Tag Archives: love

The Plan’s in Place

I don’t know who it was that posted on social media last night that they were glad Christmas was over because it was highly overrated. But I remember they were a saved person, and I remember the frustration in my mind and the desire to get in the flesh and comment. Not in anger, but in God’s rebuke that it wasn’t a very good message to send the lost. But then I remembered… I wasn’t God. And I didn’t know the circumstances. And so I scrolled right on off Facebook and onto something else.

But this morning that post is still on my mind. And I found myself saying, I’m glad Christmas is over too. But not for the same reason. I’m glad it’s post-Christmas because I have I can refocus on the message of Christmas. “Redemption!”

Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for He hath visited and redeemed His people;

Luke 1:68

I don’t know why it would surprise me when God’s people of today miss the message of Christmas. After all, God’s people of that day missed the first message! They’d been waiting for the Redeemer, but He didn’t come like they’d expected. They expected a King in all His royal pomp and circumstance! Not the baby of a lowly Jewish girl. Nor did many of them expect that He would die on a cross, crucified by their own. But He did.

When He died, I’m sure many believers thought, “What a letdown. We believed He was the Messiah…”

Christmas for many is just that, “a letdown.” We want the pomp and circumstance of the holiday, the tinsel and perfect family memories and they rarely ever measure up to our expectations. This year at our house was a little different than most years, we are all a little more grateful. I was grateful I had them, and they were grateful they had me. We laughed and carried on like a family that truly enjoyed the company, because we did. A heart attack and open heart will do that to you. But not every year has been like that.

Today, December 28, 2018 is three days past the celebration of Jesus’ birth. Post-Christmas. Just like it brings to mind the post-crucifixion after Jesus died. I’m ready to refocus on the message God sent me to speak! Jesus saves. He didn’t come to fix this world. That’s why Christmas gets messed up and that’s why families continue to be messed up. He came to give us eternal life and a perfect world to come. Glorrraaaaay that makes my heart happy.

In the corner of my living room I’ve redone the little pencil tree that was decorated for Christmas and made it a Valentine’s tree. L.O.V.E. My main focus in 2019 is to show the love of Christ to more people. I want to help them understand that there is hope in the name of Jesus and even when things don’t go to plan in this world, there is a world to come that we can anxiously anticipate without worry or regard as to whether or not it will measure up because the word of God says

But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. ~ 1 Corinthians 2:9

All we have to do is love Him. And He is going to take us to a world where there is no such thing as disappointment. That’s an awesome message and reminder for us as we go into 2019 that God’s got a plan, and we need to make sure us and everyone we know is a part of it!

We’re Going to Have to Get Better

C.S. Lewis said “He (God) loved us not because we’re lovable, but because He is Love.”

Love has been a matter of my heart for a while. Mainly because I see the declining of it across our nation. Of course in the political arena, and even though it’s worse than ever, it’s still something we’ve come to expect with the nature of differing opinions. But when it comes to Christians, there should not be differing opinions. We can have separate church doctrines, but in the matter of Jesus, one way and one way only, and His love, it’s not up for debate. And yet, the evidence is lacking that the church fully believes the word of God.

Salvation’s Security

I will not argue why I believe in eternal security. I know what I believe and why I believe I, and if you believe otherwise, I probably won’t sway your mind. But when it comes to salvation, there is no argument. You either are, or are not saved. The scripture is clear:

1 John 4:15-21

15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.

Romans 10:9-10 says  ~ That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

You either believe that, or you’re not saved. So now that we have that matter cleared up, let’s assume that you have the security of salvation. You now have the Holy Spirit, God Himself, dwelling within you.  And as we continue on in 1 John 4 there’s an evidentiary fact that should be viewed in every Christian’s life. Love.

Salvations Sincerity

16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

It’s not hard for us to conceive that God would love us. I mean really, what’s not to love right? But what about others. The enemy and the downright wicked. Does He love them too? Oh yes, enough to die for them just as He died for us, and though we hate to confess it, we know that our sins were by comparison the same level of unworthiness. But Christ took the sins of all upon His back on that cross of Calvary. We conceive this knowledge, but do we convey it?

Salvation’s Sheriff

The Holy Spirit. It’s the very first gift we receive when we become saved. What a joy! But it’s a new day and the conviction of the Holy Spirit is evident. We know when something’s not right in our life. And the only way to get right, to be made perfect is to repent and accept that what Christ did on the cross is enough for me, and everyone else in the world.

