I’ve spoken of it on many other occasions: the fact that my upbringing causes me not to say what’s on my heart and mind because it’s seemingly impolite. Never mind the fact that it’s the truth. And especially never mind the fact that everyone else is intitled and can ram their opinions down my throat, in my face and stick it to my heart with a dagger, but I should smile and say, “thank you, have a nice day, please come again.”
Did that sound bitter? It’s really not. It’s just frustrating.
And so today as I study my way through Romans, God laid the deer image on my heart. I hesitated to publish my words. I could just use this as my own personal study; keeping my thoughts to myself rather than risking the chance at offending. But then I thought of Paul. Who was martyred for the Word of God and most of all Jesus Who died for me. Why should I keep silent about the angst in my heart and my desire to see the lost come to the saving grace of Christ. The fact that I want them in Heaven with me. The only way to do so, is through the word of God.
I had just heard Paul say, only a few verses before. “For
I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ.” Verse 16 of Chapter 1.
And so in love, I share my heartfelt plea to those who have made homosexuality their life style. And my honest opinion that the use of the rainbow for the pride agenda is a slap in the face of God, for which someone will stand accountable for.
The rainbow was a covenant symbol between God and man in
11 And I
will establish my covenant with you, neither shall all flesh be cut off any
more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to
destroy the earth. 12 And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I
make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for
perpetual generations: 13 I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token
of a covenant between me and the earth.
We don’t speak in that phraseology today. “Covenant” isn’t a
word you often hear. Even by definition, it doesn’t mean in man’s terms what it
meant in God’s. Because God’s covenant’s will stand the test of time.
This weekend is mine and David’s 39th wedding anniversary. It’s hard to imagine that those two kids who walked across my parent’s lawn on August 16, 1980, and said their vows have survived what we have. It’s not been easy, and it’s only been by the grace of Almighty God. Divorce would have been easier at times than fighting through the battles we did. But we made it because we both believe in the covenant of marriage.
That bow (rainbow) God placed in the sky was a promise that God’s wrath toward sin would not come through in the flood again. God’s grace would flow through Noah to a world who didn’t appreciate it and God would offer His Son, Jesus Christ, as atonement one day for all of mankind. It did not however, promise that judgment would not come. It will.
I am sad to say that I will not buy anything with a rainbow
on it. I just can’t. The pride agenda has tarnished that beautiful image of God
for me. But every time I see one in the sky, I think to myself, “They can’t do
that.” They cannot place a beautiful arch in the sky.” Not like my Lord!
And so today I took back the rainbow, and placed it over my
husband’s favorite critters. (although for him he likes them seasoned and
smoked on the grill.) For me I love the fact that they cannot change the fact
that nature knows and obeys God’s design.
And so I shar His word. In truth and love. ~ Shari. The Jesus Chick.
Questions? feel free to message me. Let’s talk about it.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God
created he him; male and female created he them. ~ Genesis 1:27
I find myself asking,
at what point do kids stop considering themselves an artist. And then I also
find myself asking, “At what point did some adults think they were?”
There was a social
media video going around the other day about the child of an artist who at the
ages of a two or three had his paintings selling for thousands. I rolled my
eyes, curled my lips and determined in my heart I wouldn’t be bitter. It was
just ridiculous to me. This kid was literally throwing paint on a canvas and
they are in awe of his talent. He may grow into an amazing artist, I won’t
begrudge him that. And I wouldn’t tell the little fellow his art was subpar.
But I would gladly tell the people paying thousands for it that their brain was
I’ve never been drawn
to too many abstract artist. Although some I have found very talented. I could
tell by the way they created it wasn’t about throwing paint on the canvas, but
there truly was a method to their madness. By color and design, it was good. At
least that’s my opinion. If you like abstract art, glory to God! I just don’t
I’m going from the
prospective of the greatest of all imaginations. God. He just didn’t throw
paint on the canvas and call it a sky. The colors worked together. When He
created man, He sculpted Adam and Eve in magnificence! Look at everything else
on earth. It’s beautiful. None of it looks like an afterthought.
So back to my
original question. When do children stop considering themselves to be artists?
