Tag Archives: witness

A Day in the Life with Tire Marks and yellow stripes

I get a fascination with Bible characters and think about what their take on today’s society. What would they think of social media? What would they think of the modern churches? Would our services be any thing close to theirs? If they sat in our house on a Tuesday night and viewed firsthand what we did and watched, what do you think they’d teach on, on Wednesday night?

I watch people with a curiosity much the same. How can a Christian so boldly speak foul language and mock sin, and then profess their faith as if it’s a girl scout badge?

Our Examples

Apostle Paul is a character that I cannot wait to meet! He was so bold. He didn’t play church! He died for it and his letters reflect that when he taught the church the manner in which we should live our lives and the degree of dedication. That is my personal biggest issue with the modern church. Their commitment and dedication is ridiculous in comparison to the scripture.

I don’t fair very well either, so I’m not throwing anyone under the bus alone. I’m getting scuffed by the tires too! But this is check list of just a few of Paul’s model ideas for the church.

1 Thessalonians 1: 4-5

Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God. For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power; and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance: as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.

Paul and the other Apostles and Disciples that traveled with him set an example for not only those of their time but of our day too. But I know from my own life that I’m not following their examples any where close to the biblical standard.

Most of the world doesn’t have a clue what the biblical standard is. Christianity is far more than a title. It’s a position.

Our Election

Not to an office, as President of the United States, but rather the fact that each of us who accept so great a salvation of the Lord Jesus Christ are elected to an everlasting life and happiness. It is the effect of His pure love and favor that we are given this position. We were elected by the majority vote. God’s. And yet we live like the underdog. Some of us live like strays. Like we don’t even belong to the church.

Paul calls the elect “beloved.” He has a deep devotion to the churches that God called him to work with. For me this is the bell ringer for whether or not a child of God is taking their election seriously. Do they show up for the meetings? That time that should by all means be set aside to not only fellowship with the brethren but to study God’s word together and receive our messages for the week.

It’s a time that many Pastor’s across America have failed to take seriously. Perhaps because their congregation stopped showing up, or perhaps they need to examine their own commitment.

If the doors are open and the body is able, we should be there. Sunday morning, Sunday Night and Wednesday and any other opportunity! Why? Because this world wants to take us out and we need the Armor.

It’s why Christians aren’t living as they should. They’re not putting on the armor of God. They’re just letting their flesh be exposed the ideals of the world, which Satan loves. Once a person is saved, he’s lost them. He cannot have a child of God. But he can influence them until they’re of no effect to the world around them because their standards are no different and they’ve forgotten that they even hold a position in Heaven.

Our Encounter

Paul mentions that they not only taught the word of God they lived the word of God with the power of the Holy Spirit and in much assurance.

Because the world lives so far from the biblical standards their assurance suffers immensely. Paul had the assurance because his eyes were on Jesus and the mission that He have him. Paul didn’t dabble in the world Monday-Saturday and attempt to show up with a message on Sunday.

Yes, I’m preaching to myself! No, I’m not at bars or destroying my testimony with foul language, but I can turn on Netflix, a magazine story or any of the number of other things that garner my attention away from God and get wrapped up in Hollywood which takes my armor and lays it aside for a sparkly cape and cute boots. I am fickle with the world.

True story.

I must question myself. What kind of encounter am I creating for those who come into my home on any given day? Mainly the grand kids, but there are others and it could be the people I meet on the street. Do they see Jesus, or do they see worldly adorations?

The main question is what effect does my encounter have with the people I meet?

When I was in New Mexico, I had a different boldness that I do not have here. It was obvious to my soul. I do not speak with the same power there that I spoke with there. Because I know the people here, I let the flesh intimidate me into saying less than I’d like.

Being less of an influence. My encounters are not up to standard because they are influenced by location.

In New Mexico I felt the power of Satan fighting against me from the day I agreed to go. When I got there, I knew it was because God had given me that assignment and I didn’t want to fail. Even though I often felt like I did. But I fought on to give the song and message to the people for which I’d been called to serve. At home I slump into a routine and the boldness digresses and I become the Jesus Chick. Not near so bold. Not near so focused.

I just really scared myself there. I know that I’m under the bus with skid marks going up my backside and a yellow stripe. Because I don’t have the bravery that I desire to have. I allow the world to beat me down and convince me that I’m not called to do what I know I’ve been called to do. Speak Boldly!

Life is our mission field. I need to stop forgetting.

Do You Care?

