Tag Archives: struggles

Faith is Not Routine

There is nothing routine about God! We like things neat, tidy and wrapped with a bow… but God’s not on a schedule, and there’s no such thing as time in Heaven.

Text: Ephesians 3:16-19

16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

Four verses, one sentence and a lot of goodness that we need to understand. And by the way, nothing common, ordinary or routine. Because just when we think we have God figured out, He goes and does beyond anything we could ever imagine.

When we think we can’t take anymore, He allows more. Just to prove to us that we’re stronger than we think, and that we need Him more than ever.

Exercise routines are good… I’m lousy at them, but they’re very good. They strengthen the body the same way trials strengthen our spirit when our faith is exercised. It builds faith muscles when we’re pushed outside our comfort zone. Praise God it’s not routine. They don’t happen every day, if they did, we’d likely give up. God never puts things on us to cause us to quit, He wants us to understand how far His love extends and how far He’ll go down this road with us. All the way to the end of this road, when eternity begins.

Paul said that the love of Christ “passeth” our knowledge. We can’t imagine the depth of it. It’s like the bible school song many of us sang, “Deep and wide, deep and wide, there’s a fountain flowing deep and wide.” And remember the second verse, when we’d add the Mmmm… in place of the words. I thought a lot about that today, and how the writer of that song may have been inspired by the fact that the depth and width of God’s fountain of overflowing love is indescribable.

After this weekend, where 30 people were killed by the wicked devices of this world, we need to remember that love. Those people were just living life, not waging war, and yet they were killed. That is a level of evil most of us, praise God, cannot understand either. We can’t imagine the frame of mind of those murderous individuals. But it’s not hard to understand the feeling of hopelessness that many people in this world face because they’ve never experienced the “fullness of God.”

Our church just came out of revival. Our annual tent meeting. A yearly scheduled event we call revival. But that’s not the revival God wants. Paul lived in a state of revival, not because life was roses, but because he was constantly under persecution and threat of death. That will cause you to get your priorities in check, quickly! A look around us should remind us of our need for bold exercised faith.

I kind of figure there was a time the very disciplined Paul lived a routine. But when Jesus blinded him along the road, Paul’s routine life went right out the window. And he became a man who lived in the moment.

In the last two verses of Chapter 3 of Ephesus Paul writes this:

20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

He reminds us all that God can and will do far more than we ask or think, but He just won’t do it and hand it too us on a silver platter; He does it through us and through our church body. And He does it for His glory!

What are you going to do this week for the cause? Are you in revival, or are you a walking corpse waiting for the upper taker. Be alive in Christ Jesus and working for His cause. He is worthy!!

These be They, but Ye Be Loved

It seems like an eternity since I woke up this morning, and yet it’s 9:00 a.m. and I’ve got very little accomplished. It’s hard for me to stay focused today. My mind is in so many different places. It’s in New Mexico with Dewey, it’s in Minnesota with Lynn, it’s in Virginia with Whitney, Spencer with Tiffani, Marietta with Dr. Guiler and in the Word with my Lord. I told someone yesterday that I felt scattered. That’s the only way I can describe where I’m at. It’s exhausting to try to pick pieces from all corners of the earth, much like I need to pick up pieces throughout the corners of my house. My desk looks like something exploded on it.

And yet she is so remarkably calm. If only I could get inside her plastic brain and rest for a while. If only I could actually sit in that position and then stand up again without assistance! But life happens. So I continue on in my journaling exercise in the book of Jude, nearing the end of the book.

Jude vs. 19-20

These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,

My first question is an often ask one, “How do people survive without God?” I know I did it for 34 years, but the truth of that is, I at least was pretending to have Him in my life. In all my years I have never said there was no God. I knew there was, I just didn’t know how to connect to Him.

Romans 10:14

How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

Thank You Jesus for preachers!

So this morning as I grieve with a family who lost a child, as I miss my children, and as I give thanks to God for friends who feel like they’re in the room with me, when actually they’re across the country; I’m ever so grateful that in my soul, within the very being of my body is the Holy Ghost. He who finds me “beloved.” He who calms my fears, soothes my stress points and sends laughter into my soul through nutty videos that wasted more of my time, but was oh so necessary.

