Posted in Christian Service, Church attendance

Cure for the Common Cold

chick in the snow

On a recent internet cruise (where I randomly google ideas) I googled the words “spiritually cold” and the following question came up on a thread.

What if u r just plain spiritually cold and nothing holds any significance? I go to church it helps for the moment. I read the Bible and I believe what I read only to come back to a place of distance and coldness. What must I do not to be cold…?

My first thought was, “that’s so sad,“ and then I thought “that’s weird place to find someone searching for answers to such a question.” But it was a spirituality forum on, so I guess that’s not so strange after all and praise God they were searching for answers. Most people who are spiritually cold just sit there freezing rather than searching for a solution to their inward drop in temperature. Nobody is immune; this morning it’s a balmy 7 degrees in my neighborhood, and if anyone goes outside without a coat, they’re gonna be cold. If I didn’t have the fires burning in my home this morning that arctic blast would work its way through the walls and windows and the house would be cold too.  The same is true of our spiritual house; if I don’t take some initiative to keep myself warm, the fire won’t go out, but it will get pretty chilly.

So how do we keep the fires burning when life gets chilly? When our pastor of 22 years left in 2014 I worried about our church growing cold as time passed without a new pastor in place. I’d seen it countless times in other churches when the pastor left, slowly the congregation dwindled and struggled to stay encouraged. I don’t take it lightly that God placed me in a church that when faced with the loss of a leader, there were leaders in place that took charge and our church actually grew a little during those times. So how did we do it?

Body heat.

Funny thing about the temperature of a cool room, get a bunch of people in it and it can be sweltering hot quickly. As a church family we stuck closely together. When the doors of the church were open, we were together.

Key – stay faithful. Regardless. No Excuses. Satan will give you any number of excuses that you’ll deem worthy for staying home from church. Don’t buy into any of them, because he knows that there is safety in numbers, both physically and spiritually speaking. Are you in a place of frustration…if at all possible stay put for a while and pray harder until God clearly shows you a path. I hate cold weather, it’s painful to my bones and I immediately want to be warm. But there’s also something about it that invigorates the body. It cause you to get moving! Spiritual coldness can do the same thing if you’re aware of it. Start looking for a place to get moving, a ministry or place of service.

This morning as I prepared this blog I had an “oh snap” moment where I realized it was trash day… 7 degrees… ugh! But it’s a necessity of life and so I bundled up and headed out. A few minutes of getting my things to the curb and I felt the need to do more, so I trekked next door to my Mother’s home and carted her trash to the curb too. Woohoo… bonus points with Mom! A few bonus points with God too no doubt. If I’d stayed in the warmth of the house, necessary things wouldn’t have gotten done and I’d have missed out on a blessing.

The common cold, is a plague in the church. What is it with human nature that causes a comfortable life to be a less productive life? Whether we’re spiritually cold or just in an uncomfortable place we need to stay connected to people. There are times to get away and let God speak to us alone, but that’s not usually a place of service, that’s a place of discovery.

If you’re in one of those moments in time where you just can’t feel God moving, maybe it’s you who need to get moving.

Not satisfied with the direction of your church? Start moving in the direction you feel God leading you and see if anyone follows. They may be waiting on you.

Not heard from God lately? Start moving closer to Him, read His word, hang with His people, listen intently.

That thread on was from 2010. I hope that gal got moving. This morning, I hope we’re all moving!

Acts 17:27-28

That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

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Posted in Leadership, Life Inspiration

A Spiritual Check Up for a Hard Day

chick check up

This morning, after another Muslim attack on our nation, I was ready to rale at anything that looked political. I’m tired; physically, mentally and emotionally on many levels and for many reasons. It’s not a good day for me to get in the flesh. But it would be an easy day for me to do it. That’s when the flesh likes to react the most, when I’m weak in the Spirit. Let’s be clear, the Spirit is not weak, but I’m weak.  It’s a good day for a Spiritual check up!

