Tag Archives: friends

Do You Care?

We love Him, because He first loved us. ~ 1 John 4:19

There are some people in our lives that are easy to love. My bestie Gloria is one such person, so are countless others. I am blessed with people. Lots of people that I call and mean it when I say they’re friends. And then there are people that I am acquaintances with via life or social media and of those I may or may not have a great depth of concern for.

I would certainly pull them out of the path of a truck. But I might not take them chicken soup if they were ill. That sounds very mean. But it’s not meant to be. It’s not that I don’t care about their health, it’s that they are not on my radar of cares of the day. Nor am I likely on their radar either. So how exactly did God intend for us to love one another?

What is our level of compassion for those outside our immediate family and friends?

For me I only had to think about 1 John 4:19 for a split second before I realized that before I knew God, before I realized what He did for me and when I was just floating around in the world like a bubble on a summer day without concern for my soul or anyone else’s… He loved me.

He loved me when I was out in sin and behaving in a manner that would have made a sailor blush. Yes, I was that kid. I grew up fast when I married and had children, but I still didn’t know Jesus and was as filthy rags, and yet He loved me. He maneuvered my life to get me into a position to hear the gospel in a miraculous way that has me in awe today. He uses me even yet today when I still fail Him miserably.

Now… I ask myself that question again about the people I don’t know. “Shari, do you care?”  I asked myself that question about the people I’m pretty sure I don’t even like. “Do you care?”

I ask, because at any moment God could have given up on me or never thought enough of me to waste His time and yet He did.

This morning I was convicted by this thought because there are so many hurting people that I know via ministry and social media that I don’t care enough about. Ministry isn’t just to the pretty, easy to love people. Its’ for all people. Even the sometimes ugly, grouchy, negative, arrogant,  drunk and drugged up people. The latter of which I have an easier time loving. The grouchy, negative, arrogant people not so much.

I’m wondering who might cross my path today that needs loved on? I’m wearing a new pair of white jeans… I wonder if I’m willing to get them dirty. Isn’t that how we decide?

I have a doctor’s appointment for my knee this morning at 10 a.m. Perhaps it’s there that I’ll answer that question. Maybe it will be on social media, or maybe on an unplanned adventure. Like the one that got me saved.

I Can’t Make You Listen

The hardest part of being a child of God, parent, grandparent, niece, cousin, aunt, and friend is when your heart breaks as you share the gospel and they won’t listen. They’re not rude. They’re not unkind. They’re just indifferent.

I debated for a few seconds on whether or not to write this blog today. My heart is tender and I’m weepy. But that’s okay. I need to share while the pain is fresh.

I’m not a super saint. I’m a messed up child of God that was saved by grace alone, that’s my greatest fear on why people won’t listen to me. They look at me and think “Why does she think she has it (life) figured out?” And I don’t, but I have eternal life figured out and that’s my message.

Ezekiel was not only a spokesman, he was a watchman. He watched as the world around him spiraled into destruction because of a nation that rejected God. I see the same thing, only now God is not viewing us as a nation, He’s viewing us individually, and every single one of us is going to stand accountable for what we’ve done in this life. Alone, before God.

I envision my family and friends standing before God and having Him say, “Depart from Me, I never knew you.” I feel Ezekiel’s frustration. But I feel God’s pain of rejection and I feel my broken heart that those people will miss out on Heaven and suffer Hell. Yes. There’s a Hell. Why won’t they hear?

I can’t make them listen. I can only blow the horn again and again and say Jesus is Coming Soon whether or not you believe. He will step out on that cloud and call His people home because the Bible says He will and not one word of that book has failed yet.

Christmas can be a sad time because loved ones aren’t with us, but at least if we know Jesus Christ as Savior we know that we will spend eternity rejoicing with our loved ones. But what about the ones that aren’t there? I don’t believe we’ll remember them. But you can believe (because the word says it’s true), that they’ll remember us.

After the heart attack and surgery, I’ve struggled with playing games with faith. I wasn’t guaranteed another Christmas, and I almost missed it. I don’t want to miss the opportunity to tell everyone I can about the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

I can’t make them listen. But I can keep blowing my horn and telling the world Jesus is coming soon! Be ready!!!!

Do you know you’re ready? If not, follow the link for the plan of salvation at the top of the page! And then tell me and everyone else in the world you can about Jesus!

Heaven is going to be so grand someday!

darlene

Social media plays out almost like a movie script at times, and we’re all players and actors. Once our computer screen is closed or our smart phone is off, the show stops and the characters aren’t a part of our lives any longer. And then there are those that come right off the page and into our lives and they truly are sown into the tapestry, never to be removed. That’s Darlene Fick Quiring.

