Tag Archives: New Year

A New Thing!

What better way to start off 2019 than thinking about new things on the horizon! I loved the illustration of a new year that my friend D.L. Kerby always used of “a fresh, new piece of paper.” Nothing there but room for ideas, and of course for me improvement!

Isaiah 43:19 is a great verse to ponder today…

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.

Behold!

An announcement of worthy attention!

I think of new stuff every day. But much of it is not worthy of anyone’s attention. But when God announces that something new is on the horizon. Glory! It’s worthy of our notice. There is nothing stale or boring in God’s world and according to His word it is He who does the “new thing.” But how do we know it’s for us? Have you prayed for something new? That would be a great place to start. And if you’re praying for God to do something new in your life what is the purpose of it and what role does He play?

Too many people want God to do something new and amazing but then they’d rather He butt out and allow them to take over. I’m pretty sure that’s not how it works.

Jeremiah 31:22 speaks of Israel when he writes “How long will you wander, unfaithful Daughter Israel? The LORD will create a new thing on earth – the woman will return to the man.”

That new thing was the Lord Jesus Christ. There will be no more new things to that magnitude, but there is certainly new opportunities to serve Him there for the asking. As a child of God we should be prepared to focus our minds on ways to glorify and serve our Lord in the coming year. God may provide new opportunities in the secular realm, but that shouldn’t be our focus and should still include God as center focus.

Be Watching!

Now it shall spring forth! As a budding branch springs forth out of the ground.

I start longing for spring about January 2nd. I’m done with the cold, dead looking trees and frigid temperatures of winter. I need to see some life in the hills of West Virginia. But it’s not in my time, it’s in the Lord’s and the same is true when it comes to the new things that God has planned for us. His timing is imperative. But if I’m not watching for it, I might miss it.

We need to stand with a watchful eye on the world around us for ways that we can serve and glorify God.

Last night I sat beside a man that I really wasn’t certain of his soul’s state until the subject of church came up. He let me know immediately that he didn’t want any part of the church and that he was a “believing agnostic.”  I told him I hated to hear that because I really cared for him. He seemed shocked that I thought he was going to Hell. I spoke to him in love for as long as he would tolerate me, and in a moment of awkwardness where the subject had gotten too deep, he left my side for a worldlier lot. And I went home. I felt I’d done as much work as I could there. The man didn’t get saved but I had been watching for an opportunity and God opened the door, for that I’m grateful.

Be Ready!

For anything. God’s ways are not our ways. We don’t expect ways in the wilderness and rivers in the dessert. If we’re preparing for such an excursion we’re packing weed whackers and bottled water. But God said no… I’ve already got the path cut and the water supplied! You just need to be ready.

Oh my goodness those words make my soul stir. I’m not really a prepared person. I jump and go. Which gets me in trouble… a lot. But God said if I’d be ready for His way, I’ll be okay. But before I jump and go, I need to wait for some instructions. And so do you!

Isaiah 43:19 may or may not be your verse for 2019. But the wisdom that can be gleaned from it is for everyone.

God does have a new work for us and we for certain should be watching and be ready for His announcement.

What’s He laid on your heart to do in 2019? I’d love nothing more than for you to share that with me so that I can make it a matter of prayer. Blessings!!!!!

How to leave the hurt behind in 2017

A true testimony to my own heart being given to Jesus Christ was the ability Christ gave me to forgive people who hurt me. It’s not to say that those who can’t forgive are unsaved, or that I sometimes don’t have to forgive “again.” And I have plenty of other failures in my walk with Christ that I have not accomplished victory over, so please don’t consider this a high hatted blog of Christian living. I’m too much of a sinner for that. So today as this thought came to me, I knew that I had to draw the image and write about it, in hopes of encouraging someone who is ending this year with a broken heart or spirit because someone has hurt them.

Along my journeys I’ve ran across many people who have not won the victory of forgiveness; they live everyday looking at the scars of past hurt, which may have been emotional or literal. I’ve seen many of them who’ve carried them almost in a trophy like status of victimhood; one that they can use to say “Look what was done to me, I have the right to carry this and remember how terrible it was.” More often than not, those of whom they were victimized by have moved on in their life or have moved out of this life into eternity. Closure isn’t sought and victimization becomes a part of every conversation they can weave it in to. If you’re not that person, you likely know that person. You dread the conversation to start, because you know where it will end.

