Tag Archives: forgiveness

How To Deal With An Idiot

chick idiot

Do you ever have those days where you’d like to jerk a knot in someone? I know… that’s not very godly is it? But I’m being honest when I say that I’ve had multiple lately. I will confess that often times it’s entirely me, but other times there are people who I fully believe need a knot jerked in them. I’m not sure where that phrase came from, and although I’m pretty sure it’s just an idiom and you cannot literally jerk a knot in someone, it still leaves room for fantasy and makes me feel better when I imagine I’ve done it. Especially when I’m in the presence of an idiot. I know… I know… another ungodly word but the world is full of them! At least since the 14th century when that word came into existence. And I need wisdom today on how to deal with them, and me. And there in God’s word, at Biblegateway.com was the answer in the verse of the day! God didn’t even make me look for it, He laid it out in pure sight as if to say… “Yes Shari… you need some help.” Perhaps you do too!

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. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

How to deal with an Idiot:

  1. Remember first that in comparison to God, none of us are even close to intelligent! But the wisdom that is from above is first pure. However, the Creator of all the universe saw fit to infuse us with His wisdom through the Holy Spirit, therefore we have access to that pure wisdom from on high, but fail to access it. That is idiocy. We rather trust in our own though process which most usually ends in disaster or at least a lesser blessing than God intended.
  2. Seek Peace and speak Peace. Then peaceable, gentle… When I say idiot, I’m not referring to a person’s mental aptitude, I am more often than not speaking of a person’s moral attitude. In the political climate of today it seems that idiocy was a prerequisite for office and the nation just blindly follows along as if we have no say in the matter. Dear gussy…. I’m an idiot too! It’s frustrating, is it not? But God instructs us to live in peace with all men. Meekly… anger in control. Getting up on a soapbox with contention and hatred toward people won’t fix America. Getting down on your knees in prayer would be a good start. That would be seeking peace. Speaking peace would be to stand on the Word of God boldly, but meekly (gentle).
  3. And easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits. A sure fire way to stop a productive conversation is to assume those who disagree with our opinion have nothing good to say. Sometimes their adverse opinion is there because the Lord’s good Words came out of a foul Christian’s mouth.
  4. Pick Apples. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace. If you sow peace with your words, you’ll reap peace in your soul. If we go to the Word of God, and eat of the fruit that God provides, and take the seeds that God plants in our souls and replant them in the world… how awesome will our harvest be!

It really is so very simple, that even the simple minded can understand it. Christ is the answer.

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It’s not “if” I’m Guilty…

chick matthew 6So this morning I wake up to several prayer requests, a few burdens of my own, and the Lord speaking to my heart through His word and through His people to “keep it real Shari.” I’m such a faker! Upon the rare occasion that I have broken down and shared heartaches with a friend it’s gotten to the point of absolute despair, I just don’t do it… please do not follow my example, I assure you it’s a rough row to hoe in this season of planting. And it does sow seeds that require reaping.

I recently added a song to my repertoire of music by Aaron and Amanda Crabb titled “If I’m Guilty.” What a blessing this song has been in my life! It’s simply says, “If I’m guilty let me be guilty of too much mercy, if I’m gonna be wrong, let me be wrong for treating someone else right.” Those words need to be printed on a tee shirt, and inscribed on my brain every day. I need to pass a billboard sharing that thought and make it a part of my life’s passion. Because Jesus certainly did, except He was never guilty of anything.

If I wanted to keep it real this morning and tell you how many times a day I need the mercy of the Lord, you’d run out of time and I’d run out of breath. That song opens by saying, “It’s so easy to criticize when someone else fails, it’s so easy to see faults in them when we overlook ourselves.” How true is that? The plain and simple fact is we all need the grace of Jesus Christ, and we all should be sharing that same grace and mercy with the world.

That loud obnoxious person in your life that gets on your last nerve just may be needing someone to see that they need a little attention in a positive way. That stand offish teen that won’t give you the time of day, may need to know how close you’ll stand. That elderly person that has given their life to serving people, and doesn’t know how to be served, may require patience when learning to accept help. We all need stability in our lives when this world is so wishy washy and busy! People will stand for right, until it gets uncomfortable, and then it’s easier to walk away. We halfheartedly say we’ll lift each other up in prayer and then halfheartedly (if at all) pray about it. We say we’ll be there… but then “there” isn’t in our calendar.