Even those I have a hard time tolerating.

What should never be evident in my life as child of God is found in the closing verse of Chapter 4.

17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 19 We love him, because he first loved us. 20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

There is no fear, nor hate in the child of God.

Fear is faithless

I’ve seen too many churches who rather than teaching the love of God, teach the fear of God first.

Romans 2:4 says OR despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the good of God leadeth thee to repentance?

It does not say that the fear of God will cause a man to repent. But rather the goodness of God. Perhaps we could say the “love of God” causes a man to repent.

Prior to my salvation I had enough conviction on my life to choke a horse. I felt the disconnection from God. And I believe if everyone’s honest, we’ve all felt it before we’re saved. We know we belong to Him, it’s rebellion that causes us to deny it. But when we experience His love as shown through the church, and a sense of belonging that can be found there, that’s when I felt the Holy Spirit move in my life in such a way that I said, “I need to be saved!” The preacher preached Hell, but the church showed love.

The word “hate” makes my stomach turn. Especially when I hear it used in the context of “I hate so and so.” And sometimes by Christian people. This ought not be. We need to remember that the person we’re hating needs to see Jesus. And there is no way under the sun they’ll ever see Him if we’re spewing words like that out of our mouth. There is also no way they’ll see Him if we using words that we know will cause hate in the heart of another person.

Christians should always take a stand for what’s right in the eyes of God. But in taking that stand we should do it in love and through the prayerful guidance of the Holy Spirit.

I know I’ve been guilty of not doing that.

If we’re going to make a dent in the lost of this world, we’re going to have to get better at loving people.

How Crazy is it?

The closer I get to Easter, the more my mind reflects on the cross. And the more I reflect on what God did that day the more I have to say that it’s got to be a crazy love that would be willing to do what Jesus did that day. When I look at the world we live in I think to myself “Why on earth would you have saved this wicked and rebellious generation?” For which I am one. I know my heart and how I can turn on a dime toward something sinful and ignore the Holy Spirit within in me that gives me more than enough support not to fall into it. And yet I do. And yet He still loves me. That’s crazy! But what’s crazier than His love is those who fail to accept it.

The Love of Jesus is Without Condemnation

While sin is not ever acceptable it is no less inevitable. 1 John 1:8 says If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” There is a difference between condemnation and conviction. Jesus will not condemn the child of God for the sins they’ve committed. That crazy day on the cross He died to cover every sin ever committed by His children. Is not that a worthy payment? Of course it is. Does that mean we can sin and not understand there should have been a penalty and yet may still be repercussions? Of course not.

If a store is robbed there is an earthly expectation of the penalty that freedom should be lost. If I hurt a friend without regard for them or our friendship I may lose that friend. But when I sin, regardless of the depth of the sin the penalty is paid in the eyes of God, and the relationship is restored the very second I turn to Him. That’s crazy love, but it’s how He works.

Sin is without condemnation but it is not without conviction. The Holy Spirit reveals to the child of God when sin is in the house, we know better. We may still fail but He has given us the power within us not to. If we fall into sin it is our choice.

The Love of Jesus Cannot be without Declaration

Matthew 10:33

But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

Professing Christ is more than just saying that you know Him. Satan knows Him. The demons of Hell know Him, but they are not children of God. I knew Him in my head from the time I was a child until 1996. But not until I declared Him as Lord of my life and trusted in Him to save me did I know Him in my heart. It was then that I truly felt the Holy Spirit guiding me and putting that conviction upon me when I wasn’t going in the right direction. It was also when I began to declare my love for Him. Even when the world thought I was crazy.

My friend Doyle Ballengee said it best when he said “Go ahead and call me a fanatic, when you or someone you love gets a bad doctor’s report, you’ll be looking for a fanatic.”

That’s how I feel about my declaration of love for Jesus. Go ahead and say I’m crazy when all I want to do is talk about my Lord and all that He’s done in my life. Because when your life gets turned upside down but this old world, someone as crazy as me can help you set it up aright by showing you how Jesus did that for me.

I know it sounds crazy to the world when I say that Jesus died for me. Because the world wouldn’t give you the time of day if it cost them anything of any magnitude. But Jesus will give you more than you could ever imagine in return for your declaration, acknowledgement of Who He is. God.

