Tag Archives: Shari Johnson

Old Faith, New Faith, Bold Faith, Few In Faith

I feel like it could be the title of a new Dr. Suess book.

From Genesis to Revelation it is the same faith. But it certainly varies in the way it’s displayed.

Old Testament saints had faith the Messiah would come, and they were charged with setting forth the principles of New Testament Christianity. Speaking went from a direct line of communication, when Adam and Eve walked with God in the garden… can you imagine what that must have been like! And then following the fall and rebellion of men, a priest would have the responsibility and accountability for God’s children. Not a role to be taken lightly. Handled inappropriately would mean certain death!

God’s Spirit would come upon men like Moses, Jacob and others and it was no doubt an awe-inspiring time. Most likely a little frightening too! It’s from their testimonies that we can experience Old Testament faith.

What characters of the Old Testament would you like to question? And what questions would you ask?

What would have been your reaction if God had showed up in the burning bush to you? Or wrestled with you as He did Jacob? Have you ever felt like you did wrestle with God?

Scroll forward to the New Testament and a whole new line of communication came when Jesus, the Son of God walked the earth once again. But only for a short time. Following His crucifixion and resurrection, that act of unconditional love would humbly allow us, the nobody’s and the somebody’s to speak to God through the Holy Spirit.

As I thought on this today, the images of the two different phones came into play. The old faith and the new faith are still one faith. It’s still the same God on the line. It’s just the way of communication differs.

Old Faith

Romans 4:1-8

What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.  Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.  But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.  Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,  Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.  Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

Old Testament faith was still faith even though they were keepers of the law. Or attempted keepers of the law.  613 of them. I can’t keep ten! Nor could they, so a sacrifice was put into place that would be used year after year. Lamb after lamb. Slain as a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross. Did they know that’s what it was? I don’t guess. But they knew it was God’s design and their only hope at the time; and that it all pointed, somehow, some way to the coming Messiah that they hoped for.

Every generation from the days of Adam hoped for.

I think of that old phone as the Old Testament way of communication with God. There was a line you had to go through. The Priest would go into the Holy of Holies and God and he would converse about what the people needed to know. Then he would deliver the message. We too experience that some through the preaching of the Word of God. But the difference is we too can receive a word. That should make you shout! That’s a privilege Old Testament, average Joe’s or Jolene’s didn’t experience.

When God showed up on the mountain, the children of Israel told Moses to go and talk to Him on the mountain. They feared God way too much to want to hear from Him direct.

Exodus 20:18-19

And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off. And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.

Have you ever felt that fearful of God? Why or why not?

I must wonder if some Christians still fear God’s voice. Many don’t even make the attempt at communication, or at least not very often.

New Faith

The words of David used in Romans 4 are from the book of Psalms 32:2

Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.  Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.  When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah. I acknowledge my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.  For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him.  Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.  I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee. Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the Lord, mercy shall compass him about.  Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.

David experienced God in a way few people did then, or do now.

Why do you think that was so?

It certainly wasn’t because he was perfect. He acknowledges that he’s a sinner.

Romans 3:23 says

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

David wasn’t sin free, he was bold in his confession because he wanted a right relationship with the Lord. He knew his relationship wasn’t right because he felt the heaviness of God upon him.

Have you felt that? What was going on at the time? Likely something that shouldn’t have been going on at the time. It’s not a feeling we like but we should love it, because it tells us that we’re saved.

Salvation comes from repentance.

David received his forgiveness and a renewed relationship with God when he repented, acknowledged what he did and turned away from it.

We too should be so bold!

Bold Faith

David’s relationship with God caused him to take some actions. He trusted God’s guidance for war, or not having war. He composed writings and songs, he played music and was a mighty leader when his relationship was right with God. He was bold!

Are you bold in the faith? If not why?

Few in the Faith

As time goes on, our churches seem to be dwindling in size and number. I pass empty church houses with grown up lawns everywhere I go. It makes my heart heavy and very sad. Because I know at one point there may have been a thriving congregation in that place. But they lost their zeal and their desire to serve God. They also lost the best thing that ever happened to them.

I love missionaries and consider myself a missionary to the United States. When I see folks with burdens for other countries I wonder… when will some get a burden for our own.

