Tag Archives: salvation

3 Reasons I think People Don’t Feel Saved

For  many years if you’d have ask me if I was saved I’d have said yes. Largely because of shame and because I couldn’t admit that I didn’t even understand that concept. Most people who knew me assumed I was saved for no other reason than because I went to church. That was it. That was all it took.  Not because there was any evidence of it in my personal walk with Christ. Which I didn’t have.

So yesterday, as I was blessed to sit in church and hear a convicting message of the gospel; and by convicting I don’t mean I felt like a dirt dog, because I’ve been in those sermons too. But by convicted I knew there were areas in my life that needed more commitment.  And one of those areas was my Monday morning video “Not Another Manic Monday.” I had lost sight of what I wanted to accomplish. I wanted to draw people closer in their walk with Christ.

So today’s topic is one that I believe every child of God has an occasional if not consistent struggle with. The assurance that you’re saved, and three possible reasons that I think will help in winning that battle.

People Don’t Read Beyond the Norm

So what’s the norm? Unfortunately, I think people rarely, if ever read the word. I think that because that’s who I was in my previous church life.

Hebrews 10:22 ~ Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

A preacher friend of mine (and I’ve used this illustration so many times) said that the Word of God was like a spiritual “warsh” cloth. I know it’s wash cloth, but that’s how he said, and I love that memory.

It’s a phrase that has stuck in my head because I know it to be true. And it’s one of the primary reasons people lose their assurance of salvation. Because they don’t understand the importance of reading the word of God.

Prior to salvation, my idea of reading the word of God was, #1~ it was the preacher’s job. # 2 ~ it was there if I felt troubled. But the problem with the second notion, is at that time I wasn’t saved. So it was like reading the owner’s manual of a product I didn’t have. It made no sense what so ever. 

But once I became saved, and the Spirit of God came into my heart that changed and I was blessed with an immediate desire to soak in the word of God in every form. Spoken, written and recorded. I know I’m not the norm and many people may not have the time that I spend in His word. But the writer of Hebrew spoke a great truth when he said

…  having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

That evil conscience (that causes us to doubt our salvation) is covered by the blood. But without the reading of the word to remind us of that, we lose the feeling of being clean.

There is one thing I can tell you with bold assurance because I’ve lived it and I’ve failed at it; without the reading of the word of God, you will forever battle the assurance of salvation.

When the writer of Hebrews wrote 10:22, and when my preacher friend was inspired to say “warsh cloth” it was because both of those men had a relationship with the Lord beyond the norm.

People Don’t Live Beyond the Norm

1 Thessalonians 1:5 ~ For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.

God has blessed me with some amazing Spirit filled saints in my life. People who live out the faith. They’re not perfect, but they’re living in the perfection of Christ.

By Spirit filled I don’t mean that they have more of God in them than the average saved person. When we get saved we all get all of God. 

Ephesians 3:19 says And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

When I think of the fullness of God I think of it like shaking a soda pop. When you do the carbonated bubbles explode to the surface. Well that’s what it’s like when you’re filled with the Spirit. It’s not that you have any more of God that anyone else. But rather the Spirit in you begins to bubble up with excitement because of the work God is doing in your life. And when it bubbles up and out, it’s evident to not only you, but the people around you.

At those times, nobody can tell you you’re not saved. Because you’re living it. And while we can’t live on the mountain all the time, if we’re serving God enough, those experiences will leave very little room for doubt in your eternal state. Not for you. Or for the people around you.

I was successful in my early walk with Christ because the people around me bubbled with excitement. And I wanted it too.

People Don’t Attend Church Beyond the Norm

Colossians 2:2 ~  That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;

Growing up I thought that faith was a Sunday morning thing. Sunday night and Wednesday Night Bible Study was for the blue hairs and old men. And most churches are still like that today, if they even have a Sunday night or Wednesday night service.

Right after I got saved our church began a Wednesday Night Study called “Journey to the Heavenlies.” It was a study on the book of Revelation. A pretty heavy topic for a new believer. And while I certainly didn’t understand all of it, I understood enough, because of an excellent teacher. I was fascinated about the prospect of Heaven and no longer feared the end times.

That understanding helped inspire me to read and live beyond the norm. And it gave me the desire to come back again and again to learn more. I was so thankful for the truth of God’s word being taught to me that I wanted to live and do more for my Lord.

When Paul wrote to the Colossians he hadn’t been with them for a while. But they were holding on to each other and it multiplied their assurance.

That’s what attending a church does and why it’s crucial to your assurance.

When I got saved I was attending every revival around me. I couldn’t get enough church, be it mine or someone else’s. I just wanted to be with God’s people. I still do.

I know that in being with God’s people, I’ll not only be encouraged, I’ll be accountable. We need people in our lives that will keep us from slipping in our faith which causes doubt.

