Tag Archives: God’s design

What to do when you’re feeling Down

moodI almost laughed out loud when I read David’s Psalm. I so got it. It’s what happens when an optimist has a down day, or perhaps several down days. There is no doubt that I’m a glass half full kind of gal, but even we have days where the cups looking  a little empty and there’s not a coffee pot in sight. Yes, that’s what my joy cup is filled with. That orange and white bag of pure goodness called Duncan Donuts! Life will get you down and it’s not a time to let go of your sunny disposition at the hand of a joy snatcher. They’re out there ready to steal your joy, suck the life out of your day and drink the last drop of liquid sunshine. So what can you do to get your joy back?

Let’s take a gander at what King David did.

HE COMPLAINED

Psalm 77

Vs. 1~ I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice; and he gave ear unto me.

Pray and believe God listens. The first thing Satan will tell you is that God doesn’t care about your trouble. Yes He does and Satan’s a liar, move on. Even if life doesn’t get better for a while you have to trust God. Listen to David’s complaint.

Vs. 2-10 ~  In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord: my sore ran in the night, and ceased not: my soul refused to be comforted. I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah. Thou holdest mine eyes waking: I am so troubled that I cannot speak. I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times.

God’s okay with a complainer. From God’s vantage point our problem has a beginning, middle and end. He knows them all, but He understands that we don’t. God doesn’t expect us to be a super saint, that’s why He put the illustrations throughout the bible of real people like David who made huge mistakes, who had huge troubles and huge enemies and God delivered him, even after he whined.

HE COMMUNED

 I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search. Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will he be favourable no more? Is his mercy clean gone for ever? doth his promise fail for evermore? Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? Selah. And I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High.

David complained but he finally got to the realization that “he” was going to have to get over it. When he communed with his heart. This is my infirmity he said. This is not God’s problem, God doesn’t have problems. I have to get over myself and realize that God’s got me covered. Just as David did we can complain or we can choose to move on and allow God to do something amazing in us. But He can’t do that if we’re stuck in the mire of complaining. We have to search our spirit and find that happy place that will allow us to pull ourselves up out the mire and start afresh. It’s when taking three steps back is a good idea. Look at what God has not only brought your through but the examples He set before us.

HE COMPILED THE VICTORIES

Vs. 11-20 ~ I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonders of old. I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings. Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God? Thou art the God that doest wonders: thou hast declared thy strength among the people. Thou hast with thine arm redeemed thy people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah. The waters saw thee, O God, the waters saw thee; they were afraid: the depths also were troubled.  The clouds poured out water: the skies sent out a sound: thine arrows also went abroad. The voice of thy thunder was in the heaven: the lightnings lightened the world: the earth trembled and shook. Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known. Thou leddest thy people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

David got into the word of God and looked at the victories God had won in the lives of His people. Seriously, what does our problems look like in comparison to Moses and the children of Israel being chased by Pharaoh’s army? Facing 40 years in the wilderness? David had the Old Testament, we have the New Testament.  Look at the victory won for us on the cross; the Holy Spirit dwells within our soul and encourages us from within to go on, God’s got us covered. We have so much more!

Yes, we’ll have bad days and we can complain, But Commune with the Spirit of God and Compile your list of things that God has brought you through before. And move on! Let God do something so amazing that you can’t even comprehend it!

That’s my God! I’m headed back for another cup of liquid sunshine to get this day started.

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Should I go, or should I stay… a leadership lesson from Jotham

chick plan

I’ve all but stopped listening to the news… it merely leads to frustration. And my ever so up to date husband gives me regular updates on his frustrations. I really am not one to say that’s it’s my way or the highway on who’s elected to office. I fully believe that no one gets in without God’s stamp of approval. That being said, just because God let them into office doesn’t mean that He allowed it because He agreed. Sometimes we get what we ask for because God needs to prove a point. I think we’re living out the “point.”

I spoke over the weekend at a Women’s retreat in Lexington on women in leadership. A great study on Miriam and a joy to expound what God had spoken to my heart over the weeks of preparation for that event. One such quote that I used from an article on Bible.org was profound…

Miriam’s problem is one that I think is very easy for women to fall into, and it’s one we have to be alert to guard against. We must be content with the influential role that God has given us within the framework he has instituted. Do you hear that? That’s really important! When we make a play for power we can often lose influence.

