury was so great that David felt safer in the land of the enemy than at home, but he was far from safe.

As a child of God in America, allegedly the “Home of the Free,” there are days I feel somewhat like David. I love my country and the foundation for which we stand, I have respect for authority and no desire to overthrow the government, and yet with the economy in such a state, the attack on the Word of God and the embracing of the vulgarity in society I too want to run into the house of God for refuge. David wasn’t afforded a house of any kind for refuge but rather in the cave Adullam.

I Samuel 22:1-2 ~  David therefore departed thence, and escaped to the cave Adullam: and when his brethren and all his father’s house heard it, they went down thither to him. And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men.

And in the cave of Adullam, David is joined by four hundred misfits just like him and he is on a strange new training ground preparing him for leadership of Israel, “And it tastes good.”

It tasted good because he “spoke good”

David said in verse one “I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Praise encourages the soul and blesses God, Who, by the way, won’t be out-blessed. Proverbs 28:20a says A faithful man shall abound with blessings…” I fully believe that those men who were in distress, debt and discontent were drawn to David because he encouraged their souls too. If you’re in trouble spiritually or emotionally the last thing you need to do is hook up with a negative Nellie. Find yourself a faithful servant of God who speaks good of “all” circumstances and you’ll find yourself encouraged in the journey.

It tasted good because he “shared good”

Verse 3 ~  O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together. David and that ragtag bunch of men were in that cave under attack and they were having a Worship Service. If it were not for the fellowship of like believers I’d be in trouble; and by like I mean they too have a desire to serve God and are focused on the purpose of God. We encourage one another, we share the goodness of God, not the corruptness of the world. We have negative people within the congregation, but I love on’em and move on. Scripture says magnify the Lord, not Lucifer.

It tasted good because he “sought good”

Verse 10 ~ The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.

David sought good in his circumstances. He knew God allowed him to be in that place, at the time for a purpose and the same is true with the condition we’re in. (or the Country we’re in). As frustrated as I get with Washington, there is no other place I’d rather be than here. I still have the freedom to worship. God is King and Ruler in my world.

I have a desire to be a greater leader in 2014. I want to encourage the believers and I can think of no better way than to study those who God used. David’s words to his men are word’s I’m taking to heart today and sharing with you:

Verse 11-14 ~ Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord. What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.

Speak good (guard your mouth), see good (guard your eyes), do good (Let God guide your work)…. Wise words.

Messed Up and Blessed Up… Happy Thanksgiving!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Thanksgiving morning. Wow, where did 2013 go? As I sit here this morning with my Jack Russell, Sam, curled up against my leg and a fire glowing across the room, I’m toasty warm and blessed with an abundance. I’m thankful for this platform that I’ve been given to share the gospel, encourage friends and make new friends along the way, (you can never have too many ya know). This morning I seem to be in an attitude of reflection and as usual Sam is not the only one on the couch. I hear him whisper, you’re an epic failure, so you’ve done some good… let me remind you of how you’ve failed. Ugh, does Satan never grow weary? I know I do. I’m almost ready to throw my hands up in defeat and walk away from the keyboard. What do I possibly have to say this morning…

Leviticus 7:15

And the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving shall be eaten the same day that it is offered; he shall not leave any of it until the morning.

Old Testament sacrifices were a temporary fix in more ways than one. Not only did there need to be another sacrifice another day, that sacrifice wasn’t going to last through the day. Igloo coolers weren’t in business nor was Frigidaire, so the sacrifice needed to be eaten right then. Tomorrow it wouldn’t be any good.

What about our peace offering for thanksgiving? Here’s a few Thanksgiving Thoughts:

  1. Whatever the circumstance around you, be at peace. I know, easier said than done right? Not if you determine that that is the ways it is. Satan can turn the entire day upside down but if your heart is right side up, looking up in gratitude and taking note of all you have, peace can abound.
  2. Be thankful today. It may be a family feud, a burnt turkey or spilled pumpkin pie kind of day, but be thankful. Be thankful the same day for what you have, for tomorrow it may be gone. Someone noted on Facebook this morning that there were some empty place settings at family tables. Don’t take the day for granted.
  3. Don’t leave it until morning. Don’t put off telling someone you love them, mending fences or sharing a treasured thought with a family friend. Sometimes it’s a sacrifice on your part to open your heart up in such a way, believe me when I say it won’t go unnoted or unblessed.
  4. Remember that though heartache and blessing alike are temporary, the sacrifice Christ made on the cross was forever.

I just about let Satan steal my gratitude today. Thank you who are reading that encouraged me to write on until I reached this place. What place?

Remembrance. That the ultimate sacrifice was made so that I could have that sweet peace 365 days a year, even though I’m so very “messed up,” I’m also very “Blessed up!” God bless you and your family this Thanksgiving. I pray it’s filled with love, laughter and safe travels.

Hunting for Happiness

This weekend is almost sacred in West Virginia, some treat it as such, I won’t give that thought much comment other than to say it’s serious business. Millions of dollars of merchandise is sold to make the catch easier and greater and overall make the hunt more enjoyable. And such is the quest for most lives. We want the best, we want it easy and we want it now. We want happy, happy, happy!

As I read the story of the one of the greatest hunters in the Bible this morning, my “Mothering emotions” were at both ends of the spectrum. Yes I was frustrated that he treated his birthright with such disregard as to trade it for a bowl of soup, and Jacob… what a little enterpriser to take advantage of his brother’s weary state to obtain his inheritance. And then the blessing of their father Isaac, what a debacle that was with their own mother conniving Jacob’s way into fooling her husband into thinking Jacob was Esau, thus getting the rest of Esau’s inheritance. My heart broke when I read Esau’s reaction that …he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry, and said unto his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father.  Only to hear his father say “Thy brother came with subtilty, and hath taken away thy blessing.

Good grief is this not dysfunction at its finest from the grandsons of the great Abraham. Why would God allow the prosperity of Jacob at the expense of Esau? I think it goes to the heart of the matter. When we look at Esau’s life, he not only knowingly gave away his birthright, but he also caused his parents great grief by marrying into a Canaanite family (who were strangers to the blessings of Abraham) not once but twice. Esau’s behaviors proved that he not only did not respect the blessings of God, but did not fear the curse of disobedience.

So God allows Jacob, who He knows to be a deceiver, to receive the greatest blessings, although his life was not without heartache as well. Both brothers wanted happiness, but he who received the greater was the brother with a heart for God. The more I read and the more I understood Esau’s disrespect of God and family the less I wondered why the birthright ended up in Jacob’s hand.

I’m always hunting for happiness too. I want that ease of life that comes from the blessings of God. But as sure as my name’s Shari, I’ve likely missed out on a lot of it because I’ve haphazardly handled the things I’ve been given. I guess I have a little of both Esau and Jacob characteristics. In the hunt for happiness it comes down to one thing. Outside of God and His plan we may have “stuff” but we’ll also have strife. It’s only in the confines of God’s will and grace that we’ll have happiness and contentment. None of which have anything to do with “stuff.”

In the conclusion of this story we find peace between the homes of Jacob and Esau.

Genesis 33:9 ~ And Esau said, I have enough, my brother; keep that thou hast unto thyself.

It’s my prayer that I’ll learn “I have enough.”

Happy, happy, happy!