Last night the preacher told the story of some old time saints in a remote village. They didn’t have a closet to get into for prayer, but realizing the importance of spending time alone with God they would carve out a path in the woods. Each would have their own.

But if someone’s path started having grass grow on it, it would be evidence that they weren’t spending time alone with God. And one of their friends, in a nice tone would say, “Friend, your path has grass on it.”

They were letting them know that they were concerned that their friend wasn’t spending enough time with God.

So that’s my question for you.    Friend, does your path have grass on it? I hope not. And I don’t stand in judgement. Because my path any day could start growing grass because I’m just flesh and blood.

That’s why I go to church, read the word and live beyond the norm. Because I’m not normal.

That should get a big amen!

Mary knew, Do you?

Luke 1:47

And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.

Three points for me to ponder from the word of God as spoken by Mary the mother of our Lord Jesus.

This thought began early this morning but has lingered throughout the day as I worked between one project or another all day, and couldn’t seem to get back to what was fresh on my mind at 6 a.m.

I love the character of Mary because I love her humility. Nobody was any more surprised than she was that she was chosen for such a God glorifying moment. She was carrying the Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe in her womb. Forget that the world was trying to strip her of her good reputation, they could not strip her of the fact that God chosen her. Nor can they strip us. We who have decided to follow Jesus and step into His plans for us like a toddler steps into the big shoes of their Dad. They don’t fit… yet. But we’ll grow into to them by and by!

Mary knew that the Rescuer Had Come!

She may not have understood all the plan as she gave birth in that stable, but she understood that however it was that God decided to work it out, it would work. It’s a good thing she didn’t know how. What a burden for a mom to carry to know that her child would be crucified for the sins of the world. Hers included. But the Rescuer had come, His name was Jesus and He had come to save the world!

Mary knew the Rejoicing had Cause!

The angels in Heaven rejoiced, the shepherds and wise men rejoiced. And Mary rejoiced. Angels had announced His birth. They filled the skies with noise, and the hearts of those who witnessed it with wonder. Is not that the feeling we have on the day of our own personal salvation when we discover what the Lord has done. It was with me. I knew there was a reason to rejoice in my life. Salvation had come and I and my world was changed.

Life for me wasn’t perfect, nor was it for Mary. She no doubt had moments where terror filled her heart as she was hunted down for her Son. Or maybe she was a far better woman of faith than me and she trusted God through it all. But whether or not she had faith 100% of the time didn’t change the heartaches that would come in her future. But it didn’t change the promise either. Glory to God!

Mary knew the Response had a Calling!

Mary knew when she had stepped into that role that God had given her that her life had new purpose. She wasn’t just Joseph’s bride, she was the carrier of the gospel. She would soon be a part of the ministry of her Son and with it all the miracles and the messes it created.

That’s the same calling we have upon us when we accept the Lord as our Savior. We too are called to carry the gospel and to be a part of the blesses and messes that come with service.

What’s your response? Are you standing in Daddy’s shoes waiting for your orders or are you still barefoot? Step in faith my friend! It’s an exciting adventure!

Blessings from me, the Jesus Chick.

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I Can’t Make You Listen

The hardest part of being a child of God, parent, grandparent, niece, cousin, aunt, and friend is when your heart breaks as you share the gospel and they won’t listen. They’re not rude. They’re not unkind. They’re just indifferent.

I debated for a few seconds on whether or not to write this blog today. My heart is tender and I’m weepy. But that’s okay. I need to share while the pain is fresh.

I’m not a super saint. I’m a messed up child of God that was saved by grace alone, that’s my greatest fear on why people won’t listen to me. They look at me and think “Why does she think she has it (life) figured out?” And I don’t, but I have eternal life figured out and that’s my message.

Ezekiel was not only a spokesman, he was a watchman. He watched as the world around him spiraled into destruction because of a nation that rejected God. I see the same thing, only now God is not viewing us as a nation, He’s viewing us individually, and every single one of us is going to stand accountable for what we’ve done in this life. Alone, before God.

I envision my family and friends standing before God and having Him say, “Depart from Me, I never knew you.” I feel Ezekiel’s frustration. But I feel God’s pain of rejection and I feel my broken heart that those people will miss out on Heaven and suffer Hell. Yes. There’s a Hell. Why won’t they hear?

I can’t make them listen. I can only blow the horn again and again and say Jesus is Coming Soon whether or not you believe. He will step out on that cloud and call His people home because the Bible says He will and not one word of that book has failed yet.

Christmas can be a sad time because loved ones aren’t with us, but at least if we know Jesus Christ as Savior we know that we will spend eternity rejoicing with our loved ones. But what about the ones that aren’t there? I don’t believe we’ll remember them. But you can believe (because the word says it’s true), that they’ll remember us.

