Tag Archives: sorrow

We Speak of Him

somethin

“Why on earth did You allow that to happen?” A question posed to God on a pretty regular basis with me; especially in the wake of the recent news reports. I don’t even watch the news but it’s so horrific that it’s a part of the conversation in every venue of life. So I’m pondering that question again today… “Why God? What could possibly be the purpose?” We know Romans 8:28 says “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”  We know the breakdown of it (all things work) not all things are. All things are not good. When people are born sick, killed in a senseless act of terrorism, there is no good in that. So this morning I ponder again, “Why?”

It took me 3500 years to get it… I guess I’m kind of slow.

Romans 9:17-23

17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.

Three types of news spread like wild fire on a dry windy day.

  1. Tragedy
  2. Miraculous epic events
  3. Absolute lies.

So to Pharaoh God said (to Shari quote it) “I made you who you are, because people would tell your story, even though technically… it’s My story.”

The history of the Exodus and the continual provision for the Jewish Nation of God is an ongoing saga and one that captivates the world. Saved and unsaved alike have a fascination in the lives of Israel because they are the chosen people of God. Their story has been filled with tragedy and miraculous epic events that are worthy of sharing… and in so doing… there are conversation of God.

So what does that have to do with the tragedy of the day in the news?

Read on weary pilgrim…

Vs. 18-23

Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,

The news:

  1. Tragedy
    • In tragedy we seek God to make sense of the unimaginable and we speak of Him.
  2. Miraculous epic events
    • In miracles we acknowledge God for the unexplainable and we speak of Him.
  3. Absolute lies
    • God may be unexplainable, but He is most certain undeniable. And we speak of Him.

If the world were rotating in perfect harmony, no sickness, no heartache, no unexplainable or unimaginable events…. Would we seek Him or speak of Him? No. Adam and Eve are proof. So in the heartache of it all, God allows (He does not create the chaos – we do that) but allows it so that we will see the only steadfast controlling factor of the universe is He Who created all. And we’ll speak of Him.

Speak of Him today…

chick encourage 2

When you’re going through the fire…

through-the-fire-and-flames-we-carry-on-1

When you have to pray the prayer you didn’t want to pray…

It was that wee hour in the morning phone call no parent wants, your child’s in distress and you’re 2 hours away. Daughter Tiffani just headed in to surgery for delivery of our 6th grandchild. She’s only at 30 weeks. I’m scared, concerned for both her and the baby; needing to hug my son-in-law who is facing it alone. And I hit my knees and gave it to God, who is the Creator of all life. Who alone makes those decisions; and I want to hug Him too. But instead He hugs me.

I do the only thing I’ve known to do since 1996. Go to God and get in the Word.

It is well… He speaks to my soul.

It doesn’t feel well Lord….

It is… I hear again.

Our 2 lb 12 oz miracle came just a little after 5. Breathing on his own, and we are rejoicing.

The reality of that story is the whole time I was praying I knew it was the Creator’s decision.  I didn’t feel well; I knew “it” was well, but I still so wanted it to go the way I wanted. It is with great joy that I can say the Lord answered my prayer. Both Tiffani and Parker Keith came through with flying colors. When my son-in-love called he said, “He’s breathing on his own.” My heart skipped a beat. I hadn’t evening thought he wouldn’t. The fragility of life is such that at 2 lbs 12 oz., that was a distinct possibility. God is good!

At choir practice at church on Sunday evening, I belted out the solo to the song “Through the fire.” My neighboring friend Lola said, “Wow, Shari, I don’t even think they’re going to have to ‘mic’ (microphone) you.” I knew what she meant… I have a big mouth. I told the choir there was likely a genetic reason my new grandson came out breathing on his own, God had blessed us with good lungs. But I had a reason to belt that song out, I’d been through a little fire this weekend.

Just a few hours after Parker was born, by beloved and best pal, Sammy the Jack Russell was hit by a car. It wasn’t like Sam to go near the road, but that day he did. And so I went into another spiral of emotions. He was a true companion and there for me so many times, and I didn’t even get the chance to pray. My heart was broken but the day was filled with too many responsibilities to grieve.  And so I handed him to the One Who created Him. And it was again a reminder about the fragility of life. Puppies or people, life is but a vapor.

I’m glad I know the Creator. I’m glad when the fire came, the water that quenched my thirsty soul in salvation also dampened the flames that tried to consume me.

Zechariah 13:6-9 ~ And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones.  And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the Lord, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God.

Those words… what an awesome tale they tell. An Old Testament prophecy that bears the name Jesus Christ.