I have that.

In just a little over a month I’m traveling to New Mexico to minister in two different churches, if not more. I’m praying the Lord opens doors for me there to encourage the believers to be bold in their faith!

For this trip I ask that you’ll pray too. Pray that God will give me words and songs and that a great Spirit of revival will come upon that place. Pray for our safe travels and pray that our expenses are met.

I’m booked believing that we can’t out give God.

The Real Rainbow Still Shines

I’ve spoken of it on many other occasions: the fact that my upbringing causes me not to say what’s on my heart and mind because it’s seemingly impolite.  Never mind the fact that it’s the truth. And especially never mind the fact that everyone else is intitled and can ram their opinions down my throat, in my face and stick it to my heart with a dagger, but I should smile and say, “thank you, have a nice day, please come again.”

Did that sound bitter? It’s really not. It’s just frustrating.

And so today as I study my way through Romans, God laid the deer image on my heart. I hesitated to publish my words. I could just use this as my own personal study; keeping my thoughts to myself rather than risking the chance at offending. But then I thought of Paul. Who was martyred for the Word of God and most of all Jesus Who died for me. Why should I keep silent about the angst in my heart and my desire to see the lost come to the saving grace of Christ. The fact that I want them in Heaven with me. The only way to do so, is through the word of God.

I had just heard Paul say, only a few verses before. “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ.” Verse 16 of Chapter 1.

And so in love, I share my heartfelt plea to those who have made homosexuality their life style. And my honest opinion that the use of the rainbow for the pride agenda is a slap in the face of God, for which someone will stand accountable for.

The rainbow was a covenant symbol between God and man in Genesis 9:

11 And I will establish my covenant with you, neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth. 12 And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: 13 I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.

We don’t speak in that phraseology today. “Covenant” isn’t a word you often hear. Even by definition, it doesn’t mean in man’s terms what it meant in God’s. Because God’s covenant’s will stand the test of time.

This weekend is mine and David’s 39th wedding anniversary. It’s hard to imagine that those two kids who walked across my parent’s lawn on August 16, 1980, and said their vows have survived what we have. It’s not been easy, and it’s only been by the grace of Almighty God. Divorce would have been easier at times than fighting through the battles we did. But we made it because we both believe in the covenant of marriage.

That bow (rainbow) God placed in the sky was a promise that God’s wrath toward sin would not come through in the flood again. God’s grace would flow through Noah to a world who didn’t appreciate it and God would offer His Son, Jesus Christ, as atonement one day for all of mankind. It did not however, promise that judgment would not come. It will.

I am sad to say that I will not buy anything with a rainbow on it. I just can’t. The pride agenda has tarnished that beautiful image of God for me. But every time I see one in the sky, I think to myself, “They can’t do that.” They cannot place a beautiful arch in the sky.” Not like my Lord!

And so today I took back the rainbow, and placed it over my husband’s favorite critters. (although for him he likes them seasoned and smoked on the grill.) For me I love the fact that they cannot change the fact that nature knows and obeys God’s design.

And so I shar His word. In truth and love. ~ Shari. The Jesus Chick.

Questions? feel free to message me. Let’s talk about it.

Excuseless

Even creation awaits it’s turn for redemption. Can you imagine that day?! I think about it a lot. The more and more wicked this world gets, the more I think about it. Perhaps you do too, or perhaps you’ve not given it any thought at all. You may not even know the truth about creation through the Word of God. But regardless we are all excuseless when it comes to the Creator.

Genesis 3:17

And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;

Revelation 22:3

And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:

Between Genesis 3 and Revelation 22 is a whole lot of history. A whole lot of sin and praise God! a whole lot of grace for those of us who know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. But one thing there is not, is an excuse.

Romans 1:20

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

This morning as I sit in my little office at the back side of my house, I hear the rain pouring down outside. It’s replenishing the ground, filling the rivers and doing what nature does. Taking care of us. It’s also making my White Silky chickens, tan, but that’s a part of nature too, even if I don’t like it.

I’m not a big fan of Hell either. Neither is God. It was never His design for us. And yet there it is, looming at the end of a life who denies the Lord Jesus Christ.