I don’t know for certain, and I’m sure it differs, but I would wager a bet, if
I wasn’t Baptist, because we’re not allowed to bet. But if I was, I would wager
a bet that it’s after the first negative critical experience.
If you know anything
about me, you know I’m an encourager. I don’t criticize. Even if I think it. I
may offer a suggestion to help someone, but I know that when someone creates
something, they’ve usually done their best. And I can guarantee if they gave it
to God, He would put it on His refrigerator. But He may not hang it in a
It’s taken me 30
years to call myself an artist. Not because anyone has ever criticized me,
because that is the furthest from the truth. I have great encouragement in my
life. But I have no self-esteem. And of the few negative nellies that have
critiqued me, and they’ve just been a few. That’s all it took to squelch me
down. It’s what has kept me from making
a living at the gift God gave me.
I stopped taking
coloring serious. I still did it, but I didn’t take it serious. Most people
just stop doing it all together, although it has made a reprise in recent years
with the new adult coloring books.
Going deeper into the
realm of creativity causes me to explore why we are less apt to be obedient to the
leading of the Holy Spirit telling us to do something, to create something new.
Perhaps its because we fear that same critique of the world that we experienced
as children that caused us to no longer view ourselves as artist.
You might be an
artist of words, works, numbers. There are too many talents to list. What is
your gifting and is it something that you should be using for the Kingdom,
either for a living, or for a ministry. And why aren’t you using it?
How do we know if
it’s Refrigerator or Gallery worthy? All good questions. And worthy of looking
into the scripture to see what God says about who we are.
In His Image
He created us in His
image. With passions like Him.
hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.
He controls us and
creates specific desires within us. He created us to create. I personally don’t
know of a child who doesn’t like to create “stuff.” It’s engrained in us as
babies from making a mess to making what we think is the most amazing piece of
art ever! All six of my grands love creating, even though they may not all grow
up to be artist. Praise God, they don’t know that. They just want to create.
I believe that as we
grow that creativity takes shape into different amazing things. But creating is
not just an artistic endeavor. Creating is doing a new thing.
Isaiah 43:19 says Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will
even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.
God didn’t stop
creating, why should we. He went from creating things, to creating paths and
then using us to complete His work so that He can get the glory. I think people
and churches get stalemated when we lose our desire to create, or we just don’t
know the direction we should go. We’re satisfied with just showing up.
The church should be
an ongoing project of getting souls saved and that takes many shapes and
I’m a project driven
person. I need a project to feel purposeful. And I believe that’s how God
created us all. Like Him, we are made to create.
heavens above, rain down my righteousness; let the clouds shower it down. Let
the earth open wide, let salvation spring up, let righteousness flourish with
it; I, the Lord, have created it.
All of Heaven and earth work
This morning I picked up my
fiddle that I had had to put a new “E” string on because I broke the old one
tuning it. I hadn’t played it for a week or two and every string was out of
tune. It sounded awful. But when I got the tuner out and put every string in
tune, suddenly I felt like a musician again. That’s how life is. With artistry,
with jobs and churches. We get out of tune. We lose our passion and purpose. We
need tuned up. We need to find that creativity and desire to make something
wonderful for the Lord. A new coloring page.
My grandson Logan was
creating a Charizard. Which I don’t even know what is, other than it’s a
Pokemon character. But it didn’t matter. It only mattered that his hand created
God wants to see some of
your work, your best creative pieces. And there’s a reason that Christ said
that we should come to Him like little children. Because it’s with that mindset
that we feel free and welcome to create. Not judged.
Don’t squelch your creative
spirit. God may just be getting ready to do something amazing with you.
Not By Accident
This was His word for me
when I was ready to back out of His work again because I would be judged. God told me this. He said “you’re past the
age where you can throw stuff on a canvas and call it art. Be intentional. And
God doesn’t create things
by accident. He had purpose. So should
we. Don’t ever stop coloring. There’s something about that child within that
helps you to keep in check with Who’s really in control.
It never ever ceases to amaze me how God speaks to us through the Bible. It’s like sitting across the table from the Lord in the morning having a conversation over coffee. This morning there was a time of refecection and laughter. I’m frustrated with myself that I don’t dig deeper and know more. I prayed to hear from Him, I needed to hear from Him, no more or less than any other day, but I need to know what He’d have me to know for the day, and that lead me to Genesis 1. Thirty one verses… just like the longest month. All about days and nights and the fact that God is and always has been.