The Love of Jesus is Not without Expectation

I can hear the naysayers now, “Oh, there it is. I knew you had to do something.” No, you can sit on your toosh and do absolutely nothing and still make it to Heaven. Jesus paid the price once and for all at the cross. All who accept, believe and declare Him as Lord, that He died on the cross, rose again the third day, and ascended to Heaven to make intercession for you will be saved. But if you want to be all you can be for Christ, and have the reward of His glory, on earth and in Heaven, there is an expectation.

I sat at a table with three friends this past Wednesday, each with their own story of coming to the knowledge of Christ in their lives; four very different people with one common bond…Christ.

  • One came to Christ because she grew tired of being with people, and yet alone.
  • One came to Christ because the religion she had grown up with let her down when she needed it most.
  • One came to Christ when He realized the law wouldn’t save anyone.
  • And this one, me, came to Christ when I realized there was no peace in this world without the Prince of Peace. And “religion” wasn’t the same as a “relationship.”

Each one of us now serve Christ and desire to serve Him greater because He did that crazy thing on the cross.

How crazy was it? He was beat until His body was unrecognizable and said to have looked like hamburger, He was spit upon, and ridiculed, at the height of His pain had a crown of thorns rammed on His head and was mocked as King of the Jews. His earthly mother sat at His feet with her friends and wept for the Son God had allowed her to give birth to. Some of His final words were “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34 in part) That’s crazy because it’s true.

He did that for you. Have you experienced His love? Declare it and share it! He is worthy.

He’s So Easy to Love

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I’m So Easy to Love

That was God’s word to my soul this morning. I make it hard. I allow the world to invade my mind with notions of Who God is and it’s never good. It’s always words like, judgmental, harsh, angry… words that drive me away from Him. Who do you think is whispering those words? That’s a no brainer, and yet I listen. Satan loves us to think that God doesn’t love us. So this morning as I talked to God, our conversation went something like this:

Lord, thank you for patience. My disobedient heart, selfish ways and walking in disbelief have surely broken Your heart.

To which He replied:

Not really Shari. I see your whole heart. Remember yesterday’s art? I know the fabric of your heart in every detail. It’s why I’m patient with you. I want you to come to me with your whole being, so I can bless you with Mine. Every time you hold back, I do too. It’s what a Holy God does. Like the Garden of Eden… had I continued to give Adam and Eve everything after the fall, they’d have stayed in that sinful, painful state. They’d never have drawn to me. And I would have had to turn my back on them. I loved them. I created them, and I created you. Tap into what I created in you. It’s a well down in your soul filled with my goodness. You’ve never fully given yourself. Do it, and see what happens. Your eyes could not contain what I have in store. I love the mornings we spend together, when you and I get to know each other better. Satan hates it.  He and I used to have those mornings too until he forsook me. That did break my heart. I created him… I loved him. But I wasn’t enough. That’s what breaks my heart. Not that you fail, although that hurts; but I know understand that battle. I was there. It’s not easy. What breaks my heart, is that I am not enough. The God of all creation, isn’t enough. I need you to understand. I am easy to love.

And that’s when it the conversation stopped. He knew I needed to grasp that He was easy to love. I needed to stop buying the worlds lies that God is angry with me, and tired of my continual failures. He understands human nature, for which I need to repent; but deep within us is not only a well of creativity for living, but a desire to know He who created us. If we’d tap into that we’d understand why He is easy to love.

God loves what He created. Just like He created it. Maybe you too needed to hear that this morning…

Don’t Wear Someone Else’s Armor

armor

He was the runt of the litter, his brother said he was an arrogant, bad hearted, rubber necker and the enemy said he was as threatening as a stick. That’s the “Shari version” of I Samuel 17 as David is about to face off with Goliath. How on earth did he get there? Nobody had any faith in him, his Dad gave him the worst job on the farm and used him as an errand boy to find out what the real soldier boys were doing. I love any story of David, but the history of his battle with Goliath is no doubt in my top three favorite reads. By all accounts of his peers, he shouldn’t have been there. The sum of who David was is written in the words of Abner in verse 55:

And when Saul saw David go forth against the Philistine, he said unto Abner, the captain of the host, Abner, whose son is this youth? And Abner said, As thy soul liveth, O king, I cannot tell.

O king, I cannot tell… Abner had no clue who David was. But God did. The day that Samuel anointed David to be King in Saul’s stead, obviously his brothers took no note of it. Does that not strike you odd? It did me. If someone had come to my house and said one of my siblings was going to be President one day, I think I’d take note of that day. Abner wasn’t there when Samuel anointed David, so he’s excused of his ignorance, but not his brothers, they should have known there was something special about David. David was the forgotten anointed, the waylaid leader, the king in coming and nobody too note… except God!

