Tag Archives: encouragement

When Your Value Seems Less

23 For it was the king’s commandment concerning them, that a certain portion should be for the singers, due for every day.

35 Lod, and Ono, the valley of craftsmen.

Nehemiah 11:23,35

I realize that those two scriptures may or may not mean much to you this morning, but for me as an artist, singer, creative person often less than extraordinaire they meant a great deal.

When I tell people that I struggle. That’s not a lie and it’s not said for pity or pride. It’s just reality. I get up way too often in the morning feeling like a failure and that what I do doesn’t amount to a hill of beans in the scope of eternity. So when I read in Nehemiah this morning, as I’ve read at other times (but too often forget), God truly cares about the creative.   That brought such joy to my heart.

While people enjoy music and art; unless you’re an honest to goodness “professional” your value is often viewed as less. It’s a hobby or a past time, not a career because it doesn’t come with a paycheck. And while I have people in my life that more than value me, I don’t value myself enough it seems.

So today I thought I’d post this short thought for those dealing with “feeling less.”

God made the moon the lesser light… and yet how many nights have we sat marveling at it. (Genesis 1:16)

The mustard seed is less than all the seeds on the earth… yet birds find rest and lodge there. (Mark 4:32)

There are parts of the body that we view as less important, and yet, we dare not want to live without them. (1 Corinthians 12:23)

Paul thought of himself less than all the saints (Ephesians 3:8) … but look at the difference he made in eternity.

David, King of Israel was the least of his brothers and not even considered by family in contention for the position, but God had other plans! (1 Samuel 16)

I reminded myself of these scriptures today, in hopes of encouraging my soul that lesser is often as it is, so that God can do the greater and receive the glory He deserves.

You and I are valuable members of the body of Christ. We are irreplaceable by anyone else.

He cared so much about me this happy Thursday morning that He showed me in His word and through friends how much the God of all creation, cares about the creative.

Glorraaaaay!

Kiss the Cook

Proverbs 17:27-28

He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit. Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.

I’m not the best cook in the world, and when it comes to my cooking my husband’s not too critical because usually he’s just happy to be fed! And when all of the food disappears from the pot, I don’t need a “That was awesome” comment because the lack of needing to rinse before putting it in the dishwasher speaks for itself. If only life could always have words and ways of encouragement. But that’s not the case is it?

If only it were the unsaved that had a critical spirit we could understand it. But often times it’s the exact opposite. The unsaved can be more encouraging than the saved.

Another random thought I’ve had is “why are their silent letters in words? What purpose do they serve?” And “does someone, somewhere, pronounce them?” It was then I realized that they served as much purpose as a critical spirit.

Spared Words

Why it is that some people are compelled to share the entirety of their opinions as if the world would fall off its axis if they did not, I do not know. I’ve been in their presence when they did; and before the words came out of their mouth my stomach would turn somersaults as if I had just eaten rotten food. There is not a fine line between criticism and constructive criticism. There is a canyon’s width.

Constructive criticism harbors no ill intent. A critical comment has several intents. It’s meant to prove that they’re wiser than the person being criticized. It’s meant to make the criticizer feel important. And it’s said without regard for the feelings of anyone concerned except the person offering their opinion. I’ve experienced it and I’ve probably been the one who had the critical spirit. But that would be rare. Not that I’m without faults, that just happens not to be one of mine because I’ve been the victim far too many times. It’s what happens when you do a lot. It offers more opportunity. It’s probably why many people do nothing.

Spirited Words

What is an excellent spirit? They are God’s gift to a troubled world. They’re people who speak wisdom and words that encourage and applaud someone who’s at least trying.

I have to be honest and tell you that there is a critical spirit within me that I have to squelch on a pretty regular basis. Whomever coined the phrase that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” may have been speaking about humanity or perhaps they were an art critic.

Last night I was watching a home improvement show and this “artist” with obviously more money than I, (perhaps I was jealous) was redoing their art studio. For which is my kitchen table. Anyway… they were an abstract artist, and not what I would have considered a good one. But they have a studio, and I have a table, so what do I know?

Another artist that I had recently seen on Etsy was selling art for huge prices that looked literally like some of the work my grandbabies do that I consider more valuable. They had thousands of followers and I’m like “are you serious?” I’m so glad that I don’t know that person personally. Yes, I too have a critical spirit. But I don’t feel compelled to post my feelings online or tell someone that they’re less than good.