There are others who will carry the hurt to their grave. They don’t share it but rather choose to live with the internal pain that can almost be seen in the lines of their face. Sometimes they are angry, nasty dispositioned people; other times their blunt and forceful composure puts up a shield immediately with anyone outside of their familiar circle. I’ve known all the above.

I’ve been a few of them over my lifetime. I’m more often the little Susie sunshine who refuses to give in and sometimes lives in a land of make believe rather than reality as I go through a hurtful experience.

Isaiah 43:25 speaks of the price Christ paid for our sins, as well as those who sinned against us:

“I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.”

Christ, Who knew no sin, became sin, so that for His sake, we could have a relationship with the One Who will never fail us, leave us or forsake us.

I know how I’ve failed the Lord, I have an ever present awareness, even though He doesn’t want me to. But because of that I also have a quick switch of forgiveness built within. When Christ showed doubting Thomas the scars on His hands and side, He didn’t show it and say look what you did to me with your sin, He told Thomas in John 20:27-30

“Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.

And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and My God.

Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou has seen me, thou has believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet believed.”

Jesus showed Thomas the scars as proof that He had the power to overcome not only what death threw at Him but what life threw at Him. And because of that, and our belief in the work of the cross, we have the same power.

Our scars are not an excuse not to forgive, they are a reminder that God brought us through and that Satan did not win the victory. By carrying them as a victim you’re living defeated to Satan.

Show your scars to Jesus, not the world. And He’ll show you that His scars gave you the power to never be a victim again. We are more than conquerors thought Him that loved us (Romans 8:37) He not only died for our sin, He died for those who sin against us. He paid the price for theirs as well so that we could live without the reminder of the pain, but rather the reminder of the Victory. Glory to God! I pray that your New Year is glory filled, pain free and victory bound in Jesus Christ.

I’m Sick of My Own Excuses

no-excuse-banner

2017 is just days away! Shocking right? I know that it’s not a big revelation that it followed 2016 but the way time has flown by almost seems surreal. Kind of like the fact that Obama is leaving office. So, for a few days I’ve been strategizing my coming year. Oh… I always make great plans! And sometimes I even get a few of them accomplished. My word for last year was unusual, and the year in review would prove that 2016 lived up to it. It was unusual in the sense that God opened unusual doors (like the wonderful state of Minnesota), allowed unusual circumstances to occur that changed the fabric of my life (such as people entering and leaving my life) and 2016 brought a vigor into my ministry desires that is carrying me into 2017. I’ll announce my 2017 word in a few days.

Yesterday I worked on the banner of my Facebook page and replaced it with one that read “2017 – Sharing Christ Without Excuse.” I’m sick of my own excuses for not sharing Christ more boldly. My aforementioned snarky comment toward the Obama administration was without regret, but I promise not to get hung up on it like he has with the fact he’s leaving office. But I can say it in truth that I have never felt so free to share my faith than after the election of 2016 – another unusual event! I feel like 2017 is going to offer Christians an opportunity to take back some ground that has been lost the last eight years.

Religion (I’d rather say faith, but I’ll use this term for now) losing ground isn’t new to the world. As I read in Judges this morning of Micah in chapters 17 and 18 it was quite parallel to what I’ve seen happening in America. Micah had stolen some money from his mother (which caused her to cuss) because she had intended to use for religious purposes. Ha! I guess she really did lose her religion!  But for whatever reason Micah decides to return it, and this odd woman blesses her son for his state of conscience. She had wholly dedicated this money to the Lord for her son to make a “graven image and a molten image.”

Did God not say not make any graven images? So how this woman thought that the money was wholly set aside is a mystery. Unless you look at religion today, where churches okay a lifestyle of sin, idolatry worship and Jesus combined. And then it looks pretty much the same.

So back to the story and this is definitely a condensed version of it. Micah decides to use the money to make a couple of images and buy himself a priest. What?  Yes, that’s what he did because that way he and his momma didn’t have to go all the way into town to church. They had their own. I guess it was their version of a television evangelism of the day. And although the priest they hired was a Levite, he wasn’t necessarily called by God to be a priest.