She is the friend of a friend on Facebook, who didn’t know me from the man on the moon, but by faith, after an invitation was given for me to sing and play fiddle at a revival, made it possible for me to go. We finally met face to face in Windom, Minnesota and her small stature was launched into a giantess by the sparkle in her eyes and the evidence of her passion to serve Christ. She’s encouraged me so many times, too many to count. So when I watched her life playout on social media today, my heart broke when her husband went home to be with the Lord, and I knew Darlene was hurting. I wanted to hop on a plane and go to the side of a friend who I feel like I’ve known forever. But we’ve spent little more than a few days together, so how can that be?

It’s a God thing… That’s the only way to explain it.

One of my favorite verses of all times is Jeremiah 1:5

Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

Somewhere before August 11,1962 God knew me. I was somewhere, I have to wonder if Darlene and I were in the same spot. Maybe not, but for certain we have a kindred spirit of sisterhood brought on by our shared faith. My heart is heavy for her this evening. If you don’t mind, whisper a little prayer that God will give here great comfort. I know He will…

My quickly drawn sketch doesn’t do her beauty and sweetness justice. But for me is was kind of therapeutic to bring her picture to pen. Heaven is going to be so grand someday when we all get home together…

Why You Need to Meet the Delanceys

David and Marolyn Delancey

Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.  The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.

Habakkuk 3:18-19

I received a call from my good friend David Delancey yesterday, a man without sight and yet he sees more than I’ll likely ever see through the eyes of God. Possibly because the world is not a distraction to him (well not too much anyway, he does love bluegrass!) I’ve learned so much through he and his wife Marolyn. David is blind and Marolyn has battled cancer for years, beating the odds again and again, defying the logic of man because I believe and she believes, God has a mighty work for her to do. The two of them are not super saints, they’re just plain ol’ ordinary extraordinary children of God.

How does one become ordinarily extraordinary? I’m so glad you ask!

They Care

Much like Habakkuk the prophet whose vision of the coming of Christ caused him great concern for his people, David and Marolyn have a great concern for the people of the earth. All over the earth, not just in their neck of the woods, or in their family, but for the missions of earth. They serve at Marietta Bible Center Church which is the Church on the Campus of Marietta Bible College. They give and they give, not only of money but of time and prayer, while the world around hoards for themselves. They tirelessly pray for the students of Marietta, both current and past and even on the days that they feel terrible, they’re terribly concerned about people. They genuinely care.

They Commend

They praise the Lord in the best of times and the worst of times and they encourage others to praise. They’ll likely hate me for this post (not really, there is no hate in them) but they are humble people, and worthy of introducing you to. Not because they’re any different or better than you and I, but because if the Lord can use them in the manner He does, we’re without excuse. When is the last time you’ve really praised the Lord. I mean out loud and to people who needed to hear it? People who only think they have trouble, but have yet to realize the trouble they’re in without Christ as their Savior.

Habakkuk made the world aware of the return of Christ and praised God for the opportunity 2600 years ago or so, and we may be within seconds of His return and we’re saying nothing. We need to praise the Great and Awesome God and let the world know that to fear Him is to praise Him because you’re acknowledging Who He is.

They Continue

Habakkuk said the Lord would make his feet like hinds (deer) feet to walk upon high ground! In this area of the world for which I live deer season is second only to Christmas, and the ideal Christmas gift is hunting gear. I won’t say that deer are worshipped but it’s real close! They’re a worthy adversary for the hunter because of their sure footedness and grace. That should be the life of a Christian, should it not? My friends, David and Marolyn, know where they stand! They stand on the solid ground and saving grace of Jesus Christ. They continue to tell the world about Jesus on their bad days and their good.

Who are you going to tell today? If you’re saved you are without excuse you know? Me too. I don’t tell it near as often or as loud as I should.

Jesus is coming back, and none of the heartache we’re facing will compare to being left behind when He calls His church home.

Tell somebody! Love on somebody today with the love of Christ like my friends do. Sing a song about Jesus! I hope it’s bluegrass 😉

FOLLOW ME ON FACEBOOK!!!

What to do when we differ

chick pondering

Fights in the faith, contention in the church pews, mayhem in the ministry…they make me nauseous. I can count on one hand the times I’ve been involved in confrontation with someone else in the ministry. I do not have enough fingers and toes in the whole family, including cousins (and there are many) to tell you the times I have bitten my tongue off to keep from saying hurtful  things, or walked away rather than battle it out. That’s not because I’m all “holy and happy”, but rather the fact that I’ll avoid conflict at every opportunity because I hate it so much. So as I’ve been in a study of Barnabas and Paul, their friendly fallout caught my attention.

