Tag Archives: Philippians 4

More than a Nap

Rest does not come easy for me. I can sit or lie down or even collapse into the bliss of the softest of billowing pillows and I’m like the kid whose mom punishes her by sitting her on the sofa, to which the little girl replies, “I’m sitting down on the outside, but on the inside I’m jumping on your couch.” That’s me in a nutshell. I may be lying down on the outside but on the inside I’m jumping on the bed, or strategizing ministry plans, or ciphering how I can make life work. My mind refuses to take a nap. It’s a rebellious little critter to say the least!

I know I need rest. I’m much more conscience of that post heart attack. I’m trying hard to prioritize life and in the process of that I discover that my biggest issues do not come from without, they come from within. So when I read Genesis 2:2

And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.

We know that God is all powerful, that He does not sleep. He does not grow weary, so why would He rest? It must have been important to even the Creator and yet I cannot seem to find the mindset for it in my life. This is a conversation that I had with my husband David as we laid down in  bed last night. He was so tired. He’d worked all day, he’d left work and went straight to the fire department for their weekly meeting and didn’t get home until after 8 p.m. I too had had a busy day cleaning house and ministering in music at the nursing home. I followed that with another meeting with friends. All of which are joyous times but they tired me out. As I lay in bed my heart was not comfortable and I told David, “We need to learn to rest better, it’s not about taking a nap.”

It’s truthfully about catching my breath. That hasn’t been easy for me the last few weeks, literally. The fluid around my lungs has caused me to labor to breathe when it’s humid or I over exert myself. It’s much better now, but I still struggle on some days. I have to remember that yesterday was only my one month anniversary of my open heart surgery, because I feel great most of the time; which is deceiving to my body that says, “Slow down, catch your breath!”

I recently heard a preacher describe God’s “rest” as breathing in. He had spent 6 days breathing out. He had spoken the world into existence, He had breathed life into humankind and on the seventh day I could honestly imagine God taking a deep breath in and sitting in His easy chair to “rest.” He no longer needed to think about what cows and hippopotamuses would look like, or how deep the rivers and oceans would be. His formation of Adam and Eve was “very good.” And now He could just watch.  Not think about it, just watch.

Yesterday I returned to the room of a Nursing Home resident who makes no bones about the fact that she is heading to Hell. But she’s still not ready to be saved. Before I left she confessed she’d been “thinking about it.” Glory to God! That’s progress. I could breathe out a little when I left her room; leaving her in God’s hands and asking Him to keep her on this earth until I return to witness again. Those type of life issues I can release to God much easier than the mundane problems of my own. Those things that I actually think I have control over. I want to rehash my own sin and failures, complain about the condition of the hearts of people and focus on things of virtually no eternal significance. David focuses on the failures of politicians, the lack of volunteerism, the waste of government money, and all things out of his control. He and I are quite the pair.

So I made him promise me that on his upcoming bike trip with his buddies that he would not think on those things of a negative sort.

Philippians 4:8 tell us

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Just breathe.

Now to obey that rule myself.

God took 24 hours and did nothing. He did not create or instruct or do the things God had done for the previous six days.

This causes me to question what my 24 hours of rest would look like if I didn’t do the things that I do the other six days of the week. I’m not speaking of Sunday, because I’m a minister of the Gospel so there is a work to be done. I speak of another committed 24 hours. A day where I would not write, draw, speak or sing for the ministry’s sake. I would just breathe and watch and listen. No worrying about souls. Trusting them to God who is far better at caring for them than me.

Perhaps your 6 days is filled with a job in the secular world, or children that must be cared for all seven days. If it’s a job, commit to taking NO thought of it or anything else that causes you to breathe hard for 24 hours. Consider it a stress fast. If it’s children, try to prepare ahead to spend the day watching and enjoying what you created. Make it a cold cereal and sandwich day with ice cream sundaes for dessert. And laugh. A lot! It’s not about taking a nap. It’s about catching your breath. And it’s about making a weekly practice of it.

If it was important for God to do it, why would we even consider not doing it?