Oh, Lord Jesus, you know I’m guilty.

At our ladies fellowship last night the Pastor’s wife gave a devotion on Matthew 6. She didn’t know it was some of my favorite verses. Verses that I’ve clung too day after day and year in and year out. It’s my last resort verses… The one’s that I turn too when I have failed to keep it real, and pretended that life was perfect, until it was not…

Matthew  6:25-34

Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

In keeping it real, I have to remember that no matter how many times my “not so perfect” life falls apart, no matter how many times I let God down, right outside my window is a reminder that God has the world under control. The flowers still bloom, the birds lack nothing, and He love me so much that He gave His Son in my stead on the cross of Calvary. He’s certainly not going to let this world swallow me up as my fears tell my heart today.

Pressing and Posting

chick facebook posts

Philippians 3:14

I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Another day, another diet, another goal… life seems to always be filled with a purpose driven passion that can turn on a dime to another failure and leaves me wishing every day were Sunday. It’s such a day of encouragement for me, I love listening to preaching and singing and serving the Lord, but even it can turn into frustration when I get my eyes off Christ and onto people. I have somewhat become un-enchanted with social media over the past few weeks, I’m sure I’ll be back at it soon but felt the need to take a hiatus for a few days to “detox” from many of the posts  I was reading. Political and personal rants have become the norm, and what used to be common sense flew out the window. Freedom of speech should sometimes be best used by the freedom of not saying what you could.

Several months ago, I either read or heard a statement that was a game changer for me regarding what comes out of our mouth. Satan and his band of troublemakers are not all knowing, only God has the ability to be the discerner of our every thought. But Satan doesn’t have to be a mind reader he only has to be a listener, or a reader, because we’ve laid out the stick for him to stir with plain and clear when we air our frustrations in our status posts. Perhaps it’s the era I was brought up in or more than likely the family, but we just didn’t make our troubles public, and yet today people not only make them public but wear them as trophies and care not that their friends and family know how very messed up their lives are. I guess this is a rant of my own of sorts… but it’s written to encourage my fellow servants of Christ to press on, not down.

Negative posts do not encourage positive living. You can quote me on that, that’s good stuff! The seeds that we plant in our life is what we harvest… I know that’s a no brainer, but it must not be, because there’s plenty of people sewing garbage and wondering why their life stinks.

Here’s just a few that I’ve noticed on social media on a pretty regular basis:

  • Satan may or may not have known that “so and so” got on your last nerve, but following that Facebook update he did. And now he has another avenue clearly marked in your life to making you miserable.
  • Nobody knew what a terrible mess your life was in until you went on that rant about it and now every time you walk on the street you feel as if you’re being judged, or so Satan says.
  • You posted your opinion on a matter that few agreed on and now you feel attacked because someone aired the opposite opinion on your status, welcome to America.
  • Let’s attack our family and make it a public spectacle and then wonder why nobody enjoys a family reunion, except Satan… he has a hayday!

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! That’s why I needed a few days to regroup. Not only do those post affect the person who posted negatively but everyone who reads it. By the same token a positive post creates a positive atmosphere. So here’s my challenge for you today. Ten positive posts and if you care to you can use this blog as one! And zero negative… not even bad news. Press on Pilgrim, it’s a happy day!!!!

Father vs. father… a point to ponder

chick ponder

During a recent study with the teens the subject matter came up how we often compare our relationship with God to that of our earthly parents. I hadn’t really thought about my parental viewpoint of God until that conversation. Yes, I viewed Him as my Father, but in so doing had I given to Him some of my earthly father’s attributes? I fear I had. My Dad, Gene Hardway, was an awesome godly man. But he had some quirks of human nature. He was a passive fella.

When I married my husband in 1980, yes I was baby of 18 years of age, I was not prepared for the culture of his family. They’re good people too, but they were different than the Hardway’s. They were more realistic to most families in the world. My parents never argued. For real! I never heard anyone raise their voice. So when I met people who could get loud, my Ozzie and Harriett world went upside down. I soon learned how to react in kind. I  don’t recommend it. But as for my Dad, he never changed. He did not yell. He did not argue. Which is awesome, till it’s not. I think possibly if my Dad had spoken more forceful on some things perhaps I would have listened, but maybe not.  The reality of it is, my Dad was who he was, and my husband David’s family are who they are. But now back to the Dad and God comparison… I had to ask myself if I viewed God as somewhat passive, even though I know that not to be the case according to scripture. And the answer was a resounding yes! So I asked my husband, if because his earthly dad had left him when he was one year old, if he thought that caused him to have a lack of trust in God. He said he hadn’t ever really thought about it… I’ve been married too him over half my life, I think he has.

