Tag Archives: Proverbs 4

Beach Combers

Beach Combers

I’ve watched them with their metal detectors; searching the sand in hopes of unearthing treasure. It’s how I read the word of God. Sifting a verse, just a few words, in hopes if discovering something that will sparkle in my soul.

A treasure to be desired…

Matthew 6:21 says For where your treasure is, there will heart be also.

Proverbs 4:23 says Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

I have plenty of issues… believe me!

I search the scriptures for wisdom and I’m not always wise with what I find. Sometimes I’m like a beach comber, except when I find gold, I cast it aside and pick up a seashell. Enamored more by its beauty than the value of the gold. I warned you I had issues. I know it doesn’t have any value, but it’s pretty.

Matthew 6:20 says of treasure that we should lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven… I need to desire eternal rewards by focusing on the spiritual not the carnal. It’s not easy for me, this world is like a giant candy store and my carnal state is alive and well. I love all things shiny and tasty. I could say it’s how God created me, but I don’t think so. He created me with a desire to serve and a heart of compassion. But I choose to let the bling of this world blind me.

A verse that caught my attention this morning and pierced my heart was Proverbs 21:16

The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead.

It’s those who are not seeking at all. They’re just wandering around on the beach. Oblivious to eternity. They stay in dead churches because the Pastor’s preach pretty sermons without substance. Not gold. Just seashells.

Don’t get me wrong. God’s creation is to be marveled. But we’re to worship the Creator in spirit and truth. Those seashells are going by the wayside when this earth is destroyed by fire. But not the things that we’re laying up in Heaven. Today we should be combing the beach for souls that need saving. We should be encouraging ourselves with His word and looking for an opportunity to share what we’ve found.

I know I’m anointed, but deed… some days I don’t think I even uncap the bottle of oil God gives me.

On the Other Side

Proverbs 4:23

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

I cannot tell you when the heart issues began in my physical body, only that they had begun months before. I was having arm pain pretty frequently, but I would shush it as if to tell God, “I ain’t got no time for that Lord.” So on the busiest Sunday in a long time, of the busiest week in forever, in my most favorite place and haven of rest, I had a massive heart attack at about 9:40 a.m. Sunday, May 20th, 2018. I stole away to my class room at Victory Baptist Church, out of the eyes of the congregation and waited for the pain to subside. Yeah… I’m not the brightest crayon in the box. It did, and so I continued doing what Shari does. “Church stuff.”

I left church and a little later went to my granddaughter Paityn’s dance recital. Another “episode” and I walked out of the auditorium and away from people to let God know, I had too many things to do and the pain subsided.

Monday: another of my favorite ministries is the Long Term Care at Minnie Hamilton Health Care where I play and minister for an hour each Monday at 2:00 p.m. Once that was under my belt I had but to finish preparing for the departure of an African missionary that had been staying in our home, and the in the process of running an errand for that, the third and final, “Okay God, you win.” I pulled into the fire station where my husband is chief and said, I need to get to the hospital. And immediately everything was out of my control and there was no more shushing God. I was informed I had had a heart attack.

So what was my reaction? Typical Shari. “Hmmm. Now what? I’ve really messed up this time God. Are you going to fix it?

Things began rolling so fast: a friend staffed ambulance trip to Camden Clark in Parkersburg. A heart cath that showed a 95% blockage was over with before I even knew it. Literally I asked the doctor when he was going to start. I’d been joking and talking about music and Jesus with the staff and missed my own heart cath. I was assigned to a heart doctor that I was ready and willing without apprehension to trust for my heart surgery. But then, he fears I have a blood disorder and refuses to do the surgery in that facility. So to WVU in Morgantown I go. Another ambulance ride, constant chest pain and I’m as cool as a cucumber in the garden after the rain.

I had a 95% blockage in two arteries, one being the main. And so a team of the best heart doctors in our state commence to figure a plan for the surgery. They’re worried about the blood issue. I know it’s covered by the blood and so I lay there in waiting for a new start on life and all the while asking God, “Am I gonna come through this?” I kept hearing again and again, “You’re fine, you’re going to the other side.” So there I continue to lay for 3 days waiting for the boat. God had calmed the sea, but Jesus had hired drivers for this trip in the form of WVU medicine.

The boat arrived Friday, May 22nd and my double bypass surgery was scheduled for 6:30 a.m. My husband David, Pastor Steven, and salvation long friend Ed Eisley met with me before surgery where we prayed, laughed about life and off to surgery I went. I know… I’m a nut.

I was wheeled into a very sterile operating theatre where the show was about to begin and I was the star. I was very aware and oddly so that I had no fear. Two of the medical staff were from my mom’s home county, and as I joked and talked about like acquaintances we knew, the next thing I know my husband is saying “Shari it’s done. You’re good.”

My healing in the next few days was every bit as insanely miraculous. It wasn’t fun and it wasn’t pain free, but it was tolerable and passed quickly. And here I sit, on a Sunday morning at 4 a.m. two weeks from the day of my heart attack, preparing my mind for church and wondering how the game plan has changed for me in the scope of my service.

Fggam.org founder, Dewey Moede asked me a few days after the surgery “What’s the biggest lesson I learned through the heart attack?” At that time my mind wasn’t in a place to answer. The brain fog of drugs and anesthesia had my mind a jumbled mess, and I’m still not so sure my lesson is over. This has certainly sidelined me in a few ways. But what I am very aware of is the fact that God is faithful. I am not.

