Tag Archives: Romans

Just Lean in and Go

Image may contain: drawingLast night I sang at a sparsely attended revival at Eagle Ranch, on the West Fork of Calhoun County. Don’t be too sad about the attendance level, because God set it up that way. I believe that with all my heart. As Preacher Sebby Volpe said, God may have even kept some away. I believe that too. So you may ask, “Why would God keep people away from a revival?” Perhaps they couldn’t handle the truth Sebby delivered, or they may not have been ready, or just maybe, like in the days of Gideon, God just needed a few. I don’t know, or need to know His reasoning. I only know that I was supposed to be there, and not because I was ask to sing.

Every day is an uphill spiritual battle for me. And lately the hills have been getting steeper and steeper and I question God’s plan more and more. Even this morning as I lay in bed with a desire in my heart to get up and begin writing, I couldn’t get one foot in front of the other to climb out from beneath the covers, not to mention make my way to the computer. And so I laid there in the darkness with the same empty feeling I had before the revival last night. When I finally got out of bed at 7ish I avoided the word of God like a skunk sprayed hound. My friend Gloria will catch that reference from last night’s revival. I even ask myself “why?” God had poured His goodness down on me last night so much so, that when I left that revival I felt like every joint in my body had been lubricated with anointing oil. It was amazing. But this morning the anointing oil had leaked out and it was just Shari in the flesh. Frustrated and down hearted again.

But after a few cups of coffee I finally made my way to the word of God and I ask Him this question:

“What does it mean to be sold out for You?”

His answer didn’t surprise me. Because I had heard it last night in the message from Sebby.

“Don’t be ignorant.”

Now Sebby didn’t say those words. Although I know him, and he would have if God had laid it on his heart to do so. Sebby’s message was more along the lines of the latter part of the verse those words came from.

Romans 1:13-17

13 Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles.

THE MISSION NEVER CHANGES

What I’ve discovered is, the Mission never changes, but the direction of the mission can turn on a dime if God so chooses. Paul is telling his friends in Rome that he’d have been there with them, if God hadn’t changed the direction. Paul’s mission was to win souls for the Kingdom of God. And that’s our mission as well. But Paul was tuned into God so closely that when God changed the direction, he didn’t question it, he simply leaned the other way.

THE MASTER NEVER CHANGES

14 I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.

Indebted to the God of all. And If I (or you) serve the Master, we too are indebted to the Lord to serve both the wise and the unwise, the rich and the poor and all those in between. Those I love and those I have to work to love. The mission doesn’t change. Just lean into it and go. However…

THE METHOD MAY CHANGE

15 So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

From the faithfulness of God, to the faithfulness of man it is God who reveals the methods of delivery, we just need to be ready to lean in the direction God points us in.

When Paul started on his journey with Christ, I highly doubt any of it was comfortable for him. He’d not delivered the message of God in that manner ever before. But God changed his direction 180 degrees and Paul rode it out until the end. And we’re still talking about that ride today. What we view as old school was all new back then. And while God doesn’t change the mission or the message, His methods have certainly changed over time. And almost always with resistance. Change is easier for some than others. For me it’s always came easy. I embrace it! But it still doesn’t stop the fear…

Paul could lean in and go without hesitation because his focus wasn’t on the direction he was going but rather focused on the Lord Who was pointing him in the direction he was to go.

So what did i determine being sold out mean?

Just Lean into it and go…

3 Reasons to Add More Preaching to Your Diet

I love good preachin’! I’ve often said, and it may sound odd to those who know how much I love music, but for me I’d rather listen to preaching. It’s much like a song to my heart because it stirs my soul much like music does. With one exception… music doesn’t generally convict. Some songs may… but for the most part they soften and tenderize the heart for the word of God, or they encourage us in our walk with Jesus Christ. Both are needful and the Bible speak of both, but the greater share of emphasis should be on the preaching of the word.

