Tag Archives: compassion

Be Someone’s Reason

Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die.

Job 2:9

What an odd scripture choice for Mother’s Day week, right?  Well, this is my thinking this morning as I ponder the upcoming weekend. Number one… I am blessed. My 83 year old Mother, who truthfully puts me to shame in her strength, ability and agility, lives next door. I watch as she meanders out at 8 a.m., fully dressed and make up donned and surveys her well-groomed lawn and flower beds. She cooks dinner for 30ish people every other weekend and not just a small meal. But multiple dishes and always amazing desserts. She is one of 8 children, 4 remaining. She has loved and lost family, including a son and husband she adored. She set the example before us; when I ask her how she did not blame God when she lost my brother Richard at the age of 19. Her response was “How can I blame the only One who will allow me to see him again.”

Yes… I’m blessed.

So now for what got me thinking about Job’s wife. Not everyone is so blessed.

Before I throw Mrs. Job under the bus, I have to acknowledge that she too had just lost ten children at once and her means for livelihood. She was no doubt fighting depression and anxiety as none of us could likely comprehend. But her response to Job was so bitter.

I’ve known bitter women. They have an ugliness inside that, regardless of their outward beauty, makes me cringe. I’ve known bitter men too, they ain’t handsome.  I’ve watched the damage they’ve done to their families, even though many are unaware that it’s an issue. It’s hard enough to face the battles of this world, without having a discouraging enemy living in your camp.

So Shari, again… how does this celebrate Mother’s Day?

We need to look at Job’s life and commit to ourselves that we will not be anyone’s Mrs. Job or Mr. Job’s friends, who added salt to his already open sores.

Learn to Respond

Proverbs 16:24

Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.

That sounds much better than having your friends and family hide from you as suggested in Psalm 64:2-3

Hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked; from the insurrection of the workers of iniquity: Who whet their tongue like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot their arrows, even bitter words.

That’s how I view the discouragement of people who without regard for what someone is going through, use their words to hurt rather than heal.

But I’ve experienced firsthand the healing words of family and friends who soothe my soul in times of trouble. I’m so grateful that God has put them in my life.

Be the reason someone is grateful.

Learn to Reason

While I know that nobody is perfect, and myself included can lose touch with logic and speak in frustration words of discouragement. But there are times when there’s no room for a lack of logic.

Someone needs you, and they need you now!

Be the reason someone never doubts your loyalty.

Learn Who to Rebuke

When Peter rebuked the Lord, which was not his finest hour, the Lord said in Matthew 16:23:

But he turned, and said unto  Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

Jesus said to Peter that he was Satan! While I don’t profess to understand the theological depth of that conversation, I understand that Jesus didn’t truly think Peter was Satan, but that perhaps Satan was controlling the conversation.

Ya think that happens to us? Oh yea. If Satan can use us and others to discourage us and others, under the guise of our stupidity he’ll do it.

When the feeling of rebuke comes into your mind, and you may be on the verge of tearing someone you love down further than they already are, rebuke Satan. Not your loved ones.

Be the reason someone feels supported.

Learn to Rejoice

I’ve not always appreciated or understood my Mother. I’ve been far from the perfect daughter. But I rejoice in the fact that my Mother brought me up with manners, respect and accountability for behaviors. She taught me that love was unconditional for children, therefore I understood that love was unconditional with God.

Be the reason someone feels loved and rejoices for you.

Isaiah 1:18

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

We all have a reason to rejoice!

Has the church lost it’s compassion?

Has the church lost its compassion for souls? I don’t really have to wonder. I need only look at my own life for the answer. I get so wrapped up in the “stuff” of the church that I forgo the winning of souls. In n the book of Matthew 9 we see the heart of Jesus that should reflect the hearts of the children of God. When He looked around at the multitudes of people He was moved with compassion. This verse is the precursor to the often quoted 9:37b “The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few.” There is still a multitude, and it is unfortunate that the laborers are still few.

