Tag Archives: plans

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!

Just Focus on the Moment

Somewhere over the earth between Washington, DC and Minneapolis St. Paul, I  looked out the window of my very peaceful flight and this was my view. Prior to that it had been from the ground looking at the gray skies and drizzling rain. But at this point God clearly spoke the words from Isaiah 55:9 to my heart. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.  So I typed them onto the picture in my phone, wanting to capture that moment.

I heard Him ask, “Why do you always think you have it figured out? You’re not looking from My vantage point. What looks sad, and depressing and causes you to feel vulnerable and question my plans isn’t reality. It’s a cloudy view of a much bigger plan. I see the whole picture. Focus on each moment, capture it in your mind, but understand it’s only a moment in time. The view changes as I move you on to another place. My ways are not your ways, so don’t look at them through your eyes. You are seated in heavenly places. (Ephesians 2:6)

Once we took off from DC, there was a little turbulance (very little) and then the plane rested into the clouds and it was as smooth as silk. God reminded me, turbulances come in life… but His view is far above anything I could imagine… “Focus on the moment Shari.”

Maybe that’s a word for you too today.

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!!!

I Settled for a Creek when I could have had the Sea

DSC_0048I’m never any more shocked at the depravity of man than when I look in my own heart. The selfishness and continual desires to feed my own will always amazes me. I wonder why I’m not spiritually satisfied until I realize that I’m too carnal minded to obtain it. I want “stuff”, to be entertained and to certainly not be inconvenienced. I want quick understanding of the Word so that I can get back to the business of the day. Ah… I can put God first and look holy so long as it doesn’t take too long. Yes… this trip has been a reality check for me. Our couple of day get-a-way served to remind me that I can experience that same feeling of rest in the arms of Jesus, from Calhoun County, West Virginia. And the view is every bit as nice.

Isaiah 48:16-17

16 Come ye near unto me, hear ye this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord God, and his Spirit, hath sent me.

17 Thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the Lord thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.

Get Close

Come ye near unto me… You won’t hear God from a distance. He’s not a shouter. There’s a reason that scripture has God speaking in a “still small voice because it is then that you have purposed to hear what He has to say. God is not going to vie for your attention.  Satan will yell and distract from afar, but God will speak as a friend who’s telling you the greatest secret on earth except it’s not a secret.

Get Real

God’s message (although tailored to our soul) is a universal message. He’s not an exclusive God He’s an inclusive God; He wants everyone to come to Him and hear what He as to say. From the beginning of time He’s been the creator of knowledge. Whatever it is that man discovers, God created it… how much better is He! He sends a message through preachers, teachers, friends, even the wind so that we may know what it is He needs us to know, He not only controls the message, He controls the messengers… He’ll make sure it’s delivered, but we have to be in a mindset to receive it.

Get Ready to Go

The plan’s been established and everything is in place for us to profit and receive direction and yet there always seems to be one thing standing in my way; complete obedience.

18 O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea:

I could have had an endless sea of goodness from the Lord, but I’m willing to settle for a shallow creek. Oh the water is pretty, cool and good… but how much more God had instore.