Romans 10:13-15

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

3 Reasons you should make Preaching a Large part of your diet:

Seeking Salvation

Yours of course, but once you’re saved, you should be seeking salvation for others. It’s the primary purpose of the child of God but it seems to be lost on most of the world. Many Christians lose sight of it past Sunday morning. We rejoice when someone gives their life to Christ! But then the world takes over Monday morning. It’s hard to stay focused on the mission when Satan is so very good at his, which is to take our focus off the mission of seeing souls save and putting it on the problems in and around us.

Seeking Solutions

The Word of God is amazing! Whether it’s read or preached it speaks to heart of the matter in our souls. Countless times I have left a service pretty sure someone had spilled the beans on the sins of my life to the preacher because his sermon stepped all over my already tender toes. All the while someone else receive an entirely different message from the same sermon. How could that be? Because that’s the power of the Word of God. When seeking answers to life’s problems the bible should always be our first resort, not our last. But is it? Not generally speaking.

Seeking Sanctuary

One of the sweetest times of life is in the presence of the Holy Spirit. For certain He loves good Christian music, but the Word of God being preached can be so soothing to the soul in days of distress and doubt. It reaffirms our faith, builds strength in our souls, highlights areas of our life that need work and most of all creates a dialogue between us and the Lord.

I’m a preaching junky. I seek it out. I’m in church every service available and when I’m not I love listening to it via YouTube and Podcasts. I have my favorite preachers, and for the record they’re not all Baptist. We don’t’ have the exclusive on the Holy Spirit.

That being said, I do listen to preachers who preach what I believe. And I’d advise great caution in choosing an online ministry to follow. There’s some junk that people throw into their sermons that will undo the good work your preacher is doing in your life by causing you to doubt what you’ve been taught. If you’re unsure of who you should follow, ask your preacher. And you should have your own personal, local pastor; one that you attend his services and have a relationship with that allows you to ask questions like that.

Seek God’s word today!


I’ll not complain when the power and blessings of the Holy Spirit bring unexplainable and unspeakable joys in my life for my service through the studying of His Word and the sharing of the Gospel. That is a gift of unmeasurable worth! But through the coercing of others in the ministry, who see my work as worthy, and the coercing of the Holy Spirit Who says “Through His blood I am worthy,” I have added a ministry donation button to this site. If you do not have, or do not feel inclined to give, then please don’t feel obligated. But if I have encouraged you and the Spirit speaks, your gift of any amount would be appreciated and honored by God.

I do what I do because I’m gifted and afforded the opportunity by grace and feel that I am accountable for the ministry that God has given. God has been enlarging my territory. For that I am grateful. But for that, there are expenses. Thank you for reading my blog. It encourages my soul, I pray I’ve encouraged yours!

To Contribute to this ministry follow the Paypal Link!

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Judges, Grudges and Smudges – A Merrier Christmas for the Church

pigs-with-purpose

I read that headline and thought… “Wow Shari, that ain’t very Christmassy!” And it’s not, but it is real. And I like being real so long as it doesn’t take me to a dark place that leaves me and everyone else feeling worse than when we began. I love encouraging people. But I also feel that there are times when we need to take a look within and ‘clean the house before company comes,’ just like we do during the Holidays.

Holidays are a time that many families put aside petty differences for the sake of the season and bury the hatchet in the holiday ham rather than their brother in law’s head. But what about the church? Believe me when I tell you that I had to do a little holiday cleaning there myself this week. So it brought me to this blog to perhaps help myself and hopefully a few others understanding the spiritual impact of judges, grudges and smudges in the church.

These three culprits undermine the work of the Lord every day in churches across the land.

The Judges

Romans 14:10-13

But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.

Judging is so easy and it sneaks up on you before you even know it!

  • Did you see what she wore…
  • Did you hear they said…
  • Do you know what they did…

I wonder if you didn’t have an image of someone’s face run through your mind as you read the bullet points. I did. Doggone it, why is that? Because we’re human and the flesh will rise again and again. But it’s our job to put it back in it’s place. And that place is yielded to the Holy Spirit. The scriptures says that we’re to give an “account of himself to God.” Not tattle to God and every one else in the congregation about what little sister seatsaver did that you thought was offensive. What is it that you’ve done that you need the mercy of God for.