How many souls will we pass today? I’m not always out and about but I thought about the quick run I made yesterday to the local convenience store. Too quick to think about Jesus, I guess. One thing about living in a community the size of ours is we usually know who’s in church and who’s not. The girl behind the counter was not. Where was my compassion?

But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. ~ Matthew 9:36

Three things I see in Matthew 9:36 that stirs my soul today to serve Him.

The Wanderers

The multitudes of the souls that wander aimlessly in search of something, anything that will give them a sense of belonging and purpose. And we have it but don’t bother to share it. The world is directionally challenged because the church’s GPS is on silent. We have the map to direct them to Heaven, but we’re not doing it. Long before I was saved I knew there was a direction I should be traveling, but deed, I couldn’t find it. The church was silent. No one who came across my path bothered to look at the longing in my eyes to be a part of Heaven. I had a family who loved me, but I knew something was missing. I longed for a sense of purpose and I found it when I found the Heavenly Father. I wandered 34 years before a soul compassionate to move the world was moved enough to tell me about Jesus.

The Weary

They’re fainting. You can see it in their eyes. Everyone struggles. We have no idea on the outside what is going on the inside.  I have to wonder today what would have happened yesterday if I had taken the time with that store clerk just to say, I’d like to pray for you if you have a need. I have a feeling she’d have told me, but I didn’t ask.

The Wanting

Just as it was in Jesus’ day, so it is today. The world fills our heads with the vanity of religion. Vanity from the standpoint that it is filled with traditions and obligations as the saints “do what they have to do” for the sake of the church and call it faith. Why would anyone want what the church has today? A body of believers who put God on a schedule and only allow Him to speak to their souls from 11 a.m. to noon on Sunday. A handful come back Sunday evening and Wednesday, but there is a multitude visible to the world who see them having no desire for a relationship with the One called Jesus. The One, who when they’re ask, they’ll say He means everything to them, but in truth doesn’t mean anything to them outside the walls of the church. Why would they want that?

Jesus wept for His community. When’s the last time we wept for ours?

My friend LuAnn drove 5 hours to share the gospel with our community at the barn blast a week or so ago. She has an obedient compassion filled soul. I’ve seen it in the preachers I heard last week and this week. Last night was another night of Revival, week 2 for me. My soul is stirred because I see the compassion in a man to win souls. Tonight is my turn to share the gospel with the teens in my youth group. Tomorrow night is another night of revival. The harvest is plenteous!

Whomever it was that said the eyes are the window to the soul, knew of what they spoke. Take the time to look someone in the eye today, and pray that God would open the door to share the gospel. The Spirit has to lead… but you have to follow to make it happen.

Praying over your lunch… ask the waitress if you can pray for them.

Have a track in your pocket or purse… it’s not doing any good there.

See someone hurting… patch the hole in their heart by sharing a piece of yours.

 

 

Three Reasons I Woke Up Fed Up

CHICK FED

I woke up fed up, but made up my mind not to give up. American politics didn’t change who I am but it did change how I view people. God created me with a heart of compassion, even pre-salvation my tender heart always wanted to right the wrongs of other people. I have no prejudice in me because of the color of a person’s skin, or a lifestyle of sin. Sin is committed by all of us, and it’s not justified by any of us; but forgiven by the Lord Jesus Christ upon the acceptance of Him as Savior and the price He alone paid on Calvary. I can’t work for it nor will my compassionate heart gain me any brownie points with God. Compassion is expected.

So why did I wake up fed up this morning?

  1. Because the Lord feeds His people the finest cuts of meat and they spit it out on the ground in exchange for ice cream.