Redemption. Just like the end of time when the curse will be lifted from off this earth, so will it be lifted from the souls of men when we spend eternity, forever and ever in a curse free, perfect place with the Lord Jesus. We can do that because He redeemed us by His blood sacrifice on the cross. He died for you, and for me and for all others and that is why we are excuseless.

Think about it…

If you gave your child, that you love more than life, for the redemption of a nation, would you be willing to accept anyone who wouldn’t confess what your child did?

I didn’t think so.

Yet, the world expects the Lord to. Even though He gave us not only His Son, but all of Creation that testifies of the Creator. It’s all written in His book, even science can’t deny it. But men can.

We can deny it because unlike creation we’ve been given free will. God wants those who want to be apart of His family. It’s that simple. Why would you invite someone into your home who didn’t want to be there?

I’m extending an invitation to all who read my blog, to join me in Heaven when it’s our turn. You have received your invitation. If you don’t come, you’re excuseless.

I’d like to say you’ll be missed. But truthfully, I don’t think so; because there’s no sadness in Heaven. But there will be a great sadness, pain and separation in Hell.

The greatest road anyone will ever travel:  Romans Road of Salvation

  • ACKNOWLEDGE YOU’RE A SINNER

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

  • REALIZE THAT SIN DESERVES PUNISHED

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

  • UNDERSTAND THAT CHRIST HIMSELF TOOK THAT PUNISHMENT ON THE CROSS

Romans 5:8 KJV “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

  • BELIEVE THE TRUTH OF THE WORD OF GOD AND CONFESS IT

Romans 10:9 KJV “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.”

  • PRAY AND ASK GOD TO SAVE YOU. TALK TO HIM…

Romans 10:13 KJV “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

  • UPON THAT CONFESSION THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL MOVE INSIDE YOUR HEART AND STAY THERE UNTIL ETERNITY. AT WHICH TIME YOU’LL BE WITH THE LORD HIMSELF!

Romans 8:1 KJV “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

  • BUT WHILE YOU’RE HERE, YOU’LL NEVER BE OUT OF HIS PRESENCE!

Romans 8:38-39 KJV “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.”

DID YOU TAKE THAT STEP? PLEASE MESSAGE ME AND LET ME KNOW! I WANT TO CELEBRATE WITH YOU 😀

Mutual Faith

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. ~ Romans 1:11-12

It’s what’s kept me going for 23 years. I believe with all my heart that it is the most undervalued superpower of the church today. It’s why pews are sitting empty and saints of God are living defeated lives. God never intended for us to go through this alone. Even He had 12 friends.

Mutual faith is a beautiful thing. Let me tell you what it looks like in my life.

Mutual Desire

On Sunday morning I’m with the local church. A body of believers that I stand doctrinally in agreement with. We don’t argue. Haven’t for the 23 years I’ve been there, (which for some churches is unfathomable). We’ve not argued because we’ve had strong leadership and a mutual desire to keep Christ as the Head of the church. He’s in charge, then we fall in line accordingly – Pastor – Deacons – Church.

If everyone is doing what they’ve been designed to do, you don’t want to do what someone else has been called to do.

On Saturday my heart begins to desire my Sunday morning time with God’s people. It’s genuine and I know that I’m called to serve in that place in my multiple positions. I don’t want anyone else’s! Believe me, God has placed enough on my plate. That’s what He does when you share His mutual desires.

Mutual Foundation

When Victory Baptist church was established in 1992, it came to be out of heartache. A church split that was never desired, causing division among God’s people, which was never intended. I came on board 4 years later. After the dust had settled.

I came in from a church that had been established for decades. A church that loved each other but had lost their mutual desire. There was no Kingdom purpose. No foundation. (I don’t say that lightly) it makes my stomach turn to think about it. But it is unfortunately what is happening to most churches of today.

The foundation of the church is to edify the body and seek souls to be saved. Victory was built on soul winning, something we too have lost sight of over the years. It’s easy to get complacent and become very comfortable with those we have.

Peter sent thousands out from Pentecost. Can you imagine? These people in Rome were of that lot and they were excited, and Paul was excited to meet them. He loved where he was, but he desired to go where he had not been.

That’s a lesson for us! I so desire to go where I have not been.