The Grudges

Romans 14:14-18

I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.  But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died. Let not then your good be evil spoken of: For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.

So what if they eat pork. That comment goes a lot deeper. It says so what if they’re opinion differs from yours. So they didn’t vote like you do. Dress like you do. Eat like you do. If you’re vocal about your Christianity then you better know what the word says about it. God had said that eating the meats that had once been forbidden for the Jews was now okay. But some couldn’t get past the traditions of the law. And Paul said if it causes them to stumble and have evil thoughts, I just won’t eat it in front of them. Better that than cause an argument. For me this brought to mind a political ideal that when it comes to Christmas dinner, it might be better just to eat the fish than cause someone to eat crow. Leave the election out of holiday conversation.

The Smudges

Romans 19-23

Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence. It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.  Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

Paul’s asking the Romans. Are you a Christian only before God, and not before others? If in tearing someone apart for what they believe in you destroy your relationship with them and your impact for Christ, what have you gotten accomplished for the good of the Kingdom? Everyone sins. Everyone has need of mercy and grace. It shouldn’t just be at Christmas but it sure wouldn’t hurt to keep that in mind at Christmas dinners.

Logic is so Overrated

chick pondering

In need of hope? Glory to God I need it every day! I wake up with Satan at the foot of my bed telling me that there is no hope. I should give up on the day before it gets started. The aches and pains in my body tend to raise their hand in agreement and say “we think that’s logical.”

There is no logic in faith (at least to the world) and faith gives birth to hope. Apostle Paul speaks of that in Romans 4, reminding the believers of an original believer, Abraham, who against hope believed in hope.

Romans 4:18-25

Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

CONTRADICTION TO HOPE

It was not logical that a one hundred year old man should have a child, but God did not say he would have a child, God told him that he would be the father of nations. That goes beyond what the body and mind can comprehend. There is no doubt in my mind that Satan continually tried to steal Abraham’s hope by telling him that he was crazy to think he was going to have a child. Why else would he have bought into Sarah’s plan to have a child with Hagar. (Genesis 16)

God tells me through His word this morning that although the world (and my body) says that there is no hope, there is hope and there is a plan. I need to stick to it.

CONFIDENT IN HOPE

The word says that Abraham staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief. His faith gave birth to the hope that God’s Word would be fulfilled and his wife would give birth to a son just as God had said. Faith comes first. We cannot have hope unless we have faith. I have faith in God, Jehovah, my Provider.  He has proven Himself true again and again, Satan has proven himself a liar again and again, and I want to see through, not to stagger, as God brings to fruition, (gives birth) to this plan He has for me. Do you have that confidence today? God is faithful… trust Him!!!

CONVINCED IN HOPE

Abraham was fully persuaded that, what he (GOD) had promised, he was able also to perform. Don’t let Satan convince you any other way than what God has spoken. When I began to write this I started to say that Satan was on the bed post, but that put him above me, and that is not the case.

Paul said in Romans 16:20 ~ And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen. He may have been speaking of Satan being under our feet in the very near future or in the end times, but regardless Satan is beneath us, not above. I don’t need to elevate him in any way in my life – be it metaphorically or literally. I am convinced that God is the God of All Hope. Satan is a liar. My faith in Christ has been proven again and again!

Satan is a contradiction to hope. Be confident and stand strong in his adversity, be convinced (assured) that God will deliver what it is you stand in need of just as He delivered Sarah of that precious child who was the beginning of the great Nation Israel that God had promised!

21 Ways to Have A Healthy, Happy Day

chick romans 12

First and foremost, get out your Bible and trust only in its Word. Everyone else could be wrong. Including and especially me. I’m the Jesus Chick… not Jesus. As I laid in bed  this morning, I opened the Bible app on my phone and began reading Romans 12; I then bounced out of bed like I’d already had coffee and hurried down the hall to write my thoughts on what God had shown me in His word. If only you and I would take heed and hang on to every breath of His word like a school girl crush we’d be so much better off!