1 Peter 2

1 ~ Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,

Spirit check one… check your attitude Shari. When evil occurs as it did in Tennessee yesterday it’s easy to want to lash out at the political nonsense around us and the acceptance of evil as “the norm.” But God said to lay all that aside and rely on Him. Sin abounds, not just in the world but in our selves. The day to day hypocritical living, coveting and speaking in frustration is enough to keep me humbly aware that I have no right to point fingers.

2 ~ As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

Stay in the Word! In Bible College if I heard it once I heard it dozens and dozens of times, “The Bible is a Spiritual ‘warsh” cloth, it’ll clean you up!” (West Virginia colloquialism inserted for “wash”) How true that statement is. Reading the word is like a mirror to the soul. Every sin shines brightly when the Holy Spirit begins working through the Word of God.

3~ If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

The Bible is not only a “warsh” cloth it’s food to the soul. Reading wisdom that is pure and true and always a right word in the right season of life is addicting and amazing. As I read the scripture for this blog I’m more than a little aware that God was sending me a warning this morning that I needed to get my attitude in check, especially before taking a group of impressionable young people to camp in a few days. Glory to God that He provides my every need. Even a swift kick in the pants.

4-5~ To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

I am chosen, precious child of God, and so are you! Men may not allow or understand the wisdom and purpose that God has for our lives. But we who were dead in our trespasses and sins, are now alive through the Spirit of God. I love the scripture in Luke 19:40 that says “I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.” God can not only bring hardened Christians to life, but the rocks in the hills as well if we won’t praise Him. Praise is the Spiritual sacrifice expected of every child of God. And when you start praising God, it’s hard to complain about the world.

6 ~ Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

God gives understanding to those who love and seek understanding through Him. We are blessed in a world that has no clue about the spiritual significance of the modern times and troubles, all of which point to our Lord’s quick return.

7-8 ~ Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

To us the Lord and His Word are precious, but to a lost world around us, who rejects Christ and His Salvation they are stumbling all over themselves searching for answers. And God has appointed them as well to be a part of the story. Nothing that has happened caught  God off guard. Nothing in my day will either. So for me, in my hurried and worried way… I’m going to rest in the arms of Jesus, believing the house will wait, the hubster won’t starve without me, the birthday party will be blessed, the grands will be good, the church bus will roll and camp will be amazing! Amen!!!

Posted in Christmas, Life Inspiration

What’s on your page?

blank page

Often time my writing begins before I’m out of bed in the morning. As soon as my eyes open thoughts begin to flood my mind, praise His Holy Name! when those thoughts are on His goodness, but other times, try as I might the world won’t seem to get out of the way; and when I do get up I’m staring at a blank page praying for guidance from the Holy Spirit. This morning I was not staring at a blank page, I was thinking about the blank page between the final Words in Malachi 4, verse 5-6 ~ 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. And the first Words in Matthew 1 ~ The book of the generation of Jesus Christ.

400 years separate those two pages. That’s a long time to look at a blank page and hear nothing from God. I panic if it’s just been a few days. But for generation after generation they sat in silence waiting, waiting, waiting… and then many of them missed it. He didn’t come as they thought He should, He came as He said He would. There’s a lesson in that for me this morning as I wait ~ I’m without excuse for direction. God’s presence is clearly felt in my life and I may choose to ignore it but I cannot say He is silent. Sometimes I think I mistake His silence for His patience with me. If I’d be still a little sooner, stop running day in and day out I’d hear, see, and experience the Lord in greater, deeper ways.

Christmas season goes by me in a whirrrrrrrr! I just about miss it every year as I run to and fro, from event to event, meetings, rehearsals, shopping, dinners, all in celebration of what I’m missing. My page is not blank, it’s not read. But thinking back on those 400 years of silence, I’m not sure how they survived. Yes, I get caught up in the mundaneness of the day, but because of His faithfulness I still hear Him. He speaks to be in snippets throughout the day, He is so patient with me.

So… what’s on our page today?

For me I hope it’s a little more focused on Christ.

As some of you have noticed my blogging has been sporadic this week… Too many irons in the fire. I can feel it spiritually as well. Time to get focused. Just 5 days until we celebrate the birth of Jesus and I want my heart ready! Maybe you could share with me how you’re preparing your heart this season… what has God written on your page today? Post it below!