He is Who builds my faith like a Lego house. Brick upon brick, day by day, bad and good. Never failing to remind me that He has all these things in control and we be loved.

Somethin’s Got a Hold on Me!

It’s a time of confession. If you notice an absence of me from social media, blogging or life in general, it can often be attributed to a stronghold in my life. Such has been the case for the past few weeks. Anytime I am about to embark on a speaking or singing engagement I can expect an attack from somewhere. Sometimes I’m better equipped to handle it, and sometimes I’m ill equipped to handle it. When I had my recent surgery, I was just flat out ill. But once the recuperating time was over (or at least what time I had allotted myself) I thought I’d be out of the woods and away from the attack of my emotional and psychological condition. Yes, I am that foolish mortal. I was relatively sure that I had survived the worst part of it, the actual surgery. And physically that was the worst, but not psychologically. There was still plenty of time for Satan to get inside my head.

I felt alone, although I was daily surrounded by people who loved me. I felt as though my ministry time was coming to an end. Although my heart had been fixed it was still broken spiritually. I told no one of this state of mind because I am after all “the Jesus Chick.” I bear His name because He bore mine on the cross. I can’t allow anyone to see me as a failure. Though I surely am on so many levels, beginning with that manner of thinking. But it’s who I’ve always been and the theory of life I adhere to. The “I’m Fine Theory.” Unlike my biblical hero King David who wore and bore his heart on his sleeve so that all who read his God inspired words would know we are not alone.

Psalm 142

Confession is good for the Soul

1 I cried unto the Lord with my voice; with my voice unto the Lord did I make my supplication,

David wasn’t holding anything back. At the time he wrote Psalm 142 he had been forced by Saul into hiding in a cave with people he had no faith in at all. If you read 1 Samuel 22 you’ll discover he was surrounded by family who had never had any faith in him and some very needy men he described as in destress, debt and discontent. David had to wonder if they weren’t there just for what they could get from him as a known leader and successful warrior.

I hesitate to confess the thoughts that have run through my mind over the past two months. But they were akin to many of David’s. And not for the same reasons. I’ve always had a great support system in my life, but I’ve also had some very needy people in my life, for which I honestly didn’t mind helping but they were not of the lot that would have been there if I needed them. So following the heart attack I had to re-examine some things in my life. And it began by considering what was holding me back from my service to God.

Complaining is okay with the Savior

I poured out my complaint before him; I shewed before him my trouble. When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path. In the way wherein I walked have they privily laid a snare for me. I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.

I always feel guilty when I complain, whether it’s to God or my sounding board Gloria, who is my number one fan and closest friend. But Gloria encourages me to share with her the problems of life because I know that that conversation will not go any further. But even still it takes me a long time to get to that point and it’s usually when I’m on the verge of blowing up also known as “overwhelmed.” God doesn’t want us to get to the point of being overwhelmed. He already knows we have a complaint. Perhaps if we’d take it to Him sooner, it could get resolved sooner. He is after al the best friend of all.

Who hasn’t felt that way on more than one occasion and as times gets worse, those occasions are more frequent. When you feel that no one could possibly understand what you’re going through or why you feel consumed by it and tied down to the point of being unable to move to the left or right! That has been the condition of my heart for weeks.

But David knew, even in the midst of that struggle that God knew his path. What comfort in those words that God knows the path I’ve taken and the path I’m headed to, and He has me covered in both directions.

Confidence is found in Salvation

I cried unto thee, O Lord: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living. Attend unto my cry; for I am brought very low: deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I. Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me.

It has not only been emotional challenges but physical and ministry work related as well that has taken a toll on me. I did cry to the Lord and each time He brought me through with a victorious end. God has dealt bountifully with me as He did David.

When David was crying in that cave, he had no idea that that rag tag bunch of men, who he no doubt feared were there for what they could get, not give; those same men would support him in battle all the way to the throne! Glory to God!!! And those same struggles I have faced have caused me to count the blessings of those around me who support me and encourage me to be “The Jesus Chick.” That confidence can only be found as a child of God. The world will let you down, but God and His people, are there for the long haul…

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Just Focus on the Moment

Somewhere over the earth between Washington, DC and Minneapolis St. Paul, I  looked out the window of my very peaceful flight and this was my view. Prior to that it had been from the ground looking at the gray skies and drizzling rain. But at this point God clearly spoke the words from Isaiah 55:9 to my heart. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.  So I typed them onto the picture in my phone, wanting to capture that moment.