Romans 12

1          I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

It’s only reasonable, when given any thought at all, that we serve God with our entire body. He’s the Creator and Maker of the universe and specifically you and I. He holds our very breath in His hands and has the power to speak life and blessings into existence. Our bodies: everything we put into our mind and body should be holy and acceptable. God is looking through your eyes… what does He see. What did you feed on spiritually (if anything at all) and physically that was going to help you have a healthy, happy day?

2          And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God

God desires us to prove that He is Who He says He is. He’s challenging us to be spiritually and physically prepared for this day by ingesting His Word and foods that you’d serve to Him if He sat at your table. Or on the couch… as in the case of myself this morning while eating Special K Fruit & Yogurt. Would God have approved… oh I thinks so! Possibly not of my breakfast yesterday.

3          For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

It’s a common colloquialism in West Virginia to hear someone way say “they got above their raisin”, meaning they forgot where they came from. While putting life into perspective today, I only need to look out my window at the autumn colors of West Virginia and I am reminded that this is the season of life that I’m in. It causes me to get serious about what I need to accomplish today for the sake of eternity. As a child of God, He has gifted me with this day… what am I going to do with it?

4-8        For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.

What gifts did God give us? Don’t say that He didn’t give you any… because if you do you’re a fibber and in serious trouble. You possibly are comparing your gifts to someone else’s (I speak from experience on that one); but God said that we are many in the body of Christ, but our gifts differ according to the grace we are given. God did not give me the grace of a dancer but He gave me the gift of music so that I might play and someone could dance a jig. That for me is life in perspective… use what He gave you, don’t wish for anothers.

9-10     Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;

Dissimulation. Ironically another word for it that is so fitting in this season of West Virginia is “camouflage.” You’ll find few homes in West Virginia without several pieces of camo apparel hanging in their closet. While concealing yourself in the forest is great for deer hunting, it’s a terrible idea when hunting souls for Christ. Our love should be visible to everyone we meet. How’s that working for you? Keep away from things that drag you down and cling to the things that encourage you… the paths you cross today need to see a happy, healthy you!

11        Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;

Whatever your job is, do it well. If you’re a secretary, serve God there. If you’re a stay at home mom, serve God there. If you’re retired…. Well… you get the picture.

12        Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;

Be happy. Troubles come, pray and go on.

13        Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.

See a need, fill a need. That’s God’s way and if it’s done with the spirit of Christ’s giving the blessing received in returned is like a little dose Christmas every day of the year.1

14        Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.

I’m quickly reminded when I get ready to lash out at someone that I am responsible for Christ hanging on the cross. If I allow myself to soak in that thought there’s no way I can sulk about anything.

15        Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.

The world needs to know that Christians can identify with what they’re facing today. We need to celebrate with the people in our lives, and when they struggle we need to be there too. Don’t just be a sunny day saint!

16        Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.

Rich, poor, beggar, drug addict, Sunday School Teacher, Preacher, Doctor, Lawyer, Factory Worker or unemployed; we all come to the cross the same way. We have nothing to present but the bodies we were given, naked and unworthy. Humbling …

17        Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.

I won’t say it easy, but  God says it necessary. Even if you’re wronged, do right

18        If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

Bite your tongue, put your hands in your pockets, walk away, count to ten or do whatever else you can to keep the peace. Only, with God’s stamp of approval is it okay to get huffy. Make sure it’s God’s stamp…

19-21   Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst,      give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

God WILL take care of it. Smile, walk away and believe it.

And there you have it. Twenty one verses of healthy and happy

Things that are separate are sometimes together

chick ministry

Having worked in the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ for several years now I feel that I have a few tee shirts in my closet of the places I have been and the troubles I have seen to allow my opinion to be notable. (perhaps only Post-It ® note worthy) but noteworthy none the less. I have had to take stands over the course of my 19 years in the ministry that were not always popular and on very rare occasions, alone. And when I say alone, there would have probably been many who would have stood with me, if they had known that I was taking a stand. But sometimes in the case of leadership you take an inward stand because the outward conflict would do more harm than good to the cause of Christ if the issue never comes to a resolution.

I know that’s a vague statement, but stay with me and I’ll get this bus to the drop off point.