God is truth

Titus 1:2  – In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

Parents lie. They tell us things about the Easter Bunny and Santa, (Which I believe is okay) but God would not tell you those things were true, because they are not. Parents tell you you’re the most beautiful child in the world… you are not, but you are in their world, so perhaps that is true. By the same token a really crappy parent who would discourage a child and criticize them is not who God is either, they lie; God does not.

God is love

1 John 4:8He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

God’s love is unconditional. We did not do anything to make God love us therefore we cannot do anything to make Him stop. Good parents for the most part love their children unconditional, but not always. Children grow into adults, make bad decisions, hurt us, let us down, as do the parents. God will not ever let you down. I would imagine unconditional love would be hard to fathom for someone brought up in a “conditional love home.”

God is Right

Psalm 18:30 – As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.

Parents make mistakes, Lord have mercy I have made my fair share and somebody else’s; but God has not ever had an “oops” moment. If you read and study His word from beginning to end, regardless if it is a scientific, moral or prophetic statement, it’s truth. Tell me any man or woman who you can say that about, although my husband does profess to always be right. (Insert smiley face here) But there is none but God Who is ALWAYS right.

God is forgiving

Matthew 6:14For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:

Do we think of Him as forgiving or condemning? I think of Him in that manner, but my Dad was a VERY forgiving guy. I have a feeling if you were brought up in a home where forgiveness was not forthcoming, you might not feel as forgiven.

This idea gave me great reason to ponder my relationship with God. What do you think? I’d be interested in hearing if your view of God was parent defined…

What to do when church folk upset us

chick love

I love encouragers in the faith, and our Pastor is one such man. He can expound the truth of the gospel and leave you both convicted, yet encouraged. He has just the right amount of salt and sugar in his delivery. Yesterday’s sermon from the book of Philemon stuck to my soul like glue and I thought I’d share some of my thoughts from his message in hopes of encouraging you.

Philemon 1:9-10

 Yet for love’s sake I rather beseech thee, being such an one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ.  I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds: Which in time past was to thee unprofitable, but now profitable to thee and to me:

Onesimus was a servant of Philemon who had, for whatever reason, wronged Philemon and packed his panties and hit the road. I know that analogy is wrong on so many levels, but he left Philemon without so much as a “fare thee well” and Philemon was still upset.  From the opening address of Paul’s letter to Philemon we know that he is a respected man of God, a fellowlabourer as Paul calls him, not a slacker by any means. He’s not a disgruntled church worker, Philemon’s a servant in good standing in the house of the Lord, albeit he’s still human. Hmmm… can it possibly be that good servants still have bad days? Follow me around for more than 15 minutes and you’ll find out.

Paul’s letter is packed full of so much wisdom for the leaders and the lead that an entire gospel conference could be held in its honor. It’s truth!

The nature of the beast of a congregation of believers is an argument waiting to happen on every given day that we’re together because we all come with an opinion and it usually differs. Were it not for the almighty grace of God and the realization that none of us are worthy it wouldn’t work. There has to be a level of humility in the church for it function as God intended, it has to be done for “love’s sake”.

I love the congregation of Victory Baptist Church. It’s been a family to me for 19 years. I have not always agreed with everyone in the congregation, but I love them. I’ve upset people, but they loved me in spite of it. We’ve had people who have left our congregation much like Onesimus, without so much as a fare thee well, and I was hurt. They didn’t leave on good terms with the congregation of the Lord and even though I’m a “good fellowlabourer” in Christ, I was upset. Not that they left… but the way they left. God calls people to other congregations, to other places of service; but He never calls anyone out of church. Why would He? He died for the church.

There are some evangelists that I love listening to. They stir my soul and encourage me in the faith, but they’re not my Pastor. This isn’t a message to puff up my own Pastor, this is a message that God laid on my heart this morning to encourage you to be faithful to your own church, lest Paul needs to write you a letter. It’s my letter both to the Philemon and Onesimus of any given congregation, likely every congregation.