Scripture is clear that God does not look on the outside but on the heart of man. That scripture too was from the anointing of David. Samuel looked at David’s rugged big brothers and thought surely they were king material. But king material is more looks, its being in touch with those you serve. David shows up on the battle field and hears Goliath mouthing his country and his blood boils!

That’s how I feel about America. That’s how I feel about my church. That’s how I feel about my family and friends. I take it very personal when someone is attacking my people. It’s even worse, when it is my people who are on the attack.

Goliath wasn’t one of David’s people. He was flat out the enemy. His disdain for Israel was to be expected. But David’s brothers… They may not have been mouthing Israel but they weren’t defending her either and they were mouthing their brother who was defending Israel. Unbeknownst to the brethren their little annoying brother had a King sized heart that got him noticed by the King of kings.

God’s not looking for a king but He’s still in the business of noticing hearts.

I have days, multiple lately, when I think my work is in vain. I feel like I have shown up on the battle field of life and one of my people called me an arrogant, bad hearted, rubber necker because I was on their playing field. (For the record, nobody has) that’s just how I feel. I talk a lot… and I’ve been known to say “Is there not a cause,” and be frustrated when nobody was taking off Goliath’s head.

And this morning I heard through God’s word… “I see you. Yes, you annoy the brethren. But I know your heart and I know that you want to help. But you need to spend more time defending the fold before you face the giant.”

I don’t know exactly what that means. But I know in my heart that there was a day when God anointed me to do what I do, and some took note, and some didn’t. I have a King sized heart because the King gave it to me. I can’t shut it off like a water faucet, it flows freely. Unfortunately so does my mouth.  All I know right now is, I have some rocks in my pocket but I need to be careful about where I’m throwing them.

My lesson today was this:

  • God knows my heart and sees my frustration, the people need to see the victory, not the complaint.
  • When I throw stones, I need to make sure it’s at the enemy and aim well.
  • Don’t wear someone else’s armor. God created me just the way I am. Vocal.

How to Survive a Marriage

chick marriage

Last evening I sat across the table from a preacher friend at Bearfork Bluegrass. As he waited for his hotdog to cool down we talked about love and life. Eighty three years old and he just lost the love of his life last fall; I’ve met few people in my lifetime who loved their spouse the way he does. Alzheimer’s took her to meet Jesus, but he travels on alone down here, and while he does he’s learning to play banjo! That’s right, 83 and taking beginner banjo lessons, I love this man’s enthusiasm for living and I love his passion for living out the gospel.

I heard it once said that marriage is not so much the Love boat as it is a battleship. That’s a true story. I haven’t had 35 years of wedded bliss, I’ve loved David for 35 years, but he, nor I have always liked the other. I’m just being real. So why did we stay married? Because when I married him I committed my love to him till death do us part; somedays I thought one of us might kill the other and death would happen, but the next day was better and so it’s been our story. Life’s not always easy…

In today’s society marriage is like a car purchase and the commitments about as long. Before they’ve invested any money into the principal payment, they’re cruising the showroom for a new model, and usually one with a higher payment. Mine’s a 1980 model with a lot of miles. The paint job needs touched up and the gasoline in my tank is now a half dozen different vitamins and a few Tylenol each day, that’s what I run on! But I’m blessed.

The preacher reminded me of that last night when he discussed his counseling method for couples desiring his marrying officiation. He told me he required four sessions before he’d agree to conduct the ceremony. One each for the bedroom, living room, dining room and kitchen. That’ll preach! I told him, he said it did. He also began his sessions with the scripture in John 2:1-11

And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.

Three things hold true on why my marriage has survived.

1. Jesus was invited into the Marriage

Although Jesus was a late invitation into mine, He was still invited into my marriage. How much wiser had it have been if He had been an invited guest at the wedding? But having a Christian foundation from my childhood and two parents who lived out the Christian marriage before me, I held onto what I’d been taught until Christ became a guiding factor in my own life. Once Christ was invited in I realized that we are all sinners saved by grace, and grace is what we afford those we love. Praise God it’s been afforded to me many times down through the years.