Because if it’s not something that you’re paying money for, life really is subjective.

Spirit Led Words

What each of us should be is more Spirit led. Before opening our mouths we should ask ourselves “How would Jesus respond?”

Not critical. He has never one time criticized anything I’ve done for Him. But I have. Even the words that I speak over my own efforts should be examined for their intent. When I got finished with my video blog on Facebook yesterday I immediately tore into myself for a job poorly done. It’s why I refuse to watch them after I’ve posted them. I post them in faith believing God can use someone like me.

It’s also why I don’t have a critical spirit toward other people, because I understand how it tears you down and discourages you from your efforts.

I’m not sure why this thought was on my heart today, other than I needed to hear the last point myself. I hope it encourages you for the good!

God Bless!

Shari

www.theJesusChick.com

Four Reasons to Stay on the Wall

In the book of Nehemiah, a mighty religious leader of the day received word of the remnant of the Jewish people that are left in Jerusalem. Their wall of protection is destroyed, the gates have been burned and Nehemiah sits down, weeps, fasts, prays, and then then begins his conversation with God.

Before we take our stand atop our wall there is a few preparatory measures we need to take. First talk to God, make sure it’s your wall to stand on and fight. I cannot tell you of the times I have climbed to the top of a wall that was built on someone else’s ideas instead of God’s. Second, take accountability for the brokenness if it’s yours. And third remember, you are one of the Redeemed! That in a nutshell is Nehemiah Chapter One regarding the state of Israel and Nehemiah’s prayer to God. If it’s your wall, don’t come down.

God is the God of Action. Unless it’s for a time of prayer or preaching, nowhere in scripture do you find God’s people sitting still and being productive. If they’re sitting still (like King David) they’re apt to fall into sin. Busyness isn’t always a sign of productiveness, but it’s certainly a better sign than never being found doing anything.

I cannot summarize the story of Nehemiah and the wall into a few sentences. So much happened and the entire book is so worthy to read. But for bit of encouragement for the both of us I’ll use this scripture from the book to encourage you to stay on the wall.

Nehemiah 8:10

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.

Israel had just heard the word of God afresh. They were mourning for the state of their nation. But Nehemiah gives them (and us) these words of encouragement.

We have a Reason to Celebrate

If God’s people can’t rejoice, who can? The wall was rebuilt in spite of the opposition they faced. And for those of us on this side of the New Testament, we are blessed with the Word of God that has stood the test of time and has proven itself as truth no matter how many times an angry world has tried to tear it down. We can eat the fat and drink the sweet of His glorious word and feel the Spirit in our soul as we do. The world may not know… but we do. That is reason to celebrate! Stay on the Wall and Celebrate what God completed at the empty tomb.

We have blessings to share

Nehemiah reminded them that their blessings were not their own to keep. Neither are ours. I looked around my home this morning at all the goodness of God and His graciousness to me who is so unworthy and I feel shame that I don’t share more than I do. I feel shame that I don’t take the time to thank God and stay in constant prayer that His mercy abounds in my family and friends. You too no doubt have blessings uncounted and gifts in your life that you could encourage someone with today. Stay on the wall and share God’s goodness that world may see what He’s done in your life, and that even the unsaved will glorify God for you.

We serve The Lord Most High

I loved when Nehemiah said “Don’t be sorry.” I believe he was telling the Israelites to move past regret. I am so apt to stay in an attitude of unworthiness because of my failures. I do it to the point of yet another failure; because God has proven I am worthy by His death on the cross. Was not that enough? We serve a risen Savior who took every sin; past, present and future upon His shoulders at the cross so that we could live in victory! We serve the Lord Most High, there is no reason to be low. Stay on the wall and serve in the victory you’re afforded and don’t cower to the demons of Hell that tell you you’re not worthy. You are worthy by His blood.

We have His Strength to Go On

That strength is found in His joy and His joy is found in our service. There is engrained in the child of God a desire to serve. When that desire is fulfilled it brings with it a joy unspeakable and that joy floods the body and soul with strength to go on. Yes, we’ll have some days of doubt, we’re human. But we can look back on the joys of serving God and the fruits of our labor, just like Nehemiah and children of Israel must have looked back on the rebuilt wall. Look what you’ve done in the strength of the Lord! Can He not do more? And will you not continue to stand and fight for those who have yet to make it to where you are in Christ?