Acts 15:39

And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus;

Here were two friends in the faith who had worked side by side, fought the fight of good faith, ministered to one another and now stood toe to toe in disagreement about the direction of their ministry. Not the color of the carpet, who’s in charge of what committee, or why Susie Seat Saver wasn’t selected for the choir special. This contention was over Barnabas desiring to use Mark in the ministry, and Paul’s determination not to because of Mark’s prior record of failure. It wasn’t a tiff, it was a sharp contention according to scripture that caused them to part company. It’s also an unfished story in the Bible, leaving us to wonder if the fence was ever mended between these two men of God.

That bothered me; even though there’s little I could do about. It did however cause me to re-visit some past “parting of company” of my own which was ironic because Paul and Barnabas’s parting was over their decision to revisit the churches they had planted and encourage those ministries. That trip didn’t happen as planned but other trips did. Paul went on his second missionary journey teamed with Silas and Barnabas and Mark went their way. The unity was still there, but the uniformity had gone. They didn’t do it the way they always had. It doesn’t say in the scripture that anyone else was brought into their argument to take sides, but rather focus’ on the fact that their division was an expansion of the ministry not a separation. I’m inclined to believe from Paul’s statement in 2 Timothy 4:11 that there was no animosity betwixt them when he wrote to Timothy, Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.” Paul had obviously forgiven Mark for his discrepancy leading me to believe that Paul and Barnabas either patched it up or agreed to disagree. Both Paul and Barnabas continued on in unity of the original mission. As I reflected on this today it was a reminder to me to mind my own ministry. In the case of disagreements which may come and its okay, move on. Don’t dwell on the negative, but love one another and preach Jesus!

Our goal is to see souls saved. Satan’s job is to thwart that any cost.  I don’t want to be a pawn in his hand causing someone’s eye to focus on me instead of the Master.

Are you sure it’s only been 3 years?

chick anniversary

My friend Dewey Moede had to remind me that we were coming upon our 3rd Anniversary of the FGGAM.org, a web ministry and news site based in New Mexico. It was three years ago that he and I, as well as many others, partnered to share the common goal of glorifying Christ through the Word of God. Although Dewey says it’s been three years …I have to wonder; life is a blur sometimes. I discovered Dewey, who at the time was a radio personality, through mutual friends and Christian Speakers, Shona Neff and Shonda Savage. Through Dewey I’ve gathered friendships with Rick Stambaugh, Joe Fawcett III, Karen Rowe, Darlene Firk Quiring and probably a dozen or so others just to mention a few. And although I do talk to Dewey on the phone fairly often, I connect with the others only through the web as friends, and yet… I have to wonder.

Jeremiah 1:5 (one of my favorite verses) says – Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

If God knew us before we were born, did we know each other? I don’t have the answer to that question, but I do believe there are some ordained meetings here on earth. And my New Mexico friends and family of God were for me an ordained meeting. I cannot tell you of the treasured conversations that I have had with them. Some more than others. Some are simply comments on posts or responses to something I or they have written, but there’s something about my connection to these folk; they now are a thread that is intricately woven through the fabric that God has formed from my life. They’ve added a new texture and dimension to me. I hope someday that God allows me to paint that thought.

I said all of that to say this: We have no idea how God is working in and through our lives on any given day. But He is. Our words and actions touch other people most every day in some manner, for good, bad and even in indifference we make a difference. I don’t believe my New Mexico Connections and the branches thereof were chance meetings, I believe they were divine appointments that God has used to encourage me along the pathway to Heaven where someday we’ll all gather together at the feet of Jesus. Maybe we’ll pick a little bluegrass or just talk about how good God is, we’ll have plenty of time for it all.

Although David and Jonathan’s meetings were face to face, I can relate my friendships with theirs through 1 Samuel 18:1~ And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.

There’s something about the children of God, whether it was that we knew each other before we were born, or it is the Spirit of the Living God that is within us now – we do indeed know and love one another even if we’ve never met face to face. There was no ordination service of www.fggam.org and www.theJesusChick.com here on earth, but at some point in Heaven God laid out the plan and I am so very blessed that He did.

If you’d like to read about the humble beginnings of FGGAM, I recommend you read my friend Rick’s anniversary post. Here’s the link: http://www.fggam.org/2015/07/praise-him-now-praise-him-then-praise-him-when-the-storms-come-again/

Be blessed too my friends! And remember, someone crossing your path today needs you.