1 Corinthians 3:1-3

And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

Preachers preach their hearts out expounding the truth in the Word of God, but because it goes against what the “world” deems as acceptable, even the parishioners who are in the house of God on Sunday don’t want to hear it and rally against it as if they have the authority of Almighty God to change what is right and what is wrong. I’m fed up with that non-sense! But I still believe that there’s a few of us left who believe the Bible from cover to cover, who don’t read between the lines or change the lines, we just accept it as truth. And because there are a few of us left I believe God has been merciful to America and would love to show this egotistical lot of Americans who it is that’s in charge and Almighty. But the few of us who are left must be bold.

  1. Because the world views the life of an animal more valuable than the life of a human.

Mark 5:13-15

And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea. And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city, and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that was done. And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.

This is slightly out of context of Mark 5, because I don’t know that the pig keepers cared more about their pigs than they did about the crazy man in the cemetery. But I can say flat footed today that the people of America (as a whole) would care more about the pigs than the crazy man. Don’t get me wrong… I love critters, and believe that they should be pampered and loved on. But if it came down to the life of my dog or the life of my child, it’s not up for debate. My child wins, or anybody else’s child in harm’s way. But Americans will scream bloody murder for the rights of a dog that maimed a person but will say nothing when a child is murdered before it’s allowed to be born and it’s body parts sold by Planned Parenthood. How much longer will God be merciful to us who say nothing?

     3. I’m fed up with those who mock Christianity and attempt to belittle the Lord Jesus Christ.

They can’t honestly belittle the Lord. I mean really… the Creator of all the Universe. How can you talk down to He who looks down upon you from on high and could by His breath speak you out of existence? It’s laughable… if it weren’t so doggone scary! Jesus spoke in Matthew 25-40  saying

Matthew 25:37-40

Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

God said, “I saw you feed and care for my people.” Even though the world tries  to belittle what Christian’s do and to stop the ministry of feeding hungry souls the Word of God, we just need to continue on, fed up or not. Just keep feeding people the truth, because God sees, and one day those who mock will mock no more.

Love the unlovable. The crazy man at the tomb may have been a politician.

But Now… Watch how you EAT (Dieters beware)

Chick way

Job 4:5

But now it is come upon thee, and thou faintest; it toucheth thee, and thou art troubled.

I have to wonder how many times in my life I’ve been as indifferent to people as Job’s “friend” Eliphaz was toward Job’s afflictions. Leading into his dissertation of demise he asks Job if its okay if they fellowship together (vs. 1) If we assay to commune with thee, wilt thou be grieved? Followed by, “It really doesn’t matter because I just can’t keep my mouth shut.” (vs 2) but who can withhold himself from speaking?

Lessons from someone else’s stupidity: (it doesn’t always have to be our own)

Eliphaz didn’t even wait to see of Job was up to a visit; in his arrogance he just plodded on believing that his presence and opinion were more important than this friend’s issues. Abraham Lincoln was quoted as saying “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” Eliphaz and Shari should be so wise; but he nor I will ever be found guilty of “overthinking” what we say. I do however hope that I have enough sense to glean a lesson from Eliphaz using the acronym E.A.T.

Do ENCOURAGE

Before you go to your friend… take your conversation to God.

I have a feeling if Eliphaz would have gone to God and said, “Lord, I’m just letting you know that I’m gonna go line Job out for You today. I have heard enough of his poor me story,” that God would have lined Elephaz out before he left. It’s not our job to “line anyone out” but we certainly take on that role sometimes. It may be our job to encourage or instruct, which Eliphaz acknowledged Job had done in his life when he said in verses 3 and 4 “Behold, thou hast instructed many, and thou hast strengthened the weak hands.Thy words have upholden him that was falling, and thou hast strengthened the feeble knees.

Don’t ASSUME

(Vs. 5) But now it is come upon thee, and thou faintest; it toucheth thee, and thou art troubled.