Well long story even shorter, a group from the tribe of Dan hear Micah’s priest speaking as they passed by. The Danites inquire of him as to whether or not they can defeat the city of Laish, and following their victory, take him from Micah because he might come in handy in the future for more advice. They not only steal the priest but take his idols with them as well and incorporate that into their worship.

Now scroll to the modern day Christianity and compare.

  • People no longer go to church because it’s inconvenient.
  • A bible proves their faith in God, right? Even if it’s dusty…
  • A few dollars in the plate buys them a preacher who will preach what they desire to hear, or they’ll stay home until they’re over it.

That sounds pretty negative but it’s none the less the truth. Church attendance across America is on the decline because people are too busy or deceived into thinking that it’s not necessary for a Christian’s life. I write this to two groups of people, those in church and those not. So you surely fall into one of those categories, or perhaps in the middle because you “attend when you can.”

The children of Israel when into captivity because of their halfhearted faith and I firmly believe that America was just a few votes shy. So, what will we do with 2017? For me I want to live without excuse! If Jesus says go, I want to go. If He says do, I want to do. If He says speak, I want to speak. How about you?

Tune in in a day or two to discover my 2017 word!

 

 

Don’t Look Back!

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Unbelievable!  We’re teetering on the edge of 2016,  and although my body feels another year older, my mind is saying “What happened?” It was just New Year’s Day 2015 yesterday! It’s like we’re on a Nascar track headed for the finish line and we’re not even slowing down for crashes. Troubles beset us round about but our eyes are on the next pit stop in life.  Try as I might, I can’t slow it down and it will do no good to look back.

Jesus said in Luke 9:62 No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” Forward Ho!!!! Well I guess I just went back from the race track to the wagon train. Today on the Eve of 2016 I’m scheduled to sing at the funeral of a dear child of God who lived a full life and to her too it no doubt seemed like but a day. To her children they surely long for more time but it’s not possible. We’re on the course and the time allotted is known to no one but God. So what do we do when we’re teetering on time passing and the future? If we’re wise we’ll go to the Word of God!

James 3:17

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

James 3:17 is a good reflection point that provokes anticipation. Sounds like a great verse for New Year’s Eve!

Reflection

Wisdom from above – From the creation of all, the Word, which was authored by God has been pure and infused into the soul of a child of God through the Holy Spirit. That same purity produces purity (not perfection) into our lives, our conversation, and intentions, by driving us forward to a better life in Christ. The purpose of reflecting on 2015 is not to look back on the failures (although they can be good lessons) but rather use it as a gauge on where you’ve been and where you are at this point in time so that you can determine where you want to be when you stand on the eve of 2017, if God allows. Looking back for the purpose of counting failures is detrimental to your purpose. It causes doubt and confusion… neither of which bring anything good to the banquet table. They bring stale leftovers from a dinner you didn’t even enjoy the first time… throw them out and move on!

Peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated (treated) full of mercy and good fruits. Sounds like a place I’d like to be in 2016! A day spa that lasts 365 days of the year and at the end of the day has the Lord rubbing your shoulders like a player on the field of life, telling you what a great game you played. That game is well played by extending the mercy we’ve been shown by Christ. We’re not on the field to crush our opponents, we’re on the field to win them over to our team and then they become the fruit of the banquet table! Glory to God isn’t it wonderful how God uses food analogies. Because He knows we’re a hungry people… be it for physical or spiritual food… we long for it… and lots of it!

God is no respecter of persons, nor should we be. Without partiality, and without hypocrisy. He loves you just like He loves me, although sometimes I’m pretty sure I’m His pet, just sayin’. In the words of my sister Sarah…. God is soooooooooooooooooo good! And so very real. We need to share that message with every soul that crosses our path… or race track… or trail.

Anticipation

As I anticipate 2016 I’m looking forward to the Lord doing great, unusual, mighty things in my life and ministries. What are you looking forward to? Don’t look back unless you’re using it as gauge to see how far the Lord takes you next year. Forward, ho!!!!

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A Most Unusual Word

UNUSUAL CHICK

This was written in booklet form as a Wednesday night study for the Junior/Senior High Youth group at Victory Baptist Church, in Grantsville, West Virginia in hopes of giving them an encouraging word as we wind down 2015 and soar into 2016.