When I left the home church on February 18th 1996, that I was raised in, I was an Onesimus. I wasn’t saved and God needed me in another location to get me saved, a place where my tender heart would accept the gospel and a place where I would be discipled. That was Victory Baptist Church. I didn’t leave like I should have, but I really didn’t know I was leaving. I thought I was “visiting” another church. Who knew I’d visit for almost 20 years! Since that time much has happened in my life spiritually, I’ve grown in the grace of Christ and I think that my fellowlabourers in that congregation have forgiven me. My point of that story is… I wasn’t saved when I left.

When unsaved people leave our churches, our hearts should be broken, but not angry. And we should take a long look at ourselves first and see if we could have done more, or something else within the guidelines of scripture so that they would stay. But when a saved person leaves the congregation of the Lord, and not for the purpose of another ministry that is when I need a stern talking to from the Lord. Because I’m upset. And I didn’t realize that I was that upset until my God filled Pastor preached to my heart yesterday. So what’s the solution? I can’t make the people return, but I can stop being upset. Paul was a literal prisoner in jail because of his service for Christ but I’ve been somewhat of a prisoner in my own thoughts by not releasing those emotions.

Paul said that for love’s sake he was reaching out to Philemon to try and restore his relationship with Onesimus. For love’s sake I needed my relationship restored; even though it’s only restored on one side.

What an awesome lesson for me today… perhaps you too. If I’ve been an encourager in your faith please share this message…. For love’s sake. And if God lays it on your heart to encourage me with a comment, please do!

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A Trip to the 7-Eleven

chick saturday

We don’t have a 7-Eleven in our neck of the woods, nor any other large chain of stores. We’re about as rural as rural gets before it gets to frontier. You can’t always “have it your way” in Calhoun County, West Virginia, sometimes you can’t even get it! It’s a small price to pay though in my opinion to live in a neighborhood where everyone knows everyone and when the emergency services scanner goes off with directions to a home, somebody around those parts knows who to pray for. But another fact of life in our area is there’s little anonymity, possibly none.

As I read about the Corinthians that Paul had written to, anonymity wasn’t the case for their sins either.

Sometime around the middle of the first century, Paul traveled to spread the word of God at which time he traveled to Corinth. The level of wickedness in Corinth was as bad or worse than America, if you can even imagine it. A check list of issues was

  • Pagan altars
  • Idol worship
  • Worship of other gods
  • Prostitution
  • Blatant sin
  • Rejection of God
Hmm… Sound familiar?

The Jewish population of Corinth rejected Paul’s teachings, so the apostle turned his efforts to the Gentiles and thus the church of Corinth was born. One of the many sins of that day today was the lack of morality. Men and women alike did not honor their marriage and even weak members of the church were involved in affairs on a regular basis. But repentance did come for many.  Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 7:11  –  For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.

A lesson in life from the 7-Eleven. We all struggle with sins and temptations, some to a greater degree than others, especially if your exposure to sin has been greater, then there’s more tools in Satan’s tool box to work against you. But here in this text we find the “overcomer’s club!” They’d fought the battle and won the victory.

Because of their:

The godly sort – the repentance of the Corinthians was genuine. And with it brought evidence of their desire to live for Christ.

Carefulness – to avoid the sins that had drawn them in and away from God. Oh that we would be more careful to avoid the pitfalls of sin through the company we keep and the exposure to multi forms of media. Sin is everywhere… oh be careful little eyes what you see, for the Father up above is looking down in love, oh be careful little eyes what you see.

Clearing yourself – That carefulness to avoid sin, and striving for a relationship with God brings a clearing of the air! There is nothing between you and the Holy One in Heaven.

Fear – A godly fear. A fear of falling back into the ways of sin that so “easily beset us.” God puts that fear in us because He knows without it we’d be prey daily.

Vehement desire – He also put within us a desire to know and serve the living God. You generally don’t know what it is until you’ve found it. But I believe there is a hole in the heart of every non-believer that draws them to the throne of God. They may reject it, but God said He would be lifted up to all men. John 12:32 says –And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

Zeal – Salvation and repentance brings a zeal, a fervor that can only be satisfied by telling the world about Jesus.

Revenge – The ultimate revenge against Satan is a soul on fire for Christ that robs him of the opportunity to steal other souls from God.