We love Him, because He first loved us. ~ 1 John 4:19

There are some people in our lives that are easy to love. My bestie Gloria is one such person, so are countless others. I am blessed with people. Lots of people that I call and mean it when I say they’re friends. And then there are people that I am acquaintances with via life or social media and of those I may or may not have a great depth of concern for.

I would certainly pull them out of the path of a truck. But I might not take them chicken soup if they were ill. That sounds very mean. But it’s not meant to be. It’s not that I don’t care about their health, it’s that they are not on my radar of cares of the day. Nor am I likely on their radar either. So how exactly did God intend for us to love one another?

What is our level of compassion for those outside our immediate family and friends?

For me I only had to think about 1 John 4:19 for a split second before I realized that before I knew God, before I realized what He did for me and when I was just floating around in the world like a bubble on a summer day without concern for my soul or anyone else’s… He loved me.

He loved me when I was out in sin and behaving in a manner that would have made a sailor blush. Yes, I was that kid. I grew up fast when I married and had children, but I still didn’t know Jesus and was as filthy rags, and yet He loved me. He maneuvered my life to get me into a position to hear the gospel in a miraculous way that has me in awe today. He uses me even yet today when I still fail Him miserably.

Now… I ask myself that question again about the people I don’t know. “Shari, do you care?”  I asked myself that question about the people I’m pretty sure I don’t even like. “Do you care?”

I ask, because at any moment God could have given up on me or never thought enough of me to waste His time and yet He did.

This morning I was convicted by this thought because there are so many hurting people that I know via ministry and social media that I don’t care enough about. Ministry isn’t just to the pretty, easy to love people. Its’ for all people. Even the sometimes ugly, grouchy, negative, arrogant,  drunk and drugged up people. The latter of which I have an easier time loving. The grouchy, negative, arrogant people not so much.

I’m wondering who might cross my path today that needs loved on? I’m wearing a new pair of white jeans… I wonder if I’m willing to get them dirty. Isn’t that how we decide?

I have a doctor’s appointment for my knee this morning at 10 a.m. Perhaps it’s there that I’ll answer that question. Maybe it will be on social media, or maybe on an unplanned adventure. Like the one that got me saved.

The Power of Drama

dra·ma

/ˈdrämə (noun)

  • a play for theater, radio, or television.
  • an exciting, emotional, or unexpected series of events or set of circumstances.
  • A self-centered social media post for the purpose of inciting concern by others without basis, reasoning, logic or the realization that there are people with real problems.  – Definition added by the Jesus Chick

The Bible doesn’t say anything about social media, because it didn’t exist in those days, but if it had, Jezebel would have no doubt been an avid user and abuser of it. Her husband Ahab’s page, would have no doubt been filled with vile and self-promoting posts while Jezebel’s would have spewed hatred and slander towards God’s people, all of which would have been shared by her 850 followers (prophets which ate at her table). She would have no doubt intertwined those posts with her own drama and that of her sniveling man. #IneedNabothsVineyard #NabothWontGiveMeWhatIWant #JezebelsMyWoman #ImGoingToBedUntilIGetMyWay

That same nauseous feeling I get when I read the story of Ahab and Jezebel killing Naboth because he wouldn’t sell Ahab his garden (which was a family inheritance), is the same feeling I get when I scroll the drama on Facebook.

Now granted, no one is killing anyone for a plot of land. Or at least they’re not posting about it. But they’re still stirring dung for the purpose of inciting anxiety – be it in their friends or their enemies. And Christians are in the mix.

I read a post from a “friend” who was so traumatized because someone hurt her feelings that she felt compelled to post it on Facebook. It was one of those I’ve been hurt too many times to count, nobody loves me but my mom and even she doesn’t understand me posts. Insert rolled eyes here and tell me “What Would Jesus Do?”

This may not be the godliest of posts of my own. I’ve just really had it up to my eyeballs with Mr. and Mrs. Ahab’s drama. I need to know who told these people that their life would be without issue. I didn’t get that memo. And lest I get a stone back through my window, I can’t say that I’ve never vented on Facebook. But I can tell you those times are rare and regretful.

Drama is powerful

1 Kings 21:25 says of Ahab and Jezebel:

But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the Lord, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up.

Ahab had basically sold his soul to the Devil and his wife stirred him with a big stick. That’s what drama does. It stirs people up and not in a good way. When Ahab threw his temper tantrum on the bed (1 Kings 21) his wife’s solution was to kill a man because he wouldn’t share his inheritance. That seems crazy right?