So what happens when we put people into positions that they were never mean for? When I’ve been put into those positions it usually lead to disaster! As I read through Judges 9 this morning I found a follow up thought to my leadership study.

Judges 9:7-15

And when they told it to Jotham, he went and stood in the top of mount Gerizim, and lifted up his voice, and cried, and said unto them, Hearken unto me, ye men of Shechem, that God may hearken unto you. The trees went forth on a time to anoint a king over them; and they said unto the olive tree, Reign thou over us. But the olive tree said unto them, Should I leave my fatness, wherewith by me they honour God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees? And the trees said to the fig tree, Come thou, and reign over us. But the fig tree said unto them, Should I forsake my sweetness, and my good fruit, and go to be promoted over the trees? Then said the trees unto the vine, Come thou, and reign over us. And the vine said unto them, Should I leave my wine, which cheereth God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees? Then said all the trees unto the bramble, Come thou, and reign over us.  And the bramble said unto the trees, If in truth ye anoint me king over you, then come and put your trust in my shadow: and if not, let fire come out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of Lebanon.

The Olive Tree – Filled with the oil that would be used in the lamp of God, in the tabernacle, sacrifices and the anointing of the kings, priests and prophets. Why would the olive tree dessert such a useful station in life to be king of the trees. That is not the purpose for which God designed it. And why should a man or woman leave the station in life that God has designed for them, the one that brings great joy into their life, to serve elsewhere? I had to ask myself that this morning… my heart was quick to answer.

The Fig Tree – A bearer of sweet fruit that would nourish the souls of many that passed by. Why would the fig tree desire to be King and leave hungry souls in want? I know I just spoke to my heart… did I speak to yours? Have you wondered if you are in your intended place?

The Vine – Another emblem of a good and purposeful plant. The fruit of that vine cheered not only men but God! If it did not fulfil its intended design, God would be sad. I truly don’t want that laid to my charge.

I cannot control when men and women of power get put into those positions out of the will of God. I can only pray and vote with godly wisdom and discernment. And pray again…. And again… and again. We need God’s people back at the helm of this nation. But as for my role in life. I need to be what God designed me to be.

Shari… speaker…. Singer… lover of God… Sharer of the gospel.

The Very First Ministry Created on Earth… are you a part of it?

Genesis 2:15

 And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.

The first ministry on earth. Adam was placed in a location and given the job of taking care of what God had created; and so it continues in the year of our Lord 2014. It seems pretty simplistic, and yet for many it is nowhere on their list of priorities, or if it is, it falls just shy of taking out the trash. They do it because it’s necessary, but not enjoyable.

I don’t for two seconds believe that’s how God intended it. I believe that as Adam tended to creation he did so with joy in his heart and a desire to serve and please the Creator. It should be the same today, but the world gets in the way and we lose focus of His design. We were created to take care of the created… each other.

As a child in the hills of Braxton County, West Virginia, on my Great Grandmother Duffield’s property, we had what we dubbed “The Moss House” in the woods. It was a moss covered piece of ground in the thick woods where we would gather and make “rooms” by moving the moss into different locations. I thought it was an exclusive idea of my group of cousins, only to discover in a conversation with my older sister years later, that they thought it was their idea. Truth be told my mother probably played the same game. Ministry is much the same. We all think we’re creating something new, but the truth of the matter is we’re just tending to what God created. But it’s fun to be creative with it!

So as our ministry team at Victory Baptist Church begins to refocus on “that place in which the Lord placed us in 2014, my desire is to motivate and then move out of the way by meeting with our youth leadership team and ask them

What Did God create us to do in this place in which He placed us?