Eliphaz assumed that it wasn’t nearly as bad as Job was making it out to be saying “it toucheth thee” as if were a light thing. Those happened to be the very words that Satan used in Job 1:11; 2:5. It was no small thing that Satan had done! He had taken Job’s family, covered his body with boils, destroyed his wealth and left him with a wife that told him to curse God and die, and through it all Job stays faithful. But even if it hadn’t been “that bad.” What if Job just had just lost his job, or lost one family member? Who are we to assume that we understand the issues of that person’s life? Those issues may be far greater than we ever imagined and not evident on the surface.

Nor can we assume that the issues of their life was brought upon them because they’re reaping what they sowed.

Eliphaz asked Job (vss. 6-7) Is not this thy fear, thy confidence, thy hope, and the uprightness of thy ways?  Remember, I pray thee, who ever perished, being innocent? or where were the righteous cut off?

Our ways are not God’s ways. – Isaiah 55:8For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.

Do TREAT them as if it were You

The reason for the acronym, tomorrow that may be on our plate.

But now… what how you eat!

Christmas is not a Calendar date

january Christmas

I spent the greater portion of Christmas day at the Charleston Area Medical Center in ICU with my husband’s family as they spent the day with their mother who’s battling the fight of her life after a heart attack.  It was there we celebrated Christmas in the waiting room and shared a meal better than most people of the world could imagine. My sister-in-love Judy prepared and hauled to the hospital Thirtyone ® bags and coolers filled with the Ham and all the trimmings, topped off with the best peanut butter candy I’ve ever eaten in my life! It was almost as sweet as the fellowship with family. It’s cliché to say we take life for granted, and for the most part empty; it’s hard to understand what we have until we’re on the brink of losing it. From the looks of the shoppers and Facebook posts America looked to fare pretty well this Christmas.

You don’t have to spend Christmas day in an Intensive Care Unit to realize how blessed we are, but it doesn’t hurt. Most of the other patients in the area had visitors loving on them, stroking their brow and speaking words of kindness, but many laid alone as the medical staff tended to their physical needs but there was no time to take care of the emotional. I returned home late last night to be greeted by Izidora the Chihuahua, who didn’t know it was Christmas, she just knew she missed her people. Just a simple act of love as she spun around in circles and jumped up and down at my feet. I have a lot to learn about love…

I scrolled past posts on Facebook this morning trying to catch up with friends and family to see how they spent their Christmas and looking back at me were two of the most beautiful brown eyes ever from a child in the Philippines. She held in her little hands a box of food given to her by a missionary and I thought… I just about missed Christmas again. It’s not December 25, it’s January 1 through December 31.

It was in the box of goodies delivered by my sister in love, it was in the stroked brows and whispered “I love you’s”, it was in bowls of rice in the Philippines and in Izidora’s funny dance. It was in compassion for the convict, mercy for the addict and a coffee cup from the Bogg’s family who love me and allow me to be a part of their family antics! It was in a hug from church kid Connor, who tells me I’m his favorite, and then tells 30 others the same thing… but he means it! Christmas didn’t end yesterday, only the commercialized part.

I hope today you find a hidden Christmas gift, or you deliver one yourself. I’m heading back to Charleston… with that though in mind.

Matthew 10:42

And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.

 

 

Why are you being so Ugly?

evil queen

That was the question to myself yesterday during the business conference I’m attending. Perhaps it was because my sinus’ have caused my head to  feel as though it’s going to pop off of my shoulders, or a half dozen other factors of the week, but one session yesterday left me in a seething mood as the rude woman spoke. Her information was outdated and non-relevant and she read all 57 gray and black slides with little emotion and an occasional awkward snicker. The conference folk made the mistake of giving me a link to an online evaluation survey of her piece of the event at the beginning of the session. Well, in my boredom I felt compelled to fill it out on my iPhone. I didn’t care if she thought I was texting and being rude, she was rude.  And as I entered each little black dotted rating I happen to wonder what God might think of my own behavior. After all… as a speaker I’ve been extended favor and mercy on more than one occasion and amazingly enough been invited back. Seriously Shari… why are you being so ugly?

