Posted in Bible Journaling, Christian Service, Leadership, Life Inspiration, Uncategorized

How to live a blessed life

It ain’t easy! But it’s totally doable for a child of God. I must also say that it’s also not perfect. There will likely be some heartache and struggle. But even that too can be a blessing from the other side. Seldom ever in the middle!

That’s where my thoughts are going this morning as I prepare a lesson for my teens that always  hits this grown up right between the eyes. As I study and prepare, as I instruct, i always learn more than they likely do. And often times I learn a greater lesson directly from them. One of which is when they call each other out. I’m not one who’s ever made a practice of calling anyone out. I won’t say I haven’t done it, but it’s a rarity. But this current group of teens I have are notorious for calling each other out. They cut nobody any slack! I sometimes cringe wondering how their comments will be taken; but funny thing about being called out in the house of God, if you’re a willing vessel to hear, the word is accepted and we move on. Could not the old folks learn from that?

God will call you out for certain!  From the book of Isaiah God not only calls us out, He tells us to write it down:

Isaiah 30:8

Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever:

Leading into that word, He’s speaking to the children of Israel. 

Isaiah 30:1-2 KJVS

[1] Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin: [2] That walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt!

Stay out of Egypt

Egypt adds to the sin that we already have. I have enough without going down into a place that has my mind in a place it shouldn’t be. Egypt can be anywhere. A television program or movie, a group of friends, a business establishment, a shopping center! Any place that has your mind on less than godly things. It adds sin to sin for the weaknesses that we are apt to fall victim too. 

For me it could just as well be the bread isle at our local market. Jeepers! I love bread. I love donuts and cake and pie! those are weakness that I’d be better off staying clear of. I have others. Many others. For some people their weakness may be alcohol, drugs, friends that drag them into a world they came out of.  Egypt is anywhere that takes you away from the will of God.

God’s original design for His children was that they never got exposed to Egypt. But Satan messed that up!

Stay out of Rebellion

Isaiah 30:9-11 KJVS

[9] That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the Lord : [10] Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits: [11] Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.

It’s hard to imagine those words about ourselves. But I only have to think of the times that I have turned a conversation with God off because it was taking me to a place of chastisement or a place I was less than comfortable in. I am no different than the people who stood at the base of the mountain with Moses and said, “You go Moses! We’ll wait for you to get back and let us know what God says!” Fear is a not so funny thing. We are taught to fear (reverence) God, but that perfect love casts out fear. And yet, without studying the word and staying in it we will allow Satan to cause confusion and shame to come into our life. These are the times when we do not want to hear the holy words of God.  We need to

Stay Put!

Even in the hard times. Even on the days when the Lord’s words cut us through. The end result will be Victorious living. I know this because I’ve experienced all of it! The victory and the defeat. I needed a teen around me to call me out! 

This was a quick thought for myself today, to get my mind into the zone i want it to be in. How about you? Are you there? I pray you’re blessed!

Posted in Christian Service, Life Inspiration, Uncategorized

What Will be Your Act Today?

1 Kings 10:6-12 KJVS

[6] And she said to the king, It was a true report that I heard in mine own land of thy acts and of thy wisdom. [7] Howbeit I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it : and, behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard. [8] Happy are thy men, happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and that hear thy wisdom. [9] Blessed be the Lord thy God, which delighted in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel: because the Lord loved Israel for ever, therefore made he thee king, to do judgment and justice. [10] And she gave the king an hundred and twenty talents of gold, and of spices very great store, and precious stones: there came no more such abundance of spices as these which the queen of Sheba gave to king Solomon. [11] And the navy also of Hiram, that brought gold from Ophir, brought in from Ophir great plenty of almug trees, and precious stones. [12] And the king made of the almug trees pillars for the house of the Lord, and for the king’s house, harps also and psalteries for singers: there came no such almug trees, nor were seen unto this day.

My 2020 word of the year has captured my thoughts. But I want to be careful not to get wrapped up in the search for wisdom and lose out on the acts of wisdom. Something obviously Solomon lived out; else why would the Queen of Sheba said what she did in verse 6  of 1 Kings 10? She was in absolute awe of what she witnessed of the “acts” of his wisdom. For me its the danger of Bible scholars. Not that I’ll ever consider myself one. But I’ve seen enough well educated Christians to last me a life time, who know the word, but don’t act on it. Or are far more interested in the depth of theology causing a shallowness and inability to care for the day to day needs of God’s people.