Sunday morning’s prayer requests at our church were almost surreal. I wasn’t the only one going through a fire, and many of them their flames were higher than mine. But the God we serve was able to bring songs and shouts of praise throughout the congregation, because He’s awesome like that.

Are you going through some flames yourself? Give it to the Creator. He may not put them out, but He’ll carry you through. If you have time today, comment and let me know how the Lord is bringing you through!

To Sob, Sing or Believe?

question & meAfter about the 4th or perhaps 40th bad news post on Facebook this morning, my heart was overwhelmed. I was on the verge of either breaking out in tears or song, I knew I had to do something, so rather than explain myself to the rest of the office, I opted to do a quick blog. The page was full of God’s children from birth to retirement fighting battles. They were hurting, their family’s hearts were broken and worry consumed many of their minds and the why’s started coming upon me.

God why does that innocent little child have to suffer like that?

Why does that mommy have to go through that?

Why is it that that man of God, who wants to do nothing more than serve you, has to suffer so?

Why does that man who served our country have to suffer through the rejection of government accountability?

Good grief and o my goodness, that list of why’s went on and on!!

So I turned to the Word of God for reasoning as He is the only One who I know I can trust for answers and I found myself at a familiar passage of scripture:

John 14:1

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

I have to believe God’s got this heartache in His hand and under control… “But it would be way better if I had a reason Lord,” I continued to question God. So I read on until I came to verse 14 of chapter 14 to which it read “If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.”

Woop… stop the record. “Anything?” But God, that’s not how it works. I’ve seen things not go as we ask, why is that in there? In my soul I heard… Go back and read it as I intended it.

Verses 12-13 prior to that read:

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

Twice it is said that He will do whatever we ask, but not once did it say “as we’d ask it.”

So that child that I asked God to heal, He will. That veteran that I ask God to assist, He will. That Preacher that needs healing and provision, He will provide for. But there’s something attached to that healing and provision, and that is “that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” It’s the Son’s decision on how my request is answered, but it is for certain that God will get glory, and it will be well. That’s hard for us to understand when we’re witnessing the pain in this moment of time that way out there in eternity is reason to rejoice. I don’t have the answers… I want the problem fixed, and now would be a good time. But God’s word says I may have to wait, and in so waiting, glory!

If God fixed everything the way we want Him to, how much would we miss out on? And how much worse might things be.

I’ll trust God.

Is it well?

praise

2 Kings 4:26

Run now, I pray thee, to meet her, and say unto her, Is it well with thee? is it well with thy husband? is it well with the child? And she answered, It is well:

If you read the story in 2 Kings chapter 4, you realize that at the time she said “it is well,” her child was dead. Over the past couple of days I’ve watched multiple posts come and go on Facebook. Some of a greater magnitude of devastation than others. But I’m not making light of any, heartache is heartache, and it hurts. But one common thread in so many is that “come what may” – God is good, and it well. If you do not know Him you likely do not understand how someone could speak those words and “mean it” during some of the hardest days of their lives. It’s because they know that there is a day we’re all looking forward to. That day when heartache and sorrow will not exist. And all those trials we went through and glorified God, will be crowns that we can give back to our Savior. He will robe us in Glory and say “Well done my child, welcome home!”

That’s when eternity starts.

No more separation. No more pain or heartache. Just peace and happiness! Satan and his minions will be cast into a pit and will never again have access to our lives.

Do you know our Jesus? The one Who created this world, and will restore it to its perfected state one day. He loves you. He wants you to know “God is good, and it is well.” He’ll put that in your soul if you’ll give it to Him. There is something within you that lets you know there’s something missing in your life. It’s the hole where the Holy Spirit desires to reside. Once you’ve ask Jesus to be Lord of your life, with faith believing that your life is in His hands, it’s then that He’ll begin guiding you to the rest of the knowledge that you need to walk in faith.

Below is a link to what Christians call “The Road to Salvation.” Please read it and pray the prayer, not because it will save you, but because the God of Whom it speaks of will. What it will do is give you the Word of God to tuck down in your heart and marker that this is the day you trusted Jesus. This is the day that you made the decision to believe “Come what may—God is good, and it well!”

http://thejesuschick.com/the-road-to-salvation/

Unraveled at the Feet of Jesus

Trying to find a biblical family in the scripture to model your family after is next to impossible. Dysfunction doesn’t even begin to describe it. From the beginning it was filled with disobedience, betrayal and murder. So it should not come as a surprise that our own families are so messed up today, and yet when it happens we’re shocked. And when you couple the fact that those stories of dysfunction were within God’s chosen leaders of the day, who weren’t perfect, but their relationship with the Lord was to be desired; what does that say about us? Few of us have a relationship with the Lord that’s as tightly knit. So we unravel… and our family isn’t what we envisioned, and neither are we.