He spoke life into existence from the beginning. He spoke it and He controled it. When there was darkness He spoke light, and then gave it a time frame for which to shine. He placed the earth on its axis that even the slightest degree could cause cataclysmic disaster and He holds it just so. When the arrogance of the world He created alludes that they are in control… things happen. When my own worlds seems spiraling out of control, He reminds me that it is not. And I am humbled that the God of all creation speaks to me in such a manner.
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters and He continues to move through the Living Water today. Why is it so hard for us to imagine that God can resurrect the dead when He brought to life the earth from nothing, and it would still be nothing if God had not made it to be life. It’s not hard for me to imagine God moving over the face of the waters and in animation far greater than any Disney movie I see lightings and thunderings as from beneath the surface life begins to take form. That’s kind of how it was for me when life began to take form in this dead body of mine.
When I attended church on February 18th, 1996 (this is the weekend of my 19th birthday as a new creature in Christ!), it was that day that I felt the Spirit of God stir the Living Water in my soul. I heard Christ knocking on the door of my heart. I knew His voice and when He spoke my soul came to life. I fought that feeling for literally months, not wanting to confess outwardly that inwardly something had happened. I was a church girl… it should have happened years prior! But it did not. I knew in my heart there was a God, but I didn’t understand the concept of Jesus.
If we’re honest it takes very little imagination to believe that there is a Creator. Because the earth bears witness to it. But it takes humility to understand that the same God who created us, would die for us. That makes no sense. Scripture speaks truth when in Romans 5:7-8 it reads “For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
In a revival sermon the other night, Preacher Carroll McCauley spoke of the sermon that Peter preached on the day of Pentecost when 3000 got saved, and asked us to imagine the soldier who stuck the spear in Christ’s side coming forward and asking Peter, “Would Jesus save me after what I’ve done.” Yes… would be Peter’s response. The soldier who spit in His face would follow and asked again, “Would He save me?” Yes… would be Peter’s response. The man who drove the nail would come and ask, “Even me?” Yes would be Peter’s response. We can’t imagine a God like that…until we feel Him moving in our souls and hear Him speak… I did it for you too. Oh Glory to God what a thought this Sunday morning! He still moves upon the Water!
For several years my job has been grant funded positions of one sort or another. As another closes out there’s always a time of reflection and evaluation on the project, celebrations of success and accountability of failures by staff and grant partners. There have been times that I think the Federal Government has the opinion that they created and mastered evaluation; that theirs is the standard for which we are measured. I’m glad that’s not the case, I’ve witnessed their standard first hand. That’s not a dig… that reality. It’s not just the federal government, its man in general. We all have our own ideas, concepts and standards of what we deem good and often very good which is usually nothing more than substandard work, point A to point B thinking, let’s get’r done. As I read through the first couple of Chapters in Genesis this morning I was drawn into the very first evaluation phase of the creation project. Seven times from Genesis 1:1-31 God viewed the project and saw that
“It was good.”
The final time, only the day that He created man did he say that it was “very” good. He had created man and woman, “in his own image.” Vs. 27 reads
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
I have to wonder how far we have come from that image today. God created man and woman and sat them in the garden of creation, giving them dominion over all his work and I’m sure until Satan entered the picture that image was unmarred. I love to dwell on the thought of what the days following creation must have been like. Oh how I long for a time of innocence where the mind is not bombarded with wickedness and distraction does not set in to deny myself fellowship with God. Today the image of God is recreated in the new man upon the day of Salvation; we are the image of God that a lost and dying world seek, yet what do they see? If I look back on my day can I say “and it was good?” I fear my evaluation tools may even be a bit rusty. I mostly come home at night and collapse into a state of mindlessness, happy the work day is done. There’s not an evaluation. An honest evaluation of my life should be measured upon the life of Christ.
Did I serve as He served?
Did I seek time alone with God as He did?
Did I sacrifice as He did?
Did I sanctify myself as He did?
Did I study the scripture to show my self approved?
Did I share the gospel of Christ?