When studying the word I want to see the relevance to my everyday life. How can I apply, or act, upon what I’ve just read? That was my question after I read the aforementioned text. And so I kept reading to see what the act of the Queen was once she had discovered the awesomeness of Solomon. And what I discovered was, to the man who had everything, she gave more! Gold, spices, precious stones… things that would bring joy to his senses. Perhaps it was a spice that when he caught a whiff of he would think…. “ahhhh…. that’s from my friend the Queen.” I hope that I encourage folks in such a manner, many have encouraged me that way.  That when they see or hear something down the road it will remind them of me (not for my glory) but for remembrance of my acts for Christ.   

Another of the gifts of the Queen for Solomon was a boat load of almug trees for which the King used to construct the house of the Lord, and instruments for singers. Glory! Another reason of love King Solomon. He loved music. And so again he would likely hear the instruments play and as the music encouraged his spirit, or helped set the tone for the Worship of God, he might take the time to thank the Lord for the Queen and ask the Lord to bless her. 

Solomon acted… he just didn’t sit on his wisdom. What am I going to do with this wisdom today?

A man from Canada stopped by my table in the Hotel lobby this morning. As always a conversation ensued. He and his wife encouraged me at first just by their presence in the breakfast room. They enjoyed each other’s company. She went off to prepare for their journey on to Florida and he was interested in what got me up so early… “Yes! Thank you Lord for an opportunity to tell him why was I was up at the crack of dawn. We talked about our perspective churches and and pastors and then he went on his way.  Just a few minutes with Mr. Reesor. He left me with the gift of conversation. A small act, but one worthy of pondering today.

I hope someone encourages you today! Blessings! Shari

Posted in Christian Service, Faith, Leadership, Life Inspiration, Uncategorized

Who are you Joshua to?

Deuteronomy 34:9

And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him: and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as the Lord commanded Moses.

Oh to be “filled” with wisdom! It most certainly is possible, I guess. But for me there is always too much other junk that wisdom has to work it’s way around. Wisdom has to fight for it’s place in my world. This should not be, but I’ve left so many other pieces of junk in it’s path. Of course I speak metaphorically, but… you have no idea how very real that concept is. 

Even my dream world is filled with garbage and chaos. It may or may not be medicine related that I’m having crazy dreams again. And while I do not believe I have the gift of dream interpretation, I don’t think it’s happenstance that my dream last night was filled with clutter. And that Miss Betty and Louis’ sister Kay had to come and straighten me out. But then again, if anyone was going to straighten you out, and make your world pretty, it would be my previous choir director Miss Betty.

So what does that have to do with wisdom?

Wisdom creates great leaders. Joshua followed the greatest leader of all time. What shoes to fill! And yet he did. But it didn’t just happen, it was intentional. The Lord had a plan to redeem His people, and that plan was to use people to create models of the final plan, the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Joshua was a type of Christ, as well as Adam. But before I get ahead of myself, let’s talk about leadership and the wisdom needed.

My husband and I spoke this morning about the need of every organization having good leadership. Else 90% of staff will just do what comes natural. Nothing. Were it not for the leadership of Moses and Joshua the children of Israel would have still been in the dessert wandering around, and the giants of the promised land would have thumped their gourds. That of course is the Bible according to Shari. But I know this because I know me. If it were not for the leadership of Christ, and His encouragement in my heart I would just sit around all day and draw and pick guitar. Perhaps play the fiddle or any other fun thing that came to my mind. The clutter would consume my life and I would get overwhelmed and sit in my self made wilderness. But there is wisdom in me that scripture foretells in the book of Isaiah

Isaiah 11:2

And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord ;

This scripture speaks of Christ and the wisdom that was upon Him, qualifying Him to the office of King! And glory to God, it is the same wisdom at our disposal through the Spirit that now resides within the heart of a child of God. Christ was filled with the Spirit of wisdom from the womb, the Spirit of God came down from Heaven and rested upon Him at His baptism. He Who was anointed to be Prophet, Priest and King and He would loves us so much that He’s willing to share that wisdom with us. Does that not put a shout on you! I love examples like this in scripture that can give me an image in my mind of what God wants me to know.

I’m still in the picture book stage of faith. Don’t judge me. 😀

So why I “think” I had the dream last night…

My life is cluttered with stuff. It’s good stuff, but most days it’s a jumbled mess of what I create it to be. If you went to my office right now there are stacks of “stuff.” Payroll. Billing. New Accounts. Marketing ideas. Stuff to do… stuff that should have been done two days ago. It’s clutter!  But it has to be that way until i can get in there and get it sorted out. The same is true spiritually with me.