I have family and friends who have never experienced life atop the wall. They’ve never known the victory of Spirit filled leaving and confidence in Christ. I’m not done until God says I’m done. Stay on the wall and continue in His strength that others may experience it too.

The wall of Jerusalem was nothing more than bricks and mortar. The Rock for which we stand is indestructible. Stand Strong in His Might!

Remember Who You Are

In a moment of ministry frustration due to lack of time management and just a feeling of being overwhelmed, a dear friend reminded me to remind myself of what I was called to do. I have a tendency to get bogged down with this, that and the other; sometimes important, sometimes not, and then the things I really desire to get accomplished… just don’t. Combine that with the day to day of life, and the struggles therein and I’ve got a target on my back and I’m in the crosshairs of Satan.

1 Peter 2:9

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.

Remember You are Chosen

Galatians 4:5 says: To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

As non-Jewish Christ believers we were adopted into the family of God. He chose us! That’s an important thing to remember as a child of God, because Satan would love us to believe we are a burden to the Father. And it’s an easy task for him to make me believe that. I fail God continually. So surely He get’s fed up with me not taking the price His Son paid seriously.

The truth is, God knew my faults when He chose me. He knew I’d fail Him. He also knew my heart to serve Him and to be a servant in the Kingdom of God. His Son died so that I could have that opportunity. I couldn’t have become a child of God any other way! I was chosen by God, and if you’ve been saved by the blood of Jesus Christ, so were you!

Remember You are Peculiar

That’s not a stretch for me. I’ve always been odd. But this peculiarity is more along the lines of being set apart from the rest of the world for a specific purpose. Our uniqueness of gifts is the very thing that God placed within us for His purpose. Our talents are not our own.

Remember You are Called

I fully believe that God prepared me through childhood to call me to service upon Salvation. He put very odd gifts and desires inside of a strange little West Virginia girl. I would stand in front of the mirror and pretend to be a speaker… not a singer like most kids. I wanted to capture the attention of an audience who came to hear what I had to say. I just didn’t know at that time Who was going to hire me. God did that in 2010. We’re still negotiating salary. For now He provides my every need and listens to me whine when I don’t have what I want. I should just be grateful He’s letting me breath.

So today, I refocus… again. 1 Peter 2:9 – Chosen, Peculiar, Called. – Shari

 

The Church Bones

A Facebook friend posted a question last night for speakers asking “If you had to speak for 45 minutes without preparation what would you speak on?” My response was “Church Bones.” Although the title is somewhat cryptic, it’s a subject that I feel I’m somewhat an expert on after 21 years of studying people. I’m somewhere between a friend and a non-creepy stalker with ministry people. I love watching to see what works and what doesn’t in a ministry. What floats my boat and draws me to Christ and what’s just “oooo that’s shiny” moments. I also like watching the congregation. Especially that in my own church because I’ve been there when many of them began their path in our church. It’s exciting stuff when you see God working in peoples lives.

What I don’t do is look around the church at those who “don’t do.” What could I possibly gain besides an ulcer?

The body of Christ is the bones of the church. And there’s a lot of bones that I won’t mention that are crucial joints in the church. But the ones in my illustration are the movers and shakers of the group. They’re what makes it work… or not. Depending upon the church. I could actually put names beside every bone in my illustration. God has been good to our people. So I’ll tell you in brevity about a just a few.

The Attitude Bones

Glory to God, that’s one of the most important ones! A smile seems so small, but when someone new has just walked in a church a smile goes a long way. When someone old walks in a church a smile goes a long way! We need to let people know that we’re glad they’ve arrived. I can tell you of way too many times I’ve walked in a church (to which I was invited to sing) only to be greeted (if you want to call it that) by people who look more like I’ve walked in on them in the bathroom. True story! Check your attitude when you get to church and make sure you’re a welcoming sight!

Shoulder the Load Bones

The spiritual load of the church is a heavy load for those who work in the ministry, especially the Pastor. We often times do not see the heaviness that someone carries because they’ve got the attitude bones in check. Their load would break the back of a normal person. But because God’s given them an added strength, they carry on. That doesn’t mean that we as the congregation of the Lord and friends shouldn’t try to shoulder any of the load we can to help out. We can make calls, we can bring supper for a busy family, we can tuck a dollar or two in the hand of someone for encouragement. The list is long of ways to shoulder the load.

