Tag Archives: prophecy

Purple Lizards and Christ’s Return

chick watchThere was a time when I sang in another Bluegrass band that one of our most requested songs was “Matthew 24”. A song about the coming of the Lord and our need to be ready. Oh it was a beloved song, but the message in reality is not readily accepted. Nobody wants to hear about the return of Jesus Christ, and yet they do. I know… sounds like either a riddle or a bluegrass song. Perhaps I’ll write it! If there’s time. The blood moons got several people excited and ready for a major spiritual event. But what if that event was a major spiritual non-event.

1 Thessalonians 5:1-2 says But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

This verse always causes me to roll my eyes when the predictors start giving dates of the Lord’s return. What part of Matthew 24:36 do they not understand when it says But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” God said simply to “Watch.” In verse 42 of that same book, and so that’s what I’ve been doing. Watching…

I’ve watched:

  • As many have professed to be God (Matthew 24:5)
  • As there have been wars and rumors of wars (24:6)
  • Nations have risen against nations (24:7)
  • Pestilences (diseases) have come (24:7)
  • Famines have come (24:7)
  • Earthquakes have occurred (24:7)
  • As Christians are killed and hated by all nations (24:9)
  • Many are offended (24:10)
  • False prophets deceive man (24:11)
  • Iniquity abounds (24:12)
  • Many wax cold (24:12)
  • The gospel is preached to all nations (24:14)

Yes, I may roll my eyes at the predictors, but I’m not fool enough not to watch.

Verse 42 says Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.”

Before I put the last dot on this blog… Christ could return. And that brings joy to my heart until I read  the end of verse 43 ~ But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.

That brought new definition to “Broken Homes” for me. And it breaks my heart to think that many of the people that I know and love, and who love me in return, won’t take heed. I might as well be telling them that there’s a purple lizard is taking over the planet; because for them the return of Jesus sounds just as crazy. And lest they take heed, their homes will be broken eternally.

Did it happen on the night of the blood moon? Nope. But it will happen. Look at those bullet points of Matthew 24 and tell me which one has not occurred. The “non-events” are precursors to “The” event. Don’t watch the predictors… watch the skies.

We are without excuse

#WithoutExcuse

We’re without excuse. I look about me this morning and I’m grateful for the “raisin’ up” I had in the hills of West Virginia. This is where God placed me and by His grace I was placed in the hands of two wonderful Holy Spirit filled parents. But were I not, I’d still be without excuse. And though I was, that still did not guarantee me to become who I am; a child of God. We all get to grace the same way, by accepting what Christ did; not by being born into a certain family. The world is so full of excuses. This morning I’ve had my eyeballs full…

  • The World says: “So and so made me who I am.”
    • No, “so and so” may have hurt you, but you decided who you are.”
  • The world says: “All religions lead to Heaven.”
    • No religion is just the practice of a learned behavior, Heaven comes from a relationship with Christ. Side note: If you have a relationship with someone, you’re pretty close.
  • The world says: “We control our destiny.”
    • Only so far as God allows. So technically you don’t.
  • The world says: “There is no God.”
    • Those who say that are without excuse because we’ve been raised better.

Gene and Violet Hardway raised me, but God raised me up.

Amos 2:11-13 says

And I raised up of your sons for prophets, and of your young men for Nazarites. Is it not even thus, O ye children of Israel? saith the Lord. But ye gave the Nazarites wine to drink; and commanded the prophets, saying, Prophesy not. Behold, I am pressed under you, as a cart is pressed that is full of sheaves.

It is God who put me in a higher place that I may have the privilege of sharing the gospel. Not because I am great, but because I am His. A privilege afforded anyone who accepts the holiness, sacrifice and will of God. He has a purpose for you just as He had a purpose for Israel, and still does. But they rejected Him. Here God tells them I raised up your sons for prophets. God selected and set into place men of God to shine the light to Israel but they chose to ignore it; continually falling back into the ways of the world until disaster struck and then they’d call on God.  But there came a day when God had been rejected one too many times. (His eyeballs eventually got full too I guess.)

Is America there? God raised up prophets and of those He set aside the Nazarite men, many in the prime of their life vowed themselves to the service of God to the extreme, and today we have as those as well. Sure, there are those in the ministry who do not walk the walk they profess, but there are those who do. They’re not perfect, no man is, but they live what they preach. America is without excuse. I speak collectively. I’m an American, but my country is not here, my homeland awaits on the other side of Jordan.