Social Media: Inherit the Land, don’t buy the farm

chick friends

I have watched it play out so many times it’s ridiculous. And every time I’m shocked that people had the audacity to say such things as my stomach twists and turns for the person to which they said it to; because usually it’s someone who will take the cut and go on in life  because “that’s what people do.” It happened on the Facebook page of a young friend not so long ago when a “so called” professional tried to smash her dreams by insinuating she wasn’t qualified for a job she was enquiring about. My blood went to the boiling point in seconds. I wanted to lash out and give that woman a piece of my mind, but I knew I didn’t have much to spare. My solution was to private message my young friend and tell her that the professional which offered her advice not to seek the “highly qualified” position was an idiot and I encouraged her to chase her dream. For the record, she was qualified for the position because it was a position that she could apply for and then seek the training, I wasn’t adding to a pipe dream, she was qualified. There are just as many other illustrations about every subject matter out there where people will comment hurtful, maliciously under toned comments that tear at the fabric of people and feel that they are entitled to do so in the name of “friendship.”

If I post on a public website I can expect that people who thrive on making others feel less, wrong, unimportant etc. will comment. If you post it they will come. But on my social media page, where I am queen of that domain, I will not cut your head off, but I’ll cut your access and be no worse for the wear because it’s biblical.

I don’t know what the “social media” site was in Solomon’s day, but he had a handle on it when he wrote Proverbs 27:6 – Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

For some reason today I felt compelled to post on the need to self-assess your self-access.  Who has access to you and how do you feel when you’ve come into contact with them? Because she’s the ultimate bestie, I’ll use my friend Gloria as an illustration. When Gloria and I converse I always leave the conversation feeling better than before, she’s an encourager. Apostle Paul’s advice to the Thessalonians in 1 Thessalonians 5:11 – was Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.”

So as you self-assess or self-access ask yourself these questions:

Have you been comforted or discomfited? When someone was discomfited in the Bible they lost the battle after being attacked and were often times caught off guard. An attack of a ne’re-do-well often comes without warning. You posted something innocent enough and before you know it the conversation turned into a judgmental rant and stirred up all kinds of feelings in you and none of them were good. Pray and delete.

Have you been exhorted or exiled?  Are your friends invested in what you’re interested in or are your conversations one sided… and it’s their side? A real friend may not love all the things you love, but they love that you love it, or at least tolerate you while you talk about it. I won’t say you should delete this person, but I certainly wouldn’t recommend you investing in a one sided conversation. I would however recommend you search out Facebook friends who have a like passion. They’ll love listening to you and it may just open up doors to wonderful honest friendships that you never expected.

I have 1300 or so friends on Facebook and truthfully only interact with about 10%. It’s those 10% who have invested in me and I in them. They encourage me for the battles I face in life. The Lord told Moses in Deuteronomy 3:28 to “…charge Joshua, and encourage him, and strengthen him: for he shall go over before this people, and he shall cause them to inherit the land which thou shalt see.”

If Moses had a Facebook account he would have had a few million friends, but not all those were encouragers. When they originally set off on the journey it was the bad advice of a few of his social media buddies that had them wandering around 40 years. (Numbers 13:32) But Joshua was an encourager and in return God made sure he was encouraged too.

We don’t have 40 years to wander. Invest wisely in your time on social media and make sure your friends encourage you to inherit the land, not buy the farm.

Proverbs 27:17 – Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

Going off the Grid

off the grid

Some may or may not have noticed that my posts have been somewhat sporadic of late. Although family responsibilities have attributed to some of my time away, it has more often been an intentional time off the grid. I needed some time to reconnect with the creative side of me that social networking sometimes consumes. I’ve painted a little, gotten to know a girl named Miriam, worked on some book material, wrote a song, picked and grinned and just overall enjoyed the time…it was long overdue… and not yet finished.

In Matthew 14:22 it says “And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away.” Constrained meaning He had to force them to go.

Jesus had just lost His cousin and friend John the Baptist, He’d had compassion on the multitude and healed the sick, He’d fed 5000 with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fishes…. I’m exhausted just writing the words. He’d been through the wringer in His personal life and in the ministry and so had His friends. The day to day issues of our lives are much the same if you’re involved in ministering to people; there comes a time when you just have to get away. It’s unfortunate that I don’t have a mountain to steal away to, I have a kitchen table; so that has to do and it does. My grid’s not very big, so it doesn’t take me too long to go off the grid and get back.