I praise God for the Spirit that dwells with in me and is directing me not only in my spiritual life but my work life too. Holding me accountable for what I do. Moses held Joshua accountable as he taught him how to lead and if we allow the Lord, He will will guide us through every facet of life. We are leaders in our own domain and there are people watching to see if we take our jobs seriously. 

As I wrote this today I felt the tension leave my body. At least for the moment. It was the wisdom of God that I received through this word this morning, reminding me that I am not alone. His hand is upon me guiding me day to day. But I have to listen! I have to take this time in His word to reign myself in. I think that’s why God sent Miss Betty to my dreams last night. Betty is a woman I look up to for leadership. She trained our Miss Susan who is a great leader in her own right. 

God gives us Moses’ and Joshua’s to follow so that when we are the leaders we’ll know what to do. 

Who are you Joshua to? There are people looking to you for leadership. Teach them well by example. 

God bless ya!!! Hope this thought encouraged you today. ~ Shari

Posted in Bible Journaling, Christian Service, Evangelism, Life Inspiration, Purpose, Uncategorized

Who is a wise man?

James 3:13

Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.

Who is a wise man? Good question right? I’ve known my share. Some of worldly wisdom beyond my comprehension, but I was never really impressed with those. They mostly irritated me because they speak over my head in hopes of impressing rather than speaking to my understanding in hopes of helping me. That is the difference between good and bad educators.

We had a preacher come to our church several years ago for a few nights of revival. The first night he was late and ill prepared because he’d gotten lost trying to find our church. It was obvious as he preached that he was having to rely on the Holy Spirit to guide him through his message. It was phenomenal! He came back the second night “prepared.” Yielding big words and theological discussions. Guess which one made the greater impact. Not the big word preacher. The Spirit lead preacher was so much more in tune with the congregation because the Spirit knew what we needed.

In my search for wisdom, I’m not seeking to become theologically greater, but spiritually greater. I want to understand scripture in greater depth, but only for the purpose of taking that information and applying it to my life and messages so that I can become a better child and servant of God.

So when James asks his readers, “Who is a wise man?” I don’t think he was searching for the scholars of the day. He spoke of those who were endued with knowledge. Another word for endued is infused. That is my desire. To be filled with the Spirit of God through the absorption of His word and knowledge. I love the essential oil infusers that fill the air with natural scents and healing oil. They arouse my sense of smell and create a happy response from my soul. So does the word of God!

Don’t Get Too Big for your Britches

...with meekness of wisdom. I pray I never feel as though I (personally) have something to tell. I hope that my ministry work is always a Holy Spirit lead adventure. Meekness is often viewed as weakness in this world. Because a person isn’t loud and boisterous, people believe them to be an obvious push over. And yet, someone like myself who has a naturally loud personality is often considered bold and brave. I know the exact opposite to be true. Meekness is strength concealed and controlled. I have to work on that daily. So a meekness of wisdom is not someone who flaunts what they know,  it rather someone who shares what God has revealed and gives credit where credit is due.

James 3:14-16

But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. 

Don’t get Bitter with your Brothers

Or your sisters as the case may be. On the occasions when I’ve been aggravated with someone I’ve realized that there is a pride involved that is straight out of the pits of Hell, and that I’m lying to myself and anyone else when I try to justify that anger. Satan loves it when we have strife with our family and friends, because in no way will God be glorified. Oh James, you are so wise. That type of strife will cause the wisdom of God and our purpose on earth to completely leave the track of our destined plan by God. That’s a dangerous pride that could have consequences resulting in someone never seeing Jesus because they could only see us. 

How very confusing it must be for the lost child to witness a saved child hating on someone. 

But godly wisdom is where it’s at! It’s why it so important to stay in God’s word. It keeps our heart in tune with Him. If you’re in love with God, you cannot be in hate with others. 

James 3:17-18

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. [18] And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

Get Better by being Broken

Understanding where we come from is a good place to start when showing someone how to get where you are and on their own path toward a deeper relationship with Christ. 

There is a fair amount of snow falling outside right now, and as it falls, it falls slowly, peacefully, covering up the mud and earth below that is so abundant outside this time of year. I’m not a fan of winter for a few reasons, though I do love the snow when I have no where to be… which is not today.  But it serves as a great illustration on the purity of God, and how He washes our sin as white as snow, covering up those muddy days in my life when I’ve failed Him miserably. And I was miserable. That’s a part of my testimony. 

