Tag Archives: Servant

My 2017 Christmas Message

It’s quiet in the house this morning. Just a soggy December rain outside, falling on our tin roof that breaks the silence and makes me halfheartedly wish it were snow. I’ll get over that after the first flake hits and sticks.  I have a minor mess left to clean after we celebrated Christmas with the children and the grands last night. My heart is full…with a cup of Ninja Coffee Bar ® coffee in my hand, compliments of a husband who loves me that much. I need to hear from God. It’s been a week of running wild for events and sometimes just running for the sake of running.

I had put off reading the book of Luke in my yearly reading because I wanted to save it for Christmas. So this morning as I read through the story of Elisabeth and Mary, two of the Christmas Chicks, I marveled at their humility. They were both shocked that God had blessed them in the manner He did; I’d say they still marvel when they realize 2,000 years later, we’re still reading their story, and sermon after sermon have been preached with them as the key point. It makes me wonder how God would have my life be preached? I’m not so sure I’d want to be in the building as my life “illustrations” were used. But Mary and Elizabeth… their lives are proof that God honors those who are faithful and gives me reason to pause on this 23rd day of December. The day I too gave birth to one Tiffani Danielle. Who hasn’t stopped blessing me since.

A three point message for the faithful came from the two sister chicks of Luke:

Luke 1:39-47

And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda; And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth. And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And when is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord. And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior.

For the faithful God Reveals Secrets

When Mary spoke the Holy Spirit filled Elisabeth and the baby that was in her womb leapt for joy. How exciting for both women! God had revealed the secrets of both women to one another and He still reveals the secrets of the Savior to His people today.

Secrets in the sense that the world doesn’t experience that leap in the depth of our soul when the Savior makes Himself manifest in the life of His child. I understand the women’s awe. It’s how I feel every time God reminds me that He is in me, just as He was in Mary.

For the Faithful God Reveres His Servants

Luke 1:48 – For He hath regarded the low estate of His handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.

She was blessed! And so are we,  that the Creator of all, who spoke the Christ child into existence in the womb of Mary, spoke the Holy Spirit into existence in our souls and allows us to be used for the Kingdom. The Jesus Chick isn’t famous in the halls of earth, but in the halls of Heaven, I am known by God. And because of Him I’m known in the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, California and Minnesota. My friend in WV know me as the Jesus Chick, failure that I am in my own sight, but loved in spite of it by them. I stand in awe this eve of Christmas eve…

For the Faithful God Revives the Saint.

Luke 1:53-54 –  He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich He hath sent empty away. He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy. As He spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to His seed for ever.

Glory to God how my soul is filled and stirred today because the God of Abraham still speaks to me. Even when I turn my back on Him. You don’t know the countless times I fail the Lord. You don’t see how I feel so unworthy of His love and so I run, and would run to the ends of the earth…but I don’t have the money. And so I’m stuck with the rain on the tin roof of my West Virginia home and the rain of tears in my soul because I know how unworthy I am to be called His child and filled with His Spirit.

The best, and eternal gift that I can never repay or deserve…

Merry Christmas Shari… again.

Dear Critic: You are not the Captain of the Gospel Ship

In 21 years of salvation, I’ve never once considered walking away from Christ and back out into the world. There’s nothing there I want. After knowing Christ, His love, forgiveness, grace and mercy how could I even consider turning away from the peace that affords. Craziness! But the ministry for which I’ve been called, I can say in the 7 years since then, that I’ve pondered the notion of stepping out of it on a few occasions. It’s not easy being on God’s staff. I hadn’t really thought of it in that capacity until a few weeks ago, but that’s what being called is and it bears a pressure that is unseen to most. I’m not complaining, nor God forbid, am I seeking accolades. Stick with me as I get to where I am going.

This morning as I often do, I scrolled Facebook before getting out of bed just to see if anything happened whilst I slept upon my pillow. I know. That shouldn’t be the first thing on my mind when I get up, but it often is, because it’s handy. But as I scrolled I noticed a post on a pretty popular preacher and one I happen to listen to each week online. The post was one with a headline intended to entice the reader to click the link for more to the story and upon so doing I discovered an outright lie, meant as satire against the preacher. I didn’t know the person who shared the post, it was on a page for Christian bloggers, not on a “friends” page. The post sickened me because I’ve seen God’s people torn down so much lately.