If you are a part of a congregation of believers where there are more than two, there is likely a separation in the church of ideology. Theology should be agreed upon, but our ideas are just that… “our” ideas. And they often collide like bumper cars in an amusement park, except without the laughter. It’s just human nature. The problem with that is as saved people we’re not supposed to be natural.

1 Corinthians 2:14

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Now I get that we cannot get rid of that natural man that wars against the spiritual man within us but if the natural man or woman wins, at some point in that battle, we’ve stopped listening to the Spirit of God. So what are we to do as leaders in the church when our ideas don’t line up with others in the church and we believe we’re right? When things that are separate, are together. What then?  I’m pretty sure I’m right when I say we should talk to the One Who’s never wrong. God.

In Romans 1:1 apostle Paul said that he was …separated unto the gospel of God.

Separated from what? From the world and natural man to the spiritual. He no longer considered himself to be a part of this this world, yet that’s where he was, and it was his job to share the gospel. As believers, whether or not you’ve been called into the ministry you have still been called to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. So you too have been separated like Paul, unto the gospel. That automatically, like it or not, puts you on a different playing field in life. You are held to a higher accountability than the world around you.

Romans 1:5-6

By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name: Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ:

Now if you’ve been called into actual ministry work, your field just got higher still.

Romans 1:9-13

For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers; Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you. For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established; That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me. Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles.

Paul desired to preach in Rome, but God had other plans, he was let hitherto. Paul knew through the Spirit of God that he was not to go to Rome, even though that was his desire. And so it is when we get ideas of our own that we want one thing and God wants another. For certain God has only one plan. Paul was in tune spiritually enough to know what it was. So what if there are people in the church with two ideas? It is for certain that only one of them is the one God wants, because God’s not in division. And if there’s division, someone’s wrong. When that’s happened, and it has, I’ve had to step out of the way. Sometimes I had to bite my tongue off. But I had to trust that God’s will would be accomplished. It’s hard to be separate when we’re together. When we don’t agree with someone in our midst. Paul reminded his friends that even though they were not together physically, they had one thing in common. Mutual faith.

Did some people get upset because they didn’t get their way? Possibly. But those in mutual faith, stayed put and waited for God to work out His amazing plan. God’s plan is always amazing, ours may seem amazing, but if God’s not in it, it will end in disaster. Mutual faith is remembering that we’re not here to please us. We’re here to please God.

It’s Time to Tell Them

chick tell them

My Dad ran for office on a local level when I was in early elementary school. My quiet, humble father was in politics. It meant very little to me until my 18th year and I was allowed to vote for the very first time, which also happened to be a year that my father was up for re-election. That year it mattered. For the first time I witnessed the ugly side of politics, and it is was very ugly. And yet my quiet, humble father refused to say anything. Every lie that was published I would protest and ask my dad to protest and he’d just smile with that steadfast grin of his and say, “If they know me, they know the truth.” And I’d fume! Why on earth would he say nothing? The answer was as simple as the grin on his face, because my Dad read and understood the truth, grace and predestinate God. No, I’m not saying we are predestinated for salvation; that is a personal decision God expects everyone to make, nobody is destined for Hell by God’s design. But, if God desires a man or a woman to be in office, you better believe He has the power to make it happen. Does He desire every man or woman currently in office to be in that position… Nope. I believe He lets us have what we ask for. Even if it’s stupid…and then sometimes He spares us because there is a predestinated event that God’s plan requires. I think we’re seeing that plan play out.

This morning as I read a few “political” posts my heart sunk and my stomach rolled over, and then I thought about my Dad’s statement, “If they know me, they know the truth.” So I turned that statement back to myself: Because I know Him, I know the truth. The political rhetoric of the day has no effect on the truth. They can stand flatfooted and lie to the American public, they can stand flatfooted and side against God in all the arrogance and disdain for His Word, and it doesn’t change one Word of it. Hallelujah!!! God knows the end, we do not.

