Tag Archives: sovereign

A Dangerous Attitude

As fate would have it, in the pop and chip aisle of the local grocer, I met an old friend I hadn’t seen in a while. Within seconds he turned to show me a scar down the back of his neck and to tell me of the miracle that had occurred in his life of a brain surgery that had taken him from a slobbering, stumbling, weak soul to a new lease on life. I praised God for it and encouraged him to come to church with me on Sunday and praise the Lord himself for what God had surely done. His response sent a shockwave through me that still reverberates in my soul, he said “No I don’t think so, people spend too much time worrying about eternity and less about this current life.”

I was sick, and disheartened. I felt for sure he would understand who it was that held his fate in the palm of his hand.

Daniel 5:22-23

And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this; But hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified:

That same night Belshazzar the King was slain.

Arrogance against God was dangerous business then, and it’s dangerous business today, yet so prevalent in our world. Because my parents brought me up in a God fearing household I had a healthy respect for God even unsaved. I didn’t know God as my Savior but there was an instinct within me to know that He was the God in whose hand my breath was. As my friend walked away my prayer was that God would shake him to the core that night. I was hurt for God and I believe righteously angry that this world is so deceived.

I had just witnessed the miracle of birth with my grandson Parker, and I knew that God held his breath in His hand and had blessed us with this beautiful little soul. And in the hours that followed that early morning call that Tiffani was being rushed in for an emergency delivery at only 30 weeks I knew that God could also choose to take Parker home, and Tiffani as well. And as I knelt in tears beside my bed asking God to spare them there was no arrogance within me only absolute reliance on the Creator of life.

Why God chose to allow me to be raised in a Christian home is beyond my understanding. I could have just as easily been in a home where God does not dwell. There is always that underlying seed of arrogance within me too that likes to rear its head thinking I hold the steering wheel of life. Parker’s birth was a “Jesus take the wheel” kind of moment for me. I knew the only power I had was the Holy Spirit of God speaking peace to my soul. He is in control.

Less than the length of time it took for me to type the punctuation at the end of a sentence is the length of time when your world can go upside down and out of control. Do me a favor and tell God how very much you love Him and that you know He alone is in control. Acknowledge His Sovereignty of your life. My heart hurts for Him and for my friend who’s missing out on the greatest blessings of life. Knowing the Creator of our existence.

Look How Far We’ve Come

Gettysburg AddressNovember 19th went by with little fanfare in the United States. It could have possibly been on the news, the likelihood of me seeing it there was slim to none. But as I read the Gettysburg Address this morning, my heart longed to hear a modern day political official speak with such eloquence and spiritual depth. It was a very short speech in comparison to most but I feel safe to say it had a far greater positive impact on our Country than anything coming out of the Whitehouse in current times. Note that I said positive impact.

He began the address with the words four score and seven years ago which much resembles Psalm 90:10 that reads “The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” And he ends his address with a call to action of those gathered there. He acknowledges the honored dead  who were sacrificed so that our nation was given another chance, a new birth of freedom; a nation under God (Sovereignly ruled), and a nation  of the people, by the people and for the people that shall not perish. Showing his compassion and concern for those he served.

Look how far we’ve come. My heart is saddened for our nation, but not without hope, because I still serve the God of Abraham and Isaac, and Abraham Lincoln.

I’m not going to get into politics, it speaks for itself. Volumes. But I would like to offer you a suggestion of prayer for our nation as we go into the week of Thanksgiving.

Read the Gettysburg Address (it will only take a minute) and then pray the A.C.T.S. method of prayer.

Adoration – Acknowledge how good God is, and that it is His sovereignty that has allowed America to be the Great Nation it is.

Confession – Confess that as an individual and as a nation we’ve not done all we could to protect what we’ve been given.

Thankful – Thank God for the field of faith has gone before us to allow the freedom we still enjoy and for those who unselfishly continue to defend our honor, when we’re not always so honorable.

Supplication – Ephesians 6:18 says – Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

Pray for each other and the leadership of America. An Abraham Lincoln quote from a speech in Chicago on July 10, 1858 said

Let us then turn this government back into the channel in which the framers of the Constitution originally placed it.

Amen. Pray on pilgrim.

And I stand corrected on tributes to the Gettysburg Address. Check out the Ohio State Video! If you love band music like I do, get you a hankee and enjoy!!! It’s 14 minutes long but worth ever second!

Ohio State Tribute

Jesus: King of kings (Presidents, congress, etc)

After 70 years of captivity the temple is built in Jerusalem. It’s not only blessed by God its blessed by government!

Ezra 6:3 – In the first year of Cyrus the king the same Cyrus the king made a decree concerning the house of God at Jerusalem, Let the house be builded, the place where they offered sacrifices, and let the foundations thereof be strongly laid; the height thereof threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof threescore cubits

Funded, protected and encouraged by them to prosper.

Ezra 6:7-8 ~ Let the work of this house of God alone; let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews build this house of God in his place. Moreover I make a decree what ye shall do to the elders of these Jews for the building of this house of God: that of the king’s goods, even of the tribute beyond the river, forthwith expenses be given unto these men, that they be not hindered.