Clear of that matter – we cannot work for salvation. But we work to draw out minds into the goodness and wholesomeness of God and away from the sins of the world that will find us clear of the matter. I envision a long spiraling climb and finally reaching the peak of the mountain to where you can see clear from above… oh Glory… to be in that spot. Above the sin and reproach that Satan loves to lay at our feet.

March on Christian soldiers! Love ya! If   I encourage, please! share my blog with others.
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Unpacking the warmth of mercy

chick mercy

PSALM 18 

1I will love thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.

I strummed across my guitar this morning and the words of Psalm 18:2 came to mind. I had been awakened by frustration this morning. Dreams that bothered me, sins recalled, failures always at hand to rehash and reminisce and cause defeat. Satan’s an early riser. But as I brewed the coffee and came into the living room I began to shake off what Satan had laid on my shoulders and though he’s still lurking about seeking to devour my day, I’m determined to get in the mindset of victory. I’m counting on mercy. I don’t deserve it, but I need it. And God is the only one who is worthy to provide it.

I Love Him so

So I love on Him this morning. I praise Him in song. There’s a line in a Claire Lynch bluegrass song that says. “At my last swallow of coffee I’ll just sit here in your presence for a while and let Your Spirit come and move all over me.” And so I did, except its likely not my last swallow of coffee, I’m just getting started. But I needed to tell the Lord that even though I fail Him, I love Him so. And I’m so thankful for that precious, precious Spirit that sits with me this morning.

My Rock

Never moving. Ever there beside me. The world may walk out on me, but from the day Christ walked into my heart He hasn’t move.

My Fortress

Nothing gets in unless He or I let it in. It’s me who has caused the breaches to need repaired as in the days of Nehemiah. I’ve allowed sin or doubt to break down the fortress that God has created for me. But praise God it’s repaired through repentance and dependence on what my God can do.

My Deliverer

Even from my dreams this day the Lord swooped in and removed me from those thoughts. Through His grace and mercy He stands ready to fight my battles and rescues me just as the Prince for which I dreamed of as a little girl. I knew He was real…

My God!

Oh to utter His name brings job into my soul because I know what it was like without Him. I remember what it was like to feel as if I didn’t belong anywhere. Even now I struggle with “belonging.” I need it, and He knows I need it and every time I get that feeling that I just don’t  fit anywhere in this world, my God come by and says, “that’s because you’re not of this world.” And my world is righted once more.

My Strength

I’m as weak as house cat on my own, but through my Lord I have the strength of a mighty lion. Roar!

My Trust

Is in Him alone.

My Buckler

Shielded from those fiery darts that Satan likes to hurl at me. I occasionally like to peek on the other side of the shield just to see what’s going on. That’s when I get into trouble. I don’t need to see what’s going on in the world, I need to focus on the world that God has given me.

My Horn of Salvation

O glory! Like the bull who makes his way through the streets of the city to fight the matador! But Christ never loses a battle and He will pound into the ground the enemy that comes against us. That is the Horn of my Salvation!

He is worthy, and I am safe.

There’s a lot packed into those three small verses. And through my unpacking of them this morning I know my day is covered. I hope that you were blessed by the Word of God… I hope that you praise Him for He is worthy and I hope that you are shielded in His watch care and salvation today.

((hugs)) from the Jesus Chick this morning!

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But Now… that’s not My song

Chick knows

Job 35:10-15

But none saith, Where is God my maker, who giveth songs in the night; Who teacheth us more than the beasts of the earth, and maketh us wiser than the fowls of heaven? There they cry, but none giveth answer, because of the pride of evil men. Surely God will not hear vanity, neither will the Almighty regard it.  Although thou sayest thou shalt not see him, yet judgment is before him; therefore trust thou in him. But now, because it is not so, he hath visited in his anger; yet he knoweth it not in great extremity:

So today is not about me… again. But I thought it was when I lay in bed this morning arguing with God that I was growing weary of this “but now” series. My Attention Deficit Disorder thought there was likely something shinier I needed to be looking at. Ha! God said. My Word always shines!