2. I Celebrate servitude

When Jesus changed the water into wine only the servants knew the truth. Everyone else drank of the result. I love being a wife. I love cooking dinner and doing laundry and sweeping the floor dozens of times a day from muddy work boots and such. (Said no woman ever) But I do love serving my husband, and if that’s the things I need to do to make his life better, then I’ll gladly do it. Thirty five years have taught me to appreciate the things David does. He provides for our family, he works hard and he has a servant’s heart for volunteerism. We both love serving people. It took me a while to learn that an attitude of servitude is what makes a happy home, but it’s truth.

3. I Listen to Jesus

Marriage didn’t come with a manual but it did come with a book, the Bible. As I read and studied the scriptures the very things I needed for the very day I needed it was there. David and I may not have always shared love letters, but Jesus and I did. His word reminds me every day of how much He loves me. Jesus never brought up my past, He only spoke of this day and the future. And that’s how I’ve loved David. I love him today and look forward to the future. I reminisce on the goodness of the past, but I bury the hard bad times like Christ buried my sins. Oh sure, Satan tries to bring them up, but I plant a flower in that ground, say “rest in peace” and move on!

 

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3 Habits of the Heart to grow in Faith

chick pondering

See a need, fill a need

Galatians 6:10
As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

The world is certainly filled with people in need, and so is the church house. The bible is clear that it is the responsibility believers (who God has empowered with ability) to fulfill the needs of certain people. Now… the sad part of this story is, there are people who take advantage of good hearted Christianity and cause us to question whether or not we are lending a hand or enabling someone who could have taken care of it themselves. I could tell you dozens of stories from my own church of less that reputable people staging themselves for assistance. But that’s where spiritual discernment comes in. A twenty year old begging at the door of the church may need help with diapers for her baby, but she also needs help learning to provide for her family and most importantly needs the Lord in her life. A hand out should always be a hand up. I have more concern over the needs of the elderly. Most of which will never darken the door of a church, will not ask for a hand out or a hand up but will suffer silently because that’s how their generation was raised. As a church we’re instructed to take care of the elderly… and to teach the young. Make it a habit to be aware of the elderly who cross your path.

Look more within than without

James 1:22-24 ~ But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.

If I spent as much time preening myself spiritually as I do physically I’d be a much better woman of God. A post it note strategically placed that reads “Who were you today?” where you see it often would serve us well. Did you help or hinder. Show love or hate. Did any see Christ, or only you?

Give More, Take Less

Matthew 10:8 ~ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

What has God gifted you with? Money, time, talent? Likely all three if truth be told but assuredly He has gifted you with the power of the Holy Spirit if you are saved. If every day we made it a habit to give something away, imagine the blessings that we’d receive each day from God. Are you in the medical field… what a gift to stop by and check on an elderly person who will feel loved and honored that a person of your stature thought enough to stop by. Child of God… you have His Word, give it to someone today in some form. Have a few dollars in your pocket, or a cake mix in your cabinet? Why not share some food with a person living alone who never takes the time to cook.

These are not notions that we think of as  habits. Because they take a conscious effort to make something happen. Making something happen regularly is what we call a habit. It’s how Christ lived His life… what a novel idea! Is three too much pressure? Try just one!

Three Reasons I Woke Up Fed Up

CHICK FED

I woke up fed up, but made up my mind not to give up. American politics didn’t change who I am but it did change how I view people. God created me with a heart of compassion, even pre-salvation my tender heart always wanted to right the wrongs of other people. I have no prejudice in me because of the color of a person’s skin, or a lifestyle of sin. Sin is committed by all of us, and it’s not justified by any of us; but forgiven by the Lord Jesus Christ upon the acceptance of Him as Savior and the price He alone paid on Calvary. I can’t work for it nor will my compassionate heart gain me any brownie points with God. Compassion is expected.

So why did I wake up fed up this morning?

  1. Because the Lord feeds His people the finest cuts of meat and they spit it out on the ground in exchange for ice cream.

1 Corinthians 3:1-3

And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

Preachers preach their hearts out expounding the truth in the Word of God, but because it goes against what the “world” deems as acceptable, even the parishioners who are in the house of God on Sunday don’t want to hear it and rally against it as if they have the authority of Almighty God to change what is right and what is wrong. I’m fed up with that non-sense! But I still believe that there’s a few of us left who believe the Bible from cover to cover, who don’t read between the lines or change the lines, we just accept it as truth. And because there are a few of us left I believe God has been merciful to America and would love to show this egotistical lot of Americans who it is that’s in charge and Almighty. But the few of us who are left must be bold.

  1. Because the world views the life of an animal more valuable than the life of a human.

Mark 5:13-15

And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea. And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city, and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that was done. And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.