After the heart attack and surgery, I’ve struggled with playing games with faith. I wasn’t guaranteed another Christmas, and I almost missed it. I don’t want to miss the opportunity to tell everyone I can about the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

I can’t make them listen. But I can keep blowing my horn and telling the world Jesus is coming soon! Be ready!!!!

Do you know you’re ready? If not, follow the link for the plan of salvation at the top of the page! And then tell me and everyone else in the world you can about Jesus!

Oh How He Loves You and Me

Hosea 3:2

So I bought her to me for fifteen pieces of silver, and for an homer of barley and an half homer of barley:

Have you ever wondered why God puts up with you? I certainly do. Most every day I’m asking myself that question. I have a feeling that nobody asked that question any more than Gomer, the wife of the prophet Hosea.

The story of Hosea’s prostitute wife was not that of the ordinary man of God. God had instructed him to marry a prostitute. That is what I would all an extreme sermon illustration! Once they were married, Gomer’s infidelity and abandonment meant that Hosea had to buy her back out of prostitution, in a very public way and then tell the children of Israel how his wife’s infidelity was no different than theirs was to the Lord; which would bring great judgment upon themselves.  

Praise God for grace… but Gomer’s life story still rings my bell. I long for a relationship of deeper proportion with the Lord, but I stay so busy and scattered about with various things that the Lord more often than not, gets scooted over to make a seat for some vain desire. Thinking I’ll get back to Him later. What? Even writing that makes my stomach roll over to think that I would treat the Creator of all the earth in such a manner.

It’s why I can identify with Gomer. Hosea married her and made an honorable woman out of her, but she refused to stay away from the world from which she came out of. She had children, and she even abandoned them to go back.

Infidelity has a much broader meaning when it comes to our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

He’s not asking us to turn our backs on family, forget about hobbies or favorite pass times, He merely wants included. And yet, even I, who the world around me knows me as the Jesus Chick, will not bring Him into a conversation for fear of it being an unwanted conversation sometimes. Or I’ll get distracted by some worldly television show or social media and my day has dwindled away and I’m left wondering why I feel like a dirt dog at the end of the day.

It’s the equivalency of not showering! The Word of God is a spiritual wash cloth as one of my favorite preachers use to say.

My relationship with Christ cannot possibly get to a deeper place, if I’m not willing to wade out into the water where He is.

It reminds me of those times that He and the disciples would get away from the rest of the world for some ministry training and rest and it would be in a quiet place, or in the midst of the sea. It wasn’t in a crowded room, dusty street, or in front of a blaring television with idiotic commercials every 3 minutes.

So today in an attempt to understand why God tolerates me I looked into the eyes of Hosea through the eyes of Gomer. I realized it was for no other reason than He loves me. Thank God, I am redeemed. Bought back with the blood of Jesus Christ after I went astray.

He loves you too you know…

The Final Authority

Why I did it, I don’t know. I knew it would end badly; but the show’s title intrigued me. “The Good Place.” This is not a recommendation! The premise of the show is, that a woman dies and is in error sent to the good place. Which happens not to be heaven. Because, in the words of actor Ted Danson who plays “Michael” the architect of the good place, “Buddhists had it a little right, Muslim’s had it a little right, as well as Christians and all other religions, but all were wrong.” There was not one way. It was by the weighing of good and bad deeds in life that were determinate of your destination. The bad place was however called eternal damnation. Interesting I thought, since most of Hollywood doesn’t believe in Hell at all.

But anyway… back to my blog and my scripture for the day which proved that “The Good Place” had somethings right, and everything wrong.

I know… that’s confusing right? Well one thing that is not confusing is the word of God. It’s ironclad clear on eternity.

Ezekiel, an Old Testament Prophet is called up into Heaven either in body or in spirit, it’s unclear. But God allows him to see some things that we are not privy to. One thing is the throne room of God. But He’s also privy to a conversation between God, 6 men and a Writer clothed in white linen, believed to be Jesus. It does not say His name, but it does speak of an authority that only One would have. The Pen of the Writer Who determines who goes to Heaven.

Ezekiel 9:2-6

And, behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate, which lieth toward the north, and every man a slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer’s inkhorn by his side: and they went in, and stood beside the brasen altar.

And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer’s inkhorn by his side;

And the Lord said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.

And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity:

Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.

Old Testament History is a bit gory for my taste. I have a weak stomach and a tender heart. But although I find it a hard pill to swallow, I’ve studied enough bible to understand why it had to be so. And contrary to Ted Danson’s theory, Christianity wasn’t wrong. Even in the Old Testament we find the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He was and is and always will be.

The Writer

The Prophet wears the writer’s inkhorn. The Lamb’s book, the great things of the law and the gospel which God has written to us, for it is  the Spirit of Christ in the writers of the scripture. Christ is the Lamb and the only One with the power to write the names of those in the Lamb’s book.

