Tag Archives: Job

Do You?

But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.  ~ Proverbs 1:33

The grey skies of November mess with my head even in the wake of the holiday season. Sometimes because of the holiday season. I seriously try to be honest with myself and struggle. Even though the truth is within me…the literal truth of Jesus Christ; I can still suppress the wisdom of God and allow depression, fear, anxiety to creep into my heart. Reading through Proverbs 1 this morning I found one of the countless nuggets of truth that surfaced and refused to let the clouds over power it. So I thought I’d share it with you. Perhaps you need it as well.

Do You Hear What I Hear?

Yes, that Christmas tune is now playing in my head, but it’s a worthy tune.

Do you hear what I hear
A song, a song
High above the trees
With a voice as big as the sea
With a voice as big as the sea

The voice of God can thunder or it can be as still as a whisper, and most usually it’s the latter. What I hear is the voice of God asking “Who’s listening?”

Are you the ‘whoso?’ Am I? Am I genuinely listening for the wisdom of God or am I waiting until He says what I want to hear?  And so I ask myself, why am I not listening? Mainly because I fear. I don’t fear death, I fear life. Dying’s easy. I have no control over that with the exception of how I take care of my body. And because I know that I know that being absent from the body is to be present with God, it’s not something I fear. But life. I struggle with it. It can get so out of control and I’m the queen of roller coaster living. Finances. Responsibilities. Accountabilities. Deeds undone. Those things make those November clouds and cold rains feel like a cloak of evil around me.

Yes… I’m a tad dramatic. My grandchildren don’t get that drama from anyone strange.

Do You Feel What I feel?

Do you feel safe? I honestly do. I know that God will not leave me nor forsake me in my hour of need! But the people of the world will. Though I have the comfort of the Holy Spirit, I don’t always feel comforted by people. Sometimes I’d rather avoid them too. A friend of mine struggles with depression far greater than I, but depression isn’t fun for anyone no matter the level. We spoke the other day about times when we’d rather not leave the house for any reason, no matter how joyous. It’s much easier to retreat inside my head and pretend that all is right with the world than to go outside and prove it’s not.

I don’t consider myself akin to Job in struggles but I understand his words when he wrote, “I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet; yet trouble came.” Job 3:26. He no doubt felt very overwhelmed. King David, felt overwhelmed and shared that thought in Psalms on 7 occasions. It’s why I felt the need to share that the Jesus Chick struggles too. For Pete’s sake if David can confess that he struggle, why cannot I?

It’s not the struggle that I want to share though, I want to share the process of victory. It’s usually not an immediate response from God that gives me peace and removes the dark clouds. It’s a conversation… You can’t hear if you’re not listening, and you can’t listen unless someone is talking.

Do You Know What I Know?

Even on days like today, when I struggle to get out of my Pajama’s and I don’t really care if the bed’s made, because I’d like to retreat back to it, I still know what I know.

I know that there is quiet from the fear of evil and it’s found in (1) the Word of God. (2) The Wisdom of God through prayer. And (3) the Way of God by hearkening to what He says.

If I’m brutally and shamefaced honest I have to tell you that sometimes I still don’t listen and the clouds continue to hover. But if I search His word and speak what I find He is faithful…

Ephesians 3:17-20 King James Version (KJV)

17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,

18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;

19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,

It’s Your Job

upside down chick

My ministry is diverse to say the least. Every day I am wife, mother, Noni and friend, Sunday’s I’m kind of a jack of all trades: Sunday School Superintendent, teacher, pray-er, marketing, and music. Monday–Friday I’m in Jesus Chick mode – the writer, Tuesday’s I’m Violin instructor, and tonight I’m devotion leader, Wednesday’s I’m youth group leader, Thursday’s I’m a student of guitar, Friday’s I’m a fiddle instructor and advanced fiddle student and Saturday I plan for Sunday. Any given day I can be scheduling music groups or planning events, I have two on the horizon this week! Wow… I just wore myself out. I said all that not to get a feather in my cap, but to say life is busy. Yours is no doubt the same but the list and purpose may differ. My question for you is my question for me as I go through the day to day “stuff”  –   Is this stuff fluff or faith.

