Tag Archives: problems

I Knew I Was on the Right Channel

Thirteen days post op and it seems the last couple of days have been emotionally trying. Satan loves to get on the heels of bad news and ride it like a jet airplane. What a creep! I got on social media this morning and as is the case most every day, I’m not the only one suffering. Bad news abounds! I have multiple friends facing multiple issues and I wish I felt like shaking the soup out of Satan, but unfortunately, I’d just rip a stitch, so I’ll just leave Him to God.

I read an article about oats or eggs for the heart patient and decided to go with oats, good choice! I turned on a preacher preaching on revival which always stirs my heart and I was ready to have church. When he said “Magnify God, not the problem” I knew I was on the right channel. I sketched the creation for this blog and stopped the negative thinking that Satan was filling my head with and decided to share that message with you, who may need it as well.

Magnify the Lord!

When I was in the process of quick diagnosis and surgery necessity there was no time for fret. I just had to give that to God and believe. That’s what many of us do when the battle is raging at its highest, but post battle is when the body is coming down from the adrenaline and fight or flight, and we’re tired. It’s when we begin to reflect on “the what if and why” of the situation. We lost control, what if we never get it back? Well, truthfully… look what a mess I had my life in when I had control. So this morning my mind is back in battle mode, refusing to believe the lies Satan is filling my head with. Is he lying to you too?  Let’s fight this battle together, that’s how David did it.

O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together. ~ Psalm 34:3

There is power in numbers. When I found out about the surgery, I spread the word. I wanted the children of God to lift me to Jesus because I knew that’s where the power was. I had personally witnessed it again and again and I knew God was able to deliver. Does He heal everyone? Not always this side of Heaven. And it’s His choice and reasoning. But I also knew that if He chose not to heal, my family was going to need Him even more than me. But praise God He did heal, and I will glorify Him and magnify (make everything of his bigger in my mind and life) exalting Him over the lies of Satan. God is bigger. He is bigger than any problem on your list too.

Exalt the Lord!

I not only want to make the Lord the largest part of my world, I also want to share Him and testify of His goodness with everyone else. It’s like sowing seeds of hope when someone who has come through the fire can say, Jesus did it all! All I had to do was trust Him. I had multiple brothers in Christ in my own church who had come through the battle I did, they prayed and encouraged me so much. But not only the battle of heart surgery, all battles of bad news fall under the same rule of strategy to overcome. Pray, have others pray, give it to God, and watch Him win. Listen closely, He may have some rules of engagement along the way… like eat oats instead of the pop tarts. Or share your testimony with someone else. Or just rest… that’s a tough one for me. I still covet your prayers, I’m just in the beginning of healing and I need patience.

God bless you! And join me as we magnify God to the world! Share your story, share this post, always share Jesus!

The Answer to Every Problem

I have no idea what the Lord Jesus might look like, but I for certain know what He feels like.

I had three of my grands at the house this morning and was fixing them their favorite comfort foods before school; pancakes and hot cocoa with baby marshmallows melting all up in the cup. Yes, I’m aware that is not the breakfast of champions, but it is the breakfast of Noni. They don’t stay that often, so when they do I like them to leave with the feeling that Noni’s is always a place that they are loved and gone the extra mile for. That’s how I’ve always felt with Jesus. That’s how I feel with my family and my friends. Those that God has placed in my life are placed there for the “extra mile” experience of a child of God. I am blessed.

I am painfully aware that not everyone experiences a pancake and cocoa life. If I’m truthful, not every day of mine is so sweet and wonderful either. Life is harsh. And pancakes and marshmallows usually won’t fix it; but understanding the comfort that comes at the greatest of cost but the smallest price is a worthwhile endeavor. It’s knowing the God of “all” comfort.

I was speaking with a friend this week about the tragedy of people in our lives who don’t experience the peace God affords. Most of them are not saved. They’ve never known the peace of salvation, which is the sweetest peace of all and the only true peace. They try to achieve it through Pancakes and cocoa, which is at best a temporary fix. Jesus isn’t temporary. Jesus is eternal! Even so, Christians too often forgo seeking His sweet, everlasting peace in exchange for the pancakes and cocoa version. Color me guilty on that on more than one occasion.

How many times have I sought to remove a heartache by rewarding myself with a new something or another? A cup of coffee and a piece of apple strudel? It matters not the place of comfort we seek, if it’s not in Christ Jesus it won’t fix the problem.

2 Corinthians 1:3b says that He is the “God of all comfort.”

All.

Those three letters are fully inclusive of every problem in life.

  • Did someone hurt you? God loves you. Romans 5:8But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
  • Did you lose your job? God is your provider. Philippians 4:19But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
  • Did your marriage fail? Jesus will never leave you nor forsake you. Hebrews 13:5Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
  • Did pressures of life overtake you? Jesus has the peace that passes understanding. John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
  • Did you lose someone to death? Jesus promises eternal life filled with no sorrow. 2 Corinthians 5:8 – We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
  • Did you fail miserably? Jesus will give you the opportunity to start fresh, without condemnation. Isaiah 43:19 –  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.
  • Did you sin? Jesus died so that you could be forgiven. Colossians 1:14 – In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.
  • Do you have uncertainty in your life? Jesus is certain. Jeremiah 29:11For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

No hurt or trouble is uncovered. Jesus is the God of “all” comfort. He is the God of all “grace.” 1 Peter 5:10But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

What you discover upon reading the word of God is that the common denominator for every problem is that the bible has the every solution. ALL.

Three very powerful little letters because God controls “all.”