I can write from the heart of dysfunction. If God were still adding text to the Bible (and He’s not by the way), but if He were, there could likely be the book of Shari. Perhaps many sermons would be preached from my text with a title like “The Diva of Dysfunction.” There likely would not be the intrigue as many books of the Bible entail, but there would be comedy and chaos, heartache and hindrances to the will of God, fractured moments and failed missions. Several trips to the wood shed for certain. But… in the midst of it all you’d find Mercy. And me at His feet… unraveled.

From Heaven I have a feeling my life looks like a tangled mess of God’s intentions. Maybe yours does too. We have to remember that regardless of what we do, God does see the other side.

  • Poor decisions can take us down a wrong path. And though the distance is rougher and longer, God can still bring us to His intended spot.
  • Broken relations were not His plan, but the healing that He provides can make you stronger and more appreciative of the unbroken.
  • Finances may not be your forte, (it’s not mine) but by giving back to Him what we were entrusted with, perhaps that seed will take root and grow in ways we can’t even imagine. Or He may just give us contentment… and that’s okay too.
  • Sometimes family is the tie that binds, and sometimes it’s the tie that gags, but it’s the foundation of the gospel. We are the family of God. And if He can put up with our shenanigans do we not owe our family the same. A man who sought God’s wisdom ask his counselor “When can I stop caring.” The counselor’s reply was “When God does.”

If I wrote an exhaustive list of dysfunctions you wouldn’t take the time to read my blog. So let’s put it like this. You fill in the blank. “Dear God, ________________ is unraveling in my life. And I need you to knit it back together.”

Scripture says in 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;

We don’t know the end of our story. But we can be comforted in the knowledge that we are loved and that God’s plan is still on track. That tangled mess that we see, will one day be a viewed as a beautiful tapestry …or perhaps a cable knit sweater.

I hope today finds your life at peace, and wrapped up in the love of God

Where is God in the Tragedy?

Making sense of nonsense

There’s no shortage of it. Turn on the evening news and from start to finish it’s full of heartache and sorrow with an occasional “feel good” story thrown in in a vain attempt at balancing it out.  Solomon, the wisest man to ever live, he too tried to figure it out and I was again blown away by the profoundness of his faith as I read his words this morning in Ecclesiastes, Chapter 3

Ecclesiastes 3:14

I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.

This morning a dear family in the faith is on my heart. The most unthinkable of tragedies has struck their family and for them there is no sense in it. There is total innocence on one side and utter degradation of man on the other, so how do we find God in the middle of this mess… we remember that we are made for eternity.

life is a season

Ecclesiastes 3:1

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

As they say, “This too shall pass, right?” Though the words roll easily off the tongue, the season of “passing” is not the greatest of times, it alone sometimes feels like an eternity. I’ve had those moments in time when I wondered “How can ‘this’ possibly ever get better? ‘This’ doesn’t feel like a seasonal thing, it’s life altering. And when I read the second half of that verse… that there is “purpose;” it can make even less sense to me. How could God have a purpose in that? I don’t think the tragedies of life are the purpose. God is good (Mark 10:18). God’s not “in” the tragedy, He’s at the end of the tragedy. He’s the One that’s waiting for this to all be over; this mayhem that Satan set into motion in the Garden of Eden. He’s at the end waiting for us to get home, to the land He created where there is no night, no sorrow or sadness. Life is a season.

life is service

Ecclesiastes 3:13

And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.

From now until the day that God welcomes us home is our time of reasonable service. Romans 12:1  That reasonable service includes serving God through the times that make no sense to help everyone get to the land of perfect sense. We can’t make sense out of evil, but we can serve and trust in God who is nothing but good.

life is nothing without salvation2

Ecclesiastes 3:15-17

That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past. And moreover I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was there; and the place of righteousness, that iniquity was there. I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.

There have been so very many “why’s “in my life, until I get to a verse like this and then I realize that there is no righteousness in me. I’m going to stand before a righteous God knowing that I am there solely because Christ’s blood allowed it. In earth’s perspective I can view the wickedness of the day and think that I’m not as vile as they, but in the reality of God there is no degree of sin. It all separates us from Him and life on earth is nothing without the Salvation of Christ. It’s a fleeting fraction of time that’s gone before we can get turned around. And where is God? Waiting.

There is so much to do to get our friends and family prepared for eternity. Let’s get busy!