Leadership Bones

The direction of church is turned on the leadership bones. I heard it once said that the church rises and falls on leadership. It also goes right or wrong. Leadership isn’t for the faint of heart and those in leadership will answer to a greater degree when they stand before the Lord.

Discipleship Bones

Countless people put their arm around me and steered me through the beginning of my walk with Jesus. It’s probably the greatest neglect of the church today. We see a soul saved and we’re so excited but we leave them in the deep water to drown. Sound dramatic? I usually am, but it’s the truth none the less. You wouldn’t leave a newborn beside the ocean unattended and you certainly shouldn’t leave a new convert to be attacked by every shark in the sea of Satan. It’s why they don’t stay and why they go astray in life. They need to be discipled just as the early church did.

Funny Bones

Oh my stars! A sense of humor is a necessity in a child of God! For the reason of stupid people (those who don’t have a filter and can cut you to the core) and to lighten the load that many of us carry in the door. I know Jesus laughed. I’m pretty sure I’m responsible for His laughter much of the time now when He sees me trying to make it on my own.

Back Bones

If you’ve been in church any length of time at all you know them by name. They are those who will stand flat footed and tell you like it is without wavering biblically. They’ve been there a while and have stayed standing through every storm.

Hug Bones

So, so very important. And also it’s important to know who’s a touch me not. But I’m a hugger because I’ve known many days when I just needed to know someone cared. Being cautious about folks who hurt and those who don’t like touched is important though because you can just as well run them off or physically hurt them. We often don’t know our strength and for someone with arthritis or fibromyalgia the lightest squeeze can send shock waves. So hug, but maybe with just your smile sometimes.

Work Bones

Most churches do not have an abundance of work bones. Another quote I heard was that 20% of the people do 80% of the work. I fear that a more realistic number would be 5/95. If you just show up at church on Sunday morning, get your message and go, you’re clueless on the background of your church. Hours and hours of preparation goes into a good service. Floors don’t clean themselves, dinners don’t get planned and materials don’t just show up un-ordered. We need more work bones!

Praise Bones

God desires it. You need to experience it and the folks behind you need the encouragement to join in! Raise them hands to the Lord all ye people!

Prayer Bones

Another neglected anatomy part. The altars of America are not well attended. Prayer is a formality at a few tables and an act of desperation when times are tough, but seldom relied upon for survival of everyday living.

Visitation Bones

What’s visitation? Exactly. It’s a lost art and it’s why churches are not growing.

Tail Bones

Every church has them. They’re pew sitters. And it’s not a bad thing unless that’s the only thing you do and you leave no better than when you came. But the very fact that people come to church is wonderful and shows that they have a heart for the things of God. Celebrate every single one, even if you sometimes have to check pulses.

That’s just a few of the many, many parts of a church. As my Facebook friend said last night, there’s some squishy parts too. They’re the kind hearted souls who come, worship and encourage us just by their presence. I love the body of Christ. Every one. Even the tails bones.

1 Corinthians 12:20

But now are they many members, yet but one body.

Pass it on!

exhortationI love the holiday season! I also love the chaotic insanity that comes with it when friends and family gather, my kids and grandkids traipse in and out leaving behind a trail of leaves, mud and toys… well maybe I don’t like the trail left behind, but the joy of the visit is always welcome!   It’s the season of lost senses. I love encouraging and being encouraged; bringing joy to someone if only for a fleeting moment. All of which lead me to a wonderful gift, given to every child of God, but not always used. The gift of exhortation.

The word “exhort” isn’t found in the Old Testament. Even a likeminded word like encourage is only found nine times. And most often refers to encouraging themselves or others in the service of the Lord. But “exhort” is found 33 times in the New Testament and usually in a context of encouraging the believers in service and faith in Christ. It’s first found, and not by chance I believe, at the onset of Jesus’ ministry.

Luke 3:15-18 ~ And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not; John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable. And many other things in his exhortation preached he unto the people.

The gospel of Christ is about to hit the scene, and John is the Master of Ceremony exhorting the people on what’s about to take place. It’s a new day! That Baby in the manger is now a grown Savior. He’s set forth a new standard that religion couldn’t hang with; the standard of grace. The ultimate gift that is non-refundable, paid for on the cross at Calvary by God himself. Our human, selfish selves can’t understand why He would choose to pay that price, but it should cause us to extend a hand of grace and mercy at every opportunity and should give us the desire to exhort one another in these trying days as we wait His return.