I am not some super saint with the ability to step out in faith every time and never ever question God. I did not maintain that Spirit of fearlessness in surgery by my own accord. God’s divine mercy saw fit to use me for six days for His glory and without human reasoning. Hundreds if not thousands of saints of God lifted my name to the Lord and I knew it because every prayer could be physically felt. God placed the best medical facility and staff in my path for six days. I left the hospital in record time and returned home to family who were frustrated that they didn’t need to take care of me as much as they’d planned.  If you played any part in my “episode,” I am so eternally thankful.

So for the lesson? I’m sure there are many, many to come. But the one in my mind right now is that God needed me to understand that my life was not my own and it would be used as a vessel for His glory and goodness, even when I tried to shush Him or do things my way. I pray you learn that lesson by my errors rather than your own. I look at the heart bypass as hopefully a bypass around the world’s approach to faith. You can give your heart to Jesus and be an honest to goodness child of God, but until you go around the worldly view of Christianity, which is so wrong, and give full control to the Spirit of God, you’re missing out on Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.”

Children of God we are set apart and created with purpose. We do not belong to this world. When that boat of surgeons arrived to take me to the other side, I was ready. It’s not to say the world didn’t try to tell me the storms would overtake me, but I knew the maker of the storm! I will not allow Satan to take credit for any part of what I went through. I brought it on myself through disobedience and ignorance, case closed. God was glorified because as my friend John Powell used to say, “God takes care of stupid people.” Especially those with a desire to serve Him and be used by Him.

Here I am Lord, use me!

While Seeking the Wisdom of God

woman of wisdom

Wisdom. Oh, I desire it… and then I don’t. Sometimes there’s something to be said about the simple ways of folks like me who just want to live out the Word of God and leave the brains to doctors and lawyers and such. Simple people have simple ways as an old friend of mine use to say. And while that’s true; the wisdom of God is not to be ignored. It’s not the same as the wisdom of man… although some men/women think they’ve got the wisdom of God. But the wisdom of God is far deeper and more exhaustive than mortal man can explore, which is what makes it a worthy pursuit! Even for simple folks like me.

Text: PROVERBS 4:7-13

Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

Wisdom is the principal thing! As a child we need wisdom to understand that a stove is hot and mittens protect our fingers from the cold, else we’ll be burnt or frost bitten. But it’s not knowledge that we’re born with, it’s learned via instruction or unfortunate deduction. I’ve lived by both, the latter was my greater teacher. So when I came across this verse this morning while scoping out other bible journaling artists, it pricked my heart. “You should be living wiser,” I heard the Holy Spirit say. “Life will be better… living by the seat of your pants is not always faith, sometimes it’s stupidity, it’s a fine line for you… walk carefully.”

“True story,” I thought.

And so I set out to find the woman of wisdom that God desires me to be. And for a little while I set to draw the woman of wisdom with a crown of glory and an ornament of grace. She’s pretty… and so far from where I feel that I am today.

She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.

I want that crown and that bling of grace… and so I search for her. I believe the woman of wisdom is far more complex than I could define in one blog, so for brevity for you and I, and to give us something to chew on today I’ve narrowed it to a three point outline in our search today:

Pure Wisdom

A woman of God should desire the wisdom of God, not man. James 3:17 says But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

The wisdom of God is first pure, untainted by the wisdom of men. Look at what “pure” wisdom seeks: peace, gentleness, good fruit, no partiality or hypocrisy. For certain it’s not of man! How much sweeter our day will be when we seek that pure wisdom of God when our time is requested, our temper is short, and out tasks are many! Sweeter than ® Nestle Toll House cookies I just took from the oven! Much sweeter…. I burnt them!

Plentiful Wisdom

James 1:5 tells us that If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

There is no shortage of wisdom, but merely a shortage of conversation. We have not because we ask not. Time is a precious commodity, I’m pretty sure we’d all agree. How much of it do we waste because we neglect to begin each day with the wisdom of God.

Before I had sat my feet on the floor this morning, Satan had entered my bedroom and my mind and there was a spirit of fear and frustration that ran through my joints and marrow that caused my body to groan and crawl back beneath the warmth of the covers and away from the reality of the world. That’s not wise living, that’s defeated living and it is us living far beneath our means because God has an abundant supply of wisdom for the frustrations of life, no matter how bad!

My third and final though for the day in the wisdom that a woman of God should seek out is

Prudent Wisdom

Ephesians 1:8 – Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;

God has thrived and prospered toward us if we in prudence (caution) seek His wisdom. Satan is the great deceiver and imitator. It makes his day to fool a child of God by creating a spirit of confusion when it comes to the decisions of life, ruining the fruitful life that God has planned. This is where Satan has won many small victories in my life. Shiny things and fun times catch my attention and oftentimes draw me away from God’s planned strategies of life. I long for a career in this mission field called life. And I earnestly want God’s design for that, but my attention span is so short, and my eye so easily drawn away because I don’t proceed with caution.

Remember that conversation with the Holy Spirit this morning.

-living by the seat of your pants is not always faith, sometimes it’s stupidity, it’s a fine line for you… walk carefully.”

God knew how this blog would end. I did not. But it certainly came full circle didn’t it? Proceed with caution friends! Seek the pure wisdom of God, it is plentiful!

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