Tag Archives: Winter

Brr…the Winter Time Blues

Solomon said that To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven: (Ecclesiastes 3:1) and whether it’s physically or metaphorically we all know it to be true. Life is full of seasons. This morning in the literal sense, winter has finally hit our area of West Virginia. Snow, ice and all its splendor lies on the cold, cold ground outside and I just want to hold up in the house until the first Sunny day in March.

Sometimes I feel that way spiritually as well. But, there are people depending on me and quite frankly I am depending on me to get out of this winter time slump that hits the day after Christmas. The “BRR season.”

Spiritually Barren

When I look out at the trees, with the exception of the evergreens, I see a dismal gray forest that discourages my spirit. I don’t why I’m like that, but I need color! There was a time in my life (pre-salvation) that I wanted every thing I owned, be it clothing or home décor in shades of brown. It was no wonder that I was struggling! But after I became a child of the King I needed color! Lots of color and the brighter the better. I love color! It makes me happy. And while I guess gray is technically a color, it doesn’t make me happy. It depresses me and sends me into a shell that I have to make myself come out of. Welcome to my January.

Spiritual Resignation

Oh, I know, I’m the Jesus Chick and I’m not allowed to resign my post, but there are days when I have moments of “wishing” that I was one of those people who didn’t feel compelled by Holy Spirit conviction and accountability to keep on keeping on. But wait… wouldn’t that mean I wasn’t saved? I don’t know. Ask all the people in the world who confess Christianity but don’t feel compelled to do anything for the Lord Jesus Christ Who was crucified for them. That may have sounded a little bitter.

I’m in that season.

I want to do more, I know I should be doing more, and yet my body and my aging bones say that I should climb upon my comfy couch with a my fuzzy blanket and just stay toasty and warm and watch the British Baking Show on Netflix.

Spiritually Reasoned

Praise God for His longsuffering and for somewhat of a spiritually mature me. I said somewhat because believe me when I tell you I have tantrums. But I also have been at this long enough to know that just like winter, this too will pass. I’ll be un-frustrated with life and find some color just waiting to be explored. I truthfully already have. I’m revamping my website this week to include some new features. They are filled with color! But this morning I was feeling a little BRR.

Spiritually cold. Until I began to read the word of God, and write the words of the Holy Spirit Who said, “Just bundle up and keep going. It’s cold outside but it’s warm inside of you! And the world needs to see the Lord at work.”

That message is no doubt for you too, else you’d not be here with me today. I love you and I pray that you are toasty warm, un-frustrated and ready to do some great things. If not… grab God’s word and let Him warm your soul!

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Winter blues? He’s got us covered!

chick lamb

Have I ever told you how much I detest winter? Probably. But in repeating it I hope God will get the picture and cut it short. That’s how I’d like the winters in life too, please… thank You Jesus. But it’s not how I get them. They’re often longer and harsher than I’d like and by the end I’m just about as low as a snail’s belly. Depression sets in, cabin fever is raging and take a week like this one when even church had to be canceled and I’m struggling. There I said it, but please don’t make me repeat it, because hearing myself say it grinds on my nerves as much as the indoor/outdoor thermometer yelling at me from across the room. That’s why I didn’t fix it when the outdoor side stopped working. Nobody likes a bad news bearer. Still doesn’t take the reality away that baby it’s cold outside!

But have I got some warm news for you this morning!

John 10:22-30

And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch. Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.

How long Lord?

I asked it again and again like a broken record. How long do I have to go through this Lord? But in this context the Jews are asking Jesus, “How long until you prove You are who You say You are?” But that’s not how God works, lest it wouldn’t be faith now would it. But my attitudes no different than the Jews when I’m going through the hard times. “How long Lord until You prove who You are by getting me out of this mess? Please Lord tell me, I’m a needin’ to know!” Now that’s not faith is it?

That Long?

Classic Jesus… the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me.

It’s as if Jesus slapped me up the side the head and said “We’re here again, because you still don’t get it. I’m in charge of the universe, but unfortunately you’re in charge of your life Shari.” Number one, I know Jesus wouldn’t slap me up the side of the head, but I need it. There’s a reason for the seasons of life, both in meteorological conditions and in spiritual growth. Our bodies long for both the sun and the Son. We need to feel the warmth of His love.

But while you wait…

Oh my stars! This hit me like a ton of bricks this morning. Wow! This blog is violent… ADD (attention deficit disorder) kicks in again, now back to the story…

 The Jews didn’t understand because they weren’t wearing fleece. Jesus said “My sheep hear my voice.” As a child of God I can make it through the winters of life because I’m a lamb of God. Covered in the fleece of His love that bears witness to me every day that I belong to Him. It may be cold on the outside, I may not be able to change the circumstances of life but He has me covered!

That’s good news today.  It stirred my soul and even without the sun, the S-O-N has me toasty warm in His love. What about you? Do you know Him? I sure hope so and I hope this message encouraged you today. If it did, please share it with your friends, cause “Baby it’s cold outside!”

