Tag Archives: Freedom

I’m a Free Woman!

This video is a post from my weekly event “Not Another Manic Monday”. It may have been more manic than I thought because I start out sideways on the view. But hang on for a minute and I get myself straightened out! 

The Message is from Galatians Chapter 4 about what we recieve being the children of God! 

  1. The Freedom of the Father
  2. The Fringe Benefits of the Father 
  3. The Freewill of the Father

Another Sunday in the Books

Another Sunday in the books. And what will be done for the cause of Christ? My heart is burdened for the state of the churches of America. Few and far between do you see the fires of revival in the house of God. Churches linger somewhere between social clubs and legalistic mindsets that, though they preach grace alone for salvation, works is mingled in in the form of man’s opinions of acceptable church behaviors. I’m bordering on meddling this morning and I really don’t want to go there. I just want to experience Jesus this morning for myself and others. I want to feel the Holy Spirit stir the congregations of God to the point of Amen Hallelujah! And a lined altar of worshipers.

In 1 Kings, Chapter 8, when Solomon had finished the temple and stood before the people dedicating it to the Lord, he had the attitude that should be the attitude of the churches of America. We are free. Although the world around us is in captivity, and there is trouble in abundance; through the grace of Jesus Christ we are free indeed. We’ve lived in the land of Egypt where sin held us captive and there was no hope until we made Jesus our Savior. Why would we not stand, shout and rejoice in Him this morning. Another Sunday in the books and what will our story tell?

1 Kings 8:54-60

Hands of Praise

54 And it was so, that when Solomon had made an end of praying all this prayer and supplication unto the Lord, he arose from before the altar of the Lord, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread up to heaven.

The altar for me is often a place of repentance, and it should be, but it should be a place of praise and gratitude. When Solomon stood up with the where the Spirit of the Lord had been on him like a thick cloud, he went from his knees, a place of humbleness to the position of praise and rejoicing for what the Lord has done.

Throughout the service today our hands should be raised in praise that we are free to hear the word of God and speak His name without fear of persecution and arrest that so many others around the world are facing. Solomon’s father David had been a man of war. How many of our family and friends from ages past fought for the right we have today.

Voices of Praise

55 And he stood, and blessed all the congregation of Israel with a loud voice, saying,

56 Blessed be the Lord, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant.

More importantly, not one word failed that was spoken by the Lord Jesus Christ! How worthy is He to be praised this morning. When the word of God is preached there should be shouts of glory! Yes in an order that allows the word to be preached without distraction, but if the Spirit is moving, the unsaved need to hear that when the word of God moves a child of God, He is worthy to be praised! Quench not the Spirit the word says!

A Cause for Praise

57 The Lord our God be with us, as he was with our fathers: let him not leave us, nor forsake us:

58 That he may incline our hearts unto him, to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and his statutes, and his judgments, which he commanded our fathers.

59 And let these my words, wherewith I have made supplication before the Lord, be nigh unto the Lord our God day and night, that he maintain the cause of his servant, and the cause of his people Israel at all times, as the matter shall require:

60 That all the people of the earth may know that the Lord is God, and that there is none else.

There is no other God besides the Lord Jesus Christ. We serve the One and Only! Glory to God is that not reason enough? But couple that with the fact that we not only serve the One and Only, we are privileged to carry Him with us and have a relationship of Friend and Father that no other religion is privileged to have. The Creator of the universe is in our presence, a joy far greater than earthly royalty, and we are the honored guests.

I have to get ready for church else I’ll be late. But please, praise Him today like you’re in the greatest concert of your life. Because His word should be a such a song in your heart that you’re bubbling over today!

The Liberating Life of Salvation

No automatic alt text available.Not knowing the exact date of my salvation, I, for the longest time, claimed Independence Day as my Salvation date. Perhaps that sounds strange to you that I didn’t know the exact date that I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior; but for that insight you’d have to understand a little of my background with religion. To sum it up, I knew church (religion) I didn’t know Jesus. So when I started the journey to the realization that I needed saved I had to get past the fact that I was indeed lost. Religion teaches salvation is what I do, not what I couldn’t do. So I was, therefore, bound to the lie that I had to do something. And even when I realized that I needed saved and made that confession of faith in my heart, I didn’t tell the world for the longest time because they assumed I had been saved. And so I lived defeated again for some time by not proclaiming that salvation experience aloud. But I did loose myself from that lie eventually that Satan kept whispering in my ear… “you’re not saved.”