What’s crazy is that that mentality is still alive and well. But because we have laws that frown on murder, people kill each other with words. So here’s a thought for you and I to ponder today.

Matthew 12:36

But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

That includes social media posts.

So perhaps my thinking is a little melodramatic. It’s not the first time I’ve been accused of such things. But I’m not bitter.

We’re really not killing people right? But we are killing the power of our testimony! If I see an unsaved person on a rant, I always try to remember that they are not privileged to have the Holy Spirit dwelling within to help them out. But the child of God is without excuse.

Our job is to edify the body of Christ and to point the lost to His saving grace. If we look back at our posts, how many qualify?

It’s a question I ask of myself today. How can I do more for the Kingdom, and less for the cause of Shari? And may I never be guilty of inciting anxiety in the world. There’s enough there already.

What About Your Candle?

Luke 11:33-36

33 No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light.

As I read Luke 11:33 my first thought was, “Where’s your candle sitting Shari?” I love scented candles. Not of the floral design, but those that cause a visitor to wonder if I just pulled some fabulous dessert from the oven. The one I’ve had wafting through the house this weekend is salted caramel. Yum! But what about the candle that was lit within my heart in 1996 when I accepted Jesus as Lord? How evident is that candle? And where is it sitting? That was the questions I ask myself. I’m so frustrated with my own service for the Lord of late. I’ve allowed so much to strangle my spirit and my spirituality has suffered.

Some would say, that’s life. But for me, that’s death. That exactly how Satan convinces his prey that we’re “fine.” You can’t be on fire every day. I’ve heard that said numerous times and it makes me want to puke every time I hear it, because it’s a lie of the Devil. While it’s true we all have down days, we’re just a heartbeat from settling into as a lifestyle. So what about that candle?

Good vs. Evil

34 The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness.

This verse reminds me of the children’s song

Oh be careful little eyes what you see, oh be careful little eyes what you see

For the Father up above is looking down on you with love, oh be careful little eyes what you see.

What we see and hear every single day effects our character and witness. “Be not deceived” God warns in Galatians 6:7.

I love, love, love bluegrass music. But after about the third song about someone’s cheatin’ wife being buried in the back 40, my mind is in a dark place. I have to shut that off and listen to some gospel. But there are days that I don’t shut it off. I just keep listening, and the stories go from killing her to killing himself with alcohol to get over her “Four ounces at a time.” Yes… I actually have that song on my play list. And I say to myself, I’m fine… yet evil won out.

Lead vs. Follow

35 Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness.

The “I’m Fine” theory is what lead me to a heart attack and open heart surgery. I did not take heed. I wanted to appear healthy in the world’s eyes. As I scurried about the church in my little “church lady” ways, no one had any idea that in the basement of my favorite place in the world I’d just had a heart attack. I was following the world and not the Lord. God had told me that I wasn’t fine. He’s done the same thing spiritually and I’ve ignored that too. Leading vs. following isn’t necessarily right vs. wrong. You can lead yourself and others astray, or you can follow someone in the path of righteousness. You can lead someone to Christ, or you can follow someone to Hell. Your mind’s eye and your ears have got to be tuned into Christ to keep the candle burning and your body filled with the light of His word and ways.

Light vs. Dark

36 If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light.

In the battle of light vs. dark, the light always wins out when given the opportunity. Darkness has to flee when light enters the room.

James 4:7 says: Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Glory to God, He wins! But the key to personal victory is our submission. The world is ready to fill you full of darkness through music, television, books, magazines, internet and any other means of media as well as people. It can all be evil, the same way it can be good. It’s our choice that makes the difference.

What are you filling your eyes and ears with today? Is it filling you with light or darkness? Is your candle burning brightly for the cause of Christ, or is it so dim the world doesn’t even see its flame?

Light the world for Christ today! Fill your mind, body and soul with everything good!

What Would Change?

Every Easter I run the risk of losing the whole purpose of the Holiday, which is to serve as a reminder of the price our salvation cost. It didn’t come cheap. It cost God His Son, and the Lord His life. Yet, I get so wrapped up in the labor of love for the church that I forget to take the time to celebrate the labor of Love from our Lord and Savior.

I had all but sluffed off blogging today as I had the past couple of days because I had too many other things vying for my time. Like laundry, chocolate chip cookies, vegetable soup and cornbread, you know… really important stuff. (insert rolled eyes here). Even as I write, there are reminders all around me of other things I’d planned on doing today. But what slowed me down was a video posted on Facebook this morning by Blake Shelton.