I did not have the peace of God for 34 years of my life. I believed in Jesus, but I did not “know” Jesus. There is a vast difference. Satan is fully well aware that Jesus exists, but he has no desire to have a relationship with Him. And unfortunately neither does most of the world. They are lulled into accepting a false peace that comes from money, fame, even family. But get broken and suddenly you are looking for a repair kit. That repair kit came looking for me in 1996. I experienced it sitting in the back row of Victory Baptist Church, when Mike Worf opened his bible and shared his own brokenness with me. I’d never heard a preacher be so open and honest about his own failing. I needed to know I was not alone. 

Help me God to show that to those I come into contact with. Those who make peace, whether it’s law enforcement, judges, etc. do so by squelching conflict. That’s what the Spirit of God does. We were not made for this world, therefore there is an automatic conflict in our soul. But a soul saved immediately resides in Heaven, and that conflict (though we still experience it on earth) finds peace in Heavenly places. Glory to God! I just wrote myself happy! 

The world would like you to believe that being humble and broken brings shame. The Spirit of God shows us that being broken is when we’re at the point were we can absorb the Spirit of God and allow His goodness to leak back out of us so that others may see. It leaks out of my eyes a lot. 

Praying that today you are getting better in your relationship with Jesus. Blessings! Shari

Posted in Bible Journaling, Faith, Health, Uncategorized

We All Need a Super Hero

Jesus Chick Graphics

1 Thessalonians 4:6

That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.

There are some days that you just need a Super Hero; and reading a text like this one was it for me. It’s not that I have an enemy in any man (or woman) as the case could be. But rather my enemy is Satan, and sometimes myself. I’ve said in a few blogs lately that Christmas was hard on me. I’m still not feeling up to par and that takes its tole on me spiritually and emotionally. It’s at that point, the lowest point, that I can feel Satan kicking the guts out of me because he knows I’m too weak to fight back. 

After the heart attack I was on a mission to better health, I had cardiac rehab three times a week which kept me motivated to eat better and look better. Then the rehab stopped, weight increased and my desire to eat well and live better slowly diminished and I went back to many of my old habits. You know… like bread and junk habits. Add the stressors of a holiday and by December 26th my body was wracked with pain. There was no super strength that I used to be able to muster. Just weakness. I would come home from the office and do a minimal amount of housework and collapse in the bed to Pureflix, Instagram and Facebook. But only scrolling… not even using it for what I had always done, which is the promotion of Christ. Ugh 😩

So what’s a girl to do? 

And then there He was. Where He had always been but I had neglected to see. My Super Hero and Avenger, long before Hollywood thought they had the market wrapped up on it. Although those are my favorite kind of shows. Well… they used to be, until the story line never changed and the gore got too much. Sorry. Squirrel 🐿! My ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) kicked in and I went by the way side. But interestingly enough, God never does.

I never lose His attention. 

Paul tells us in the 1 Thessalonians 4 that they’ve been warned and those warnings were backed up by testimony.  Not only Paul’s testimony but mine as well, and likely yours! I have story after story of how God has blessed my life and allowed me to do amazing things that a country girl from the ridge of Zion should never have had the opportunity. So when I hear the things like Satan has been whispering in my ear, I shouldn’t fall for it, but I do. Every time. 

But then… my super 🦸‍♂️ hero swoops in and rescues me, and tells that demon to “Back off, this child is Mine!” Glory to God! 

Paul continues on to tell the church to love one another, and another of my favorite verses in this chapter when he tells them to “mind their own business.” That cracks me up for multiple reasons. 

1 Thessalonians 4:11

And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;

In my weariness and busyness I neglected my business. Which is the ministry of the Lord. I was  commanded when I was called to serve to make that a priority in my life. But I had allowed that jerk of a demon to distract me away from what needed done, and in the process allowed myself to come under attack. 

This morning I feel somewhat better. Actually having talked to my second super hero, my husband David, about the fact I wasn’t feeling well. I hadn’t told him about it as not to concern him, or let him tell me I needed to see the doc. Which is my least favorite thing in the world.

I realize that this is somewhat of a random, all about Shari blog, but I felt the need to share. Possibly because you’ve been feeling overwhelmed and under attack as well. You too need a superhero!

Blessings!!!! And please share this post if it blessed ya ~ Shari.