What truth we are living in as we see in the closing book of Daniel when the Lord says in 12:4

But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.

We are for certain in those days. The time is now that the world needs to see the certainty of the God of an “unusual people.

In January 2015 I prayed for and received a word that I could focus on throughout the year; that word was:

Believe!

I was pleasantly surprised how God would show me this word again and again in various forms and places through the year. So as the year closed and I began asking God for a 2016 word, He responded with what I consider to be a follow-up to 2015 ~ my 2016 word is:

Unusual

It’s fitting for me in more ways than I care to admit. But then I began thinking about the first time as a new convert I was said to be “peculiar.” I wasn’t offended. I knew it had something to do with the Bible, so I looked in my concordance and there it was… in all its splendor in 1 Peter 2:9 (as well as other places) – And as I had suspected it was a compliment, not an insult.

1 Peter 2:9

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;

God loves the unusual.

This year God asked me to share my word with you. We can see the world waxing colder and colder. As Christians it’s so very easy to put up a shield to protect ourselves from the harsh cold world. But what if we rather thawed the icy walls around us allowing them to see and have the living water of Christ Jesus our Lord within.

Those icy souls would be better viewed as snowflakes; beautiful and unique just waiting for the warmth of a child of God willing to do unusual things. Loving the unlovable, generously giving and sharing God’s word with boldness and an excitement bubbling from within that transcends the norm of what people have seen in Christianity. That’s my prayer for you… and me!  Let the world be normal… we’re an original masterpiece of God Who’s waiting to do something remarkable with us. Are you ready?

God loves the unusual

2016 WORD OF THE YEAR

UNUSUAL

In the book of Daniel Chapter 2 is an unusual story about an unusual man and a King who had an unusual request. King Nebuchadnezzar asked for the wise men to first tell him a dream he had dreamed (but couldn’t remember) and then explain the dream.

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Unusual Requests

Daniel 2:1-6

And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him. Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to shew the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king. And the king said unto them, I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled to know the dream. Then spake the Chaldeans to the king in Syriack, O king, live for ever: tell thy servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation.  The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, The thing is gone from me: if ye will not make known unto me the dream, with the interpretation thereof, ye shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made a dunghill. But if ye shew the dream, and the interpretation thereof, ye shall receive of me gifts and rewards and great honour: therefore shew me the dream, and the interpretation thereof.

That’s one strange request! And one that brought deadly repercussions if ignored. The world has unusual requests for Christians, do they not? They require explanations of us that they require of no other religion. They aren’t asking the Muslims to explain Allah, the Buddhists to explain Buddha or the Pagans to explain their unbelief. But we are called to explain everything about Christianity.6

  • Creation (How could God create it?)
  • Separation (why does God want it?)
  • Admonition (Why should we heed it?)
  • Exaltation (Why should we give it?)

Of no other religion are these answers being demanded. We serve an unusual God, and we are asked unusual requests because we are an unusual people. If we could be explained… no one would care. Our God is unusual and Awesome! And He expects His people to be unusual and awesome as well.

Exodus 19:5

Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:

Psalm 135:4

For the Lord hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure.

Titus 2:14

Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

1 Peter 2:9

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;

God treasures the unusual!

***

We serve an Unusual God!

Daniel 2:7-11

They answered again and said, Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation of it.

 

The king answered and said, I know of certainty that ye would gain the time, because ye see the thing is gone from me. But if ye will not make known unto me the dream, there is but one decree for you: for ye have prepared lying and corrupt words to speak before me, till the time be changed: therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that ye can shew me the interpretation thereof.hey answered again and said, Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation of it.

The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, There is not a man upon the earth that can shew the king’s matter: therefore there is no king, lord, nor ruler, that asked such things at any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean. And it is a rare thing that the king requireth, and there is none other that can shew it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.

The King called their bluff he said “tell me the dream and I shall know that ye can.” As if to say, “prove you’re who you say you are.” God put this thought in Nebuchadnezzar’s mind because He knew the world would think that to be the strangest, most unreasonable request they’d ever heard. “Tell me a dream that you dreamed but can’t remember and then explain it.” That’s crazy. But Nebuchadnezzar was relentless, he said either do it or die.