I love it. After God dragged me for 5 years I finally got with the program, although it’s still not always clearly defined for me, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt for the first time in my life I’m exactly where God wants me to be. If only I could become who He wants me to be… He’s still working on that. I’ve gone through months and months of guilt about not having a “real job.” Because that’s who I’ve always been and how my life has been defined. I needed a title. I always wanted a job with a uniform because I thought that would be fun and official, I almost had one once… and about the time the company was going to order them and I was settling in to the new me, God yanked that job out from under me and said “Are you kidding?” You’d trade me for a cute shirt? What can I say… I’m fickle.

I’ve always considered my career as a place of ministry, that I would be a light in those dark places. And some of them were very, very dark. And I know I made an impact because many of the people I worked with still come to me for prayer or advice and what a blessing that is! And perhaps for you that is where you are, you are that light in that dark place. That’s a real ministry. But are you treating it as such. Is it fluff or is it faith. Fluff will pay the bills, but faith paves the way to eternity with eternal rewards and if you’re a child of God, it’s your real job regardless of position or title, or cute shirt you wear.

In Act Chapter 18 we find Paul being a tent maker. At least for a while he helped his friends, Priscilla and Aquila, make tents.

Verse 1-3

After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth; And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them. And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers.

After these things… it really was some “thing” if you read Chapter 17. In verse six it is said that they have turned the world upside down” and following that he was run out of a few other cities. There wasn’t any fluff involved in what Paul did. He continued in service to the Lord in the position he was in. Whether it be preacher, teacher or tent maker, he preached Christ and he stirred the people up.

That’s what I hope I do for you today. I hope I stir you up and cause you to realize that where ever you are it is your job to speak Christ. You may say, “But it’s forbidden.” That’s a tough place to be in, I’ve been there… and I was asked to stop. But somehow or another God paved the way for me to speak Jesus anyway. I’m not saying it will be easy, and it may take some creativity to bring it to pass, but it’s your job. You may also say, “But there’s nobody around.” If you’re reading my blog, you have a means of spreading the gospel… be creative! I want us to turn the world upside down!

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Digging for the Truth

chick pondering

Oh the irony! Or should I say iron. (See Job 28) I had just spoken at a retreat on getting past the hurts of the ministry and then WHAM! Somebody hurt me. What? That ain’t right!… well I should have been wearing a helmet, because that’s life.

So Friday morning, I got up and prayed and prayed and ask God to get me through this. My second conference of the week was in one more day and I didn’t want to go in with this baggage on my shoulder for fear I’d drop it on the platform and hurt someone myself. So God parked me in Job. That’ll fix ya! Talk about a man that experienced hurt and kept going.

Will Grahahm & The Jesus Chick! 🙂 His sermon title… “Open Your Big Stinkin’ Mouth!” I think I can do that 😀

Well here I am on the other side of those two conferences. Both blessed events. The first event was the Southern Baptist Pastor’s Conference where I spoke to the wives. At the same conference with Billy Graham’s grandson, Will Graham. How awesome was that! (see the goofy looking selfie) On the weekend of Billy Graham’s 97th birthday. I’d venture a guess in his 97 years Billy has experienced more than a few hurts in the ministry.

The second conference was in Franklin Furnace, Ohio and to say that Heaven came down and touched my soul wouldn’t begin to describe the weekend. Woman after woman came and told me words of encouragement of how I’d touched them. No one is ever as shocked as I am when God uses me in such a way.

Storms and hurts come. But Glory to God! they are not forever. And I know this because of digging in God’s Precious Word, for His Precious Promises and truth.

Job 28:20

Whence then cometh wisdom? and where is the place of understanding?

Reading through this chapter caused me smile. Great big. God’s wisdom always amazes me because mine is so limited. And yet I have but to ask and He provides. But it doesn’t stop there. Just as Job said, wisdom is buried like riches in ground, and if you want it, you’re going to have to work for it.

God doesn’t throw precious jewels above ground for us to stumble upon and gain wealth. If you want those riches you’re going to have to dig for them. Well… the same holds true for the riches of the wisdom of God. While it’s wonderful hear from God through preaching and teaching, God wants us to spend time in His word so that he can direct our paths.