Posted in Bible Journaling, Christian Service, Church Unity, Eternity, Evangelism, Uncategorized

Reunion Ready

Paul’s letter captivates my thoughts quickly this morning, causing me to wonder about my level of commitment to the saints of God and to the service of our Lord. The depth of his heartache can be felt so intensely if you ponder each line as I believe God intended in our study of His word and our desire to get to know Him through Paul. His greatest desire at the point of his writing was to see those in the church of Thesalonica. But because of his own obligations, he decided to stay in Athens alone and send Timothy to the check on the spiritual welfare of those he trained in the gospel.

His goal of discipleship is listed in the final verses of this chapter, 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13

And the Lord make you to increase, and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.

Three quick points for this Monday morning of the year 2019’s final days leading into the New Year of 2020. It’s my prayer for you.

That your church has

Love Abounding

Not only toward each other but toward all men.

It is so easy for us as separate denominations to feel superior over another. Believing that we are right and they are wrong. Forgetting that there is one gospel and that it was never Christ’s intentions to have the separation of the churches as we do today. No, I’m not suggesting we all join up into one church. That’s a good way to get a fuss going. But would it not be a grand gesture if our love could abound toward all men and women without regard to denomination. 

I’ve sang and spoken to churches of another denomination without concern for our differences. We had a common ground that made that very easy and is a necessity for communion with other churches, which is, that they too believe in Jesus, the way the truth and life. Only His sacrificial atonement though the blood as our way into Heaven. Not of ourselves in any way, shape or form. That said, I sing and speak Christ. And the Spirit of God joins in because of our love abounding to one another. 

Hearts Established

Unblameable and Holy? That’s tough right? We likely all feel that there is plenty of blame to share in us and holiness is far from an achievable feeling. Namely because we have an accuser who loves to walk this earth and remind us of our failures. But having your heart established, meaning that you are conscious of where your spirit actually abides, will bring you to the next level of service. Because God “hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:” (Ephesians 2:6)

Together. We are members of the body of Christ. There is no Baptist church in Heaven. Glory to God! There is no Methodist, Pentecostal or any other church in Heaven. When we meet together up there, there will not be no fussin! We will know the truth because we’ll be in the presence of the Truth! 

But here, in this place, we have to get our hearts established through the Spirit that indwells us. And that means staying in His word until we see the world and ourselves through His eyes.

Paul never claimed to be perfect. In Romans 7:15 he says “For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.”

Can you identify? I sure can! The things I want to do, I don’t. And the things I don’t want to do, I do. It’s the flesh. Paul battled it and so do we. But through Jesus Christ we are seen blameless and holy in the eyes of God. In that we have to get established and continue on doing the best we can, not the least, so that we are

Reunion Ready!

Paul said that we need to be established at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints. That glad reunion day when all those who we miss on earth, we’ll be joined with again! I have so many. I know that they have no concept of time, and as fast as time is going in my life, I hardly having any concept either; but our reunion day will be one of great joy and the beginning of a life without complexity. No denominations, separations, aggravations and failed expectations… just celebrations! Worship. Collective worship as one Nation! The Nation of Heaven. 

Just wrote myself happy! I am reunion ready, are you? 

But until that day there is a work to do and a people to care for. Let’s do it today! 

Posted in Bible Journaling, Christian Service, Evangelism, Uncategorized

Why my crown is rockin!

For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? For ye are our glory and joy.

1 Thessalonians 2:19-20

For the most part television evangelists miss the mark. Not all of them. There are guys like Cal Ray Evans on our local channel 3 on Sunday Morning that will bless the socks off of you, give you solid teaching and truly cares about the reach of his ministry. And then there are others… nameless others… who possibly seek to glorify God, but they’re concern for the congregation of cyber land, radio wave and satellite is more about how many wallets they can reach. Sound like I’m bitter? No, not bitter, but most assuredly frustrated. Because when I read scripture like the one above, and I see the true compassion and dedication of Paul and the others, I wonder where it’s gone to.  And I understand why there is a trust issue in the world when it comes to gospel teaching.  How many of those on the air waves today would be willing to go through a fraction of what bible disciples went through to reach the masses? Would I? Good question. While Paul and the others were preachers of the gospel, it wasn’t only the preachers willing to die for Christ, but the congregation as well. So before we throw stones at ministers of the gospel, we have to acknowledge that the accountability of spreading the gospel does not only lie at the preachers feet.

What is our Hope?