In Search of the Happy Place

Philippians 4:11

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

Those are the words of the great Apostle Paul.  They speak to my heart’s desire, but they don’t necessarily align with the manner in which my life was lived in 2017. I never really thought that life would be easy when I said to the Heavenly Father. “I give in!” See, I didn’t have the honor of just obeying. I fought God tooth and nail. I fully believe if I had obediently said in 2010, “Yes God, I’ll go. I’ll quit my job and serve you full time.” That my life would have been considerately different. If over the past seven years I hadn’t tried to get to point “B” by side stepping point “A”,  I may or may not have been struggling. We’re not guaranteed stress free days even when we’re obedient. But I still think that I’m learning a hard lesson now from not being content with the state I’m in.

So my goal in 2018 is to find my Happy Place.

If you found yours what would it look like? And would it look the same as the one God desires for you?

Good question I thought to myself… would mine?

I think there are three things that will bring me to my Happy Place. The first is…

Contentment

If happiness becomes a state of mind, not a state of being, then I’ll have arrived at that place. I watched a living example in Minnesota at the home of my hosts for the week, Butch and Pat. They were not wealthy people. They were not people who hadn’t experienced pain. But they were in their happy place as a couple and as individuals because they were living a life obedient to the Lord. If God said speak, they spoke. If God said sing, they sang. And that might be in the middle of the city square. If God said sell your house and move, they did. A week after I was there to visit as a matter of fact, and they believed another home was in the waiting. And it was. They were happy in the state of Minnesota because they were happy in their state of mind.

Consistent

Another awkward task for me. It means staying on the path that God intended even when it’s hard. Even when there’s no money, seemingly no means for it and the very thing that I feel God called me to do, isn’t happening. So as I searched for my 2018 word, I thought back to my 2017 word of the year. “Pursuit.”

Where had my pursuit taken me? And did I miss my arrival? I’m still pursuing, but I hope this year the pursuit is a little better focused. And consistent: in that I don’t look left and right, only forward to what God’s design is. This past year, every time it would get rough, I would think… this isn’t God’s plan. So I would start applying for jobs and looking for other means and every door slam in my face leaving me more distraught than ever. But through godly people in my life, “I would hear every time, you’re where you belong, you’re making a difference. Stay in this lane.” And often times out of exhaustion, I’d just ride it out and God always provided.

Connected

I need to connect every single aspect of my life to the word of God. So my word for 2018 Is “Hope.” I’ll do the art for it later. But for now I’ll just think on this:

If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature under heaven; where of I Paul am made a minister; who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church. Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God. – Colossians 1:23-25

I do not profess to have suffered in the manner of Paul. But his words are clear.

Continue, being settled (content)

Not moved away (consistent)

A Minister (connected to both God and people)

What about you? Where is your happy place?

The Finest in Fellowship

fellowsI had no idea in 1996 when I kneeled at that altar of grace and ask Jesus to save my soul, what a package deal it was. Jesus not only became the best friend that I could ever have, He gave me a flock of friends that I didn’t even know! As I read Philippians 4 this morning, I identified with Paul from the standpoint that I long for the fellowship of His people, because they’re my people. I’m in awe sometimes when I realize the depth of friendships that are unexplainable. It’s not until I lose one, and realize the very deep hole in my life, that I understand the angst in Paul’s writing  in 2 Timothy 4:10 when he said “For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica;”  While he Philemon 1:24 he had written that Demas was a “fellowlabourer.”

Church fellows are special…

Fellowship defined is a group of people sharing and pursuing the same passion and interest.  I wouldn’t say that in any church everyone is in fellowship. There are those who attend church for reasons other than spiritual edification… I don’t get it, but I know it’s true. It’s my prayer that they will eventually get it. Until then I’ll continue to love and pray for them. But it’s not them that have my heart stirred this morning, it’s the church fellows. The ones I labor with and long for. They’re a special lot that only a child of God can have the privilege of knowing.