So when I read in Ezekiel 9:4 that the Lord said to him go and spare those who sigh and cry for all the abominations, sins that were done before Christ died on the cross; I know Who it is that would have that power. The One who will come in the future as prophesied and who died for sins past and future. Christ is exonerating those who had shown mercy and kept true to the law of the day. Those who had compassion for God’s people and His ways. He is the writer as well as …

The Righter

The problem with Hollywood, is they want to justify sin to which there is no justification.

That’s why I felt it particularly odd that they used the words “eternal damnation” for the bad place on the show. The world doesn’t believe there will be a judgement day of any kind.

So the show had it a little right in the fact that there is a good place and a bad place. Even the main character of the show was upset because she wanted an “in between” place to which there was not one. Nor is their one in the Bible. It’s Heaven or Hell. Nothing in between.

A little right is still all wrong. Without Christ in the equation and an understanding of the price He paid for us as the reason behind His authority, the world is destined for Hell. But those of us who know and believe that Christ died, and paid the price for those sins of the past, present and future, know that He has made right all our wrongs by His blood. And therefore He alone can write our names in the Lambs book of Life. Glory!

The Wrong

When I read that God told the six to go through the city and kill, not sparing even children, my heart sinks.  

I don’t profess to have complete understanding of why God did it as He did. But I do understand that children left to be brought up in wickedness would fall to a far greater damnation than those who were saved from Hell by an early demise. 

I also understand that those who are wicked and anti-Christian do far more damage than we are aware of. Even a show like “The Good Place” which is meant for entertainment has an undertone of Satan that serves to convince the unsaved there are other ways to Heaven.

But there is a Final Authority. His Name is Jesus, and every Hollyweird soul and child on the planet will meet Him face to face and answer as to whether or not they accepted His payment for their sin as the final authority of their eternity.

I pray you know Jesus. And if you do not, or have questions, please comment or find me on Facebook!

Heaven Help Us

In the book of Nahum we once again find Israel having been carried captives into Assyria. A common storyline in the lives of God’s people. Sin, become captive, repent, obtain freedom, repeat.  But before we cast any stones we, generally speaking, don’t have to look long into our own lives to find that we too are repeat offenders of captivity.  The world has a way of laying hold on us and doesn’t relinquish us to freedom easily. Our enemies are fierce, but our Father is the fiercest of all!

When a verse like Nahum 1:7-8 comes into my reading time, I take note, and need to delve further into the God of all comfort. He comforts me like the favorite blanket that I wrap up in on a cool fall morning.

Nahum 1:7-8

The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him. But with an overrunning flood he will make an utter end of the place thereof, and darkness shall pursue his enemies.

Heaven helps those who do

Jesus told the young ruler in Luke 18:19 Why callest thou me good? None is good, save one, that is, God.

A very quick and honest search of our own hearts and we realize that we are not good. Sin abounds inside the heart of every man and is only covered by the blood of Jesus when we ask Christ to save us. But it is forever a constant battle creating trouble in our lives. Either our sin or the sin of someone else. So what a joy and privilege and highlight worthy verse we find in the book of Nahum; because even though we’re not good, God is! And He’s a stronghold for those that know Him. A stronghold is a place of security and safety. For King David being sought by Saul, it was cave. For me this morning it’s a blanket on the couch that I’m wrapped up in studying God word. I love this time of the day when the busyness and stress of the day hasn’t quite kicked in and my heart is still tender and receptive to God’s guidance

It’s good seed sown in a dirty ground that grows beautiful things.

Come what may for the rest of the day (an our lives) we have to trust that God is good and He takes care of His own.

Heaven Help those who don’t!

Nahum described it as an “overrunning flood” for the enemies of God. And although most people who have not claimed Christ as their Savior, don’t view themselves as the enemies of God, they are. They are because they’ve allowed the world to rule their hearts and the world is the enemy of God.

James 4:4 says as much when James wrote: Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

That “should” strike fear in the heart of anyone who hasn’t been saved, but it doesn’t. They are blinded by this world into believing that there is another way out besides salvation. And the heartaches and troubles they face every day, that overwhelms their souls and very much feels like an overrunning flood could be traded for the strong hand of God that would remove it and replace it with His peace for the asking. But many will not.

And sadly many who know God and He knows them, live in defeat because they don’t take the time to get in His word where peace is found.

I’m ever so grateful that in all my errors and blunders in life, God’s grace is sufficient to pull me through the tough days and allow me to celebrate the good days with gladness! I pray you’re experiencing that peace today and that you’ll share it with someone along the pathway.

If you’d like to know more about sceduling the Jesus Chick to speak or sing, contact me at 304-377-6036 or find me on social media under “the Jesus Chick.”