So last night I’m sitting at home and I get an unusual call from a fella who’s near and dear to me, but the last thing he usually wants to discuss is church; because he knows I’ll be on him like white on rice. But this time he’s on me. Sunday morning, when I was where I was, and he was where he was, he’d seen a video on one of the cable music channels. He had previously heard this song on a local radio station, but this time it had images to go with it and a purpose; and none of it was good. The song is titled “Take me to Church” and can be found on Youtube by clicking the song title. I don’t recommend it if you’re squeamish, but it was needful for he and I to see it, because God had a message for us both.

I quickly skimmed the song facts before returning my friends call to answer as to “what I thought of the song.” The song was successful in that it’s intended design was to slam Christianity. The singer, Andrew Hozier Byrne, was quoted on songfacts.com

Written in the wake of a breakup with his first girlfriend, this is both a love song and a contemplation of sin, drawing influence from the late atheist writer Christopher Hitchens. Hozier described it to The Guardian as, “a bit of a losing your religion.

I found it odd that he was quoting an atheistic view point, but capitalizes the name of God in his article, as if God were someone. Well, He is Someone. But He’s not who they characterize in the video. The song criticizes the oppression of gay people in Russia and is said by Hozier that it’s not “an attack on faith.”

Well, this seriously isn’t an attack on Hozier, because he’s not the one responsible for that song. He was a tool, and mightily used by Satan himself. The friend who called was not affectionate of gay people. As a matter of fact, you would more than likely find him either telling or laughing at a gay joke. He’s a red-blooded American boy brought up in the heart of the country. But this song struck a chord in him. The chord that it was intended to strike; the one that paints the church as a narcissistic governing body of people that preach hate.

So, I had some explaining to do. Because it is unfortunate that we are portrayed that way because of a few (by comparison to the numbers who don’t preach hate).

So back to the “But Now” scripture in Job that I whined to God about. Elihu, the “friend” of Job is he who speaks the words in scripture. He too touts to Job that it is obviously because of his wrong living that he has landed in these dire straights.

Elihu is not singing God’s song.

Neither are the religious that damn the homosexual. Because as it says in John 3:17 “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” And the gay person is no greater a sinner than the drunkard or the glutton, yet they are all sinners and need redemption.

God does hear vanity, and He ain’t happy

Elihu said that surely God will not hear vanity, insinuating that Job was being self-centered because of his suffering. Really, Christian folk do that? Yes! Every time we fail to hear the cry of a hurting soul because of their sin, thinking that they “brought their suffering upon themselves,” it is we who are vain and stand in the place of God, judging.

Judgment will come… on the sinner and the church folk too

As I said before, this isn’t about Hozier. He needs to know that Jesus loves him. But what Satan meant this song to do is convince him that Jesus hates him, and that’s a lie right out of the pits of Hell. Christian’s who preach hatred will have their day before God. I’m not saying they’re lost, because Christian people make bad decisions and God doesn’t throw them out of Heaven for it. But they will stand before an Almighty and Powerful God and answer as to why they drove someone away from Jesus.

But Now… God’s song is “Jesus loves me this I know.”

Click on the song link and give the Devil his due!

But Now… get busy

chick Anointed

2 Samuel 12:19-24

19 But when David saw that his servants whispered, David perceived that the child was dead: therefore David said unto his servants, Is the child dead? And they said, He is dead. 20 Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the Lord, and worshipped: then he came to his own house; and when he required, they set bread before him, and he did eat. 21 Then said his servants unto him, What thing is this that thou hast done? thou didst fast and weep for the child, while it was alive; but when the child was dead, thou didst rise and eat bread. 22 And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether God will be gracious to me, that the child may live? 23 But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me. 24 And David comforted Bathsheba his wife, and went in unto her, and lay with her: and she bare a son, and he called his name Solomon: and the Lord loved him.

I somehow or another missed this verse in the “But Now Series” so we’re back tracking one in the order that this will be a thorough study. And it’s not one to be missed for a few reasons. The story of David and Bathsheba’s affair was certainly not one of David’s stellar moments. I find it more than a little interesting that the greater portion of “But Now” moments have involved David, we’ll see if that plays out until the end; but it won’t surprise me that it does. Who better for Satan to attack than the man after God’s own heart? If he’s going to ruin a testimony he’s going to ruin one of the most talked about individuals in the community. So before we cast a stone at the fallen child of God, do you know what God’s plans were for them? They might have been a great and mighty soldier for the cross, but for being human. Satan doesn’t attack the ne’re-do-well, how would that help his cause? He attacks someone who really wants to do the right thing, but gets distracted by something beautiful and thinks… maybe just once.