Now, for the record, I have a love, hate relationship with the show “The Voice” because of the immoral aptitude of the co-stars. Yes, I know it’s Hollywood, not the church, but I’m still entitled to my opinion. So imagine my surprise when I listen to a song that Blake wrote titled “The Savior’s Shadow.” (Link Below) According to the link, Blake dreamed the lyrics, awoke, and wrote them down and then composed the song during a time in his life when he was struggling. Struggles can bring amazing things out in us when we’re in a attitude to receive the Lord’s goodness.

If the “religious” crowd aren’t careful they’ll miss the lesson I received in Blake’s song.

When I read the title, my Jesus Chick feathers ruffled up and I was ready with a critical spirit to critique him like they critique the people auditioning for their show. But I smoothed my feathers out, and listened. With each word Blake sang, my heart melted. And not for Blake Shelton, but for the Lord’s work.

I was quickly reminded that I’m a sinner saved by grace, and the only reasons I have this platform and the opportunities to minister in song is because the Lord had pity on my soul and used me in spite of who I really am.

I had written a social media post a few weeks ago regarding another co-star of the Voice, Kelley Clarkson. I was so aggravated with her announcing her Christian faith one minute and then cussin’ like a sailor the next. I’m still flustered over it. To be given such a platform for Christ and then to damage the cause for which He gave His life in such a way, through the vulgarity that she knows to be wrong makes me sad. For Jesus and her. She totally trashed her witness.

And then there’s Blake. Who makes no profession of faith, openly drinks alcohol and boasts of his immorality, and then look what God did through him! Is Blake saved? Well, there’s “no proof in the pudding,” as they say, but it’s not for me to judge. He’s not much worse than his co-star and in truth, he’s not much worse than a great many professing Christians who see no need to be in church or relinquish their mouth and morality to the Holy Spirit. And if I look at the inward part of Shari… no worse than me. I may not openly sin, but I certainly have some parts of my life that aren’t pleasing to the Lord.

Matthew 7:3-4 says And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?”

I heard a story the other day of an art critique who was invited to critique a selection of inspirational art. He stood before a painting of Mary and the Christ Child. Mary was holding the Baby in front of a countryside and mountainous scene, but to the critique’s eye, everything seemed off. The faces seemed distorted, as did the mountains and scenery behind them. It was almost as if everything was painted from a different viewpoint.

The art critique decided to change his position of view, and so he knelt before the painting in the busy gallery. There on his knees he discovered that the painting was meant to be viewed from the position of prayer.

Oh that we would critique the world around us from the position of prayer before getting into our “godly judgmental stances.”

If rather than tearing down the people we come across in the course of day, we got on our knees and viewed them from the position of prayer and through the eyes of God, what would change about them and what would change about us? What would change about me?

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This blog is in it’s 8th year. Hosted on godaddy.com for the past five. Expenses incurred for the operation of this site are without complaint and with gratitude for the opportunity. If the Lord would impress you to give to help cover some recent technology issues, I’d be grateful. I’ve not been in the world’s workforce for 3 years and for that I glorify God. It’s given me the opportunity to not only write and work on music, but minister to nursing home patients, volunteer in the Christian School teaching art and help other ministries with marketing. All of which require technology, communication, time and gasoline. Again it’s without complainT… but just in case you have a desire to help, or have “extra money” 🙂 Know that I would be eternally grateful.

Here’s the Link

Better a Live Dog than a Dead Lion

Ecclesiastes 9:4

For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion.

The poppy eyed baby in the picture is my confidant, Senorita Izadora. She has yet to reveal any secret I’ve confided, unless she’s told the little Cuban we call Versace. He was rescue dog from Florida and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t speak English, so I’ll never know.  Izzi, and Versace as well, are small in stature, tending to have some issues etc; but one would think that they could take down a bear when someone knocks on the door or their bionic hearing picks up a noise only their ears can hear. They bark and growl and then the door opens and the intruder is greeted with Versace’s kisses and Izzi literally runs for cover, scared of her own shadow. They’re not nearly as ferocious as a lion, and they really don’t make me feel too secure, unless you count the fact that at least I can consider myself warned that there might be a danger.

We could learn from my puppy compadres. My two live dogs are of far more value than any dead lion. Yes, a lion is beautiful, until it decomposes. It’s ferocious, until it takes its last breath. Then it is of no more use than a trophy of a past hunt.

I’d love to consider myself a ferocious lion when it comes to sharing the gospel, but I’m not much better than my poppy eyed Chihuahuas. I’ve often ran to the door of opportunity and retreated as fast as I ran.