Please don’t misunderstand, no one has been mean to me or critical; but there is an ever increasing awareness that everything I do is under scrutiny by the world because to the unsaved and to many saved people, ministry is a performance.

I was listening this week to the same preacher mentioned on the Facebook post, who had encouraged my soul on the matter of where God has me at in life and he spoke these words, “God didn’t call me to be a performer, and that takes the pressure off of me.” I found great truth in that statement. Too often I look at my ministry, be it singing or speaking, as a performance. It is in that capacity I’ve set myself up to be rated as a performer and critiqued by the world who has no spiritual foundation to do so.

There is one judge, and that is Christ Jesus.

But I live in a fallen world who feels they’re entitled to put every minister of God on trial, be they super star, local pastor, Sunday School Teacher or serving saint.

We’ve not progressed a whole lot in 2000 years in regards to that matter. Apostle Paul said in his day in 1 Corinthians 4:1-5

Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord. Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.

There’s a manner of judging ministers that’s acceptable. Do they line up with the Word of God? That’s not judging, that good sense. But when it comes to a minister’s heart, there is no place for that in God’s word. I’m not so much concerned with a minister who’s suddenly become rock star status, because usually, the minister didn’t do it. It was the people that launched them there. That too happened in bible days. Paul said in Chapter 3 of 1 Corinthians that they were doing that very thing with him and Apollos. But what happens when they achieve that status is it opens the door for Satan to have greater access as well and more damage to the Kingdom of God.

The danger lies not so much in what the world thinks but what Christians say. A Christian judging a pastor or other servant of God gives a validity to doubt the authenticity of the word of God. That’s what stirred my dander this morning when I saw that post. The fact that a Christian was spreading a non-fact as truth without researching the matter cast a doubt upon a man of God who’s sharing the gospel. That is dangerous ground to tread on.

So before we utter the first word of “critique” on a minister of the gospel or a child of God, we need to understand that they’re not performing, they’re relaying a God given message or ability for the purpose of edifying the Kingdom. Those who cast doubt will one day stand before the Almighty God and give account for that.

They’re style or delivery of the message may not float your boat, but you are not Captain of the Gospel Ship.

Post positive things for the cause of Christ. There’s enough negative Nancy’s out there in cyberspace.

A Cry Worthy Cause

Being on the inside of a situation doesn’t always give us the best vantage point for viewing a situation. I realized this again this past Sunday as I studied through Esther, Chapter 4 for my teen Sunday School class. When it came to the attack on the Jewish people devised by Haman, the King’s right hand man; Mordecai, who was on the outside, knew more than Esther, who was on the inside as the King’s wife. Esther was no doubt busy doing what Queen’s do. Mordecai was out with the people. My thought was this, “In order to understand the heart of God’s people, you have to spend time with them, and really listen…” In ministering to God’s people, or in the day to day of life, it’s very easy to look on the situation and speak from a personal perspective rather than from the person’s perspective to whom we’re speaking too.

How is it that we can best serve those in our church and in our lives?

The Town Crier and the Town Critics

Ester 4:1 ~ When Mordecai perceived all that was done, Mordecai rent his clothes, and put on sackcloth with ashes, and went out into the midst of the city, and cried with a loud and a bitter cry;

Mordecai went very public with his outcry. There is a time to be silent, but there is definitely a time to cry aloud. And as church leaders we should be looking for the lead town crier. That’s usually not the one crying the loudest. Most churches have the person or persons that finds it their personal responsibility to point out every flaw in every service, those would be the “Town Critics.” But there will always be a few who, if they cry, it is a cry worthy one. For those on the inside of ministry it’s very easy to make it personal. We put so much time and effort into an event and then to have someone tear it apart because it wasn’t to their liking is heartbreaking. I have worn that tee shirt many times. I’ve also deserved it a few. Because I wasn’t listening.

Mordecai mourned because he was anticipating the death of his people if action wasn’t taken. His was in the very literal sense of the world. Haman wanted to annihilate the Jewish people. He hated them. But for those of us who serve the Lord, we love our people! Even those who don’t necessarily like us. So we must position ourselves to hear their cry.

The Town Calmer

Esther 4:4 ~ So Esther’s maids and her chamberlains came and told it her. Then was the queen exceedingly grieved; and she sent raiment to clothe Mordecai, and to take away his sackcloth from him: but he received it not.