Galatians 5:1 – Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

Loosing the Lies

So often churches today teach that being in church is the relationship with God. That is no truer than a stranger in my house being my child. If I did not give you birth (or adopt you), you are not mine. And if you were not “born again” (John 3:3) you are not a child of God. So at the beginning of my journey, February 18, 1996 I had to get religion out of the way. A notable date (one because it’s my Mama’s birthday) and two because that was the first day I heard the gospel in such a manner that it made me go “hmmmm.” And I continued to go “hmmmm” for several months because I couldn’t un-hear what the world had filled my ears with…

  • You’re fine.
  • You go to church
  • You serve in the church
  • You live right (ish)

The fact was I always lived defeated. There was no peace in my life. A constant fear of knowing just enough about the return of Christ to be dangerous, caused anxiety in the greatest proportion. So the discovery of Christ Jesus turned my anxiety into assurance when I realized the work was done. At least for the salvation end of it. Now was the fun part. Service! That I could do.

Laboring In Love

Galatians 5:13 – For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only [use] not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

We’re not saved to set, we’re saved to serve and I have always had a servant’s heart. Learning the purpose of that heart was liberating. So claiming Independence Day was twofold. I was independent (sanctified) from the world that continually judged my efforts and very dependent upon the God who embraced my efforts. That feeling was like a 4th of July Fire Works display. I “oooooooh” and “aaaaahhhh” every time God allows me to do anything for Him. I stand amazed that He has put me into the positions He has. I’ve never grown out of love, nor have I lost the excitement of salvation. I pray I never do. But I see people let it go all the time. And that amazes me ever more.

Romans 8:21 – Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

Laying Hold of the Liberty

After 21 years of laying hold of that liberty apostle Paul speaks of, I have no intention of letting it loose now.

Paul told the Corinthians 2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

I receive a clean slate every day (Lamentations 3:22-23) Being saved doesn’t stop me from making mistakes, the old Shari still has to make her presence known quite often. But what it does do is it gives me the freedom not to stay in the feeling of failure that kept me so defeated pre-salvation. God is faithful and just to forgive. Meaning that as His creation, He is the only one who has the authority to clean you up like that.

Natalie Grant summed it up in her song “Clean.” I’ve posted the link below. I pray you’re celebrating your independence day in the freedom of Christ Jesus.

The Invisible Jesus

chick invisible

Someone becoming aware that I’m “The Jesus Chick” usually brings three typical reactions:

  1. Joy from fellow believers (I love that!)
  2. Rolled eyes from people who believe I’m a fanatic
  3. Changed conversation from those who don’t want to talk about Jesus

I’m okay with all three because it doesn’t change who I am, and it certainly doesn’t change who Jesus is! It also doesn’t change the truth; which is what everyone says they want, and yet they really don’t. In John 8 we find the story of the woman caught in adultery, and the religious sect that wanted to stone her. But when Jesus challenged them with the truth “…and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her,” (vs. 7) We find the world walking out. They knew the truth… we all sin!  We just don’t like to name it.  I always wondered if what Jesus “wrote with His finger on the ground” was their sins. Jesus knew them too. Conviction is a powerful tool of the Lord. That’s why when people hear the truth their reaction is much the same as the typical reactions to me. They love it, ignore it or change the conversation!

What I found interesting in John 8 this morning were verses, like so many others, that I have previously just skimmed over.

John 8:58-59

Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

Convicted by Jesus’ words the religious sect picked up stones to kill Him. But it wasn’t His time. So Jesus hid Himself. Literally vanished from their sight. But an invisible Jesus didn’t change the truth, whether or not they wanted to hear it they were still held captive.

In verse 32 Jesus said, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” On the counter side of that, if you ignore the truth you’re willingly being held captive by a lie.

The Invisible Jesus. He’ll eventually stop revealing the truth to you, and salvation will be further and further away; just where you thought you wanted it. And Jesus will have “passed by.”  The two saddest words ever.

Failing to acknowledge Jesus may make Him invisible, but it doesn’t mean He doesn’t exist. And what you’ve allowed to pass by is what you know you’re looking for and why I love being a Jesus Chick:

  • Peace (regardless of circumstance)
  • Love (when nobody’s around to love on you)
  • Healing (even of a broken heart)
  • Answers (to every question)
  • Solutions (to every problem)
  • Insight (to the mysteries of God)
  • Oh the list is endless…

Do you see Him?   He’s precious… and so  worthy of following.