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A Frustrated Pastor in the winter


II Corinthians 13:2 ~ I told you before, and foretell you, as if I were present, the second time; and being absent now I write to them which heretofore have sinned, and to all other, that, if I come again, I will not spare:

Can you hear the fatherly conversation “If I’ve told you once I’ve told you a hundred times, and if I have to tell you again, you’re gonna be sorry.” Paul’s getting ready to crack the whip on the Corinthian church, he’s had it up to his eyeballs with their naysaying and questioning of his leadership. Why I landed in II Corinthians 13 this morning I don’t know, but Paul’s attitude really caught my attention in these verses. You can feel his frustration! I loved it in verse 10 when he said “Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord hath given me to edification, and not to destruction.” I don’t know that loving that verse is appropriate. Paul writes this letter to them because if he they could actually hear how he feels it wouldn’t be good!

I feel this Pastor’s frustration. Not that I’m a Pastor or have any desire to be, but I speak in general of his frustration with the church. Just as Paul did, I still have the utmost faith in the church because it is the instrument for which God is using to usher in the return of Christ. And at this present time my own home church is full of fire and it’s spring time in the village. It’s full of great people and awesome opportunities but I don’t want to be caught off guard if there’s a cold front coming in. It’s winter in the hearts of many in the world who have no desire to allow the Holy Spirit to lead a church; because if the Holy Spirit is in charge things heat up and there’s an expectation of right living and servitude.

Jesus came into the world to seek that which was lost and before He left for Heaven He left orders that we were to do the same, under the direction of a Pastor. I guess maybe this scripture was pointed out to me by the Holy Spirit this morning because we are Pastorless, not leaderless, but without a Pastor. And God knows the burden on my heart to see the pulpit filled and my concern for God’s direction. I love being lead, else I’m a sheep wandering around in the field looking for a gate. No I’m not looking to leave, I’m looking for something to do.

My heart breaks for church leaders who struggle to motivate their congregation. I want to come to their church and sit on the front row and be a cheerleader for Jesus. That’s kind of what I do at our church. I want to encourage God’s people! It’s not easy to try and live right (believe me when I say, I fail daily), but it’s a harsh reality when you see the cold nature of people toward “right living.” It’s almost as if a Preacher is meddling because there is an expectation that his people should follow Christ’s example.

My message to you today is “Take care of your Pastor this Christmas.” It’s sometimes as cold in the church as it is in the world, and they can use your warmth. Spread God’s cheer this Christmas season beginning with the leadership of your church, it will be returned with rejoicing!

What WV and Heaven have in Common

Grist Mill in the Winter, Babcock State Park, West Virginia

Photography credit: http://www.forestwander.com

I have for as long as I can remember, been proud to be a West Virginian. There are as many redneck and hillbilly jokes as ‘Carter’s got liver pills’; some I’ve laughed at, some made me nauseous, but very few have ever upset me. Most are told in good country fun and those that are not, are told in ignorance of the goodness of God that dwells in this place. I don’t think for a second that we are “Almost Heaven” because 1 Corinthians 2:9 says “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” Heaven’s way better than anything here on earth!  But West Virginia does have one thing in common with Heaven… commonality.

Drive down practically any country road in West Virginia and ask for directions and you’ll likely get more information than you wanted! Not only will you get directions, but quite possibly a little family history, political insight or advice on the best place in town to eat. It’s our way. There are the occasional grumpy guss, elitist, or recluse but I can almost guarantee they’re a transplant from another State. It’s just not the nature of the people in rural (Country) West Virginia not to want to help. Yes there is the exception to the rule, for them, I apologize.

The story of Christmas is filled with country. Mary, a virgin girl from the city of Nazareth, who called herself a “handmaid,” meaning servant or voluntary slave (Luke 1:38) is visited by the angel Gabriel with the news that she is to carry in her womb, God. And following her most likely initial shock it says in verses 39-40, And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda; And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth.  There it is. Just good country people, Mary, Elisabeth and the country Preacher, Zacharias, willing to be used by God. He could have chosen anyone and most would have expected that the Messiah would surely come from a royal estate. But it’s apparent that God’s idea of royalty is unlike ours. He likes country!

And what about Joseph who would be the earthly father of the Christ child? A common carpenter, blue collar worker, although he was of the lineage of David. A man we know very little about, except his trade, and willingness to marry the mother of God, love the Son of God and deal with the stigma that was to come.

And then there were the shepherds, farm boys, who were the lowest of the low in the eyes of society in that day and God sends a host of angels to bring witness of the news of His Son’s birth to these unlikely men. A common thread woven into the Christmas story is common people just like you and I. God didn’t exclude royalty, the wise men received the same news and although it was much later they too were a part of the story of Christmas. No one is excluded from Christ’s story. And although it was a cast of common characters it was far from a common occurrence, it was a once in a lifetime, exclusive event that changed the world.

Jesus’ birth story brings home the message the God uses common, ordinary people to do extraordinary things then and now. God created each of us as a character in His story that continues to be the greatest ever told and each time a “new birth” occurs, at the time of someone’s salvation, the excitement level of that day in Bethlehem is still there and the desire to go and tell somebody! The song go tell it on the mountain scrolls across my mind and cheers my heart with the Christmas Spirit this morning.

I like country. I like common. I love Christ. Go tell somebody!