This is slightly out of context of Mark 5, because I don’t know that the pig keepers cared more about their pigs than they did about the crazy man in the cemetery. But I can say flat footed today that the people of America (as a whole) would care more about the pigs than the crazy man. Don’t get me wrong… I love critters, and believe that they should be pampered and loved on. But if it came down to the life of my dog or the life of my child, it’s not up for debate. My child wins, or anybody else’s child in harm’s way. But Americans will scream bloody murder for the rights of a dog that maimed a person but will say nothing when a child is murdered before it’s allowed to be born and it’s body parts sold by Planned Parenthood. How much longer will God be merciful to us who say nothing?

     3. I’m fed up with those who mock Christianity and attempt to belittle the Lord Jesus Christ.

They can’t honestly belittle the Lord. I mean really… the Creator of all the Universe. How can you talk down to He who looks down upon you from on high and could by His breath speak you out of existence? It’s laughable… if it weren’t so doggone scary! Jesus spoke in Matthew 25-40  saying

Matthew 25:37-40

Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

God said, “I saw you feed and care for my people.” Even though the world tries  to belittle what Christian’s do and to stop the ministry of feeding hungry souls the Word of God, we just need to continue on, fed up or not. Just keep feeding people the truth, because God sees, and one day those who mock will mock no more.

Love the unlovable. The crazy man at the tomb may have been a politician.

The Invisible Jesus

chick invisible

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

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

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

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

John 8:58-59

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Father vs. father… a point to ponder

chick ponder

During a recent study with the teens the subject matter came up how we often compare our relationship with God to that of our earthly parents. I hadn’t really thought about my parental viewpoint of God until that conversation. Yes, I viewed Him as my Father, but in so doing had I given to Him some of my earthly father’s attributes? I fear I had. My Dad, Gene Hardway, was an awesome godly man. But he had some quirks of human nature. He was a passive fella.

When I married my husband in 1980, yes I was baby of 18 years of age, I was not prepared for the culture of his family. They’re good people too, but they were different than the Hardway’s. They were more realistic to most families in the world. My parents never argued. For real! I never heard anyone raise their voice. So when I met people who could get loud, my Ozzie and Harriett world went upside down. I soon learned how to react in kind. I  don’t recommend it. But as for my Dad, he never changed. He did not yell. He did not argue. Which is awesome, till it’s not. I think possibly if my Dad had spoken more forceful on some things perhaps I would have listened, but maybe not.  The reality of it is, my Dad was who he was, and my husband David’s family are who they are. But now back to the Dad and God comparison… I had to ask myself if I viewed God as somewhat passive, even though I know that not to be the case according to scripture. And the answer was a resounding yes! So I asked my husband, if because his earthly dad had left him when he was one year old, if he thought that caused him to have a lack of trust in God. He said he hadn’t ever really thought about it… I’ve been married too him over half my life, I think he has.

God is truth

Titus 1:2  – In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

Parents lie. They tell us things about the Easter Bunny and Santa, (Which I believe is okay) but God would not tell you those things were true, because they are not. Parents tell you you’re the most beautiful child in the world… you are not, but you are in their world, so perhaps that is true. By the same token a really crappy parent who would discourage a child and criticize them is not who God is either, they lie; God does not.

God is love

1 John 4:8He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

God’s love is unconditional. We did not do anything to make God love us therefore we cannot do anything to make Him stop. Good parents for the most part love their children unconditional, but not always. Children grow into adults, make bad decisions, hurt us, let us down, as do the parents. God will not ever let you down. I would imagine unconditional love would be hard to fathom for someone brought up in a “conditional love home.”

God is Right

Psalm 18:30 – As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.

Parents make mistakes, Lord have mercy I have made my fair share and somebody else’s; but God has not ever had an “oops” moment. If you read and study His word from beginning to end, regardless if it is a scientific, moral or prophetic statement, it’s truth. Tell me any man or woman who you can say that about, although my husband does profess to always be right. (Insert smiley face here) But there is none but God Who is ALWAYS right.

God is forgiving

Matthew 6:14For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:

Do we think of Him as forgiving or condemning? I think of Him in that manner, but my Dad was a VERY forgiving guy. I have a feeling if you were brought up in a home where forgiveness was not forthcoming, you might not feel as forgiven.

This idea gave me great reason to ponder my relationship with God. What do you think? I’d be interested in hearing if your view of God was parent defined…