But “once” had a tiny little face and David loved it, but the baby died.

And in this “But now” story David has confused his servants. When the child was sick David refused to eat and wept in great sorrow, “but now” that the child had died, David got up, got dressed and went on about the business of the day. It wasn’t that he was heartless or without mourning, for it says he comforted his wife. And I’m sure in the privacy of their home they still shed tears, but this day David knows that nothing can be done to change God’s mind, and it’s time to go on.

Be it in life and death, life and a career, life and a marriage or life and something else we’ve lost, we have to stop the mourning.  The reason it happened may or may not have been any of our own, but we have the answer; it’s done and we can’t undo it. I have had more than a few of those moments in my life, but I’m not nearly so smart as David. I want to wallow in it for a day, a month, a year… What about you?

Is there something that God has said “It’s over,” and you just won’t let it be? How about today we clean ourselves up, anoint ourselves (putting on the Word of God) and get back in the business of serving and worshiping God as He deserves. I can’t believe I almost missed this “But Now” experience. All Satan had to do was get a computer program to un-bold one word and I missed it, but God knew we needed it. So here are… but now… get busy.

Are you giving your best gift?

best gift ever

As I read through a few chapters in Genesis this morning, I came across the lineage of Esau; and scattered among his sons was one by the name of Amalek; which triggered a memory of a sermon I once heard titled “Then came Amalek.”  That sermon was from the book of 1 Samuel, when Saul, who had been told to “utterly destroy” the Amalekites for what they had done to the children of Israel back in the book of Exodus. While traveling to the Promised Land, they had assumed they’d be safe traveling through Edom, because they too were the descendants of Abraham, but they soon discovered that family is not always a friend. I just covered a lot of Bible history in just a few sentences, and probably utterly confused you, but here in the book of Genesis we find the origin of those people as the grandchildren of Esau, battling twin brother of Jacob.

Esau married outside the chosen nation, (he married a Canaanite woman), several actually and disappointed his parents. His wives worshipped strange gods and raised his children up to do the same. They had no pride in their Israeli heritage, only disdain in the coming generations. But my point being, it all began with one son’s disobedience. But now we no longer concern ourselves with what tribe or nation a family may be from, but rather are you apart of the nation Heaven as a child of Jesus Christ? But family still matters…

I was blessed to be raised by Christian parents who molded me into the strange being that I am today through a few quirks of their own. My mother, a quite creative woman and my father who was musically talented both attributed to my talents but I also received of my father a lackadaisical attitude which gets me in trouble on a pretty regular basis, and of my mother I received the “I can do it by myself” gene, which is really funny because my Dad’s name was Gene! But the two of those combined makes my theme song “I can do it by myself, but I’ll do it later!”

Regardless of how you feel about your family, it still does not change the fact that you are a product of their making. But what you become productive in is still entirely up to you. Esau was a bitter boy because his brother had stolen his birthright and inheritance, but he did eventually forgive Jacob. However, his descendants picked up that bitter bone and carried it through generation after generation. Is that not crazy? What Esau forgave, the family didn’t forget.

It still happens today. It happens in my own family as I think about relatives who have hurt members of my family and I’ve shared those stories with my children who now don’t think very highly of those relatives either; and in the generations to come they probably won’t like the descendants of those aunts and uncles either but they really won’t know why.

Why do we do it? I’m sure if Esau had his life to live over again he’d have mended fences with Jacob before he left the first time. He likely wouldn’t have disobeyed his parents which caused generational conflicts that still affect us today. But Esau can’t undo the past. We however, who are still alive, still have the opportunity to change the future of our families by changing our attitudes toward the past and letting it go. Really letting it go. Not just letting it go until we’re frustrated again and feel the need to relive the anger.

Christmas is a good time to give the gift of restoration. Do you have someone in your family that you would just as soon forget… well remember them. Pray for them and encourage yourself in the story of the Amalekites. Which would have changed the world if someone had gotten it right earlier. You have generations to consider and why on earth would you want them to carry a bitter seed forward that will grow the same heartache you carry.

I don’t know who this message is for…certainly for myself, but maybe you too. I’d love to hear from you! Share your story with me and let’s start Christmas off with the gift worth giving – forgiveness!