Fellowlabourer

The church worker. Society would call it “volunteerism,” God says it’s our job. We’re not left down here to take up valuable pew space, nor are we left here to be entertained by the Pastor. It’s not his job to spoon feed me my daily victuals of the Word of God, nor is it his job to take care of everyone in the church. It’s his job to train and lead folks how to serve God and to encourage them. He too is a fellowlabourer in Christ. He’s just got more responsibility and accountability.

Paul tells the people of Philippi in Philippians Chapter 1, many of whom he had no doubt won to the Lord, “Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.” Stand fast! You’re jewels in my crown and you are loved! That’s how I feel about the people that I serve with in Victory Baptist Church, and those that the Lord has given me through other avenues of the faith. They bring such joy to my heart! I know that we are laboring for the same cause and I long for their fellowship. Even for those I’ve yet to meet face to face! That’s the unexplainable… that you know them because of the Spirit of God in them and in you.

Fellowprisoner

Paul, at the writing of the book of Philippians, was in prison and yet had joy. His joy was not likely contributed to his stellar living conditions, but rather to his stellar friends. Even in the worst of days the people of Victory Baptist Church and my other friends of faith bring joy to my life because they encourage me and they have a genuine burden for me when I have struggles in life. Paul’s friends weren’t Sunday saints. They were seven day a week, we’re in it to win it fellowprisoners with Paul. He may have been behind bars but they were behind him in prayer and provision. Glory to God! Is that not what we should be to one another? I’m blessed with that in my life…

Fellowservant

Paul’s friends weren’t perfect, they evidently had issues like we Baptists, else why would he say in verse 2 I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord.” Evidently they’re minds had not always been the same, a division was there. And let me tell you who loves division… that’s Satan’s playground. He’ll play on that merry-go-round forever if he’s allowed. He’s on those monkeybars in my life right now. Division comes when people get their minds off the purpose of Christ which is to get people in a relationship with Him. So what if we have an opinion… was it Christ’s opinion? And did that opinion help you serve the Lord or did it hinder the service of the Lord because you were wrapped up in it? We’re not here to serve ourselves. I praise God for a church and pastor that preaches servitude in our community!

Church fellows are special people, not to be taken for granted. Paul mentioned by name those who he cared for… in verses three and four he laid the charge to his “true” yokefellows, those that believed as he did – And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life. Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.

Although I love and live to serve every fellow in the church, that’s not what makes me rejoice. What makes me rejoice is when their name is written in the book of life, it’s written upon the hand of Jesus and then He inscribes their watch care to me and mine to them through the Holy Spirit. Paul’s people took care of him, take care of your people. They’re special…

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When You Can’t Fix What’s Broken

I got this

I absolutely love serving the Lord and I love serving people but when you’re in the business of serving you’re suddenly expected to be all things to all people.  And if you’ve recently ask me to do something, this is seriously not about you, this is about me. But it may be for you, because you may be like me, and that my friend is a scary place to be.

I’m a fixer. If I see a problem I need to fix it now. My life and problems go on hold and the immediate problem before me is the task at hand, which explains a lot about my life. The problem with being a fixer is I’m not always qualified, which doesn’t stop me nor seem to matter because I’m pretty sure I got this. I think someone needs to start a group called “Fixers Anonymous,” but then the meeting would probably be dominated by us trying to fix each other and we personally would never get fixed. Wow… I just gave myself a headache. But it’s a true story and it’s on my heart today.

I’ve just discovered that I can’t fix everything. I’m still partly in denial, so don’t mention it if you happen to see me.

So what’s a fixer to do when something’s broken that’s irreparable… like a heart or relationship?

In Philippians 4:6, Paul writesBe careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”

Be careful for nothing… meaning, don’t be full of care, don’t be stressed. Usually by the time I get around to reading a verse like this, I’m already past the point of stress, but it still doesn’t mean I shouldn’t follow through with the rest of God’s plan. Regardless of what it is, (everything) should be taken to God in prayer. That conversation portal to Heaven that we tend to forget how big a deal it is. With the first utterance of His name, spoken aloud or just in your mind, you are ushered by the Holy Spirit into the presence of God. That’s powerful! How awesome that with a breath you can be before He Who can fix it all. It is there that we can plead our case (supplication) and tell God everything that we feel nobody else in the world wants to hear, but God wants to hear it. Not because He doesn’t know already what’s going on, but because He wants us to believe on Him to fix the problem, or possibly help us through when the problem is there for another reason we weren’t meant to understand.