[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Website’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

Incarcerated by Life?

chick freedom

My friend Chief Eisley was about to preach the Word of God at a State Dept. of Corrections facility after I had sang and listened to the DOC Choir. My heart was full and overflowing. I love these guys because they love Jesus. It’s not jailhouse religion it’s an honest to goodness meeting with the Holy Ghost in a “controlled environment.” With God in control! As Chief began to preach I realized that my Bible (which is on the same iPad my soundtracks are on, was on the platform. One of the inmates who had ran the sound for me realized I didn’t have my bible and motioned for me to use his that was on the pew beside me. I can’t tell you how blessed I was to see its well-worn cover and pages. Regardless of whether you are in Dept. of Corrections facility or a beautiful house in the suburbs the walls can be that of a prison. I’ve known wonderful people on the outside of a prison who were bound to the world and didn’t have near the freedom that the fellas last night did. It really can’t be told and do it justice, it has to be experienced to see the gladness in their hearts and on their faces. As we traveled back to our car one of the inmates carried my guitar and spoke candidly about his gratitude for being in that place. Because it was in that place that he had returned to Jesus where he found true freedom. That freedom is found in the Word of God!

Why is it that nobody cares to argue what Buddhist’s, Islam’s, and New Age religion are spouting off? Because their words do not cut like a sword. They have no power. But let someone speak the Word of God and you’ll have a multitude up in arms because Satan and his band of demonic menaces will make sure of it. The Word of God transforms lives! Prior to my salvation I would read the Word and it might as well have been Greek. I could understand the basics but the vast majority of it just seemed over my head.  But then that Sunday came…. When I met Jesus and asked Him to come into my heart and fix my troubled soul. And all of sudden, what had formerly been Greek suddenly became the plainest English I could read and O Glory did it satisfy my thirsty soul!

Following the service inmate after inmate came up to me to shake my hand, talk to me about the music and encourage my soul. They handed me poems they had written and just thinking back on it causes me to weep. They’re like anybody’s sons, uncles, dads, and friends who are incarcerated. They’re paying for their crime but they are also Brothers in Christ. And they have a freedom that those who are not saved by the blood of Jesus do not have. The freedom in knowing “It is well with my soul!”

John 8:30-34

As he spake these words, many believed on him. Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.

Look How Far We’ve Come

Gettysburg AddressNovember 19th went by with little fanfare in the United States. It could have possibly been on the news, the likelihood of me seeing it there was slim to none. But as I read the Gettysburg Address this morning, my heart longed to hear a modern day political official speak with such eloquence and spiritual depth. It was a very short speech in comparison to most but I feel safe to say it had a far greater positive impact on our Country than anything coming out of the Whitehouse in current times. Note that I said positive impact.

He began the address with the words four score and seven years ago which much resembles Psalm 90:10 that reads “The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” And he ends his address with a call to action of those gathered there. He acknowledges the honored dead  who were sacrificed so that our nation was given another chance, a new birth of freedom; a nation under God (Sovereignly ruled), and a nation  of the people, by the people and for the people that shall not perish. Showing his compassion and concern for those he served.

Look how far we’ve come. My heart is saddened for our nation, but not without hope, because I still serve the God of Abraham and Isaac, and Abraham Lincoln.

I’m not going to get into politics, it speaks for itself. Volumes. But I would like to offer you a suggestion of prayer for our nation as we go into the week of Thanksgiving.

Read the Gettysburg Address (it will only take a minute) and then pray the A.C.T.S. method of prayer.

Adoration – Acknowledge how good God is, and that it is His sovereignty that has allowed America to be the Great Nation it is.

Confession – Confess that as an individual and as a nation we’ve not done all we could to protect what we’ve been given.

Thankful – Thank God for the field of faith has gone before us to allow the freedom we still enjoy and for those who unselfishly continue to defend our honor, when we’re not always so honorable.

Supplication – Ephesians 6:18 says – Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

Pray for each other and the leadership of America. An Abraham Lincoln quote from a speech in Chicago on July 10, 1858 said

Let us then turn this government back into the channel in which the framers of the Constitution originally placed it.

Amen. Pray on pilgrim.

And I stand corrected on tributes to the Gettysburg Address. Check out the Ohio State Video! If you love band music like I do, get you a hankee and enjoy!!! It’s 14 minutes long but worth ever second!

Ohio State Tribute