So how does one exhort one another during this crazy season?

In Faith

It’s an indictment against our nation that the words “Merry Christmas” are considered offensive. So it’s important as Christians that we stand up for the rights given to us by Almighty God and those who have died for it on the battlefields of earth. I love wishing store clerks and businesses a “Merry or Blessed Christmas” whether or not they are allowed to reciprocate. I look forward to various church events and play that allow me to fellowship in faith. It keeps me ground in the purpose of the season. And most of all the Word of God should be given a place and time to exhort ourselves during this hectic time of year.

In Forgiveness

That word is almost as bad as a four letter word in the mouths of some Christian folk. We all want to receive it, but it’s not often we enjoy providing it. What if every wrong and hurt that came into our mind was followed by, “I forgive that,” and from there we just moved on. What joy would fill our hearts and homes and what new and wonderful works could God do with us?

In Fellowship

It doesn’t cost anything more than time (and sometimes a little gasoline) to spend time with people we love and care about, and especially people who have no one to love and care about them. But the opportunity to exhort one another during this season abounds! Makes sure that the focus of this season isn’t on the monetary as much as the moments we get to share with one another.

Exhortation is a gift we’ve all been given. Let’s pass it round this season and make everyone’s Christmas merry and bright.

Cure for the Common Cold

chick in the snow

On a recent internet cruise (where I randomly google ideas) I googled the words “spiritually cold” and the following question came up on a city-data.com thread.

What if u r just plain spiritually cold and nothing holds any significance? I go to church it helps for the moment. I read the Bible and I believe what I read only to come back to a place of distance and coldness. What must I do not to be cold…?

My first thought was, “that’s so sad,“ and then I thought “that’s weird place to find someone searching for answers to such a question.” But it was a spirituality forum on city-data.com, so I guess that’s not so strange after all and praise God they were searching for answers. Most people who are spiritually cold just sit there freezing rather than searching for a solution to their inward drop in temperature. Nobody is immune; this morning it’s a balmy 7 degrees in my neighborhood, and if anyone goes outside without a coat, they’re gonna be cold. If I didn’t have the fires burning in my home this morning that arctic blast would work its way through the walls and windows and the house would be cold too.  The same is true of our spiritual house; if I don’t take some initiative to keep myself warm, the fire won’t go out, but it will get pretty chilly.

So how do we keep the fires burning when life gets chilly? When our pastor of 22 years left in 2014 I worried about our church growing cold as time passed without a new pastor in place. I’d seen it countless times in other churches when the pastor left, slowly the congregation dwindled and struggled to stay encouraged. I don’t take it lightly that God placed me in a church that when faced with the loss of a leader, there were leaders in place that took charge and our church actually grew a little during those times. So how did we do it?

Body heat.

Funny thing about the temperature of a cool room, get a bunch of people in it and it can be sweltering hot quickly. As a church family we stuck closely together. When the doors of the church were open, we were together.

Key – stay faithful. Regardless. No Excuses. Satan will give you any number of excuses that you’ll deem worthy for staying home from church. Don’t buy into any of them, because he knows that there is safety in numbers, both physically and spiritually speaking. Are you in a place of frustration…if at all possible stay put for a while and pray harder until God clearly shows you a path. I hate cold weather, it’s painful to my bones and I immediately want to be warm. But there’s also something about it that invigorates the body. It cause you to get moving! Spiritual coldness can do the same thing if you’re aware of it. Start looking for a place to get moving, a ministry or place of service.

This morning as I prepared this blog I had an “oh snap” moment where I realized it was trash day… 7 degrees… ugh! But it’s a necessity of life and so I bundled up and headed out. A few minutes of getting my things to the curb and I felt the need to do more, so I trekked next door to my Mother’s home and carted her trash to the curb too. Woohoo… bonus points with Mom! A few bonus points with God too no doubt. If I’d stayed in the warmth of the house, necessary things wouldn’t have gotten done and I’d have missed out on a blessing.

The common cold, is a plague in the church. What is it with human nature that causes a comfortable life to be a less productive life? Whether we’re spiritually cold or just in an uncomfortable place we need to stay connected to people. There are times to get away and let God speak to us alone, but that’s not usually a place of service, that’s a place of discovery.

If you’re in one of those moments in time where you just can’t feel God moving, maybe it’s you who need to get moving.

Not satisfied with the direction of your church? Start moving in the direction you feel God leading you and see if anyone follows. They may be waiting on you.