Today I’m in a quandary with a problem I can’t fix because it’s not my problem. God doesn’t want me to stop caring, which is what I’m trying to do, it seems that would be an easier fix. It’s unfortunately not a part of my DNA. Because when the Holy Spirit came into my heart and filled me to the brim with Jesus I also was filled to the brim with care. That’s what makes me want to be a fixer in the first place. So there seems to be two kinds of care. Stress – the wrong kind. And Concern – the kind that drives you into the arms of Jesus, Father, Friend and Fixer. Who understands that you’re a fixer because you’re trying as best you can in this feeble body to be like Him. And today you feel like you’re failing miserably.

So I’m thankful. That I can lean on Him and when I can’t fix the problem, I can fix my eyes on Him and He’ll guide me through until the problem is past.

Are you a fixer? Are you in midst of a problem. Take it to Jesus and leave it there, He’s got the tool box.

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How to have a Satisfied Christmas

CHICK SATISFIED

Satisfaction. I don’t know that I ever achieve it when it comes to my personal goals. I’m not satisfied being a mediocre Christian, and yet that’s what I am in comparison to many others.  Comparison and   satisfaction are mortal enemies that kill the spirit. I have two very different daughters. One loved music the other sports and I tried to nurture each accordingly. The irony is they really weren’t so different. The lover of music because a nurse who cared for the injured. The athlete was musically gifted as well, and relies on her sister quite often for help with injuries, being the mom of three very active little boys. My point in that story is that I love them so much, I don’t compare them, because they are two entirely different beings; unique and awesome just the way God created them. Comparing children causes them to doubt who they are as individuals and damages the spirit. Now me on the other hand, I’m a little harder on myself. No, I am lot harder on myself.

Satisfaction should be a personal goal between you and God. God has expectations of His creations, and we are full of unused potential. I fully believe that, and yet comparison causes us to limit our abilities and kills the spirit within us to be all that we can be. We align our talents up to the world around us. It’s also very easy to align our Christmas up to the world around us. Neighborhood houses compete for the best lights, friends compete for the best parties, and parents compete for the best gifts, all of which serves to kill the spirit of Christmas.

This morning I sat my sights on satisfaction. That’s the gift that I want for myself for Christmas. I want to be satisfied with where I am, but excitedly expectant of where I’m going. If God has me sitting still today, that’s okay… perhaps I need a time out. But there’s still a plan in process that requires action so long as I’m breathing.

Apostle Paul said in  Philippians 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”

I’ve learned that there is a fine line between content and contention. Contention (conflict) comes from within when we get our sights off things above. Paul had multiple time outs, did he not? How many times was he beaten and imprisoned and taken off the “apparent” playing field. And all the while he was writing these letters… the ones we read today that encourage our soul a few thousand years later. Paul was satisfied with where he was, believing with confidence that God had something greater. And that something greater was me. Not me being better than Paul, but that in 2015 I would be sharing Paul’s words for the encouragement of others and taking them to heart for myself. Glory to God!!! I just wrote myself happy again.

Sidelined… I hate it. I guess that’s why God never gave me the desire to play sports. First of all He knew I’d be really bad it; my baby didn’t get her skills from me, and because of that I’d have been sidelined in every game. And I’m a doer. And in so being a doer I sometimes (actually often times) do it hurriedly. Hey, I’m 53, who knows how much time I got left! God’s working on me this  Christmas to give me the gift of “satisfaction.”

I sang at my Mom-in-laws funeral service Sunday, “I’m satisfied with, just a cottage below, a little silver, and a little gold, But in that city, where the ransomed will shine, I want a gold one, that’s silver lined!”