Mutual Faith

It doesn’t matter where I go, I find those of mutual faith. Or perhaps God sends them my way. I seldom ever go anywhere that I don’t meet up with God’s children.

My husband David and I went on the hunt of yard sales in the city last weekend and low and behold, one after another I met with God’s people. What a blessing!

I drew strength from them. They perhaps did not even know it. Or maybe they too drew strength from me.

By the same token at those sales I also met people that my soul bore witness that they did not know Christ. I feel like I missed the boat because I didn’t take the time to tell them about Jesus. I have friends who you’ll not be in their presence, but a few minutes and you’ll know that they have come to tell you about Jesus. They do it unashamedly, with bold conviction!

I have bold conviction, and a big mouth. I know that I’m failing to use my spiritual gift to do what God designed me to do. Tell the world about Jesus… better.

I don’t take lightly the web platform, after all, how many people has Paul reached and continues to reach for the cause of Christ through the written word. It too is a superpower. The point is, there is not only safety in numbers there is power in numbers! Together we are an amazing team.

I pray this has encouraged you! Feel free to share it and invite people to your church. Let them know you’re a part of a great team too!

We are People of Purpose

Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,

Romans 1:1

And that’s all the further I made it before my mind started reeling. Thinking about Paul, who he was, who he became, and the fact I’ll meet him some day in glory! And the absolute fact that I am so not like Paul. He was so very committed to everything he did. It reminds me of the children’s rhyme:

There was a little girl who had a little curl
Right in the middle of her forehead
And when she was good, she was very very good.
But when she was bad, she was dreadful!

Sorry! But that’s how my mind works. And that’s kind of how Paul was. When he was a Jewish Pharisee, he was very good at being very bad to the Christians, but when he became a Christian, oh my stars!!! that same zeal that he used to persecute and kill saints of God, he used to spread the gospel every where he went. He sowed seeds that would no doubt harvest a mighty crop of kids for the Kingdom. Oh, that that would be said of me… or you!

We are people of purpose, but we tend to forget it; or at least I do. Maybe you’re better.

As we continue reading Paul gives us more insight on our purpose as he scribes his letter to the children of Rome.

The Gospel

Romans 1:2

 (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,)

Malachi 4:1-6

For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts. Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

That’s the whole chapter, just 6 verses, but my what a kick in the pants and a reminder that this story wasn’t new in  Paul’s day, and it isn’t new in ours, but what it is the prophecy fulfilled, for what the old testament revealed. And Paul’s reminding the church of that very thing.

And there in those 6 verses we see the reminder of why we should be far more diligent at getting the Gospel out. Just as Christ came the first time, He’s coming again; but this time He will not be the gentle man that the world loves to view Him as. He’s coming as King of all and Lord of all and He’ll judge the earth in righteousness. And those who do not know Him as Savior, our chance to see them saved will be gone. Who are we going to meet today that we’ll not see in Heaven? That’s a sobering question.

The Good News

The good news is that though His return is imminent, for the time being we still have time. So, what will you and I do with it? I’m asking myself that question in all seriousness.

Romans 1:3-6

Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: 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:

If you’re saved, you’ve been called. And unlike the iPhone, you can’t pretend you didn’t see it. You can reject the call, as many of His children do, but somebody is going to suffer the consequences of our disobedience. That’s the bad news.

The Grace

Thank God for it, I’m going to need an abundance.

Romans 1:7

To all that be in Rome,

  • or Mt. Zion, West Virginia
  • Grantsville, WV
  • Windom, MN
  • Albuquerke, NM
  • Manilla, Philippines
  • Marietta, Ohio

Well, you get the picture.

beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Even in our failures, we are still His beloved. He didn’t die for perfect people, else there would have been no reason. He died for folks like us who failed before we were saved, and we’ve failed afterwards. But the difference is, we now know the whole story. It’s been revealed to us through His word that there is a purpose for us on this big ball of dirt! It’s to tell the world about the wonderful news of Jesus. And that the evilness of this world will be overcome. We will win the victory. But only those who know Jesus.

Who can you share that news with today?