I heard Him ask, “Why do you always think you have it figured out? You’re not looking from My vantage point. What looks sad, and depressing and causes you to feel vulnerable and question my plans isn’t reality. It’s a cloudy view of a much bigger plan. I see the whole picture. Focus on each moment, capture it in your mind, but understand it’s only a moment in time. The view changes as I move you on to another place. My ways are not your ways, so don’t look at them through your eyes. You are seated in heavenly places. (Ephesians 2:6)

Once we took off from DC, there was a little turbulance (very little) and then the plane rested into the clouds and it was as smooth as silk. God reminded me, turbulances come in life… but His view is far above anything I could imagine… “Focus on the moment Shari.”

Maybe that’s a word for you too today.

Do You Feel Under Attack?

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A few days ago a friend asked, “Do you feel under attack?” My first thought was “do I? O my stars, I feel like an army has been unleashed on my home, in my mind, on and in my body. Everything is a struggle. Physically, emotionally, relationally and spiritually I am under siege. So I now ask you, “Do you feel under attack?” If the answer is yes, come along with me on this journey of reclaiming the ground that’s been taken.

That’s how it feels to me when Satan robs me of the peace in my life and I feel like I have to fight for every inch of ground in the day. Peace is not only an emotion it’s a physical place for me. It’s where I feel happy and secure.  And it’s a very easy ground for Satan to claim from me, but not so easy to reclaim. Getting into a cycle of depression, frustration and aggravation is a slippery slope and I go down fast. And coming out of it is like trying to walk up a muddy, slippery bank… every step is a struggle and gravity is not my friend.

The gravity of the matter. . .

Why we have to get back on solid ground?

A couple of reasons really, People are watching and People need us.

The writer of Hebrews 10 says this:

32 But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions;

33 Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used.

34 For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.

In a conversation with myself this morning I told myself, “Child of God, your people need to see you victorious.” Yes, I’m a gazingstock,” and no I don’t like it. It’s hard enough going through the trials without feeling like you’re in a fish bowl. But it’s a truth I needed to hear. And the second part of that conversation was, I’m not alone.

My friend was under attack and so were many other friends. And praise God I didn’t have to buy the lie of the Devil that I was on my own. God knows we’re in this battle, He did not leave us nor forsake us, nor is it without purpose. And so the writer reminded me to think back about other times that I went through a harsh time; what was the end result? I was victorious. This time will be no different. And regardless of the struggles that I face down here, there will be a day that I’ll have the perfect life I long for; and if I want my friends and family to join me (who are lost) they need to see the difference being a child of God makes in the struggles of day to day living.

How we get back on solid ground?

Read on:

35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.

36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.

37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.

38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.

39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

Confidence is not my strong suit… unless it’s when I’m confident I’ll fail. So Satan has me on shaky ground and it’s a part of my battle. So how do I reclaim my home, my mind and my emotional and spiritual state? How do I climb back up that slippery slope?

I have to get some traction and I have to quit pulling back. Confidence is that stick-to-itiveness that I can do all things through Christ Who gives me strength. It’s planting your feet in the word of God and standing there (patience) until God starts pulling on the rope, and then rather than falling backwards, (don’t draw back) Believe that God is going to bring us through and be glorified in what we’re struggling with.

I know… that’s not easy when you’ve just been slammed with another reminder that life is harsh. But this morning as I read these words I was encouraged that this is not forever. And regardless of how much or how long we endure hard times, Satan cannot remove us from the family of God. It may feel like the world is against, But God owns the world. Think about that!!!

Why I Made a Covenant with God Last Saturday

chick covenant

The issues of life. They are so many and they change day to day if not minute by minute. We can be clipping along at a steady pace and the bottom will drop out of our world or someone close to us. It’s a continual struggle to find the good in a world full of bad. I loved a post I on social media a few days ago that read “It matters not if the glass is half full, or half empty. It’s re-fillable.”