I do indeed live in a little cottage below that causes me often times to want a mansion on this side of glory… Be satisfied Shari… I want more money… be satisfied Shari…. I want God to use me…. Be satisfied Shari…. I want more acoustic instruments…. Be sati…. 🙂 Just kidding Lord. Be Satisfied Shari.

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chick encourage 2

 

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Don’t let unexplainable dreams halt God’s undeniable purpose

chick dreams

Restless nights… they’re a rarity for me. I have the gifted ability to fall asleep within minutes of laying down. It perhaps could have something to do with the fact that my overly active mind is either going to stop or explode. I shared a post on Facebook the other day that said “Having a creative mind is like having 2,857 web browsers open all at once.” I laughed… and then sighed. That was me for certain. Another sleep trait of mine is that if I dream, I seldom remember having had them. But not last night… it was a vivid dream with some well-known characters of my past and a few barely known. The setting was my Grandma Vada’s home place where I’d taken my own granddaughter Paityn. We were in an upstairs bedroom that I have such great memories of as a child. Two big ol’ iron beds that we bounced and laughed upon for hours on end; thousands of memories and secrets shared between cousins. But this day as I shared those memories with Paityn, or Princess “P” as we call her, some family members from the past came and halted the visit. I woke up frustrated. My mind reeled as I began to think of how those same family members “finagled” that property out of our family’s lives and that I would never really get to share that special time there with Princess “P”. And then I began to wonder about the power and purpose of that dream… who was behind it?

It seems the supernatural has a super attraction in the word today. What was once a comedic act of the Ghost Busters is today considered “science.” I’d roll my eyes but it would lose affect. Why is it that we’ll put stock in everything but the truth! People will believe that spirits can speak to them from another realm, but absolutely refuse to put any stock in the fact that the Creator of the Heaven and earth can speak to the hearts of man.  They’ll seek a soothsayer to interpret a dream or put great stock in Sunday’s horoscope, and yet the Bible full of prophecies fulfilled and promises never broken is considered an antiquated outdated book. Insert another eye roll here. Seriously? So again I question my dream. Why now did these people that I had long since stopped allowing to inundate my thoughts, invade my sleep? I stopped it right there. Why would I waste a second of time on a chapter in my life that had long since had the epilogue complete? Because Satan could distract my mind from the things in life that I have begun to write a prologue to. You see… God has some plans for my life that I’ve been thinking on a great deal lately, and I think Satan is feeling a little left out.

Dreams are very intimate events. If it’s something that captivates your mind when you awake it’s usually because it’s something meaningful at your very core. And Satan is so very good at core’s… Just ask Eve. I won’t put any stock in something that disturbs me as a sign from God.

1 John 4:1 says Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

And it is clear from Galatians 5:22 that the Spirit of God is not sent to trouble the mind when it says “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith.” So if there is a spirit troubling your soul who do you think is in charge of it?  These thing are heavy on my heart because I see so many people giving over to a spirit in their lives that troubles their soul

Spirits like:

  • Hurt
  • Sorrow
  • Fear
  • Anger
  • Bitterness
  • Envy
  • Pride
  • Slander
  • Jealousy
  • Murmuring
  • Backbiting

Oh that list could go on for miles, anything that stirs strife in your soul and takes your mind off of the things of God.

If I had allowed my mind this morning to give place to the thoughts that I awoke with, I can guarantee you the spiritual plans I have had on my agenda for today would have been washed away by the rain outside my window.

It doesn’t have to be a dream. You can be standing flat footed and wide awake and Satan will remind you of something that immediately causes strife in your soul. Again the scripture says in Ephesians 6:12 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

So when it comes to the spirit world (which is very real) don’t open up an avenue to Satan and his minions by thinking on or exploring “their” realm. God isn’t involved with them, so why would you want to be? Those who dabble with darkness just might get more than they bargained for.

Philippians 4:8

Finally,brethren, whatsoever things are true,whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever thingsare just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoeverthings are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

SOUND ADVICE FROM THE SOUNDEST OF SOURCES.

Don’t let unexplainable dreams halt God’s undeniable purpose.