I understand Amos’ frustration at Israel. That’s how I feel about the arrogant lot of people in my face every day. Those who justify their immoral behavior because of how they were raised or treated. I am truthfully sorry for your heartache… but you’re without excuse. Someone else may have hurt you, but Christ, the Creator of all the earth,  loved you enough to die for you and longs to be in a relationship with you through the Holy Spirit and you have hurt and turned your back on Him. He who is your perfect friend and Father. You are without excuse.

The trash talkers of the waves tell the world that all religions are right. Tell me any other than Christianity who’s God died for them.  None. Tell me any other religion that has the moral standards that every human being in their soul knows is right. None but Christianity. Tell me any other that puts themselves in the role of a servant to a heathen nation that rejects them so they might be saved. None but Christian. … Yes… I’m with Amos!

Our destiny is written in the scripture of old. It’s done. Or in Christ’s words, “It is finished.” The only thing we control is self-will; God has the power at any time to stop the world from spinning and throw us into space. Dwell on that thought for a second. God has put the evidence of Himself through His creation before us and He sent messengers to tell the world of His desire to be our Father. I am one.

Amos prophesied that when judgement came, and it would, it would feel like a cart bogged down with weight to the point it couldn’t move. How many in America feel like that today? I love America… but I do not love what she has become. I love her people… but I’m not fool enough to think that God won’t wipe that arrogance off of their faces through judgement so harsh I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.   Saved and unsaved we are without excuse.

There’s no excuse for rejecting Christ.

There’s no excuse for not telling someone about Him.

There’s a Rumor Goin’ round… and the Lord started it!

CHICK VICTORY

Turn on the news, listen in on any number of conversations or watch the trending topics of the internet and it’s bound to be there…any number of headings meant to incite fear or at the least cause alarm; end time warnings, antichrist theories and terrorist threats. Our minds are pummeled with images of destruction and yet those of us in America are blessed to live on a soil of peace, at least for today. I’m dumfounded by either the ignorance of leadership or their willingness to hand over the keys of freedom to a liberal, ungodly lot who have no conscience of evil. That’s a pretty harsh statement, but I’d argue its truth and win. I’m not saying that everyone in Washington is on board… but if they’re not, where in the world are they?

For quite a while it’s been on my heart to blog on this incitation of fear that my own heart has fell to upon occasion, but the words didn’t come until today.

2 Timothy 1:7 says “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” So how is that we can have a sound mind in this chaotic world? Only through the Word of God because it is the only true peace on earth.

In the book of Obadiah, in it’s one and only chapter we find the continuing saga of two brothers at odds; Jacob and Esau. A story that began in the book of Genesis and continues through to today, with Edom (the descendants of Esau) being viewed as an example of the antichrist and Jacob (Israel) the chosen nation of God. A little piece of ground that God chose as His own and is still desired to be the possession of anyone at odds with God. And at the root of it all – the pride of men.

Obadiah 1:1-4

The vision of Obadiah. Thus saith the Lord God concerning Edom; We have heard a rumour from the Lord, and an ambassador is sent among the heathen, Arise ye, and let us rise up against her in battle. Behold, I have made thee small among the heathen: thou art greatly despised. The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground? Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the Lord.

One thing for certain is if God starts a rumor, it still truth. The antichrist, the “heathen’s ambassador” is for certain in our path. Much speculation has occurred on who it is or will be, but he has yet to be revealed. We are however primed and ready to accept the god of lies because we’re allowing ourselves to be engulfed in this fear that the world would have us fall to. The world is looking for a Savior, Who’s been there all along, yet they desire one with cape and crown that they can see. And Satan will provide it. He’ll provide it by two methods: Fear and Pride.

Fear will come to those who do not know the Word of God. And they outnumber those who do. Pride is the political hierarchy that believe that “they” are the solution.

God says of pride in Proverbs 6:16-17 – These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,

The pride of man says “I am in control,” but the wisdom of God says, “I know Who’s in control.”

It was pride that caused Lucifer to be kicked out of Heaven, caused Eve to want to be as smart as God, caused the tower of Babel to be built which got the nations scattered, caused Herod to kill all those innocent babies trying to exterminate Christ, and will cause the antichrist to demand to be worshipped in the end times. But it is the humility of the Christian faith, that acknowledges the power of almighty God and His sovereignty that will bring peace to the soul in this world of woe.

Obadiah 1:18 – And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble, and they shall kindle in them, and devour them; and there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau; for the Lord hath spoken it.

History has proven God’s word again and again and will continue to do so. Yes we live by faith, not sight. But we also have the historical facts as evidence.