A Field of Dreams

Windom, Minnesota. I leave every year with new, and sweet memories. Every year it’s different and yet the same. I leave wanting to stay longer, that’s the same. I leave with new friends, that’s the new. I left with a deeper respect for folks like Loretta Jackson, whose tiny little frame stood on the platform of the BARC and gave the gospel, glorified her Savior and let the city know, God makes no mistakes. Even allowing her to battle cancer… again.

My new friend Nita Killabrew, wife of Minnesota Twin Player and Baseball Hall of Fame, Harmon Killebrew blew me away as she proved that God uses humble, God glorifying people. Both of their struggles were awe inspiring and evidence that we are all without excuse for being happy in the Lord and allowing the world to see how He works in our lives! I learned so many that I will forever treasure. I learned the power of humility.

Pastors Rick Frederickson and Phil Anderson preached messages of hope but not without conviction that stirred my soul deeply. They shared the salvation of Christ in a manner that many ministers of today have failed to do because in a world blinded by political correctness and niceties, preaching like that is forbidden and considered offensive. Both men preached on! As well as FGGAM.org’s own Dewey Moede who never fails to share Jesus! I am proud to have been a part of this team. Because the platform may have been filled with varying denominations, but no variance in belief. Jesus. That’s it. Nothing else for salvation!

The Windom Revival touches lives each year and restores the relationship of Christ with His people. It reminds us all that there is a home for which we long for, where we’ll all have the same address. Made possible by the acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. It’s not Minnesota or West Virginia, but that glorious place called Heaven.

Below is my first night’s message. Windom, really was a field of dreams. It’s where hope came to encourage those seeking. I hope you enjoy the message, and I pray you have people in your life that encourage you each day. God Bless! ~ Shari

FIELD OF DREAMS

1 Corinthians 9 King James Version (KJV)

Minnesota. Driving through this country is not like anything in my part of West Virginia. If there’s an acre of flat ground where I live it’s a miracle. And it usually has a house built on it. Everything else is rolling hills and mountains, which is what I love about West Virginia. But in Minnesota, you can see forever, which is what I love about Minnesota. One field flows into another of crops that someone stands in hope of reaping the blessing of their work. That is my hope for Windom.

John 4:35

Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.

I came here with hope that the fields of Windom are ready to harvest! So what are we hoping to harvest? I’m glad you ask. Because what I want to see harvested in the fields of Windom is some pretty exciting stuff.

I know Dewey is a huge baseball fan. And I must confess, sports ain’t my thing. I go to games to see the people in the crowd, not the athletes. People go to games to see the players. In the life of the church, I’m the player. I’m the one out in the field either striking out, or hitting a homerun for Team Jesus. I’m the one who has the crowds cheering me on in Heaven, and sometimes on earth. And tonight, I’m a player on Windom’s team. In 1st Corinthians Chapter 9, the Apostle Paul says this:

Am I am not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord?

The Windom Minnesota team has worked for months on this event. You being here tonight is our work in the Lord. I don’t ever believe that something just “happens.” There is purpose in everything that is done in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. I’m not an apostle but I am a servant for the Lord Jesus Christ. And tonight Windom Minnesota is my field and I’m gonna work it just like Harmon Killebrew did for the Minnesota Twins. I want the victory!

I’ve come tonight to share my field of dreams for Windom. In that same book of First Corinthians 9, beginning in verse 9 the word of God says this:

For it is written in the law of Moses, thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen?

Your response to that likely is, “What on earth are you talking about?”

The farmers of today, especially with the size field that Minnesota has, likely don’t use an ox to plow the field, they use the technology of the day. But in the time scripture was written, oxen was the technology of the day. And Paul used them as an illustration on taking care of the ministers of the gospel.

You weren’t supposed to muzzle the ox, you were to let him eat of the field, it was his pay. And the same is true of the ministers of the Gospel. They too deserve paid. But this is not about ministers getting paid. This is about why two West Virginia girls would drive 1000 miles to plow the fields of Minnesota that we may or may not even get to enjoy the harvest. Revival may happen after we leave. And that’s okay. I’m here to stoke the fire! My key verse is verse 10

Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope.

I came to Windom to plow the field by sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ, that is my field of dreams. And I’d go anywhere else the Lord lead me to experience a revival. Paul said later on in chapter 9 verse 16

For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!

There were some people in West Virginia that were seriously not happy that I came to Windom. Six grandbabies for starters and my 83 year old mother who may or may not forgive me for missing my family reunion this weekend. Whose closing argument was “Well, I guess we know who you love more.”

I don’t love you more, but I do love you as much. And I came to plow this field for 3 reasons:

Because I’m committed to Christ

17 For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.

18 What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.

19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.