How to survive when one of “those” calls come in

mason's wreck

Just in case you were wondering… they survived. And we Rejoice!

It was a call in the wee hours of the morning that rustled my husband and I up from our sleep today. I watched him go into full rescue mode as he has one thousand times over the past 20 or so years of emergency services. (I’m not real sure of that time frame or the number of calls) It’s mostly a blur. He goes into rescue mode and I cry out to God for David and his comrades and for the people in distress. As the call went out my first thought was, it’s likely nobody I even know, but I’ll pray anyway. As it turns out it was somebody I knew, a cute little Sunday School boy from ages past… or just a few short years. It was a miracle of all miracles that he was okay (ish) He was still a long way from okay, and he sure could use your prayers.

As a Momma I want to shield every kid I know, my own and everyone else’s from harm, but it’s just not possible. We live in a fallen world where sorrows happen and no one is immune. The good, the bad and the ugly are in the same boat when it comes to heartache. So how do we get through? There’s one major key and several doors to getting through the hard times.

  1. Know God is Creator and Controller of All

1 Peter 4:19 ~ Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

Any verse that is 4:19 is significant in my life because my husband’s emergency service unit number is 419. So those verses capture my attention. This morning’s was poignant and timely. For whatever reason, my friend’s accident was according to the will of God. I don’t have to like it, but I have to understand that the Creator of all the universe has our little piece of the world in His control.

  1. Know that the door to understanding is personally knowing the Creator

My friend’s family are Christians, meaning they personally have a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. It doesn’t make days like today easy but it grants them peace in knowing that God takes care of all their needs in the hour they need it.

Another 419 verse that I have clung to so often is Philippians 4:19 ~  But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. And I’m sure my friends are clinging to that today.

I pray you have that peace too! If not, shoot me a message, I would love to show you where to find it.

Being the Captor not the Captive

the cross

From the time our eyes first fly open in the morning we’re in a battle with the enemy, or at least I am. My mind starts rolling with to do lists, my iPhone buzzes with received messages, social media is calling my name and the covers are oh so warm… let’s wait a while… and Izidora the Chihuahua agrees that under the covers is a better place to be. Why move?

I love places of comfort! The church is that to me (meaning my home church building). I love walking into the vestibule where it feels like I’ve just arrived at the home of my best friend; I guess technically I have. Be it a Sunday Service or when I’ve forgotten my computer cord in my classroom and have to go back and fetch it at 9:30 at night, I feel at home. My thoughts are much easier focused on the things of God when I’m in that place, not so when I walk out the door. So many things are vying for my attention and my thoughts are not always godly. As a matter of fact sometimes they scare even me. Why do such thoughts and images pop into our minds? I won’t share them with you for fear you’d know how warped I am… but perhaps you have your own warped mind to deal with. A Word from God for me this morning:

2 Corinthians 10:5 

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

The Captive

I usually have a flee mentality when I get into one of those scary thought moments. I just want to get my mind as far away from that idea as possible by getting into another area of thinking. You know the mode…. Happy thoughts, happy thoughts! But sure enough it won’t be long until those thoughts catch back up to me and I’m in the same boat causing me to wonder if somewhere deep down in the recesses of my mind an evil Shari is waiting to come out. Crazy right? Please tell me I’m not alone.

Satan. He loves exalting himself and having control. Being that I was not raised in a Friday the 13th movie world and I still close my eyes on the commercial for a horror movie I know that these images and ideas have to be fabricated in some other realm for the purpose of getting my eyes off Jesus and causing fear and anxiety with in me. In that condition I’m of little use to God. So how do I become the captor not the captive?

The Captor

To “cast down” is to utterly destroy those imaginations and things that try to get between you and the mind of God. So how can you destroy a thought that you have no control over?