I have a great fascination with some of the ferocious men and women of the gospel: John R. Rice, Billy Sunday, Corrie Ten Boom, and others who have impacted the world for the cause of Christ. Although their fruit continues impacting the world, they themselves are of no more effect. No one can rest in the laurels of any of those people, nor can we rest in the works of our church in the past. There is a new work to be done. And for those of us who feel our attempts to share the gospel are at best feeble; our feeble attempts are far better than that of those gone on whose work is done. We must continue to keep warning the world around us that Jesus is coming back.

Izadora and Versace can’t defend me if an attacker comes into the house. But they can warn me to be ready. We can’t save the souls of anyone we meet, but we can warn them to be ready by accepting Christ as their Savior.

Let my little Izadora serve as a reminder that your Master needs you to warn His children!

I know you all love your dogs. And if you have a cute pitbull at home read this article about dog food options for pitbulls.

Your Sphere of Influence

172017

Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?

Job 38:31

I heard that verse preached too many years ago to count, but the scripture has fascinated me since.

There in the book of Job, the oldest of books in the bible, is an astronomy lesson and should be a “wait a minute…” moment for scientist who try to convince themselves there is no God. God is asking Job to remember who it is that has power over the universe, including Job’s life. In so doing God reveals hidden scientific truths which accurately describe the nature of the constellations and stars. We all know that I’m not a scientist, so I have to rely on researched facts by people of scientific know how. It is they (coldcasechristianity.com) who help me to understand that Plaeiades is a group of hundreds of stars formed from the same cosmic cloud, bound to one another by a mutual gravitational pull and compared to a flock of birds going toward the same destination, bound in unison just as God described them. That’s awesome wisdom right there!

Orion is a belt of stars forming a linear band at Orion’s waist. These stars are not gravitationally bound, but are headed in different directions, and yet in a straight line. Coincidental science? Not likely.

God uses these two illustrations in His conversation with Job to ask if he thinks that he can keep the stars that are supposed to be together, together; and those that are supposed to be apart, apart from one another. Of course he cannot. I can’t even keep my little life together. But God can! It’s another amazing fact about the God we serve that, He who controls the heavens, can certainly control our lives and our sphere of influence.

It amazes me the people that drift in and out of my life that are such blessings and were it not for the connection of Christ, drawing us into the same purpose, I would never have known them. Be it California, Philippine Islands, Papua New Guinea, Minnesota, New Mexico or Alabama, they are all worlds apart from West Virginia, and yet God caused their paths to connect with mine and now we form somewhat of a constellation on earth, traveling together, yet separate to the same destination. Each of us have an exclusive purpose for God and a sphere of influence that like those stars we are meant to draw into Christ.

Christ said that He would draw all men unto him if He would be lifted up from the earth. (John 12:32).

God certainly controls the universe and all that’s there in, but He’s given man freewill to go about life as they desire. There is for certain a draw toward Christ, but the great imitator Satan also has a draw of his own that draws men away from the Lord. God allows us to play the role of Pleiades and Orion by traveling in unison to Heaven but in separate places, separate spheres of influence, and yet one. That too is awesome wisdom!

So who are you influencing today and how? Who has God sent across your path to show them His glory?

Be awesome today!

There’s no light in the darkness

let your light shineI feel spring on the horizon, well… a few days ago I did; today it feels more like winter again in the State of West Virginia. A little sunshine goes a long way for the psyche. The warmth and light have caused the dead seedlings that I planted a few weeks ago to spring forth into green stems that will flower a little further down the road, and it all serves to stir my soul! Winter is hard on me emotionally. The dismal gray forest depresses me and the cold aches my arthritic bones and I feel old (ish). I’m not giving in yet! Our environment can drag us down or lift us up for sure!

While reading Luke 11 this morning my distractions were intense! Emails, phone calls, tasks at hand that needed done, laundry, dishes, etc. etc., you no doubt can identify! My environment is not always suitable for creativity. It’s not that anything was bad or wrong, it was just counter productive. I felt like I would take two steps and then slide back three. But when I determined that I was going to write it out… meaning that this scripture is on my heart and I need to unpack it, the distractions stopped and the stage was set for God to show me what I’d be taking on the journey of today.