Those are the standards by which I am to evaluate my life. What did I do for the Kingdom? Just as God placed Adam and Eve in the garden with a plan: Verse 26 says “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” God’s plan was that they were to care take and enjoy His creation and walk with God. Although the plan varies from person to person, God’s still got a plan. We’re the caretakers of something and someone. Who and what has God planted along the pathway of your garden today? And at days end when you’re done tending to it will you be able to say “and it was good?”
Seasons are one of my favorite things to write about. Every season of the year stirs an excitement in my soul; the seasons of life not always so much. We arrived at the beach this week just as their season was changing. The tourist were dwindling down to a few; I could count 30-50 people at any given time on the beach directly in front of our hotel. The shops had marked down merchandise and many had even closed down. It was a perfect season for us because the cost was much less and the crowds were gone. We enjoyed an evening on the beach with just a few other people milling around taking in the last of the summer waves.
And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
And it was so…
The lights in Heaven that men are so curiously entertained by have not just beauty, but purpose and names.
Psalms 147 says “He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names.”
God asks of Job in 38:31-33 asks the questions…
“Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion? Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons?Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth?”
Who but God can do those things? And if we believe that God can control the constellations, creation and seasons, can yet He not control the seasons of our lives?
They divide the darkness and light…
And thereby the beauty of the upper world blesses the world below. One advantage that we often take for granted in the country is star gazing. A clear West Virginia night sky is filled with countless stars that twinkle and dance across the Heavens for our entertainment. Just that little bit of twinkle can cause you in childlike splendor to break out in a rousing rendition of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” The same way that just a little twinkle of light on a dark day in our life springs joy in the soul; a glimmer of hope is all it takes to cause sadness and heartache to flee.
They bring the change of seasons…
In creation and in life as one closes out a new one is on the horizon, it is inevitable. We cannot extend our favorite season nor can we extend our favorite times in life; each are designed with purpose to usher in the next. My season is about to change… my current job ends and I don’t know what the next season has in store. I prayerfully ask God for mercy and a quick end of this season of uncertainty, but it’s yet to come. He seldom rushes seasons…
Are you in a season of uncertainty? Perhaps you’re in a season of harsh winds and weather? I encourage you as I encourage myself, “Don’t lose heart Christian soldier… God’s got this.” Just as God created each star with purpose and named them every one so did He design you and I. There is a purpose in our season and a hope on the horizon that from this time God will spring forth a newness that will excite our soul.
If you were to describe life in just 8 words what would the words be? That was the question I posed to my teen class yesterday morning in Sunday School. Would those words change if circumstances changed and what might some of the words look like to describe God in the bad times? It was a great conversation starters! Word’s stir us. If I mention a word, like “fear” and ask you to think on it, it usually calls to remembrance a time in your life when you were afraid. The Word of God is greater than any word I could use, and has the power to stir your soul with ever jot and tittle. That’s God.
So when it comes to the Bible, why do you think we hesitate to read it? … not enough time, lack of understanding, conviction, you just don’t want too? I think that’s called rebellion. God created each of us in His image and for the purpose of having a relationship with Him. For me it’s an overwhelming thought sometimes to think that the Creator of the all the universe created me for Him. To have a relationship with Him in the manner that I have a relationship with my children. Parent/Child. But that’s how it is, and His word is the greatest and most easily understand way of communicating with Him and yet we take if for granted.
The beginning of our relationship with God began in Genesis
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:
It was as if God was saying – They’re going to look like Us, and they’re going to like the things We like. What kind of things do you and God have in common? Did you ever think about that? It’s amazing when someone who wasn’t raised by their parent discovers that there is commonness that can’t be denied; looks, mannerisms, likes and dislikes. It was amazing to think that God placed certain things in me that He too likes, it was like He had a purpose for them…
And theLordGod took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
I’m pretty sure the garden didn’t have to have Adam’s attention. It was self-sustaining and no doubt glorious. So why would Adam have needed to “dress” it? When we get dressed we put on things. What could Adam “put on” the earth to make it better? God had made Adam in His likeness, to take care of things. That was Adam’s purpose, He couldn’t improve upon what God had given him, but He could take care of it. It’s true with us as well. We cannot improve upon the things God has given us to work with, but we can use them for His glory.