More now than ever the world needs hope. I see it and more aptly read it in the faces and posts of the people I meet through social media, visiting other places and in my own home town. Folks need hope, but they have no idea who to trust when it comes to sharing their struggle. I’ve shared my own struggles with people who I could tell by their reaction they really were not that interested in what I was going through. And so I too find myself retreating inside my head because I don’t want to bother anyone, and I certainly don’t want to feel unloved. And that’s the truth as I feel it when someone turns me off when I’ve risked my personal exposure of pain to tell them what’s going on. O boy… that’ll preach won’t it? How many people have felt like that? And how many of us (myself included) have been the one turning people off?

So what’s our Hope. Our hope is the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the one that we have to share so that people know when the world let’s you down there is ONE WHO WILL NOT EVER!!!

What is our Joy?

We sing “Joy to the World” this time of year, but who has a depth of understanding of it when the commercialization of Christmas has become so ridiculous?  When people want to get through the Holy Days so they can get to the Holiday. We don’t want to be inconvenienced by church services lasting too long, or the expectation that we should worship Christ in the ways of scripture. From Christ’s birth to His death we find powerful worship. And then post death, pre-return, we find disciples like Paul and his buddies who were willing to be imprisoned, beaten and killed to worship. And we, in a free world, won’t go to church on Sunday, but expect people to believe we’re Christ’s disciples. Nope… can’t do it. 

It’s when I get bitter. 

This year for Christmas I made my sweet delicacies in sparing because of time. I love to bake and cook and treat my family to special foods all year long. But in the process of making my fudge this year, one of my kids came in and I neglected the stove. 🤦‍♀️ Not good. So when I poured my fudge into the pan to cool, I knew it was off. I’d scorched it. It still sits beside me on the table taunting me of my failure and it’s bitter taste. But it also reminds me that Hell’s 🔥 fire will scorch the souls of men someday, and are scorching souls now that were neglected by the church. So you want to know about true joy? 

It’s the saving grace of Christ that allows a soul to go to Heaven and never taste the flames of Hell. That is true joy. It’s why I want to live bolder and pray that God gives me opportunity in 2020 to share the gospel of Christ with people. It’s my prayer every New Year, and at years end I always feel that I fail miserably.

What is my Glory?

You are. Those of you who read what I write, and receive encouragement from it. That is my glory, because I know that that is bringing glory to God. I do not seek the applause of men, but I sure do seek to see the fruits of my labor. I pray that I do better at posting and sharing the gospel every day in some form or another and I pray that I’ll be able to be face to face with many of you this year sharing the gospel in song and word.

The days of scripture being written are done. Revelation caps the book and no other words were added, regardless of what some religions tell you. It’s finished. But the word of God, written thousands of years ago is still as fresh today as it was the day it dripped from the pen of the writer. Every time you open the Bible it’s like a brand new book never read.  And we have need to share it! Because that is where this miserable world is going to find hope and joy and God will be glorified! And I just wrote myself happy!!!!

I pray you know Jesus. I pray you’ll make a commitment to live bolder in 2020. Because there are souls a plenty in 2020 who need Christ! Let’s get out there people and tell the world about our Savior!

Posted in Bible Journaling, Eternity, Evangelism, Uncategorized

What Does it Mean to Wait?

There are days that I consider myself a fairly good example to the children of God and to the lost… maybe two days out of the month. That would make it multiple so that I could use the tense of “days.” But most days I feel like an epic failure because I know that I’m not living up to the potential within me through Christ. 

These past few weeks have been a blur; I went from one project and one task to another until they all ran together like melted crayons. I felt consumed. That’s not a good feeling. I had very little rest, mostly just collapses of exhaustion and then I would wake up and begin again. But today… the day after our celebration of the Lord’s birth I feel renewed. There’s nothing pending… well except work. But that’s okay. There’s nothing that has my attention away from the Lord. His word is honey to my mouth, and oil to my joints. I’ve been stale and stiff. I have no other description of how I’ve felt of late physically. Nothing satisfied my tastebuds, and my body groaned under the pressures of the day. But today… not so much… That makes me sad and glad all at the same time. Because I missed Christmas this year. Or at least the Spirit of the season. I was too busy… again. 

But today my mind is slowed down, absorbing the word and the mind of God. I’ve missed Him (I moved, not Him). And I wasn’t a very good example; not like the children of Thessalonica  for which Paul, Sylvanus  and Timotheus wrote to.