As I read through Ezra 6 this morning I couldn’t help but think of the present affairs of our government and the state of the Church in America. I really don’t anticipate at any time in the near future we would hear our president say “Let’s build the church! Those of you who oppose it, back off… and church… whatever you need to get it done, just let me know.” But that was what was happening in Jerusalem. And what was the difference? God’s sovereignty.

Can it happen again? Yes: because we still serve the same God. Will it? I don’t know. But one thing about this passage that I gained great peace in this morning was the knowledge that God is and always will be the King of kings. Regardless of the enemies plot against us we are still very much in the control of Almighty God. Those in political power over us have no sovereign power over us. And if God so chooses He can use their intent for destruction of our nation to be used for our good. Revelation 12:16a says “And the earth helped the woman…” With that in mind, He can also use circumstance to get us into a position where we only have Him to look at.

I know that things look bleak in America, but I’m looking at America through the heart of a church. Israel had just came out of 70 years of captivity. They were no longer the nation of great wealth, not only had their place of worship been destroyed but their means to rebuild it taken away as well. And God said (or so in my mind I think He could have) “It was never yours to start with. It’s Mine. I allowed them to tear it down, and I’ll cause them to build it back.” And so the work was completed and Israel was a humbler nation because they knew they didn’t do it.

I see the church today being humbled because we’ve allowed our earthly kings and queens to take away our rights to worship. But they have no means to tear down the temple; for our temple is within us. They can discourage us which takes its toll on our productiveness for the cause of Christ, but where does that put us in the scope of the politics that we see playing out in front of us today?

Apostle Paul nailed it for success when he said in 2 Corinthians 4:8 – We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;

Why are we acting like a people with no hope? Yes I’m a cockeyed optimist. Yes I will always look for the silver lining in a storm cloud, and above all I believe that Jesus will take me through. Do I think there could be some hard times ahead for America? Yes. But I also know that we serve the same Almighty God of Israel and that He controls the kings. And every time they get that smug, I’m in control look; God laughs. And every time they take a swing at the children of God who are trying to turn America back to the foundational beliefs we were founded on, He takes note. Of them… and us. How will it end? For certain in defeat if we continue to do nothing. But where there is a remnant… there is hope.

Romans 11:5 speak of Israel when it says “Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.”

I am grateful to be grafted into the family of God. God notes the remant.

Mr. or Mrs. Weather Forecaster… Mother Nature is a Father

I thought it was just me. And then I met Dr. Sebby Volpe at a wonderful revival at the Hillcrest Baptist Church in Spencer, WV last night. It turns out, it bothers him too!

Mr. or Mrs. Weather Forecaster, Mother Nature is a Father. You may say, “ But Shari, that’s trivial, it’s just something they say by way of entertainment.” No, it’s another something they say that makes light of God’s omnipotence. The weather belongs to God.

*BIBLICAL EXAMPLES. Scripture contains many examples of God controlling the weather and using it to direct people and nations…

More recent:

  • GEORGE WASHINGTON. In a famous painting, General George Washington is shown crossing the Delaware River on Christmas night 1776. With snow falling, his forces were able to surprise and defeat the enemy. This victory fanned the revolution’s fading embers. Weather continued to play an important role in America’s Revolutionary War.
  • DUNKIRK. In June 1940, 400,000 British and French soldiers were trapped on the north coast of France at Dunkirk. The Nazi forces were only ten miles away and could have cornered Allied troops. However, at this time thick fog and clouds settled over the beaches. The English Channel also became unusually calm, and many small boats from England were able to ferry soldiers across to safety. The protective weather pattern lasted nine days while the men were evacuated. The Allied army was thus preserved to fight another day. Winston Churchill called the evacuation of Dunkirk a “miracle of deliverance.”

Source: http://christiananswers.net/q-eden/edn-c023.html

Now, for an even more recent example.

I was saved in 1996. And for the first time in my life I understood what the gospel meant; and because of that I couldn’t get enough of it. I was in church every time the doors were open, and often when they weren’t. At that time in my life (and I’m not much better now) I hated winter driving. I don’t think I can relay to you the depth of my hatred for it. I just didn’t do it. So on a Wednesday night (church night for those of you who don’t go) our weather forecast was calling for heavy snow. I was heartsick. And God knew I was heartsick. So I began to pray, and all day I prayed, “God just keep it away until after church, then let it fly, but please don’t let it snow in Calhoun County, West Virginia today, I need to go to church! At the time I was working for a print shop and I would run into the office every once in a while to check the radar. That evening the snow was all across the state, except… (insert smile here) in the donut-hole over Calhoun County, West Virginia. Our church released at 8 p.m. and I just made it home before the donut-hole collapsed.

Please don’t think that I’m saying I have any great power. But a new Christian girl, who loved God so much, and wanted to hear His word, served a God, Who for her stayed the weather. Believe it or no, it’s the truth. That’s the God I serve. I’ve experienced countless events be it weather, people or circumstance related where God moved in such a way that I knew it was as Winston Churchill said “a miracle of deliverance.” Maybe not to the magnitude of his, but every bit as real in my world.

So when I hear a weather forecaster say, “Mother Nature’s fury….” It makes me nauseous. Because I know for a fact, it is my Father’s mercy that keeps Him from blowing us off the map with our constant disrespect for the sovereignty of God.