Romans 13:14says “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” We’re not going to make the world better with man’s ideas. God put within us His ideas, but we often choose to ignore the very thing that would make us happy.
Remember my question to the kids “What eight words would you use to describe life, well I’d use the first eight in Psalm 100:3
Psalm 100:3 says – Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
He is the Creator of life.
Much of the trouble we have in life comes from the fact that we’re always searching for “something” or “something better.” We’re never satisfied with what we have. God gave Adam and Eve everything they needed in the garden, and yet still they chose to search for the one thing they could not have. Satan has a way of distorting what we think we want. People question why God gave man the free will to make a choice of sinning or not. It was the gift of free will that made love possible, otherwise it wouldn’t have been love; it would have been an order.
If I were to ask you what one thing would bring happiness to your life what would that be? Have you forgot the things you once liked? Have you talked to the One who created you? He has a way of reminding us.
And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
In the beginning, long before I was a glimmer in the eyes of my parents God made the stars in Heaven to glimmer creating us both with purpose. I love the scripture in Jeremiah 1:5 where God attests that “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.” Purpose was in place and I was some place, though I know not where. In my miniscule mind I often wonder if God and Satan had a conversation about our souls to which Satan said, “They only love You because they’re with You, send them forth on their own and they’ll not return.” God knew us before we were born, so we had to be there with Him. What if… and it’s a big what if, He sent us forth to prove to the arrogant and jealous Lucifer that there were those who would desire to be with Him at all cost. Those who would die in and for Him. And to those He gave purpose. I often do things without a thought as to the outcome. To every star in the sky God has purpose, as well as all other creation.
He made the stars also…
That big bang. I would surely think that it was loud when God began to speak things into existence. I seriously doubt that it was a little “phhhttt”… there it is. The earth. No, it was more like a sonic boom, only greater, larger and more explosive than any sci-fi movie special effect! And the stars also… the first bedazzler. They weren’t an afterthought, I doubt God had spare parts from the planets and said… Hmmm… what can I do with this? Ah yes, stars. No, they had purpose!
Declaring God’s Glory
Psalm 19:1 ~ The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
A clear night in the hills of West Virginia where dusk to dawn lights are scarce declare and reveal God’s Glory. It is said that in Calhoun County, West Virginia where I live we have the number 1 site for stargazing because of the absence of artificial light. There are many advantages to country life, and one is certainly that we see clearer images of Heaven. I believe that one of the key reasons people neglect to see God’s glory is because of the artificial light of Satan. Not everything that sparkles comes from God.
2 Corinthians 4:4 ~ In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
Take the path of Saul, God had to darken his path so that he could see the way. His focus had been entirely on the law. It made perfect sense to him. He could see right from wrong. But grace? That made no sense. Who was going to pay the price, someone had too? I’m not sure of the volume of God’s voice in Acts 9 when He spoke out of the sky on the road to Damascus; for some reason I don’t envision it as a “still small voice.” Saul dropped to his knees, blinded by the light. Some of us have a harder head than others. Saul eventually got the point, he got his eyes off his accomplished laws and got them on the Creator’s accomplished grace at the cross. The cross declares the Glory of God. He did that for us. That cross takes all the glory off of man’s vain attempt at self-righteousness. When Saul seen himself as he truly was, a murderer and a breaker of the law without justification he knew Who deserved the glory. God had created Saul with purpose, and when he finally figured out what that purpose was he shined!
God made the sun and the moon, and also the stars. They were of no lesser importance. Whether God speaks to us in a small circumstance or a thunderous happenstance, it’s no less significant. It is also no less significant if God speaks to Saul, who’s life as touched countless throughout the ages or a Pastor of a church of 22 in the hills of West Virginia. The Creator of the universe Who spoke the Heavens into existence and you also, did it with purpose; so that He could be glorified.
When did God get your attention? Was it a still small voice, or a loud thunderous clap! It’s important to remember. God marked the birth of Christ with a star in the Heavens; markers were important throughout the Bible to remember a place, a time and the significance of it. It usually was followed by a change of direction or a purpose exposed. In the scope of eternity your purpose is a starring role that can be filled by none other than you. Make the most of it today!
Writer, Speaker, Singer… but most of all, Servant of Jesus Christ