To Shari quote this part of the story, the wise men then said, “Okay… tell us one more time what you want.”

To which Nebuchadnezzar replied “I know your game, you’re wasting my time.”

I believe that people who genuinely are searching for the truth, don’t waste time on false gods. It doesn’t take them long to see through false gods. But Jehovah God, Our Provider, Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, there’s something unusual about Him and they recognize it. But for many they don’t want to trade their control in for faith.

The “wise men” knew they couldn’t fulfill the King’s request. They told him that this was a “rare”, an unusual request he was asking. No person could possibly answer it, only gods without flesh. The answer to the King’s question would have to come supernaturally.

And God smiled…

He said you’re right. And it will come supernaturally through my man.

 

An Unusual Man

Daniel 2:12-18

For this cause the king was angry and very furious, and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. And the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain; and they sought Daniel and his fellows to be slain.

Then Daniel answered with counsel and wisdom to Arioch the captain of the king’s guard, which was gone forth to slay the wise men of Babylon: He answered and said to Arioch the king’s captain, Why is the decree so hasty from the king? Then Arioch made the thing known to Daniel. Then Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would shew the king the interpretation. Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions: That they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret; that Daniel and his fellows should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.

Daniel had wisdom and insight that was not afforded the other “wise men.” The King likely suspicioned the other wise men’s abilities, but Daniel had a supernatural connection to the dream maker through the power of prayer, his and that of his friends.

So when Daniel came to the King’s henchman and asked questions with wisdom, his reputation had preceded him. When going before the King to ask if he could make known the dream the King didn’t doubt him. The testimony of a child of God who lives their faith out loud is known throughout the communities for which they live. It’s unusual! Hypocrites are a dime a dozen.

The Christian testimony should be such that when problems arise people come to us for counsel. But unfortunately too many Christians live their lives in such a way that their counsel seems no different than any others. God needs us to be unusual.

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Unusual Bravery

Daniel 2:19-25

Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven. Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his:  And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding: He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him. I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou hast now made known unto us the king’s matter. Therefore Daniel went in unto Arioch, whom the king had ordained to destroy the wise men of Babylon: he went and said thus unto him; Destroy not the wise men of Babylon: bring me in before the king, and I will shew unto the king the interpretation. Then Arioch brought in Daniel before the king in haste, and said thus unto him, I have found a man of the captives of Judah, that will make known unto the king the interpretation.

Did you notice that the scripture said “Daniel blessed the God of heaven. And it goes on to say how.

  • He prayed for God, to God, that He would be blessed by men forever.
  • He acknowledged where his blessings came from. For wisdom and might are his.
  • Daniel knew that God is the God of circumstance. Any season or reason in life is of God and He can change it in the blink of an eye. They’d come to kill Daniel, but soon they would adore him.
  • Daniel acknowledged that King Nebuchadnezzar did not get into the position of King without God’s stamp of approval.
  • And Daniel praised God for making known to him the meaning of the King’s dream

God chooses who it is that he elects to use. He controls the lives of the unsaved and saved alike, orchestrating their direction in life like the Puppet Master and the marionette.

After Daniel prayed he went to Arioch and said “Let’s do it.”

You better believe it would have taken gumption for Daniel to stand before the King. He’d already ordered them killed, Daniel knows he’s upset! But Daniel had confidence that the God he served had just delivered him the message that would divulge the secrets locked up within the King’s mind, a message that nobody could deliver.

Do we have that kind of confidence in God today? Do we believe when we hear a message like that from the book of Daniel that God is using it to ask us to step out with greater confidence? – – – We’re about to find out.

Daniel 2:26-30

The king answered and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, Art thou able to make known unto me the dream which I have seen, and the interpretation thereof?

Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, shew unto the king; But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these; As for thee, O king, thy thoughts came into thy mind upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter: and he that revealeth secrets maketh known to thee what shall come to pass. But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but for their sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart.

That’s what I always feel like when God chooses to use me in amazing ways. “But God, I’m no different than any other child of God… But He reminds me although that’s true, not all of God’s children are willing vessels for the cause of Christ. This word for 2016 is nothing as it’s spoken by my mouth, but when God puts it into action it can become amazing and used for God’s glory! The word “Unusual” may have been spoken by ordinary Shari, but that makes it no less significant for you should you decide to see what God can do with that word in your life in 2016.  It is for God’s glory that I ask you to be unusual.