1 Thessalonians 1:7-10 KJV

[7] So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. [8] For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing. [9] For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; [10] And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

Sounding Christians

Ensample is a large example; meaning that the Thessalonians were collectively serving as a group of believers, sounding out the word of God, not only in their hometown but spread abroad! Yes, that’s exciting for those of us on the internet and those of us who are a part of the body of Christ through the local church. Because imagine what the folks from Thessalonica could have done with such a tool. And while I have sore attempted to spread the word abroad, I’m not always successful because I’m not using the tools I’ve been given to their full potential. That’s what I believe the children of Thessalonica were doing. They were being heard… loudly!

Showing Christians

To be a part of an ensample, you have to personally be an example. Showing the love of Christ is more than a December thing. The world seems to get extremely good at showing love this time of year. But by January the feeling has long since faded into background of Christmas and the New Year and new goals and objectives are on their minds. This ought not be the case with Christians. We should have that Spirit of giving 12 months out of the year. Not that we should be giving out fruit baskets continually, but the fruit of the Spirit! 

The Thessalonians were so good at being an example that it says nothing else needed to be said. Oh that I were such a one! 

Serving Christians

The word “wait” gets a bad rap. It is so more often thought of as a spirit of setting, not serving. But add an “er” at the end, and suddenly the spirit of serving, as in being a waiter or waitress, shines a different light on it’s meaning. The children of Thesalonica were not sitting around twiddling their thumbs, waiting for the return of Jesus, they were telling the world about the One that was to return and save this world from the wrath to come. For the record… the wrath is still on our timeline. 

Those who don’t know Christ will not be spared the wrath of God when He pours out judgement upon the earth in the last days. We see the signs of it everyday. God has a calendar too. 

My friend Sue gave me another beautiful date book for me to keep my busy life in view. I love it… but this morning it reminds me that God has something else I need to keep in view. Eternity. Where will you be in eternity? Where will your friends and family be? Let’s find out today and add another mansion address!

What does it mean to wait? Serve not Sit!

God bless ya! Shari

Posted in Christmas, Eternity, Uncategorized

It’s Going to Happen!

But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; after those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for light by night, which divide the sea when the waves thereof roar; the LORD of hosts is His name.

Jeremiah 31:33-35

The house of Israel. God’s original chosen and still His people He has a massive plan for them; one that breaks my heart as a tender hearted woman. I wish the world wasn’t “the world.” I wish that the original sin in the garden with Adam and Eve, never happened. But it did. I wish that Israel had not continued to rebel against God and refuse to acknowledge His Son, and in the finality of their decision making, crucified Him. But all of that happened. I wish that the woman who sat beside me in the lobby of the Holiday Inn this morning didn’t have a rebellious son that had caused their separation. But it happened. Life is real and it’s filled with poor decisions from the beginning of time, to some of my breakfast decisions. The degree is not always the same, but it is all the product of a fallen world. But I love the “buts” of the Bible. Times they are a changin’! Glory to God!

The lobby has cleared out, and so as the distractions for me… well, except the news. But I can’t help to be tunnel focused on this word this morning. God made that covenant of Jeremiah with the house of Israel; but He, in His great mercy, grafted me into the family so I too share in that promise. And if you are a child of God, so do you! It’s the Christmas 🎄 gift 🎁 that keeps on giving! Every day… Amazing grace. It’s like the simplicity of the Christmas tree in the hotel lobby, just for ever green with specks of red. It reminds me of eternal life because of the blood of Jesus.  

Israel doesn’t get it…yet. But God’s covenant isn’t going anywhere. It’s going to happen. And there will come a day that they will experience what we have the blessing of experiencing now: they will KNOW GOD! We will dwell in eternity together. Us and them. Us and God. Us and Jesus! Yep! Just wrote myself happy!!!!!

I’m headed home today after having come to this area to watch the Cirque Musica at the Keith Albee Theatre in Huntington, WV. Personally… I don’t recommend it. The show for the money wasn’t there. But what was here in this place is the presence of God because He travels with this chick. And every other Christian. Some folks just seem to put Him in the bottom of the suitcase, rather than letting their little light shine. Let Jesus shine in your life today.  Talk about Him, share Him… Talk to Him. 

Blessings!!! ❤️ Shari

Posted in Christian Service, Christmas, Life Inspiration, Uncategorized

What are you Magnifying this Christmas?

Jesus Chick Graphics

My mind has been on Mary, the mother of our Lord this week. And also a writer of the 300-400 AD era by the name of Epiphanius. It was his name that came up in my study on Monday from Luke 2, when I read in a commentary that it had been “hinted to” but not documented in scripture (which is very important) that Mary was martyred. That would not surprise me with the evil of the world then and now. Satan would have loathed the woman who brought our Lord to fruition through her womb, by the power of God. And who would have better known the facts of the matter than she herself. Oh my stars, my stomach just turned over to think of her life and watching the crucifixion of her child.