How true!

There are half empty and half full days, but every day the Lord waits for His children to stop in for a refill. Romans 15:13 says ~ Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

I will be the first to confess, and my friends will Amen! it when I say I have issues. Every day. Just this morning I woke up overwhelmed by the days before me and the things that I need to get accomplished. The goals that I set for myself are a lot for a 52 year old gal. I sometimes feel like Moses must have felt at the age of 80 when God stopped by and told Him to pack light and be ready. He has things for us to do.

On Saturday of last week God began to do a work in my half empty heart… again. It’s an ongoing project of His. He knows my desires, He also knows my weaknesses. He has seen me at my best and at my worst.  Don’t start throwing rocks, He sees you too! God reminds us through Jeremiah 23:24 ~ Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord. There’s nothing secret with Him. So why is it that we try to pretend life’s okay. We all have issues.

I for one am tired of saying I’ll do something, anything the Lord asks, and just as quickly pretend I didn’t hear what He said. I’m a very private person when it comes to heartaches and sorrows. I don’t share those well… if at all. It is an area of my life that I do not walk the talk.  I want everyone to feel as though they can share their burdens with me without the possibility of judgement, condemnation or any other concern, but I won’t tell another soul that my glass has days of being empty of hope. Saturday was not a day of hopelessness but more haplessness. I just couldn’t see anything positive at work in my ministry.  And so God and I talked, and talked… and I tried to listen.

I have a heart of a distraction. I’m so unfaithful to the things of God. At the drop of a hat my attention can go astray. I have a dozen projects going at once, I have obligations to people, my creativity is on overflow… song lyrics run through my head and out my ears, there are unfinished projects that lie in wait in the shadows of my day causing me to feel undone and a failure. That is the confession of the Jesus Chick in all it’s reality. So back to Saturday… I needed to do something. I needed to commit to God in a way that way that binding and that filled me with hope. I wanted a visual reminder that I had a made a Covenant with God that I was ready to abound in hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. And so with fingertips to key board I penned a written covenant. Click here —> COVENANT WITH GOD if you’d like to read it. I had no intentions of sharing it, but today God spoke to my heart to publish it on this site as another way of keeping it not only before my eyes, but before the eyes of witnesses who read it.

I entered into a Covenant with God the day I accepted Christ as my Savior and said that I would follow where ever He led, but I’ve failed. Praise God that His Covenants are never failing. This Covenant that I entered into Saturday was more of renewal of dedication to the responsibilities that Christ has placed in me. I share it with you today in hopes that you’ll commit yourself to greater service, and that you will pray for me. I need it. Please pray for:

  • My strength (physically and spiritually) to do the work of God.
  • Opportunities to serve.
  • Discernment of requests made on my time.
  • Humility to step out of the paths of others.
  • That I be an example of the Leadership of Christ.

Please send me your prayer request and if you are led to make a commitment to God through a written or verbal covenant. I’d count it a privilege to lift you to the Lord.

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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!

Salvation: It’s not about signing up, but about giving up

There are those who’d have you to believe that Christian living is cookies and cream in the spring, apple pie on a summer day with a dollop of ice cream on top, apple cider in the fall and hot cocoa in the winter. It’s a state of comfort year round for those who live right. And if that is the case I am not the one to look to for answers. Because other than my first 5 minutes at the altar, living the Christian life has been anything but easy. But don’t stop reading there, it’s also been peace at its finest, and for that the ease has been worthy of passing up. If you’re a new convert, meaning just recently having accepted Christ as your Savior, (or an old convert) you’ve made the best decision of your life but it’s an eye opener! You suddenly realize just how many faults and failures you have, and everywhere you turn is a reminder; because this Holy God that you’ve asked to enter into your heart wants nothing to do with sin, and you’ve just discovered how much sin is in your life! The closer you get to Christ the harsher that reality is.