I don’t charge anyone to come to Windom. I believe that God will take care of me. And He’s never failed. I come to Windom because there’s a group of people here who want revival as much as I do. Not only for their town but more importantly themselves. Salvation is not about coming to a church service on Sunday and leaving the same way you went in. It’s about a 7 day a week, 24 hours a day relationship that gives you hope in any situation. Apostle Paul was –imprisoned, beaten, and eventually lost his head and he counted it all joy. Nobody here is having that bad a day today. But we all have bad days. How many of you stand in need of hope for something in your life? Me too! And I have the answer for you and me both. Jesus! But we have to work our fields. You cannot get the blessings of Jesus without serving Jesus. That has nothing to do with salvation. You can get saved and sit until glory. But you’ll be a honey dipper in heaven. That’s what they call the people who clean outhouses.

I plow the fields I’m given, and Windom is one,

Because I’m committed to Windom

20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;

21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.

22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.

23 And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.

I fell in love with Windom in 2016. That wasn’t hard. You are genuinely good people. Minnesota Nice! I became, in my mind, a citizen of this city. Paul said he was a Jew for the Jews and a Gentile for the Gentiles. It doesn’t matter what city or state we’re in if we’re children of God we are all working for the same thing!

Because Commitment will Win us a Crown

24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.

25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.

26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:

27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

I keep running this race and working for the Lord because there is a crown of victory at the end that I can’t wait to reach. I almost did this year when I had three heart attacks and ignored the symptoms until they landed me flat on my back for a double bypass. Just two months ago! I shouldn’t be here for a number of reasons, but one of them is an 8 scar down the front of my chest that healed at a miraculous rate for me to get here. I shocked doctors. And I was privilege to tell them, my Jesus did that! He’s got work for me to do.

It wasn’t easy. But when Harmon Killebrew determined he was going to continue on regardless of what the world threw his way, it wasn’t easy either. But we’re celebrating his life tonight and he is celebrating in Heaven.

I don’t want one Windom friend to miss out on meeting Harmon Killebrew face to face. But more importantly I don’t want you to miss out on meeting Jesus face to face. It’s why I’m plowing this field tonight. I came believing that the fields of Windom were white and ready to Harvest!

If you came here looking to win victory over anything in your life. You’ll find it through Jesus Christ. But first you have to be saved. You have to be one of His children.

That happens only by you accepting Him as Lord and Savior of your life. No works. No field plowing. I plow out of gratitude. Not to be saved.

You are saved by admitting you’re a sinner who needs a Savior. We know as children, crime brings a punishment. Sin was the crime and Christ paid the price of death so you didn’t have to.

Jesus is that Savior and you have to believe that lock stock and barrel. Virgin born, crucified on the cross, risen the third day and now He’s in Heaven as your public defender. And for every sin, past, present and future He tells the Devil. It’s under my blood they’re forgiven.

You have trust what He did as enough.

If you believe that you have won the greatest Victory in your life. If you believe that do something about it tonight. If it’s your first night. Tell somebody on the Windom team. If you’ve been on this team for a while, commit to a deeper relationship and greater service, and tell somebody. Don’t keep it a secret that will keep it from happening.

 

Is Your House On Fire?

My husband David has been a fire fighter for many years. He’s been Chief of his department for several years and he and I share a commonality in passions. He puts out fires on earth, and I do my best to put out the fires of Hell by showing people the way to Jesus Christ. But the reality of it is, I’ll never put out the fires of Hell. It’s a very real location that was created for Satan and his band of angels who rebelled against God. Isaiah 14:12-15 says this about Satan, also known as Lucifer:

12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

13 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:

14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

Lucifer held a position of authority in God’s realm. But pride caused him to desire the position of God. And because of that, he fell, and Satan/Lucifer’s desire is to keep as many people as he can out of Heaven.

If you think about Satan’s goal you are aware that it is played out here on earth again and again in the hearts of men who want to be in control. And if we’re honest with ourselves, we too want to be in control of our world, even if it’s just our own lives. That was my desire until 1996 when I gave my heart and life to Jesus Christ by accepting His gift of salvation. It was then that God took control, and I no longer feared death and hell. I had the very real promise and peace of Heaven!

From a child of about the age of 9, I had a fear of Hell. I knew in my heart that it was real, but I was clueless on how to avoid it because the gospel was never clearly presented to me. I pray that I can present it to you in a way that you’ll understand, and if not, please message me so I can help you. But this is the gospel of salvation in its basic form:

You and I are the creations of God. A one and only design that He desires a relationship with; Just like the one that He had with His first creation, Adam and Eve. But Satan deceived them, and the sinless man and woman became sinners. It was then that the Holy God could no longer have that relationship, because He could not be in the presence of sin. There had to be an atonement (a price paid) to cover it. And so a temporary sacrifice was made of the lamb, but it was only temporary.