Pardon Me For Whining

Okay… so I feel like I should apologize for whining yesterday. It’s not that it’s not in my character, it’s just not in my character to do it out loud. I always do it in my head so the world thinks I’m super spiritual. Just kidding… they don’t. But I like to think myself super spiritual sometimes; because then I don’t feel so bad about myself when I realize I’m an epic failure. Now that I’m done with that, let me tell you what I really want to do. I want to Psalm 13:6 it today!

Psalm 13:6

I will sing unto the Lord, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.

So in case you missed my whining session at the end of my vlog (video blog) yesterday, I was a tad emotional about the fact that temptation in this world is hard. Everyone faces it, and I’ve had my share lately when it comes to wanting to escape the will of God. That sounds bad. I should want to be in the will of God, right? Well, I technically do, until it’s a struggle. Like in the world of my finances and then I want to jump this ministry ship and get a “real job.” I get in that mode because that’s what the world tells me I should do. So this morning as I went merrily on my way, bible journaling through Psalms I came upon David’s whining session. However in his defense, his own son Absalom was trying to kill him. That really trumps my reasons to whine.

Abandonment Issues

1How long wilt thou forget me, O Lord? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me?

Forever? Have you ever felt that way? When God does not answer immediately, especially in the microwave society for which we live, the feeling of despair can take over quickly. I want an immediate resolve so I can move forward. I want God to fix this mess! But with that cry I have to realize that God didn’t make my mess. I did.

Just like David. While he didn’t cause his son to become his enemy, he caused himself to lack the confidence that he had earlier experienced (before the sin with Bathsheba). Failing in our walk with Christ causes the feeling of abandonment, not because God moved, but because we’re not as close as we once were.

Advice Issues

How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me?

The worst thing I can do is ask myself for advice.

Taking counsel in my own soul will just add insult to injury. I’m a little too close to the situation, don’t you think? And yet when I don’t hear from God, rather than being still and waiting, I talk. And talk. And talk some more.  I’m such a slow learner.  

Ability Issues

Consider and hear me, O Lord my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death; Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved.

Can you not hear the whining heart of the Jesus chick? It’s pretty loud. “I’m dying here Lord!” that’s what David said and that’s what I have a tendency to say. Because of my struggles I don’t have the ability to get the things accomplished that I want to get done. And because of that, I too feel like the enemy is rejoicing in my failures and I’ve been moved out of the place I long to be in.

Unexpected Blessings!

So here I am sitting in my office this morning and God reminds of a pumpkin that’s sitting at the edge of my yard in a pumpkin patch that I didn’t even plant. I had pumpkin décor last fall and it stayed in front of David’s wood shop on a few bales of hay, until it decayed and David as he often does, he cleaned up my mess. He threw the hay, pumpkin and all at the edge of a field. The seeds from those pumpkins made it into the ground and bore fruit. It was so exciting when David discovered our unexpected blessing and showed it to me.

So this morning I hear… this mess too will bear a surprising fruit. Be Still.

But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation.6 I will sing unto the Lord, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.

So let me unwind and un-whine. God is good. That pumpkin is far from the only blessing in my life. I received such sweet encouragement from a few friends yesterday.

I shall not be moved! Because the Lord has more than dealt more than bountiful with me. How about you? Do you have a pumpkin in your patch? Praise God for it. And run the enemy off the porch of your dreams. Thank You Jesus.

The signs of a fruitful ending

Oh Lord It’s Hard to Be Humble

I like to think myself as humble, and then I have to ask myself “Are you really? And if you were, would you think you were?” I don’t know. Sometimes I don’t think I’m fully understanding of God’s opinion of humility, so God’s word in Psalm 10, verse 17 was a good launching point to understanding my humility level.

Lord, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear:

Psalm 10:17

Humble People Have Desires

I often think to myself and tear myself apart for wanting stuff. And I’ll confess, my desire for stuff isn’t always for God’s glory. Sometimes it’s just because this girl wants to have fun. Much like the gift I received from my overly generous husband yesterday who has always wanted to give me the desires of my heart, and I him. It’s how we’ve come to celebrate 39 years in just a few weeks. Which is why he bought me the Apple ® watch. He knows it’s been a desire of my heart. But then I often cannot reciprocate gifts of such value because I don’t have a “real job.” You know… one that pays money. So the guilt sets in. And it’s much the same with my relationship with God. I feel guilty that I’m not better at life.