Below is a 7 point outline using the acronym C.R.E.A.T.E.D. to sum up our role and motivate one another as leaders in the church:

  • Challenge ~ There’s two ways to look at a challenge. It’s a task– The challenge of how far can we go with this ministry, and it’s a trial – There are challenges that we face in the youth ministry, the greater the challenge, the greater God will be glorified. What’s the challenge?
  • Results ~ There nothing like one great accomplishment to give you the desire for another. It’s how we’re made. But in order to have accomplishments there has to be goals set. What are our ministry goals?
  • Enthusiasm ~ If we’re excited about what’s happening, it’s bound to rub off on the rest of the church. What is something you’d get excited about doing? Let’s do it!
  • Attitude ~ It’s your attitude not your aptitude that determines your altitude as someone so cleverly said. What attitudes are helping, and what attitudes are hindering?
    •  Attitudes we deal with in the ministry –
      • Fear (I’m afraid if I do this… this might happen.)
      • Pride (I don’t want to fail in front of people)
      • Doubt (of ability or agility on both ends of the age spectrum) Think Joash who became King at Seven, and Moses who didn’t get called until he was 80. Age is not an excuse for not serving.
  • Transformation – When things get stale, throw a little change in the mix, and we have new motivation. Our church as has had a major game changer this year. We are Pastorless… not leaderless. There have been some great transformations in leadership simply because change happened. What can we do different?
  • Endangered – Telling someone that a critter has become endangered will create a flurry of people coming to that critters rescue. Well, churches are becoming endangered… or at least solid, Bible teaching and preaching churches with leadership with a backbone. Please… come to our rescue and join the fight.
  • Dreams – Leaders are visionaries. Wanting to accomplish something bigger. If you could dream of anything at all, the wildest craziest dream ever for your ministry. What would it be? Let’s do it.

We were created in the image of God with a design by God for our work; we weren’t created to sit idle. So I have to ask the question… What part of the garden did God give you a desire to tend and what ideas did He plant inside of you about it?

Abbreviated Faith

I am forever looking for a shorter way to get from point ‘a’ to point ‘b’, whether it be in a car trip or on a project, there has to be a shorter method. This has often lead to disappointing results. A well-intended GPS route ended at a cow path in the middle of Marshall County, West Virginia and a four hour delay; craft project short cuts have ended in disaster; and my mandolin playing skills have suffered because I’ve found an abbreviated version of chording using only two fingers instead of four. What can I say? I’m good at finding shortcuts! But there is one regard for which I do not want to fall short on and that is my service to the Lord.

Romans 3:23 says “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

We all fall short, I’m not expecting perfection; nor should you. But there are some expectations we should have.

We should expect Glorification of the Father

Philippians 1:20

According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death

As I said, I know I’ll fail. I’ve barely started the day and my thoughts went places they shouldn’t have gone, I’ve been frustrated about circumstance that I know God has control over, and yet, I’m still expecting God to receive glory from me today. I expect it because I’ve seen God use me time and time again undeservedly all because I’m willing. Not worthy, just willing. So today you and I should both expect with great anticipation that God is going to open up a door that will allow Him to receive glory because we’re willing to walk through it. Amen? Amen!

We should expect Grace of the Father

Acts 12:11

And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews.

I’ve lost count of enemies and friend-imies. Satan will use people that you would have never expected to come against you to tear you down, and often time in the church! I’ll be shocked one minute and then in my heart I have to say “yep, I should have seen that coming.” And sometimes I’m my own worst enemy. But the great thing is, I serve the God of all grace! I’ve been delivered so many times that I, like Peter, can say, “Yep! The Lord did that!” Otherwise I’d have been in a pickle! Don’t be shocked by grace, expect it! Not in arrogance but in the humility that if we stay on Faith Road, we’ll get to the destination that God intended. Which brings me to my final point.

We should expect Guidance of the Father

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

Nothing in our life catches God off guard, as a matter of fact He may have put something in our life that we think is going to be our destruction and it ends up being a great blessing. Take a look at the life of Job. God set him up! Satan did not come up with the idea to attack Job; no, it was the other way around!  And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job.” (Job 1:8) So what do you do when God is the one Who has you between the rock and the hard place? You trust that God is the Rock, and you’ve been guided to the hard place for a purpose. You expect what God expects, Peace.

I don’t know what exactly is in store for Shari. But I know Who knows.  So today I have some great expectations, because I serve a great God! Keep serving! child of God. There’s no short cut to God’s design for our life. Live with Expectation!