When God said that there would not be any remaining of the house of Esau He meant it. The Edomite extinction began around 300 A.D. when a group of Arabs conquered their capital city Petra and continued through other tenemies until they were completely destroyed by the Romans around 70 A.D. And no one today can tell where an Edomite is located.

The spirit of fear that the world would desire Christians to have shouldn’t be there. If we read and understand the Word of God we can know, regardless of what appears to be going on in the world, God still has FULL CONTROL. And there will come a day that the pride and arrogance of those in the world who desire evil against the nation of Israel and the people of God will be as Esau. None remaining. Amen.

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Have I got a story for you!

Chick Manger Scene

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

Luke 2:6-7 KJV

Barely a woman by today’s standards, Mary had just been given a harsh reality in life, and I’m not speaking of the birth, although that would certainly have been one too! But the lesson that I refer to this morning is “not everyone is your friend, and life’s not always fair.” For the past nine months she had been a willing vessel to carry the Redeemer of all mankind. And for that she had been rewarded with being on the cover of People Magazine and the Enquirer too had done a four page spread about the secret life she led prior to marrying Joseph. Okay… so that’s not true, but I’m sure the gossip train rolled just as ugly; shooting off steam and traveling just as far. But this night she lie in a make shift hospital room on the side of a hill. Forget sterile, her baby was wrapped in grave clothes, no anesthesia or drugs to dull the pain, and the Physician’s assistant was a donkey name Estelle. Again, I embellish! But the story is so ordinary… NOT!

It’s one of the thousands of story in the Bible that need not be embellished, it’s just as amazing to me every year and when I slow down to think about it; multiple celestial sightings, prophecy fulfilled, a Baby born to a virgin, welcomed by shepherds, honored by Wise Men and a price put on His little head by a pagan king who feared the power of a not so ordinary infant boy. And all that for me!

What an amazing God we serve that He would write such an awesome story to be placed in our lineage and shared with our children and grandchildren. I wonder if the original characters will gather around and tell us all the “real” version of the story when we get to Heaven. Family story night will take on a whole new meaning when we’re together up there! And those books…the ones that God writes in every day of the things we’ve done for Him; perhaps we could even leaf back through to the night of Jesus’ conception and read for ourselves what God wrote of Mary’s reaction to the news that she would carry our Lord. My mind is reeling at what might have been written in those books and what a trip to the library might be like. I’m so grateful for stories…

It’s Sunday! And today I get to be the storyteller to a group of teens in my class. I get to gather them around and share the Good News and the Glory of God. I’m excited, can you tell? I hope you’re excited to share that news today. You don’t have to be a Sunday School teacher; just tell somebody!

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!

And God said, “No you won’t”

Numbers 24:17

I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.

I love Bible prophecy, especially that which shows Satan getting his just dues. It doubly sweetens it when God uses Satan’s very own words to further the gospel of Christ! In Isaiah 14:13 God sites Satan’s plan for overthrowing the Kingdom of Heaven. “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:”

And God said, “No you won’t.” That of course was a Shari Quote of verse 15 that reads Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.”

And so on the night that Christ was born, what do we find making its way into the Christmas story? A star!

Matthew 2:1-2 ~ Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

And for generation after generation, every time the story of the coming of the Messiah is told there is also the story of the star that lead the Shepherd’s and Wise men to Christ. The very thing that Satan said he would exalt himself above, God uses to proclaim His Son’s birth and the salvation of earth. The star that Satan would use to lure men into idol worship, God used to light the path to the greatest story ever told.

In Deuteronomy 4:19 God warned ~ And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the Lord thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven.

As if to say to Satan, what you believe yourself to have dominion over, I’ll show you Who is in control; and as the Magi were possibly doing something they shouldn’t be doing (looking for signs in the stars) God reveals Himself and they begin their journey for the Creator of the Star. Oh my goodness, how awesome is that! We too forget sometimes Who it is that is in control and that God will use even our mistakes to light the path to His purpose. The wise men followed that star to the Messiah and from their story we find four things that should be in the heart of every believer

Matthew 2:10-13  ~ When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

Joy – It should be evident. (Theirs was great, so should ours be)

Worship – it should be experienced. (They fell down! In awe of His presence)

Giving – it should be earnest. (They were the takers, now they were the givers)

Changed direction – it should be everlasting. (They went another way. There should be some notable changes of direction in our lives when we meet Christ)

I pray this Christmas each time you see a star you’ll be reminded of Christ and experience the great joy that comes in knowing Him!