Humble People Have Disappointments

Mostly in myself. I’m sure there are humble people out there who have great confidence as well as humility. I’m just not one of them. So when I read that God prepares the heart, it made me wonder what I’m missing that causes me to lack confidence and be disappointed with my accomplishments. Why am I not fully prepared? Obviously God isn’t the issue, He has prepared me; so how do I tap into it? I found that answer in 2 Timothy 2:20-21

But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.

And there it was in the honesty of God. I often lump myself in with wood and earth, rather than gold and silver. I know that I fail God again and again, and so does God. But rather than accepting His grace, and purging myself, I stay in the condemnation of this world. Foregoing His grace for misery. And how does that make sense? But it’s who I am, and I need to do better.

 Humble People Have Discouragers

Some on earth, some in the spiritual realm, and some in the mirror. But the latter of my verse says “God will cause his ear to hear.” But for some goofy reason, I buy the lies of my discouragers. Oh… I believe God hears. They can’t fool me on that, but my problem is, I don’t feel worthy of an answer. And that would be true, if it were my worthiness that matters. But it’s not. It’s the worthiness of the Savior Who thought I was of enough value to die for. The discouragement comes when I allow the sounds of the sirens of Hell to speak louder to my soul than the trumpets of Heaven that proclaim God’s glory.

This act causes me to live far short of the glory of God than I should, and doesn’t allow the world to see me living in the triumph that a child of God should.

A lesson for me, and probably a lesson for you too. Let’s practice it today!

It’s The Real Thing

I would tell you not to tell the preacher on me, but I literally set just a few feet away from where he stands preaching on Sunday evening, so I’m pretty sure he knows. My attention span is only as disciplined as my imaginations allows. It is the boss of me so often. I’ll begin my note taking with the greatest of intentions. His sermons are packed full wisdom that I long to remember, but then… the Shari of constant chaos engages with my brain, and my pencil has a life of it’s own. My notes turn into doodles and quick jot and before long of got an entire page of nonsense. Well, to anyone who dares to look at it. But to me it’s the sweetness of God’s word saved to the page for me chew on later like a fine piece of licorice!

Sunday night it was that Coke can that caused my mind to go amuck. Pastor Steven was preaching on one of my favorite topics, the Holy Spirit. And the difference between the thirst quenching power of the world (which is fake) and the thirst quenching of the Spirit, which of course is the Real Thing! I know it all too well!

It was at that point the Coca Cola jingle from my childhood began playing in my head. I had learned it in the 5th grade Grantsville Elementary School Choir. We all stood on the playground and sang it at a special event for which I don’t remember. But I remember the day, and I was excited, because that day had music, and music has always made me happy. Just like many things in the world do, for a while. But it never lasts.

But the day I felt the Holy Spirit move in my soul for the first time, I wasn’t trading it for anything in the world. I knew I’d found the real thing! How did I know? I’m glad you ask!

A Real Peace

That was the most significant thing in my life. Because I’d never had it. From my earliest memories my soul was in turmoil and fear of eternity. But the day the Holy Spirit moved in, the day I said yes to Jesus as Savior, was the day that peace arrived on the scene of my heart and hasn’t left. I may have moments of insecurity or uncertainty, but it’s quickly followed by assurance and steadfast confirmation that my world is in God’s control. That’s the Real Thing!

A Real Place

With real people. Not perfect ones, but ones like me who made mistakes and let me know it was okay to not be okay, but it wasn’t okay to stay that way. A place where the altar was more than a step to the platform, but it was a step to getting your life together. Sunday after Sunday I wept at that altar, trying to figure salvation out for myself, thinking I could fix my life. Because that’s what the world wants us to believe. That’s a lie. Salvation is through our belief in Christ  and His finished work on the cross, alone. But being in a place to grow and learn is how you keep on going and winning the real battles that come in life. Those are a real thing too!

A Real Passion

When I discovered the love of God, and began to understand what He did for me, there was a passion that began welling up in my soul and God sent person after person to add fuel to it. Preachers, musicians, singers, mentors… so many people of talent and a like passion that I couldn’t get enough of serving the Lord! That’s all I wanted to do. It’ was the first time in my life that I was doing something that I knew for certain, beyond a shadow of a doubt, made a difference. An eternal difference.