For a permanent sacrifice to be made, it had to be a perfect sacrifice, which would not be found in any earthly animal. So God’s only Son, Jesus Christ, became the perfect sacrifice. It seems unimaginable for us in our earthly minded ways that someone would be willing to die for us. But on the cross 2000+ years ago, Christ died for everyone who would accept that He was God, that He died on the cross and that He, in His God power, rose again three days later and returned to Heaven where He is now the intercessor of those who accept this as truth.

God now has a relationship with those who do, and He places His Holy Spirit within their heart so they’ll know! And believe me when I tell you, that’s exciting!

When that happened to me in 1996, the fear of the fires of Hell immediately disappeared. I had and have the most amazing peace in my heart. Now, the world occasionally tries to take that peace away, but I have a Savior who gives it back when I give my burdens to Him. Even the burden of open heart surgery. God’s Holy Spirit speaks to me through my heart and through the word of God inspiring me to live my life for Him and share His love with others.

Prior to salvation, so many times I went through serious heart ache and trouble and I would turn to the Bible for help, without understanding of anything I read. But as soon as I became a Christian, by accepting Christ as Savior, the scripture (through the Holy Spirit) was opened up to me like never before and I understood the word of God like it was a love letter written just for me. That’s Salvation!

Would you like to put out the fires of Hell in your world? There’s only one way.

Admit you’re a sinner who needs saving.

Romans 3:23 says this: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”

Knowing we are a sinner is the first step. Every one of us have sinned… and just like Adam and Eve, even one sin keeps us from the presence of a Holy God. Just like a child who has to be punished for doing wrong, there is a penalty for sin. But praise God! The penalty has been paid.

Romans 6:23 gives us the problem and the solution: “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Jesus paid that price for our sin. It’s covered by His blood. And every time God looks at one of His children, He sees the red blood of His Son that makes us white as snow. How wonderful is that?!

Romans 10:9-10 sums up the way of salvation:

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Just as God spoke this world into existence, you need to speak your new life into existence by openly confessing (which means to agree) that you believe the every word of God, and that the Jesus died to cover your sins, that He rose again the third day and He is now in Heaven, waiting for you. Until then He’ll be covering every one of your sins with His blood. You are forgiven. You can live in the perfect peace that He promises.

If you believe that, pray this prayer:

Dear God, I believe that You gave Your only Son as the sacrifice to cover my sins. I believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose again the third day. I believe that He is in Heaven and that I too will be with You one day. Until then, I trust that You will continue to cover all my sins, past present and future and I’m trusting You to guide my life and keep me in Your will. Thank You Lord, for saving my Soul! Amen!

If you prayed that prayer, please let me rejoice with you by messaging me or finding me on Facebook. And please! Find a church that preaches the truth of the Word of God and makes you feel like you just found home. The world is too harsh to go it alone.

The Difference Between Flatland and Mountaintop Faith

Traveling both far north and far south of West Virginia will take you into the flatlands of the United States. And while that countryside is most beautiful, and my time there is always enjoyed, I much prefer the hills of West Virginia. At least until the first snow and I risk sliding off a mountain side. But it is currently spring, and although snowflakes still occasionally fall; if you wait 20 minutes the sun is likely to shine again and all signs of winter are gone. Our trees are budded, tulips are coming up and the hedges are green. Our hope is renewed that we will feel the warmth of the summer sun soon and very soon. As I type those words, I hear my friend Walter, who’s received the promise of Heaven singing that song “Soon and Very Soon, we are going to see the King!” Well he now sees. His faith has been made sight.

I often mention Walter, because Walter changed the fabric of my life. He was in his seventies when he joined our congregation. A black, retired, Pentecostal pastor who made his home, and his doctrine that of Victory Baptist Chruch for several years. Worshiping with a 98% white congregation. Color was not an issue for him or us. Walter brought a mountain top experience to our church and taught us to worship more freely. He was downright fun!

So what is the difference between flatland and mountain top faith?

Hebrews 11:1-2

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report.

A Good Report

The elders of the bible believed the promise of the Messiah as spoken by the prophets of old. They didn’t have the privilege of our vantage point of looking back on the cross with the evidences of scripture and history, but they did have the future evidence of the spoken prophetic words coming alive right before them. If one of God’s prophets said the sky was falling, you’d better wear a helmet! But there is now such a variation in what preachers preach today, it is no wonder people are living in flatland faith. Flatland faith meaning, no mountaintop experiences. The world doesn’t know what to believe, there are few “Good Reports.” Billy Graham has died, and there are few of such a stable nature coming up behind him. And even fewer with fire. And far too many “self-professing saints” with a lifestyle that is more apt to be found in Satan’s camp, than in Christ’s.