Not heard from God lately? Start moving closer to Him, read His word, hang with His people, listen intently.

That thread on city-data.com was from 2010. I hope that gal got moving. This morning, I hope we’re all moving!

Acts 17:27-28

That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

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Grasshopper Christianity and the Giant Slayers

chick hopper

Numbers 13:20

 And what the land is, whether it be fat or lean, whether there be wood therein, or not. And be ye of good courage, and bring of the fruit of the land. Now the time was the time of the firstripe grapes.

I could not help but think back to the nursery rhyme, “Jack Sprat could eat no fat, his wife could eat no lean, and so between the two of them, they picked the platter clean.”

Moses in this verse is directing the twelve spies as they prepare to go spy out the new land that the Lord has given them to possess. Moses was Israel’s greatest cheerleader; he believed in them, but more importantly He believed that their God would do as He said. But as human nature would have it, two spies returned in jubilation and ten spies in defeat. The battle had not even begun and they had receded. I’ll give you two guesses on who had the greater influence over the entire congregation and the first guess won’t count. And so that pattern continues in the church today. Of a congregation of one hundred, you likely have twenty giant slayers and ten of those are waiting for someone to bring out the sword. And then you have that eighty, the eighty that drive me crazy! You have your fearless leader and Pastor standing before the congregation, cheering them on to win souls for Christ, and you have the ten or so behind him shouting glory to God, we’ve got this! And crickets and grasshopper in the pew saying the battle is over, let’s just wait till Jesus comes back and He can sort this mess out.

Why did they not listen to Moses’ words, and why do we still not?

Whether it be fat or lean…

Pick the platter clean boy and girls! They’re out there. The fruit of the land is there even in the most barren of circumstances. Right now it looks as if the world is filled with giants against Christianity. The Muslim faith is growing leaps and bounds, the agnostics and atheists are consuming our government, and a thousand little do nothing religions are popping up in every town because everybody knows you need something to believe in. If Joshua and Caleb were here they’d look across America and say “Look at that fruit!” All of these souls searching for something and we have the answer.

But the grasshoppers in the pew look at the other religions and say they’re too many, they’re too powerful. And Moses would ask, “Did God not create them all and can He not destroy or save them all? Be of good courage.”

Satan does not care about grasshopper Christianity. The pew sitting people of God who show up at 11:00 sharp and leave at 12:00 dull. He will let them set in their pew and rot. But the ones who come to church to sharpen their sword… Satan is all over them. That’s why you need courage, because you’re in the frontline of the battle and you’ll have giants in front of you every day. But the same God Who created it all, is the same God Who can remove them from your path, or give you the strength to knock them over.

Fight on child of God, and the leave the grasshoppers to God. This message was written for me… chief grasshopper watcher.

A Thread of Hope

thread of hope

Joshua 2:18

Behold, when we come into the land, thou shalt bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which thou didst let us down by: and thou shalt bring thy father, and thy mother, and thy brethren, and all thy father’s household, home unto thee.

Threads of Hope…

Over the past few weeks I’ve been privileged to be a part of a Facebook Messenger thread involving about eight people. Various prayers and concerns come down the line and prayers and petitions are spoken on their behalf. It’s been an encouragement to my soul to watch their concern for the members of the group, many of whom I don’t even know other than through this thread.

It reminded me of that thread of hope that Rahab threw out the window to Joshua’s men spying out the land of Jericho. The same thread that was used to help the men escape was the same thread that would later save her own life and that of her family. Should not that be a message to the hearts of the church that we very well could be a thread of hope that saves a soul from destruction?

2 Corinthians 4:8-9

We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;

We all face troubles. Today we may find ourselves in excellent shape without travail but that may not be the case tomorrow. How awesome it is to have that thread of hope from Christian friends that we can turn to in our hour of need. God could have saved the Hebrew spies in any number of ways, but He chose to use a harlot who happened to own a piece of real estate right in the heart of trouble. Her life wasn’t easy, she could have given any number of excuses for not helping them out. But she put her safety and well-being aside to help the men of God… and great was her reward!

We don’t do things for other people so that we may obtain the favor of God, but it is for certain that nothing done with His name attached will be forgotten. I’m grateful for the many prayer warriors that God has placed in my path, and I’m humbled that I have the privilege to return the favor because God opened the windows of Heaven when He saved my soul.