My youngest, who is 32, just left on a trip to New York, I worry for her and her safety, it’s the way of a mother. My soul hurts, literally, when one of my girls or grandchildren struggle. So to imagine… and I can’t, the pain Mary went through as the mother of our Lord, is beyond what I could possibly comprehend. But I am also very careful not to put her in a position of magnification above what the Lord allows. She’s wonderful. But she is not to worshiped or idolized as some would have us believe. She too was just like those of us willing to serve. A vessel of the Father. 

So back to Epiphanius. When I read his name and what he “hinted” at, I became fascinated with him. Who was he? And when he spoke those words, if he did, in what context were they spoken? Was he one who idolized Mary? And if so… I couldn’t give weight to his words. So I did what all tech gals do, I went to the web in search of information. And boy did I find some! Now I’m kind of in love with the guy. But my husband has no worries… he’s long gone. Having died as he lived in the year 403 A.D. Serving. 

There is a story for which I read, there were many, and not always so factual. But one that had facts to back it up was the story of “the curtain incident.”

A letter from Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis, in Cyprus, to John, Bishop of Jerusalem covers the  incident of the curtain, which unlike other passages attributed to Epiphanius, is accepted as authentic by scholars. All of which is according to the web. Which we know wouldn’t lie, right? (Insert rolled eyes here). But I guess as far as we can tell, this is truth. 

The letter reads as follows:

Moreover, I have heard that certain persons have this grievance against me: When I accompanied you to the holy place called Bethel, there to join you in celebrating the Collect, after the use of the Church, I came to a villa called Anablatha and, as I was passing, saw a lamp burning there. Asking what place it was, and learning it to be a church, I went in to pray, and found there a curtain hanging on the doors of the said church, dyed and embroidered. It bore an image either of Christ or of one of the saints; I do not rightly remember whose the image was. Seeing this, and being loth that an image of a man should be hung up in Christ’s church contrary to the teaching of the Scriptures, I tore it asunder and advised the custodians of the place to use it as a winding sheet for some poor person. They, however, murmured, and said that if I made up my mind to tear it, it was only fair that I should give them another curtain in its place. As soon as I heard this, I promised that I would give one, and said that I would send it at once. Since then there has been some little delay, due to the fact that I have been seeking a curtain of the best quality to give to them instead of the former one, and thought it right to send to Cyprus for one. I have now sent the best that I could find, and I beg that you will order the presbyter of the place to take the curtain which I have sent from the hands of the Reader, and that you will afterwards give directions that curtains of the other sort—opposed as they are to our religion—shall not be hung up in any church of Christ. A man of your uprightness should be careful to remove an occasion of offence unworthy alike of the Church of Christ and of those Christians who are committed to your charge. Beware of Palladius of Galatia—a man once dear to me, but who now sorely needs God’s pity—for he preaches and teaches the heresy of Origen; and see to it that he does not seduce any of those who are intrusted to your keeping into the perverse ways of his erroneous doctrine. I pray that you may fare well in the Lord.[10]

See why I love him! He kind of reminds me of my David. Who is often harsh when it comes to correctness and those who live in err and profess to be right. Now… don’t tell him that I told you (I’m joking, he knows) he is not always right either. But David indeed does have the work ethic of similarity to the biblical ethics of Epiphanius. 

So this is why I am thinking much on Mary and Epiphanius today and the days prior. When Mary said  in Luke 1:46 ~“And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,” she knew what we all should know, it wasn’t about her. And even though to some (but not to my David) they would say that Epiphanius’ reaction was brash; when rather than politely asking the church to remove the curtain, he ripped it to shreds. But he knew what this world does not, how much the Lord loathes religion over relationship. 

Religion is everywhere. And I really hadn’t thought about the images we project into our mind and lives that are not biblical. So over the last few days when I drew what I imagined Mary to be like, you’ll note I did not put a halo over her head, I however did add some sparkles, just because I think every woman of God should shine. 

So as we go into the Christmas season, I’m challenging myself and you to rethink some of the images you have in your mind about what this season should look like. Remember, Jesus “was a baby,” Now He’s a very grown up King. And our images will in no way do justice to the real King of glory. Wow! I just wrote myself happy again. 

Love ya. Mean it. Shari