A Good Testimony

Hebrews 11:3-5

Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

I have to ask myself, what sacrifices am I making for the cause of Christ? Please don’t misunderstand, I speak not of works for salvation, which cannot be done. Salvation was paid for at the cross. But by works I refer to that which I do which has a testimony from the grave. What do I do that has eternal reward? The only thing that’s going to make it into Heaven by my hand, is a soul that I lead to Christ or a saint for which I’ve encouraged by knowing the word of God. Too few people have evidence of a good testimony. A part of which is an excitement and zeal for the cause of Christ. I remember Walter and glorify God, because Walter encouraged me while he was here. Like Abel, “being dead yet speaketh!”

A Good Reward

Hebrews 11:6

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

I’m by no stretch of the imagination a “super saint.” Lord have mercy on my soul, I fail Him often. But I desire and seek the mountain top experiences believing that God is a rewarding of those who do. Troubles come, but God is so faithful that even in the troubled times, His presence is a mountain top experience. Knowing that I do not have to go it alone. Hallelujah!!

Chapter 11 is the testimony of the heroes of the faith who lived in faith, not knowing what I know, but believing it would be because God said it was so. They believed not seeing. I believe because I’ve seen. I’ve seen saints live it out. Do others see it in me? Do they see it in you?

Get excited! Our future is amazing!

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This blog is in it’s 8th year. Hosted on godaddy.com for the past five. Expenses incurred for the operation of this site are without complaint and with gratitude for the opportunity. If the Lord would impress you to give to help cover some recent technology issues, I’d be grateful. I’ve not been in the world’s workforce for 3 years and for that I glorify God. It’s given me the opportunity to not only write and work on music, but minister to nursing home patients, volunteer in the Christian School teaching art and help other ministries with marketing. All of which require technology, communication, time and gasoline. Again it’s without complainT… but just in case you have a desire to help, or have “extra money” 🙂 Know that I would be eternally grateful.

Here’s the Link

 

Forever Young!

You don’t have to get honest and point out any of the flaws in my being. Believe me, the mirror attests to the fact that I’m no longer 18, and should the makeup I apply conceal my age, my skeletal and muscular being cry out in agony most days as I attempt to keep up with the younger me within. This was a conversation that my friend Gloria had on one of our recent adventures in the big city. I remember the street we were on, the plaza we were passing and everything about that day just like it was yesterday. But in actuality it was day before yesterday, just like the time I was 18, or so it feels. How is it that our body ages so aggressively and yet our mind continues in the state of youth? At least until you lose it. And perhaps even then we are forever in a state of youth.

I love the scripture promise in Ephesians 5:27 when it says “That He (Christ) might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”

I’m going way, WAY, out of context of this scripture, but it’s truth none the less. I sooooooooo look forward to the day that I am presented before Christ, without age spots, or wrinkles or any blemish on this ever so blemished body that I now reside in. Now, of course, if you’re a theologian your right eye is probably twitching because you know that that scripture refers to the blemished, sin filled bodies, we now reside in and the presentation of them in that day when Jesus calls us home and we will receive a glorified body.

But I’m here to tell you, my inward Shari is unblemished and forever young and eternal now. And so is yours if you’re saved. If you’re unsaved, you too have an eternal nature, but it’s not going to receive a new and glorified body. It will be cast into the eternal fire of damnation in Hell and away from everything good that you love. If that’s you, go to my plan of salvation page and fix that matter before God right now. Then you too will know the feeling of being forever young.

It was a stark reality for me the other day when I realized my first born child was the same age now as I was when I got saved. Wait a minute, I was a grown up woman! “How did we get here so doggone fast” I asked myself? I don’t feel 55. Except when I get out of bed and then I feel 85.

So Gloria and I both glorified God that He has given us the understanding of eternity and that this world is a step in the process of aging out to forever young. When we get that glorified body, we  will no longer experience the degradation of the one we now reside in. Even Christians forget that we are eternal beings. We want to hold on to this world and everything in it when we should be working to take everything that matters with us. And that’s the people we love. They too are eternal and need to know Christ as their Savior.

Gloria and I are going to a “bigger city,” than the usual big city this week. We’re heading south for a little R&R for the psyche and the soul as we follow the Marietta Bible College Choir on their Spring tour down south. I hope to get renewed and refreshed and feel the youth in my bones as well as my soul for a day or two. Follow our adventure on the Jesus Chick page on Facebook. I hope to share some live video feeds of our time. We’d love you to come along!

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This blog is in it’s 8th year. Hosted on godaddy.com for the past five. Expenses incurred for the operation of this site are without complaint and with gratitude for the opportunity. If the Lord would impress you to give to help cover some recent technology issues, I’d be grateful. I’ve not been in the world’s workforce for 3 years and for that I glorify God. It’s given me the opportunity to not only write and work on music, but minister to nursing home patients, volunteer in the Christian School teaching art and help other ministries with marketing. All of which require technology, communication, time and gasoline. Again it’s without complainT… but just in case you have a desire to help, or have “extra money” 🙂 Know that I would be eternally grateful.

Here’s the Link