But for Christians to sit on their hind parts and do nothing because we feel overwhelmed, outnumbered and unheard is as idiotic as Hillary Clinton saying that we need to empathize with those who seek to destroy us. If by empathize (understand and identify with them) she means, we should desire that they be destroyed too, then okay. I empathize with them. Would I love to see the world saved, Yes Amen! But that’s not reality. And it’s certainly not God’s intention for us to allow the name of Christ to be taken in vain by the leadership of our country and to watch as they side with the enemies of God.

Forever and a day I’ve felt disconnected from American political decisions. Locally, I feel I have a voice but nationally not so much.  And yet here I am with my very own platform on the World Wide Web and although it still has limited reach, it has a reach. I am without excuse to say that I don’t have a voice, and if you’re reading this, so are you. You have a voice.

The very reason we have the wicked in power in America that we do is because we’ve allowed it. I don’t understand how a man got elected to whom everyone I meet says that it wasn’t their vote that got him elected. I’ve heard enough supporters of him to know he had more than a few votes. So what I’m inclined to believe is that those who had the power and the desire to see him voted out… didn’t vote. Praise God I was not one of them… but I’m just as guilty.

I have not voiced my opinion loud enough because I didn’t want to deal with the political fallout. Well, look what that theory got me. I love my Dad’s laid back attitude. It was needful for me to see that God has this world in control even when it’s out of control. But from my Dad’s vantage point now, in the presence of God, perhaps he would say. You know the truth Shari, but they don’t… SO TELL THEM.

Romans 14:12

So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

God’s Means May Not Mean Money

chick trust

I heard someone say, not long after I was saved, that we live far beneath our means. And it’s true. But I fear sometimes that prosperity gospel teachers and the flesh itself convinces believers that as children of God the world is our oyster and because of that we have a right to all we want. God’s means may not mean money. By definition the word means is resources, which could be financial or assets of an entirely different kind. It could mean that we survive by the skin of our teeth for a better day in glory where His world will be our oyster.

But until that day let’s take a reality check.

Romans 8:12-17

12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.

“Brethern.” A reminder that they and we are no longer viewed by nation or blood but as children of God. Bought with a price and no longer ruled by the flesh but by the very Spirit of God, leaving us without excuse for falling to the flesh when it says “You deserve…” No, I deserve Hell. But because of the Almighty God engrafting me into His family as an adopted child of grace, I can live above my means. Because I now depend on His resources, not my own.

13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

People who live after the flesh are the walking dead. They are not living in the newness of Christ. It’s the same people that show up to church as 11:00 sharp and leave at 12:00 dull, having received nothing from the service because they had not yielded to the Spirit. They didn’t come at 10:00 sharp for Sunday School because they get “enough” God during the worship hour. Whew! If I stepped on your toe I’m not the least bit sorry. I love ya… but I’m not sorry.

14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

Being led by the Spirit of God is tapping into those resources, those means that God grants to every believer for the asking. The resources that fill your heart with so much gladness you don’t have time to notice anything missing from your life.

15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

God didn’t take us to raise because He needed someone to take care of. He took us into His family because He had that much love. He created us… “the Uncreated Creator” as my Pastor says and filled us each with resources to be a blessing to Him. How awesome is it as a parent when your child returns to do something kind for you. It’s not that we need it… but it sure feels nice, doesn’t it? When is the last time that we’ve taken the gifts and talents that God has blessed us with and returned home… not in bondage because God controls us, but because He’s our Father and we love Him like that.

16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

If you’re a child of God, my words should have pricked your heart. It did my own.

17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

Whether or not you have a dime to your name or a matched wardrobe of Loui Vuitton it matters not. Because everything here pales in comparison to what’s there. But everything here has a purpose. Are you using it?

Sunday Morning’s Sign

chick yield

Words… they’re a funny thing are they not? The same word can mean something entirely different, or a word that sounds exactly the same is not the same word at all – in spelling or definition. What’s more amazing than that is the way our brains wrap around those ideas and understands them. We’re amazing creations of God Himself, and yet that fact is so often forgotten by many.