I’d done a lot of  great things in my life to help folks out, but all of it was going to burn up on the last day of earth, and I knew it. But now I had a purpose that would last all of eternity. And that passion is still alive and well today. It’s the real thing!

Is it real in your life. Do you have real peace, a real place of acceptance and love and real passion make a difference in this world. I pray so. If not, please, please shoot me a message on Facebook, or in the comments below and I’ll get back to you ASAP! Let’s get this matter taken care of! We have places to go and people to see, and an Eternity to spend together.

Life’s A Mess, Bring a Towel

It could have been way worse this morning when my coffee slipped out of my hand. My computer was just inches away. And even though there are days I’d like to insanely chuck it in the highway and send a video to the creator of Windows, it is also my sanity through creativity. So as the coffee poured from my cup and onto the art that I’d just spent a considerable amount of time creating I wanted to walk away, leave the mess for another time and call it quits for the day. But I couldn’t. The thought process that had started the entire morning event wouldn’t leave my mind. And so I grabbed a towel. Blotted the paper dry and sat back down to ponder the direction of my day. And such is much of my life. It’s a mess. Some days I need a towel to clean the mess and other days I need a towel to dry the tears.

Not by happenstance I’ve been journaling Psalms. An ongoing saga of tragedy and triumph and always encourages my soul. Today it’s Psalm 3

Let’s talk about the Enemy

1 Lord, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me. Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah.

It seems like a never ending list of things to do, bills to pay, emotional struggles and life issues. There are words of encouragement and discouragement that battle it out in my head. It reminds me of the story of the Indian Chief who said. “There are two dogs fighting in my mind, a kind one and a vicious one. The one I feed wins the battle.”

Lately I’ve been feeding the dog of doubt and it’s eating me alive. So this morning the spilled coffee seem to be the dog of doubt, knocking it out of my hand, saying “Give up! You’re weak.”

But then I read my text. It’s not about me Satan. It’s about my God and to Him be the glory!!

Let’s talk about Encourager

But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.

I started just to use the drawing as it was. It seemed fitting for the way I felt. Messy. But how would that have brought glory to God? So I grabbed my tracing paper out of the drawer and cut a piece to the size of my bible. I traced the drawing that I had previously done. It turns out, tracing is so much faster! I laid out my coloring supplies and began to fill her in again. But this time with another purpose. I use the tracing paper sheets to create journal inserts in my bible; they take only a smidge of space and aren’t even noticed in the thickness of the book. Now, what the enemy had planned on foiling, would be a word of encouragement that I can turn to, or hap upon when I’m reading in Psalm.

With that exercise of creative thinking, God did indeed lift up my head and remind me that not every mess is worth crying over. Sometimes it’s a process.

Let’s talk about the Elect

I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah. I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about. Arise, O Lord; save me, O my God: for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly. Salvation belongeth unto the Lord: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.

Luke 18:7 says And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day night unto him, though he bear long with them?

There’s something very satisfying about the thought of God mashing the mouth of the enemy. It’s also a reminder that it’s not my job. My job is to let my Father know I’m in trouble, and then allow Him to take care of it for me.

It’s a rarity that I lose sleep, but lately (mainly because I’ve forgotten to get a prescription filled) I’m losing sleep. I wake up in the wee hours of the darkness and my mind is flooded with what feels like “ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about.”  I feel like there’s about to be something upset at any moment and I don’t have a big enough towel to clean the mess. Do you ever feel that way?

I needed this Psalm today… I needed to be reminded that I am God’s elect. Chosen by Him to do what I do. I hope that what I do is encourage you. If I have, please shoot me a message and let me know. Let’s spread some of this encouragement around!

How to Deal with Mainstream Mayhem

Many of the conversations I’ve had, both inside my head, and with other people, have recently been around the discussion of end times. It’s a topic not everyone desires to discuss. For me, from the standpoint of myself, I get excited! But then I begin to think of family and friends who aren’t prepared. It’s at this point that those who are not prepared, or those who are uncertain turn me off. And it’s when I begin to worry and stress about how much I’m doing for the cause of the Kingdom. I need to find ways to reach more people. I need to find a way to reach my people! You know… the family who “think” they’re okay, and those who just don’t think about it all, but would rather live in ignorance, not knowing that Jesus could be ready to step out on the cloud at any moment and call His church home.