Matthew 7:13-14 says ~ Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Jesus says that getting saved is like entering in at a straight gate… simple enough right?… but the word “straight” in this passage is not as in “straight as an arrow” but rather as in the “Strait of Gibraltar,” a narrow and turbulent passage of water that connects the Atlantic to the Mediterranean Sea. That sounds so much more like my life than the straight as an arrow analogy. The thing about water is it’s much easier if you go with the flow than to fight against its current. But when we get into a struggle in life our human nature kicks in and we fight with all we’ve got, believing that we’re not supposed to have trouble; we are children of the King after all! But Jesus says no, you’re going to have trouble in this world because this world is messed up. It’s broken and it’s not going to be fixed until He returns, but in the meantime, flow through the turbulent times not kicking and screaming but rather holding onto Him as your life jacket. He won’t let you go and He sure won’t let you sink.

That is why salvation is not about signing up, it’s about giving up. Signing up means you’ve enlisted to “do something.” You can’t do anything to get yourself saved, Christ already did it and that part is indeed easy for you. But man likes to complicate things, we like to “do something, fix something or reinvent something to make it better.” You can’t make yourself or salvation better.

A very easily understood analogy of Christ is his statement that follows in verses 15-17 ~   Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.  Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

We all likely know them, those who preach Christ but live more like His adversary the Devil. They frustrate us, or they do me! Because the damage they do to young Christians by pretending that their life is perfect when it’s apparent it’s not, will cause a young Christian to question their salvation decision, throw their hands up in defeat believing they’re wrong and in so doing lose the peace God affords. Salvation takes two hands, and they both need to be holding onto Jesus, not on to anything in this world. The waters may be rough, but hang on child of God, Jesus has you covered! Woohoo… just wrote myself happy!

A Pearl Positioned by Appointment

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Matthew 13:44-46 ~  Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.

It is estimated that out of three tons of pearl oysters, only about three of them will have a perfectly-formed pearl. Given everything that is required in order for a pearl to develop, it’s not surprising that so few are produced. An oyster’s shell is made from an organ called the mantle. Using minerals from the oyster’s food as an energy source, the mantle expands, which leads to the shell’s growth. The interior of the shell is lined with a material called nacre, which is also produced by the mantle. In order for a pearl to develop, an irritant–typically a parasite of some sort–must situate itself between the oyster’s shell and mantle. When this particle sets in, it irritates the oyster and, in an effort to protect itself, the mantle begins to cover the foreign object with layers of nacre. As time passes, these layers eventually form a pearl. Typically, this takes about three to five years. (This according to ehow.com)

 Is it any wonder real pearls are so costly! A jewel in the house of the Lord is much the same.  Out of the congregation of the Lord it is said that only 10% are doing the actual work of the ministry, for which I tend to agree from my travels. They are rare and priceless. It is not to say that many others are not beautiful people making great contribution, but the pearls are those hand selected by God out of an ocean of possibilities.

 They’ve gotten there through great irritation!

 Be successful in leadership and you’ll understand completely how that pearl gets formed. Every struggle in the ministry, attack of Satan, complaint from the people, personal struggle, sickness and distraction is an irritant that has to be covered. There’s work to be done. So sometimes you wear a “slimy” smile that feels icky but it covers up the pain in your core. And before long that problem is smoothed over and you can rest a while until another issue arises and another layer of kindness or understanding is needed to get through. And much like that iridescent shine created on the pearl as layer after layer of nacre are made, a successful leader begins to shine too.

 Successful leaders are not people who have their world completely in hand and under control. Oh contraire! Many, if not most that I know, are exactly the opposite. They have the same issues as everyone else if not worse but they choose to put them aside for the greater cause; which is the people of God and service to the Lord.

 They’ve gotten there through many intervals

 True leadership is not appointed by position, it’s positioned by appointment. It takes experience to be a leader, and most of those experiences have been a divine appointment from the Creator to train His leaders. Often times because of the politics of the day people are appointed into positions they are not qualified to have, and it inevitably wreaks havoc on an organization.  It takes time to become a great leader.

 They’re not imitations

 Man can create a pearl that looks almost as lovely as the real deal, but the real pearls are rare, priceless, heavily sought and have gotten to that point by years of heartache and struggle. Successful leaders are those who use the irritants of life as a polish their personalities. They identify with and understand the struggles of those they lead because they’ve been there. Just as our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ does.

Are you a pearl of great price? Perhaps you’re still in the formation stage. Use those irritants of life to polish yourself into a leader that can be used for the Kingdom’s glory. Amen!