Sunday morning’s the launching point! I’m ready to be in my own church with my own people and hear my own preacher. But I am so glad that this morning I have my own God! The Creator of Heaven and earth who put precious jewels in the Word of God that guide me to the answers that I need. Hurts come and go, troubles and trials come and go, but God is our Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, Healer of the broken spirit.

Job 28

Read it  for yourself!

But now… I get it God

chick winner

I wish I could say that quicker. Meaning that I wish that I got “it” (the understanding of God’s plan) earlier. I wish that when I was facing a struggle in my life back here, I could see “waaaay” out there and understand why I must go through what I’m going through. If I’d be honest with myself I usually know why; it’s because I’m stupid. I sin, I don’t wait on God, I design my life and then ask for God’s stamp of approval. That’s not how God works. God allows me to go ahead and play house with my life and then He comes in, moves all my furniture out and leaves me sitting with nothing and starting from scratch.

That wasn’t really the case with Job. He was a good man, he trusted God, he prayed and sacrificed, went to church three times a week, gave to the widows fund and bought Girl Scout cookies every time they came to the door. He did not deserve this treatment! I don’t’ want to make light of Job’s issues of life, lest I might face even one of them and crumble to my knees crying for mercy. What Job went through I can’t fathom, nor do I want to. But it still didn’t change the fact that you never assume you’re without sin.

In the final “but now” of Job’s life he gets it. He now understands that he was a part of a bigger plan, one that would still have us talking 4,000 years later. Is that not amazing!

Job 42:5

I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.

I get it God. Not only did Job get it, he gave it.

He gave the repentance necessary to heal his relationship with the Lord. Job was a righteous man, but he was not a sin free man. During his days of despair in the worst of it all, as his wife forsook him, his friends ridiculed him and his body was racked with misery, he questioned God. I would have too and likely worse than that. But in the end Job tells God, I’m sorry. And at God’s urging so did the three Awful Amigos.

And it was so, that after the Lord had spoken these words unto Job, the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath.

Job had spoken what was right? Complaining doesn’t surprise God, and He’s up to it. But self-righteousness, nope… He’ll have no part of it. Job’s sin wasn’t the complaining, it was that he didn’t think he’d sinned, and he had. The bible is clear that there is “None Righteous.” But we can get in that mode can’t we? We know we’re sinners, but we’re not as bad as “they” are. We’re quick to say when a sinner falls that “we seen it coming.” But when we fall… “why on earth did that happen!”

Maybe because of sin, or maybe because it’s a part of a plan “waaaay out there” that will have us standing in awe of the great things God has done.

I don’t like trouble, aches, pains or heartaches. But it is those very things that usually draw us to God and drive us to our knees acknowledging Who it is that’s in charge of the universe. Just as the abrasive sanding down of a piece of wood brings out the grain of artistic beauty, so does the troubles in our life. Everything we go through now has us in a position to encourage a brother or sister in Christ to hang on, they’ll make it too!

Job’s friends repented, but not until God called them out on it. Learn from Job, go first… God’s first place rewards are way better!!!

But Now… a little LIP service please

chick lip service

Job 16:5-7

But I would strengthen you with my mouth, and the moving of my lips should asswage your grief. Though I speak, my grief is not asswaged: and though I forbear, what am I eased? But now he hath made me weary: thou hast made desolate all my company.

It appears that the winner of the “But Now” award would go to Job. There is still a few more “but now’s” in his book and there is no doubt in my mind that we all feel like we’re suffering the afflictions of Job in our life occasionally. Although in reality ours are likely none to compare, but it doesn’t make it any easier to deal with. We still have issues and we still serve a God who cares as much about us as He cared about Job. Scary thought though, because look at what He allowed Job to suffer at the hands of Satan.

In these verses I can hear Job’s frustrations with everyone!

There are days when I get into a Job mode and would “like” to say, “But Now, just shut-up and  go away.” I’m tired of listening to Satan, I’m tired of listening to “negative nelliies”, I’m tired of listening to myself! I think that’s where Job had gotten to at this point. His friends had all but driven him to violence and he just wished they’d go away. But even if they went away, Job would still be there in his miseries. So what’s a fella to do?

In reading chapter 16 it’s another dissertation of doom, and Job is crying with voice and tears that he’s aged far beyond his years, he’s been forsaken by all and done nothing to deserve such agony. He has friends who are arrogant idiots  He feels as though he’s been trampled to death by giants and death will come as a relief, but he gives one last plea in verses 21-22,  “Will somebody please pray!”