2 Corinthians 10:6

 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

Obedience to the Savior trumps Satan every time! Satan may be able to cause those crazy thoughts to enter our mind, but within us is the Holy Spirit! Rather than fleeing, stand your ground. The Holy Spirit stands ready for us to call upon Him and rescue us out of Satan’s little shop of horrors. SPEAK JESUS! You’re not alone. Don’t just shake that thought off and go on with life, it needs to be taken captive. Take the thought and destroy it through the Word of God by dismantling it one word, one image at a time. Is it true to who you are? No. Is it honest? No, it’s a lie out of the pits of Hell. Is it just, unprejudiced? No, it’s fabricated by Satan. Is it lovely, a good report, worthy of Praise? No? So envision the Holy Spirit locking that up behind bars and refocus your mind on Christ!

Philippians 4:8

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things

My mind needed rescued this morning. The Holy Spirit… my Hero!

Good Grief Charlie Brown

I realized I was out numbered last night in the teen class when I ask a question about their favorite television classics. I watch very little television, preferring silence or a podcast of my favorite preachers, perhaps I’ll pick a little on the guitar or play the fiddle but upon the occasion that I decide I’d like to watch a movie or show, I spend more time scrolling through the guide than I do actually watch anything. I usually end up on DIY or HGTV channels because at least there I don’t have to put up with gore, drama, language or just plain idiocy.

I’m for certain dating myself, but when the commercials came on for the Halloween episode of “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown,” my heart went pitter pat wondering if my grandbabies would find it as big a deal as I did as a child. We waited weeks with anticipation for those special TV nights when kids ruled! Today half the kids in America have their own TV and there’s a new cartoon on every hour. Wow… that’s really sad. Another example of excessive living taking away the wholesomeness of our youth.

The conversation in the teen class last night stemmed from the question “Why does it matter about the music or Television I entertain myself with?”

I gave them the verse Philippians 4:8~ Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

It’s really hard to think on those things when you have zombies screaming at you from the television, or a chick just got stabbed to death. Reality TV is not reality at all… or is it? Have we really gone that far as a world today? Even my beloved DIY shows have gotten ridiculous as spoiled brat couples are just SO STRESSED OUT because the million dollar home they toured had the wrong color tub. Oh my goodness, my stomach just seriously rolled over, and this is why I don’t watch television.

In the words of Charlie Brown, “Good Grief!”

I need a Philippians 4:8 day. I need things that are honest, just, pure, lovely, a good report and praise!!! I need good news! I know the world’s full of bad and I need to understand the dangers that are out there but I do not need to sit with my nose glued to the latest Ebola report or watch garbage on television that makes me treat every stranger as a suspect in a murder or go to bed with fearful thoughts.

I don’t care if Charlie Brown’s not cool. As much as I love the technology of today, there’s a part of me that longs for those Kool-aid and popcorn nights and the Great Pumpkin…

It’s Trash Day!

I'd be much more apt to do take out the trash if my cans looked like this!
If all trash were this pretty…

This morning is trash day in our part of the world. I actually put mine out last night, but every day should be trash day in the life of a child of God. We are inundated every minute of the day and night (or so it seems) with trash from the world around us; those who feel compelled to violate our space with their junk. Scroll down a social media page for more than 30 posts and if your thoughts are not violated in some manner, your friends are better than mine.  That is the number of posts on my page before I ran into a not so godly post. So you say… “Get rid of that friend,” (number 1 that was family) and number 2, I’m shocked at how many Christians post stupidity in the name of comedy. I will not however unfriend and offend a friend or family member because of a slightly off color post, there are lines they can cross where they’re gone like a bad sitcom. I want them to see my post and hopefully be encouraged! So what do I do with the trash I inadvertently ingest? It seems to fly out the window of my mind when I feed on the positive and encouraging things of life like the word of God, Christian blogs, listening to the gospel preached or music sung.

I get so tired of hearing Christians complaining that there’s nothing good on television, the internet or in their community entertainment. Where do you live?  For every 30th not so good post, there are 29 positive (in my social media world) it may vary in yours. So stop parking on 30. Television media may not be so user friendly but if you determine to only park on the positive you can find it… or turn it off, pick up the Bible or a devotion, plug into some Christian music and worship the One who is only good. And then when you hear that good word… share it. Don’t be the 30th.

Philippians 4:8

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.