Daniel told the King that he knew what his heart said. I make no profession of knowing your heart, only you will know what your own heart says about this word “unusual.” If you choose to take this message to heart I’m convinced that God will do amazing and unusual things with you, but you have to be unusual.

Daniel’s confidence level soared because he knew in His heart it was from God. He served the God Who was truth, and revealed the truth. The very same God we serve today.

2016 has some awesome things about to happen.

The day God gave me this word, within 30 minutes, Steve Boggs called to say Eagle Ranch Revival and Mission Center had just been given 50,000 dollars. – unusual things….

I’ve been feeling bad, but God says you’re going to be fine. I have unusual things to do with you.

Daniel told the King, I’m not anyone of any greatness, but I serve a great God who will use me anyway. You may say that “You’re just a kid from a little town in West Virginia.” God however thinks you’re amazing, but in order to go up, you have get down.

Matthew 23:12 says

And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

If we’re going to be used by God humility is required. There is a vast difference between confidence and arrogance. One is right and the other wrong. One relies on the power of self, the other realizes that without God we’re nothing but with God we’re everything! Make sure you walk in the confidence of the Creator. Daniel reveals the Lord’s message with confidence in the “Lord’s message” not his own wisdom.

First Daniel describes Nebuchadnezzar’s dream…

Daniel 2:31-45

Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible. This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.

Then Daniel interprets the dream regarding the future of the King’s monarchy… that’s the wisdom God affords.  What man cannot even imagine is but a small thing to God.

This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king.


Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.
And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold.  And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth. And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.

Daniel is a young man revealing great prophetic truths by trusting in the Truth that God has revealed to him. I’m not a prophet… I cannot say what your future holds except to say that it will have far greater things in store for you if you determine to be “unusual” for Christ.

This world will fall. But we serve a God who has created a world that will never fall.

Right now America is still an awesome land. We have power, strength and glory (though it’s fading). As Daniel spoke to Nebuchadnezzar he reminded the King of his greatness and the providence of God that placed him into that position. God’s providence still reigns in our lives, serving to get us where we need to be. He’s got a plan and we’re a part of it; that plan is to spread the truth of eternal life through Christ Jesus. A position that we take for granted. Ambassadors for Christ is not a position that God took lightly when He watched His Son being crucified for us to have it.

***

An Unusual Position

Daniel 2:46-49

Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odours unto him. The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret. Then the king made Daniel a great man, and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon. Then Daniel requested of the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, over the affairs of the province of Babylon: but Daniel sat in the gate of the king.

God not only placed Daniel into a place of authority, but Daniel asked that his friends come along for the ride.  Daniel was put in a place to be elevated and used for that eternal Kingdom. And I believe that that’s why He has us in this place. I believe that God can do some amazing, awesome, unusual things with every one of us. And that we can bring our friends into that same blessing. But we have to (using the old Cliché) DARE TO BE DANIELS.

I would like to see every one of the youth in our ministry elevated into positions of greatness for the glory of God.  And God can do that. But you have to be a person of unusual character in the world today. When I say “dare” to be a Daniel I’m setting a challenge before you, because it’s not easy. Unusual means having a right heart, staying in His word, working in His house, having the right friends to encourage you and listening for His guidance in all things.

Are you ready to do unusual things for the God of glory?

~***~

Questions to ponder

  1. Are you living your life in a manner pleasing to God?
  2. Would your friends seek your counsel?
  3. If God asks you to do the unusual, are you confident to trust in His ability to make it happen?
  4. What is it that speaks to your heart about Daniel’s unusual story?
  5. Spend some serious time in prayer asking God where it is He’d have you be unusual. What was His answer?

A paper copy of this booklet is available for $5.00, plus shipping cost of $2.00 via Paypal. For a copy please message me at talk2shari@gmail.com or message my phone at (304)377-6036.

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The First New Year’s “Eve”

New year

It’s New Year’s Eve! Let’s get the party started…but before we do I have a thought that I need to follow through. Was the very first New Year’s Eve formed in regret? Perhaps I’m wrong, I’ve been so before; but when I began looking for a topic to blog on this morning I wanted to think on a biblical eve (as in the night before something happened) But where God took me was to the capital “E”  Eve and the thought that the very first New Year’s Eve celebration wasn’t really a celebration at all. But rather it was formed in regret… much the way many other modern day New Year’s Eve celebrations are formed when bad decisions effect a life time.