1 Peter 3:8-9 ~ Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.

A Compassionate People

I certainly want compassion in my life when I have an off day. For certain the woman was not ready for the conference, she stumbled over ordinary words in her slide that would likely not have been an issue if she’d studied. Tell me you’ve never shown up somewhere less than prepared… I can’t. Another issue I have issues with is uncompassionate people who feel compelled to rip everyone apart as if they’re they authority on life, I just about slipped into that one myself.

A Contrary People

I’ve met many a contrary railing people. They’d argue with a fence post if nobody was around, but Peter said contrariwise blessing. I highly doubt God has appointed you or me as “Heaven’s Critic.” Our job is to be a blessing, and that can’t be done when you’re tearing someone apart. Let some chick gain a little wait (or a lot), have on an unkempt pair of jeans or a dress without a slip and watch the party start among critical women. Oh my goodness, I’m meddlin’ now! But it’s the truth and if you’ve been in any church across America you know it’s a fact. I remember one particular time the “slip” issue slipped out of someone’s mouth about a mother of several children. My first thought was “are you serious? You’ve never seen the profile of a leg before?” Not to mention the fact that this perfectly tailored lady had grown children and had long since forgotten what it was like to pile the kids in the car and get to church on time. It was a miracle she was at church, and you dare comment on her lack of a slip. The truth of the matter was, she’ll likely find a slip before that lady finds some manners.

A Called People

Knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing….

We’re called to not only be a blessing but to inherit one. My lesson today, as I began another day of long sessions is to remember what God called me to do. I’m to be the example of Christ. When someone looks at me that should see something contrary to the world. The world will eat you up and spit you out, I should have no part of it. My presence should be like a balm on a wound of a soul in pain, because that’s what my Lord has been for me.

A True Come to Jesus Moment

In a secular setting a few weeks ago I heard a woman discussing something that had happened in her office that had upset her. She was displeased with a staff member and as she put it, they were going to have a “Come to Jesus” meeting. My first thought was “If only you would.” (insert rolled eyes here) Her come to Jesus meeting had nothing to do with the Lord, and more to do with her yielding authority. The world takes the name of Jesus far too lightly. A real come to Jesus moment has nothing to do with anyone yielding authority, even under chastisement God’s Word is not condemning; convicting… yes. Jesus told the woman caught in adultery “Go and sin no more.” The stone throwers walked away with no entitlement to casting even one. Her “come to Jesus moment” was not the Lord berating her for a mistake, but rather the Lord lifting her up from ground with compassion and the defense of a Father who had just shielded her from being stoned to death. She knew she’d done wrong, He knew she knew. That was enough.

There’s a song lyric from Daystar that says “When I see you standing near me, shining with compassion in your eyes;” that is the image I have when I think of a “come to Jesus” meeting. That’s the meeting I have about every day when I’ve let the Lord down in service and I’m beating myself up and frustrated that I don’t live nearly as close to the foot of the cross as I should, or when I’ve let yet another person down and I’m just waiting for someone to hurl the first rock and then Jesus steps in. It’s actually the same look that we should have in our eyes when someone lets us down, but because we are so often in the flesh, that’s seldom the case.

Acts 15:10-11 says Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.

At this time in Acts there were saved Jews adding back in law to the grace of God and confusing the members of the new church. Even though that’s still happening today I’m not speaking of that in this context. We’re not so much adding works to salvation but rather adding works to our conditions of grace. We have expectations of friends, family and coworkers and when they’ve fallen short, our “come to Jesus” moments don’t look anything like Jesus but border more on the Pharisee rock throwing. Where is the compassion? Sometimes the yoke we put upon people has been hand crafted by us with unrealistic expectations or people just flat out fail us. Either way God has expectations of us.

If we expect grace we must give grace, else how will anyone ever have a true “come to Jesus” moment?

Guard your witness today… Satan’s out to get it.