A Dozen Promises for Your Day!

In 2nd Timothy 1:1-2 Paul said to Timothy “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus, To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.”

There’s a song on my heart this morning! Titled Jesus is Coming Soon

Troublesome times are here, filling men’s hearts with fear
Freedom we all hold dear now is at stake
Humbling your hearts to God saves from the chastening rod
Seek the way pilgrims trod, Christians awake

Jesus is coming soon, morning or night or noon
Many will meet their doom, trumpets will surely sound
All of the dead shall rise, righteous meet in the skies
Going where no one dies, heavenward bound

It’s a peppy little tune our choir sings that has your toe tappin’ and your eyes toward the skies because we believe in the twinkling of an eye we truly could be standing in the presence of God. But for now we are here… in this wicked place, with heartache and trouble on every side, and yet…(pause for special effect) there is unspeakable joy within my soul because I have that promise of life that the Apostle Paul spoke of. And as Christ said in John 10:10 it’s life abundantly!

Believe me when I say that I can get down in the dumps, crazy depressed because of situations in life. I’m not a millionaire, I have bills too. Lots of them! I’ve made mistakes, and not just a few. And if I focused on that I’d stay depressed, but it’s in verses like this that I find glory! Paul gave Timothy that threefold blessing that every believer owns and yet so many refuse to take the title.

Grace is getting what we don’t deserve. Mercy is not getting what we do deserve. And Peace comes from knowing that God controls both and that He loves you.

I don’t deserve anything. I came into this world with nothing, and I’ll leave with nothing but God has sure been good to me in the meantime. I could tell, but it takes much too long, of the times that God has pulled my proverbial hinder parts from the fire in amazing ways! That’s called grace. I could also tell you of the times that I was sure my head was on the chopping block and as I cried out for mercy, He answered. And about that peace that Paul mentioned? You often don’t experience peace until you need it. As a young person I tried to imagine what it would be like when I lost a parent. That thought was so painful I couldn’t even fathom it. And then in 2003 my Dad went to Glory and the sweet peace that I experienced in those hours of grief were amazing!

Life’s tough, but we have a promise. How wonderful it is that in these troublesome times to have a promise that is far more sure than anything you’ve ever had your hands on. What is that promise? Here’s a dozen for your day, but there are countless others!

  1. That God is with me wherever I go – Joshua 1:9
  2. If I keep my mind on Him, I’ll have that perfect peace – Isaiah 26:3
  3. He’ll never leave us or forsakes us!  – Hebrews 13:5
  4. His peace will pass all understanding – Philippians 4:7
  5. He cares for me – I Peter 5:7
  6. All things work together for my good – Romans 8:28
  7. In this world I’ll have trouble, but in Christ we have victory over it or through it– John 16:33
  8. I can escape temptation – 1 Corinthians 10:13
  9. God will supply all my needs – Philippians 4:19
  10. If I ask for wisdom God will supply it – James 1:6
  11. I’m forgiven of all – 1 John 1:9
  12. I will have eternal life – I John 5:11

There are so very, very many more, that’s just a few! I even provided the links so you can read them yourselves. Isn’t God’s Word grand! These are troubling times, but God is faithful. Do you have a need that I can lift to the Lord for you? It would be an honor if you’d let me know!

The Last Day….. GLORY!!!!!!!!!!!!

Micah 4:1-4 ~  But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.  And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it.

I do not know about the condition of your heart this morning, but I know the condition of mine… tired. Every newscast, headline and conversation anymore seems to be filled with sadness and despair. From a national front to the living rooms of America there is war. Family quarrels and dysfunction, broken promises and abuse. It literally wears me out. And then… I come across verses like those in Micah. Praise God for glee! And not the television show. The glee within my soul when I think about that day. That day that you don’t want to miss out on.

  • The last day of sadness
  • The last day of sorrow
  • The last day of sickness
  • The last day of lies
  • The last day of broken promises
  • The last day of separation
  • The last day of abuse
  • The last day of fighting
  • The last day of war
  • The last day of substance abuse
  • The last day of insert yours here.

GLOOOOORRRRRAAAAAAAY!!!!!

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for church this morning! And if you’re not ready for the last day, if you do not know for certain you’d be in Heaven if Jesus returned this morning, then I’d find me the closest Bible preaching church I could find and be among them today. Because the days described in Micah 4 are coming when there will be no fight, fear or fallacy. You need to be ready. But the greatest part about getting ready is that you don’t have wait until Jesus returns to get the peace that knowing Him affords. It comes into you the second you accept Him. Hallelujah. Let’s go to church!