This morning the word “yield” seems to have my mind’s eye as I prepare myself and my heart for today’s worship. My first thought on the word yield was that precious little triangular sign that gets so many people in trouble. After all, it’s not a stop sign… unless of course there’s another vehicle coming. But if that vehicle is a few lengths away you can technically be within your right to gun it and go, can you not? But if that vehicle happened to have a bubble atop you’d do more than yield… you’d likely stop! (If you had any sense). How much better should we be yielded to God and the Holy Spirit? We realize He’s there, we may even wave hello; but then pull out in front, heading on down the highway without regard to the very Creator. The Law Maker and giver of life.

I hope today you’ll slow down…

Romans 6:13

Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

As a bluegrass girl I can’t help but think about the word instrument without attaching it to music! And music reminds me of worship and worship is for God alone! Woohoo let’s have church. That’s when the Attention Deficit Disorder works in my favor. It’s unfortunate that the same thing that draws my mind into God can draw others just as easily away. Same thing two different reactions, just like the word “yield” can be defined two different ways.

Yield – to give right of way

Yield – to produce (such as a harvest)

Failing to yield to God can certainly yield a harvest of fruit that you don’t want in your life. Failing to observe the day of rest as God designed will cause unrest in your life. Failing to understand why we worship will allow Satan to give you something else to worship which will lead you further away from God and further away from the peace He provides. Failing to yield, yields. See what I mean by words being funny!

Words are funny however disobedience is not. It breaks God’s heart. I hope you are yielded to His Holy Spirit today and today finds you worshiping with fellow believers in the House of God!

Love ya! Mean it. – Shari

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I Traded Jesus for Amazon?

Baby Jesus for free 2

It all began yesterday as I prepared a devotion for the teen Christmas Party and ended this morning as I prepared to write my blog. I told the teens about a woman who stepped out of her car and noticed that her Baby Jesus had been stolen from the Nativity set on her lawn. At first she was angry, and then she began wondering who it was that would have done such a thing? She first thought it was surely menacing teens, then her thoughts went much darker about certain religions that would take it symbolically. So the teens and I discussed who they thought would have taken that Baby Jesus and they basically came to same conclusions that the owner did. But for the rest of the story…

The woman was angry for a little while and then decided for the sake of Christmas she really needed to get past this, so she created a sign and placed it in the manger where the Baby Jesus once lay; it read “You may have stolen the Baby, but you can’t steal Christ! He was crucified, but is risen again and He is alive and well in my heart.”

Well played! And how true!

Nobody can take Christ from us. Romans 8:38-39 reads:

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

And yet, my computer gave me a wake-up call this morning I hadn’t anticipated this Christmas. When I open up Google Chrome, there are about 8 pages that I can click on in the order of my most visited sites. Forever and a day, possibly less, my number one visited page is one that I use for my blog and bible studies, www.biblegateway.com. It’s where you’ll find the scripture links I use and it has very useful commentaries and such that are handy when studying the Word.

But today that was not my number one site, it was (I’m ashamed to say) www.amazon.com.

What! How did that get there?

I’ll tell you how it got there. That’s where my Christmas focus has been. Rather than running like a mad woman all over the country to Christmas shop I’ve been on Amazon.com ordering, ordering, ordering, and then checking the status every day. And in all my shopping and checking, I’d traded Baby Jesus on amazon.com, or at least that’s what it felt like when Google Chrome ratted me out this morning.

I haven’t been blogging for the past few weeks because of multiple responsibilities elsewhere, all of which allowed me to let my own immune system to get run down and allow a virus to attach itself to me, to the point I actually considered going to the doctor! But that was way too radical an idea, so I toughed it out, getting to the point of death or so I thought one day. But today I’m on the mend and sick of myself. I had not allowed the Baby Jesus to be stolen from my manger, I had given Him away on Amazon. I’ve not only been physically low I’ve been spiritually low for about two or three weeks with no one to blame but myself. I have allowed the temporary frustrations to take a permanent hold on me. Sad truth from the Jesus Chick.

So today I’ve set myself back on the Jesus journey. The one that puts the Bible back on the front row of Google Chrome and my life and puts my focus back on the whole meaning of Christmas which is Easter! Ha! Bring on the Holidays!