 

When you’re going through the fire…

through-the-fire-and-flames-we-carry-on-1

When you have to pray the prayer you didn’t want to pray…

It was that wee hour in the morning phone call no parent wants, your child’s in distress and you’re 2 hours away. Daughter Tiffani just headed in to surgery for delivery of our 6th grandchild. She’s only at 30 weeks. I’m scared, concerned for both her and the baby; needing to hug my son-in-law who is facing it alone. And I hit my knees and gave it to God, who is the Creator of all life. Who alone makes those decisions; and I want to hug Him too. But instead He hugs me.

I do the only thing I’ve known to do since 1996. Go to God and get in the Word.

It is well… He speaks to my soul.

It doesn’t feel well Lord….

It is… I hear again.

Our 2 lb 12 oz miracle came just a little after 5. Breathing on his own, and we are rejoicing.

The reality of that story is the whole time I was praying I knew it was the Creator’s decision.  I didn’t feel well; I knew “it” was well, but I still so wanted it to go the way I wanted. It is with great joy that I can say the Lord answered my prayer. Both Tiffani and Parker Keith came through with flying colors. When my son-in-love called he said, “He’s breathing on his own.” My heart skipped a beat. I hadn’t evening thought he wouldn’t. The fragility of life is such that at 2 lbs 12 oz., that was a distinct possibility. God is good!

At choir practice at church on Sunday evening, I belted out the solo to the song “Through the fire.” My neighboring friend Lola said, “Wow, Shari, I don’t even think they’re going to have to ‘mic’ (microphone) you.” I knew what she meant… I have a big mouth. I told the choir there was likely a genetic reason my new grandson came out breathing on his own, God had blessed us with good lungs. But I had a reason to belt that song out, I’d been through a little fire this weekend.

Just a few hours after Parker was born, by beloved and best pal, Sammy the Jack Russell was hit by a car. It wasn’t like Sam to go near the road, but that day he did. And so I went into another spiral of emotions. He was a true companion and there for me so many times, and I didn’t even get the chance to pray. My heart was broken but the day was filled with too many responsibilities to grieve.  And so I handed him to the One Who created Him. And it was again a reminder about the fragility of life. Puppies or people, life is but a vapor.

I’m glad I know the Creator. I’m glad when the fire came, the water that quenched my thirsty soul in salvation also dampened the flames that tried to consume me.

Zechariah 13:6-9 ~ And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones.  And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the Lord, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God.

Those words… what an awesome tale they tell. An Old Testament prophecy that bears the name Jesus Christ.

Sunday morning’s prayer requests at our church were almost surreal. I wasn’t the only one going through a fire, and many of them their flames were higher than mine. But the God we serve was able to bring songs and shouts of praise throughout the congregation, because He’s awesome like that.

Are you going through some flames yourself? Give it to the Creator. He may not put them out, but He’ll carry you through. If you have time today, comment and let me know how the Lord is bringing you through!

Problems with Purpose

I don’t know why it is that every time God pours His blessings out on me I’m surprised. But I just stand in awe!!! I never understood why it was that God would open doors for someone like me to share and encourage others, but He did. I feel like braggin’ on my God this morning. I feel like praising His name and weeping tears of great joy. I feel like there is someone out there reading this blog today that needs to hear about Jehovah God, our Provider, Who is never late but is often right down to the wire on time! I cannot tell you the times that I have shown up for the day dressed in drab, prepared for the funeral and God said put on your coat of many colors girl, I had purpose in your problems!!!

I began to think about those that God brought out of a trial only to make them greater than they could have ever imagined. I want to name a few and remind you of their journey to triumph that began with trouble.

Genesis 21:10, Genesis 22:2

Abraham had already had to send his son Ishmael away, he loved Sarah and Isaac, but the pain he must have felt as he watched Hagar and Ishmael walk away into the wilderness would have overshadowed any joy in that moment.  And then came new news, “You must sacrifice your only son Isaac.” How will he tell Sarah, how we he look into the face of his only child as he binds him and lays him on the wood? Isaac knew the ritual, what fear must have gone through his young mind and heartbreak that his father would allow it; and then… the bleating of a lamb in the thickets… Can you feel the pressure as it lifts from Abraham’s heart. “Jehovah!” Whew! No funeral here!

Genesis 50:20

As a young man Joseph feels God on his life, he’s dreamed dreams and perhaps he told them with a little more pride than he should have, but he knew in his heart they were of God. He’d grown up experiencing the favor of his earthly father and the jealousy of his siblings but never in a million years did he dream his brothers would betray him and hurt their farther in such a manner. But they did. Held captive by Pharaoh, imprisoned for crimes he did not commit and still in the pit of his soul he knew God had a plan, but it sure was rough hanging onto that hope in the damp darkness of the night. But favor came again. And he rose up into power and position and with godly wisdom saved his people from certain famine and death. It had to have been bitter sweet when he stood before his brothers and said, “You meant it for evil but God used it for his glory.” The heartache washed away with the tears as he finally understood God’s plan. No funerals here!!

John 11:43

Lazarus’s sisters sobbed with heartbreak at the death of their brother. They’d cried out to the Lord to save him, they’d believed in faith that He would. Healing never came but the funeral day did. As Jesus arrived they may have felt both joy and sorrow; failing to understand how their faith had not been enough. Seeing Christ weep would again bring a flood of emotion in the sisters, “But He’s God; if God cries it can’t be good!” And then He speaks “Lazarus, come forth.” No funeral here either!!!

God’s purpose in problems was sometimes a nail biting, pit in your stomach, ready to throw up experience. But when the plan is finally unveiled there are tears of joy and jubilation. Your problems have purpose. Keep holding on and waiting for Christ to come on the scene and say “Dry your eyes child… and watch!” I can say that from the other side of many journeys in the faith. Hold on!!!!