Genesis 3:1 ~ Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD GOD had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

Just one question got that New Year’s Eve party started and Eve living her first day in the very first year. Prior to that she and her main man would have lived out eternity in the perfect world, but that decision began the time when life was counted in years. That thought gave new meaning to the word “eve” for me. We are on the brink of a new year. And it’s always a bitter sweet time, I’m sad about those things that I did not get accomplished in the year prior and excited about the potential for the coming New Year; and one thing for sure I don’t want to form 2015 in regret.

With the exception of one year, I have begun every year since salvation in a church service. The one year I missed was one of the saddest I’ve ever experienced (of course that was my own fault for allowing Satan to convince me of it). But none the less I determined that every year to follow would be spent in Christian fellowship if there was any way possible at all. And God has provided! Tonight for the second year in a row I’ll bring in the New Year at a “Teen Up All Night” event (spending at least 4 of the 12 hours asking myself, why did I do this? And the other 8 praising God!) At last year’s event 11 young people came to know the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Now that is a New Year without regret!

There will be many who unfortunately will wake up (or not) in great regret tomorrow. They’ll not know the saving grace of Jesus Christ or they’ll have turned their back on Him. What is important to remember is that we are all just one eve away from a broken relationship with Christ if we’re not on guard. Eve didn’t go to the garden to fall but she did indeed fall and because of it we all now face the very real day to day decisions of regret.  Some are small, some are huge! 2015 is filled with potential! I pray yours and mine is filled with better health and a closer walk with Christ!

A Map for the New Year

happy new yearEvery year I have the best of intentions of getting a boatload of things done and every year I watch that ship sail with far less cargo than intended. 2014 was no different… A few weeks ago it was my intention to get my Christmas cards out to friends and family, if you didn’t receive one, don’t feel slighted… neither did anyone else, with the exception of a few that were enclosed with gifts. Life gets crazy, but it’s really more about being off focus than busy.

This is my own verse for 2015 from the book of Ezekiel 11:19

And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh:

Once upon a time in the year of our Lord 1996, God gave me a new heart when He saved my soul. It changed the direction of my life from that very day and I began traveling the paths that the Lord had laid out, however I have on more than one occasion strayed from the path of His intended design and went off on my own journey; which always ended in disaster and found me crawling back to God’s path. Ezekiel’s verse, written long before God’s Son redeemed mankind, has a prophetic tone and a message for me (and perhaps you) that will lay the ground work for our 2015 journey. Within that verse I found a map…

Motives: What is our motives within the body of Christ? Do we seek to have one heart with the congregation or are we more concerned with the oneness of our own. In a world full of division, now is the time that they need to see the body of Christ working together. I love what I heard a few weeks ago regarding churches… “I decided I would stop following men and follow the bible, there’s too much religion in the other.” That’s not a direct quote, but the foundational truth is there. Billy Graham once said “The highest form of worship is the worship of unselfish Christian service. The greatest form of praise is the sound of consecrated feet seeking out the lost and helpless.” — That should be my motive every day in 2015.

Attitudes: That new spirit needs to be a full blown attitude check! I speak to my own, but perhaps I’m not alone. I often get so caught up in my own thoughts that I close my mind to someone else’s ideas. Everything Christ did upset the religious. It was new and different and so unlike anything they’d ever heard before. Nothing He did strayed from the foundation of the law, but it loosened the law’s tie, and put on a pair of work pants instead of a suit! We need to get busy working for the Kingdom of God instead of the formality of service. Amen?

Purpose: A purpose driven life should have God in the driver’s seat, but not as a chauffeured driven limo as if we’re some hotshot star, but more like the Amish that worked on my house a few years ago. They had a driver that dropped them off on the job site and they worked until He returned… That’s our purpose. Work until He returns, which could be very soon! That heart of flesh is one that feels… genuinely feels. A heart of compassion that realizes we are all sinners saved by Grace and in need of mercy.

Get your gear! And let’s do some serious traveling in 2015!!!