Tag Archives: Philippians 3

What Do You Have Left?

Philippians 3:4-8

Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.  Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,

Apostle Paul is one of the Bible characters that I cannot wait to see when I get to Heaven. His stories must be amazing! He’s a “shoot from the hip” kind of guy that always gets me right between the eyes with his words.

Confidence in the flesh

Paul had it, and from the worlds standards had reason to have it. Me? Not so much. I know I’m a multi-talented, gifted by God gal. Totally get it and totally don’t deserve it. But confidence in it? Um… no. Just this morning I’m flitting about getting ready for the day, listening to preaching, got an idea for a blog… then, got an idea for a song to go with the blog, then, while practicing that song I got an idea for a song of my own and went from room to room of my house trying to accomplish all those things at once. In the process, my computer crashed. Total nausea.

It was if God said, “You need to stop. I didn’t give you those gifts to drive you crazy.”

So I took a breakfast break, and regrouped. Rebooted my computer and low and behold my original thoughts for a blog were gone. And so I started from scratch believing God had a new plan.

Confidence in the Flesh will get you in trouble. Every time I feel that I’ve got a song somewhat mastered, I butcher it beyond belief. When I feel I am ready to stand before a crowd to sing or speak, my first thought on stage is “Who let this happen?” Paul was beyond confident, but he threw it all away for weakness.

A friend of mine had a proud momma moment the other day when her son performed and did an amazing job. She turned to me and said “I wish he knew how good he is.” I understood what she was saying, but part of his charm and talent is the grace and humility of him believing that he’s just “okay.”

Paul gave his resume for confidence and then he said, it’s not worth poop! That’s the Paul I know and love. He threw pious dignity right out the window.

Counted it Loss

Why is it that we put so much stock in terminology and the opinions of people? Labels and titles are fine to use as a narrative to our story but they in and of themselves do not define us. I’ve had many titles over the course of my 55 years. But truthfully, each title was a defining moment in my life that made me who I am in Christ. Paul learned and taught that an education was only as good as its eternal ramification for Christ Jesus. Paul used his wisdom to market Heaven in a way that we continue to share 2000 years later, and he didn’t even have social media. That’s an effective education. It’s why he could count the papers that listed his titles as loss, because the only paper that matter, was the word of God.

Consider the Value

Apostle Paul said that all of the noble titles and power he held in the world were worth no more than “dung.” Defined as the “excrement of men.”

So… here’s a thought. The next time you go number 2, just look in the bowl and think about the fact that that’s the value of all of your worldly wisdom and stature. All that matters is what’s outside the bowl, which is what we do for Christ. The question of the hour is “What do you have left?


This blog is in it’s 8th year. Hosted on godaddy.com for the past five. Expenses incurred for the operation of this site are without complaint and with gratitude for the opportunity. If the Lord would impress you to give to help cover some recent technology issues, I’d be grateful. I’ve not been in the world’s workforce for 3 years and for that I glorify God. It’s given me the opportunity to not only write and work on music, but minister to nursing home patients, volunteer in the Christian School teaching art and help other ministries with marketing. All of which require technology, communication, time and gasoline. Again it’s without complainT… but just in case you have a desire to help, or have “extra money” 🙂 Know that I would be eternally grateful.

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There Are No Participation Awards in Heaven

I’d like to tell you that I have my walk with Christ figured out; that every day is a picnic in the park, but that ain’t so. My everyday conversations with God go something like this:

  • Lord,
  • YES, SHARI.
  • I’m hurt.
  • I KNOW. ME TOO.
  • But Lord, they’re Your people. Why do they not desire to serve you?
  • IT SEEMS YOU’VE CONFUSED SERVICE WITH PARTICIPATION.
  • What’s the difference?
  • SERVICE SUPPLIES A NEED, PARTICIPATION IS TAKING PART IN SOMETEHING. SERVING ME SHOWS A LEVEL OF NEED, PARTICIPATION IN CHURCH IS FEELING A PART OF SOMETHING. THEY WANT TO BE A PART OF ME… BUT THEY DON’T HAVE A NEED FOR ME.

And I wept.

Such is the state of our world. They go to church just enough to feel apart, but there’s no “need.” No desire or commitment to the cause. A warm pew for 60 minutes is enough to satisfy a soul who just wants a participation award. And so the Lord left me with these words to ponder.

WHY ARE YOU USING VALUABLE TIME TO CONCERN YOUR SELF WITH THE PARTICIPANTS? JUST SERVE AND UNDERSTAND THERE ARE NO “PARTICIPATION” AWARDS IN HEAVEN. IF YOU WANT THE PRIZE OF THE HIGH CALLING, YOU MUST PRESS ON.

And so today I press on with the understanding…

  1. It’ll leave a mark
  2. I’m called to do it
  3. I need to stay focused (thus minded)
  4. Mark (acknowledge) those who serve… leave the participants to God.

Philippians 3:13-17

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing. Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.

Have you made your mark?

chick mark

I have many, many quirks and fetishes in life that makes me the strange person I am. One of them happens to be that I like markers. But not just any markers; I like markers that make a statement. Markers that leave a mark! What a novel idea. I like them bold, every color under the rainbow and I don’t want them to fade. I like my people the same way. Every path I’ve crossed in my life has left some sort of mark on me and I no doubt, even if they don’t appreciate my Sharpie analogy, have left a mark on the lives of others.

I’m sure when Frederick W. Redington and William H. Sanford, Jr. founded Sanford Manufacturing Company in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1857 they had no idea that their focus on producing glue and ink would one day explode into the creative masterpieces that have been accomplished by Sharpie artists. I’m likewise sure that when we get to Heaven we’ll have no idea of some of the people that we left a mark on. Apostle Paul told the Romans the Philippians that we were to mark two types of people, so get out your Sharpie dude!

Mark the Trouble Makers

Romans 16:17

Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

I can almost guarantee every church has got at least a few. While Apostle Paul’s marks were concerned with “offenses contrary to doctrine,” those who would change God’s Word to suit their own purpose, there are also those who (contrary to scripture) just love trouble. Those who love making statements that are sure to ruffle someone’s feathers, create dissension among the members or are just plain mean! It comes in the form of gossip, criticism, “correction” and oh so often in the form of prayer requests. Whether it’s changing God’s Word or causing God’s Word to be unheard when someone is upset, we need to mark those people and avoid them. While it’s impossible to avoid someone completely in most of our smaller congregations, we don’t have to linger in their presence either. Dispense the Christian niceties of “God bless ya sister or brother,” and move on down the aisle. Don’t give opportunity to fall victim to having your mind taken off the Word of God and placed on something that you likely can do nothing about.

There is the story of days gone by when an “adulteress woman” was marked with the scarlet letter “A” for adulterer. This for me is akin to what Paul is saying, only he didn’t say mark the sinner, he said to mark those who cause division among the saints, because that is serious business. It’s much like having an affair on Christ because you’re breaking His heart.

Mark the Tried and True!

Philippians 3:17

Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.

I’ve been blessed with a Christian lifetime full of “examples.” There’s likely not enough ink in a sharpie to mark those who have walked beside of me and been encouragers of the faith. Paul said to take note of those people, probably because we’ll need them again. I wish that I could send every single person who’s made a mark on my life a red Sharpie, but I’m sure I’d unintentionally miss someone. It’s more important for me to mark them along the way by telling them that I praise God they’re in my life. How about you? Got a Sharpie dude? Start marking!