Esther tried to soothe Mordecai’s fears by covering him with new raiment but he refused. Covering up his body wouldn’t remove the vexation from his spirit. He needed Esther to act, not cover. Words are wonderful! I love the spoken and the written word, but it they’re not attached to an action by the deliverer and receiver, they’re of very little purpose. We must act on what we hear and what we hear should bring a call to action.

The Total Conviction

Mordecai finally got through to Esther on the seriousness of the threat against God’s people. Esther genuinely listened, but not until Mordecai had given her a copy of the decree of death for the Jews, and not without words of his own that convicted her too.

Esther 4:13-17 ~ Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king’s house, more than all the Jews. For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this? Then Esther bade them return Mordecai this answer, Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish. So Mordecai went his way, and did according to all that Esther had commanded him.

Esther knew what she had to do. She had to speak to the King on behalf of her people, even if it meant she die. Well, that’s a little more dramatic than most of the situations in our life. But I gleaned a valuable lesson as a leader and as one who’s being lead. We must take care of those we’ve been called to minister too and for. Our messages should be messages that are for “such a time as this.” They should convict and call every listener to action. Mordecai wasn’t complaining to call attention to himself, he was calling people to action for his cause. He didn’t want his people to perish… nor do I.

My words… anyone’s words who share the gospel should be what the people need. And when they’re delivered there should be a conviction and a call to action.

If Esther hadn’t accepted her call to action, God’s people would have perished. I fear that’s what’s happening in the churches. We need messages that convict. Our cause is cry worthy!


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!

P.S. ~ He doesn’t call pew sitters

a-pew-sitterI can’t seem to make it too far in the book of Judges before I’m under conviction and or in a state of frustration. At the end of Chapter two we read the words of God frustration with Israel:

20 And the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel; and he said, Because that this people hath transgressed my covenant which I commanded their fathers, and have not hearkened unto my voice;

21 I also will not henceforth drive out any from before them of the nations which Joshua left when he died:

22 That through them I may prove Israel, whether they will keep the way of the Lord to walk therein, as their fathers did keep it, or not.

23 Therefore the Lord left those nations, without driving them out hastily; neither delivered he them into the hand of Joshua.

Israel had again and again turned back to following the false gods of the people dwelling in their land. So in frustration God decided that He would “prove” their loyalty to Him by allowing the troubling parties to stay in their country, thus giving Israel the choice to choose the God of all creation or the created gods. God would send leaders in like, Joshua, Caleb,  and Othniel and judges to govern and guide, and yet each time they either ignored or waited until the leader was gone and then went back to following the ways of the world. History would repeat itself again when Israel would cry out, God would deliver, and they’d follow for a while and then fall away. Such has been the case with Israel, America and the church.

I watch in sadness as the American church goes two directions. Those who stand on the ground they’ve been given refusing to look at any other method of worship as even a possibility, and those who take their worship far, far into a worldly perspective and turn godly worship into a worldly celebration without the holiness of God anywhere in the equation. And then there are those of us in the middle, watching and wondering when Jesus will come and take us out of this mess. But all the while there is a need for the gospel to go forth, but those willing to take it are fewer and fewer.

It hit too close home when I read that as soon as Johua, Caleb and and Othniel passed away, Israel went into disarray.  Why wasn’t there a strong enough leader in their stead? I can say the same about the church, collectively and personally5sq. I’ve watched as strong leaders pass away or move onto other ministries and those in the balance are not ready and have no desire to be ready.

Was it the previous administrations fault?

Did Joshua, Caleb and Othniel drop the ball in training others to be in their place?

Possibly but I doubt it, and that excuse only flies so far. At some point people see the need and choose to either step up or step back. If everyone steps back, succeeding that is usually the ruination of a body of believers. They begin getting lethargic in their service to the Lord, their personal walk with God goes by the way side and slowly but surely a community is in captivity of Satan because the saints of God failed to step up in the position of leader.

I wish I had the answer. Following last week’s election there should have been people lining the altar on Sunday and proclaiming that they were to ready to step into the places God had opened. I didn’t see it at my church, did you see it at yours?

What’s it going to take for people to realize that God may call us home soon and there’s a world in need of Jesus that we were supposed to tell. Or… He may not call us home for a while and He’ll tire of us as He did Israel and say… you wanted the world… there ya go. Welcome to captivity.

My prayer is that one by one we’ll declare our loyalty to God and our churches and our country will turn back to God. But it has to start with us singly looking at God’s desire for our life.

P.S. ~ He doesn’t call pew sitters. Get busy!