Are you ready? Do you know that you know? I knew that I knew last year when I had open heart surgery. Only the Lord Jesus Christ can afford that peace. When I see that people don’t have an understanding of the end times, and really don’t care to know, I’m more than a little alarmed. But I guess that’s because I know. So in reading Jude, which by the way reads like a book specifically about 2019, I feel compelled to share the news I discovered about the news!

Jude vs. 16-18

These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage. But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.

Wow. How accurate is that?

According to a poll from Axios last year, 72% of 4,000 Americans polled, believe “traditional major news sources report news they know to be fake, false or purposefully misleading.” Other polls say it’s less; but then again, how do we know if even those who do the polls are reporting honestly. It’s just a sad state of affairs that we live in. Jude didn’t need the internet, a poll, or the evening news to tell him what the prognosis was for mankind. He heard it straight from Heaven. He walked with the Creator of all, and his words give an outline of modern times.

How not to Mistake the Fake

Stop watching all mainstream television. There are none that truly don’t have an agenda. I fully believe that. And in so doing, they’ll do they’re very best to persuade you in to believing what they say, even if it’s only in part. And it’s not only the news outlets. You can’t watch a good comedy without an agenda in it! If there’s such a thing as a good comedy. The dark side is found in almost every show I’ve attempted to watch over the past years. Wholesome television is almost nonexistent. And if you think children’s television is any different, think again. I’ve had to ban complete children’s channels off my television with the grandkids because they promote homosexuality, violence, and disrespect. It’s insane! So what’s the answer? Are we going to stop watching entertainment? Probably not, but we need to take Jude’s advice to heart before turning it on.

Never Trust Their Lusts

I’m not just trying to rhyme. It was a fact I learned about myself in our Sunday sermon at Victory Baptist Church. I covet stuff. Shiny stuff. I have a serious issue of wanting things I don’t necessarily need, and much of it comes from all the time I spend on social media. There’s always something shiny and new waiting for me on the web. Just ask Amazon.com. They’ll show you your shiny desires too, because they follow your networking trends. But it’s not always your lusts that are the issue. Their lusts can be come your lusts if it’s entered into your information gatherer enough times. That’s why I can’t watch shows who push the liberal agenda. Because I know their design is to mess with my conservative brain.

Don’t Fluff up the Puffed Up

Meaning: don’t take their efforts lightly. They’ve got it down to a fine art on how to manipulate the American mind. They use people and things that appeal to us. It’s why the celebrities are pushing every product and agenda out there. Because if we love their shows, music and movies, we’ll be easy marks to love their mindsets too. Which if you’re not careful will lead you down a pathway far away from the Lord Jesus Christ.

I’ll tell you where I stand. I’m a pro-Jesus, pro-life, Baptist conservative that makes no apologies for rolling my eyes at liberal brats who want my children and grandchildren to be corrupted by the notion that they are entitled to a world of shiny things that will take their minds to places God never intended His children to go. I hear it in their voices every time they get upset because life treats them unfairly or a commercial comes on with the latest and greatest and they want it, or a show or song plays that has garbage throughout it and they repeat it. And yet, when I praise God, or bow my head to pray I’m the one viewed as a fanatic.

It’s why Jude makes it clear that if you want the truth there is only one place to find it.

Take a look at the book!

So how do we deal with the Mainstream Mayhem? We measure everything we see and hear by the words of Jesus Christ. It is the only absolute truth in this world.

It’s why I love writing and working for FGGAM.org. Because Pastor Dewey Moede views the world through a biblical lens, and before he publishes it, it has to meet God’s standards. We know we’re accountable for what we say. The Bible is clear on that! We’ll stand before God and give an account of the words we speak and write. We’re not the only ones. That liberal bunch of liars that’s out there, they’ll have their day when they’re mockery comes to an end.

The book of Jude is one chapter from the end of the Book.

I feel like that’s where we are on the time line of eternity. And this chapter is coming to an end quickly…