O that one might plead for a man with God, as a man pleadeth for his neighbour! When a few years are come, then I shall go the way whence I shall not return.

Today may or may not be a “Job” kind of day for you; so you are either the prayee, or the prayer. But you’re one or the other. I think we’ll be shocked when we get to Heaven and God plays the movie reel of our life where we discover what we’ve been spared, or how we’ve been encouraged because of the petitions of a friend, or the prayer of an unknown. There are prayer warriors out there who utter the prayers of saints, they know not who, but  they know someone’s in need.

Prayer is a failed resource. I know it is in my life.  I’m the Job, I’m the crier, o woe is me! I know prayer warriors; I’ve called on them. But even that is a rarity with me because I want everyone to think I’m fine. Besides the “Dear God, I’m stupid,” theme song, my other one is “I’m fine.” It’s what I tell everyone who asks how I am because I either don’t  think they really care, or if they do really care and I don’t want them to know because I’ll then be their burden.

I may need to add a new theme song into the mix… “Are you crazy?”

Job’s friends did need to shut up and pray. It’s the one time we need to give lip service as children of God.

Listen, Intercede, Petition

Listen to what someone says.

Intercede on their behalf.

And petition God for their needs.

We’ll all need it someday, and someone will return the favor. Maybe someone you don’t even know.

But Now… Watch how you EAT (Dieters beware)

Chick way

Job 4:5

But now it is come upon thee, and thou faintest; it toucheth thee, and thou art troubled.

I have to wonder how many times in my life I’ve been as indifferent to people as Job’s “friend” Eliphaz was toward Job’s afflictions. Leading into his dissertation of demise he asks Job if its okay if they fellowship together (vs. 1) If we assay to commune with thee, wilt thou be grieved? Followed by, “It really doesn’t matter because I just can’t keep my mouth shut.” (vs 2) but who can withhold himself from speaking?

Lessons from someone else’s stupidity: (it doesn’t always have to be our own)

Eliphaz didn’t even wait to see of Job was up to a visit; in his arrogance he just plodded on believing that his presence and opinion were more important than this friend’s issues. Abraham Lincoln was quoted as saying “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” Eliphaz and Shari should be so wise; but he nor I will ever be found guilty of “overthinking” what we say. I do however hope that I have enough sense to glean a lesson from Eliphaz using the acronym E.A.T.

Do ENCOURAGE

Before you go to your friend… take your conversation to God.

I have a feeling if Eliphaz would have gone to God and said, “Lord, I’m just letting you know that I’m gonna go line Job out for You today. I have heard enough of his poor me story,” that God would have lined Elephaz out before he left. It’s not our job to “line anyone out” but we certainly take on that role sometimes. It may be our job to encourage or instruct, which Eliphaz acknowledged Job had done in his life when he said in verses 3 and 4 “Behold, thou hast instructed many, and thou hast strengthened the weak hands.Thy words have upholden him that was falling, and thou hast strengthened the feeble knees.

Don’t ASSUME

(Vs. 5) But now it is come upon thee, and thou faintest; it toucheth thee, and thou art troubled.

Eliphaz assumed that it wasn’t nearly as bad as Job was making it out to be saying “it toucheth thee” as if were a light thing. Those happened to be the very words that Satan used in Job 1:11; 2:5. It was no small thing that Satan had done! He had taken Job’s family, covered his body with boils, destroyed his wealth and left him with a wife that told him to curse God and die, and through it all Job stays faithful. But even if it hadn’t been “that bad.” What if Job just had just lost his job, or lost one family member? Who are we to assume that we understand the issues of that person’s life? Those issues may be far greater than we ever imagined and not evident on the surface.

Nor can we assume that the issues of their life was brought upon them because they’re reaping what they sowed.

Eliphaz asked Job (vss. 6-7) Is not this thy fear, thy confidence, thy hope, and the uprightness of thy ways?  Remember, I pray thee, who ever perished, being innocent? or where were the righteous cut off?

Our ways are not God’s ways. – Isaiah 55:8For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.

Do TREAT them as if it were You

The reason for the acronym, tomorrow that may be on our plate.

But now… what how you eat!