Jesus’ grid must not have been very big either…

23 And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.

24 But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.

Jesus wasn’t gone very long until His friends were facing contrary times again. That’s life, is it not? We’re coming out of one trial and going into the next. There’s an occasional reprieve but they’re rare; granted most are minuscule  in comparison to the trials of other people, but they’re ours and it daunting none the less. It takes its toll on you emotionally and physically and above all spiritually. So what’s a gal to do?

Go off the grid for a little while, and not just 15 minutes or an hour. Find yourself some serious time, get your bible and gather your gifts… and allow God to minister to your soul. Gifts? Mine was a paint brush and canvas, a guitar and a computer. All things that I already had… God’s generally already given you what you need. Just go. Take the phone off the hook, or at best check caller I.D. You know the calls you shouldn’t answer!

As I said… I didn’t have a mountain or a hotel to go to… although that would have been nice! All I had was a kitchen table and it was very nice. I really didn’t even go off the grid, just to the edge of it away from the hoopla of life. You can do it! Let me know how it goes.

Is there such a thing as a couth checker?

I feel as though my blog should come with a disclaimer… “Warning!!! Mind not fully functional when written.” I was re-reading a blog I had written a few days ago after someone posted a comment on it, and my first thought was…. Wow… I’m glad they can read between the lines because the typos were ridiculous! The spelling was correct, but the grammar use was in need of help! Wrong use of verbs, missing words, etc. It was in dire need of a proof read before it ever hit the network. I wondered why the grammar check on Microsoft Word ® didn’t catch it; turns out it thinks sentences like “A pastor have never called me before” is correct English. Evidently so did my mind in the wee hours of Sunday morning. The proper use of “words” seems to be on my mind a lot lately. I’ve bit my tongue off a time or two lately to keep from sharing my mind at inopportune moments. Mostly with insensitive people who didn’t get the manners memo.

Icouths there such a thing as a “Couth checker?” Sometimes I need one too.  But for the sake of spiritual encouragement this morning, let’s assume you and I are okay in the manners department. That could change in a heartbeat if we’re surrounded by negative, ill willed people.

1 Corinthians 15:33 says – Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.

I guess that’s our Heavenly Father’s way of saying “Show me your friends and I’ll show you who you are or who you soon shall be.” But what about people we’re around in the course of a day for which we don’t have control of? Believe me, they influence us more than we realize, either negatively or positively. I’ve mimicked a friend at church who exclaimed to me one day “Jeepers Socks Shari, I don’t know,” so many times that it is now a favorite exclamation of my own. I don’t do it out of disrespect, I love it and him! It reminds me of a simpler time in life when the harshest word we heard on television was darn and it meant serious business. Now our kids are blasted with profanity from every direction, the teaching of manners is a thing of the past, and it has become common practice for rudeness to be socially approved. Jeepers socks! Have we no sense?

That’s why it’s important to flood our mind with goodness as much as possible. Good Christian friends, good Christian music, the Word of God, Preaching and Bible teaching. Keep a generous supply on hand! Put the Bible on your smartphone, carry a pocket bible or write it on an index card! Whatever you have to do to spiritually encourage yourself during the day or when you’re away from goodness and Jeepers Socks kind of people.

It’s Trash Day!

I'd be much more apt to do take out the trash if my cans looked like this!
If all trash were this pretty…

This morning is trash day in our part of the world. I actually put mine out last night, but every day should be trash day in the life of a child of God. We are inundated every minute of the day and night (or so it seems) with trash from the world around us; those who feel compelled to violate our space with their junk. Scroll down a social media page for more than 30 posts and if your thoughts are not violated in some manner, your friends are better than mine.  That is the number of posts on my page before I ran into a not so godly post. So you say… “Get rid of that friend,” (number 1 that was family) and number 2, I’m shocked at how many Christians post stupidity in the name of comedy. I will not however unfriend and offend a friend or family member because of a slightly off color post, there are lines they can cross where they’re gone like a bad sitcom. I want them to see my post and hopefully be encouraged! So what do I do with the trash I inadvertently ingest? It seems to fly out the window of my mind when I feed on the positive and encouraging things of life like the word of God, Christian blogs, listening to the gospel preached or music sung.

I get so tired of hearing Christians complaining that there’s nothing good on television, the internet or in their community entertainment. Where do you live?  For every 30th not so good post, there are 29 positive (in my social media world) it may vary in yours. So stop parking on 30. Television media may not be so user friendly but if you determine to only park on the positive you can find it… or turn it off, pick up the Bible or a devotion, plug into some Christian music and worship the One who is only good. And then when you hear that good word… share it. Don’t be the 30th.

Philippians 4:8

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.