Luke 11:33-36

33 No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light.

Those words cause my heart to sing “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine, this little light of mine…” Oh yeah… How awesome it is to be a child of God who is privileged to live in a country that we can still let our little light shine, even if it’s unappreciated by the world around us. But God said “Shine it anyway!!!” If the world doesn’t see it, it’s because they choose not to, but when you shine your little light you can’t help but illuminate yourself as well. If you’re not shining the light of Jesus then your life is filled with darkness, outward and inwardly and nobody needs that! Take heed…

34 The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness.

35 Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness.

36 If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light.

So for this time…I determined in my heart I was going to turn off the darkness. That’s an odd thought, is it not? Turning on or off a light makes sense, but the thought of turning off the dark takes a little more to process. But it was an easily understood concept for me when I realized that the things that had my attention were causing me stress, taking my mind to a place of unrest and God wasn’t in that, it was dark. So when I opened up God’s word and began to unpack these verses I realized that filling my mind’s eye with the Word of God, thoughts of the ministry, God’s goodness and purpose for my day, suddenly that switch to the darkness was turned off, and the light was turned on!

When the world denies Christ, they choose to let the dark stay on. Because the Word of God is a light and it shines brightly to illuminate even the darkest of places if someone is willing to listen. With spring comes sunshine and colors springing forth from the muddy ground that messes my floors but it’s okay because I know that the outside is soon to be enjoyed and not annoyed. The lost have yet to figure it out. But if we keep our light shining, without negativity and judgmental attitudes, hopefully they’ll see and desire to let the light of God shine within them too!

Let your little shine!!!

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Life’s Laundry: What to do when the color’s run

CHICK LIFE 2

Funny thing about life… sometimes it’s not funny at all. There are days when I’m trying to sort the laundry of life and make sure that my thoughts are segregated like the laundry piles (lights, darks, heavily soiled, and the “good clothes). Perhaps that’s a little too metaphorical. So let’s do some laundry together and perhaps you and I both will get some things about life figured out.

The Lights and Darks

I have two sides… do you? There’s the church side of Shari. The light side. I love that side! It’s the side that gets to talk to Jesus, study His word, help His people, and do my Father’s business… it’s the side I honestly long for. And then there’s the dark side. It’s the side of me that fights with the light side for domination. I would love to bury it in a hole in the backyard. It’s distracting at best, it’s often times judgmental and desires only the best in life, no matter the cost.  I try to keep them separated, but they occasionally collide and the colors run. I’m trying to do my Father’s business and something shiny pops into to my head or onto the side of a web page…I’m trying to help someone and then that judgmental notion wonders if I should even bother, they won’t appreciate it…I sit down to study God’s word and then something more entertaining comes to mind… I start talking to Jesus, and it ends up being a “Dear God I’m stupid” conversation when I know God has something to tell me but He can’t get a word in edge wise for my rantings and “please forgive me’s.”

The Good clothes vs. the Heavily soiled

I don’t even let them touch! My husband David works at a job where he may sit in a truck all day on a computer, or he may step out of the truck and get doused with oil and various chemicals that make for some interesting stain removal, usually impossible stain removal. There is no way that I would allow those grimy duds to lie next to my Sunday Go To Meetin’ clothes. Sometimes…I do people the same way. Grimy beer drinkin’, cussin’ swarpin’ people that blaspheme God. What about the tribe of liberals that scream for everyone’s rights but believe that I have none as a child of God? They make me nauseous. How on earth can I witness to them, they shut me down before I walk in the door.

Did they? Or did my divisive thinking separate me from them before God could work His magic through the Holy Spirit?

I spend a lot of wasted time going over my laundry lists. The light and the dark sides, God knows both. Good vs. Evil, God loves both. All four require treatment.

The light side is in need of exhortation. Hebrews 3:13 reminds us to exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” We need the fellowship of other saints to encourage us to keep the dark side at bay because we’re still sinners saved by grace. I love that the writer said “while it is called To day;” meaning… don’t  put it off until tomorrow, because by that time somebody might have already fallen back into sin. We all can you know. The problem with the lights and darks is not that they’re there, but that they go untreated. We don’t encourage each other enough and we don’t confess to one another enough. James 5:16 says “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”  The proper way to treat the dark side is to bring it into the light. Not that the two should mingle, but that the dark is made known and then it loses its hold. But we’re afraid to tell our friends about our struggles with the dark side, so it bleeds into the light side until that side is dull and dingy. We need a good friend that is not judgmental, but righteous through the blood of Christ, another sinner saved by grace that know they too have a dark side. Do you have that friend? Are you that friend?

The good clothes vs. the heavily soiled require basically the same treatment. Non-judgmental Christians encouraging non-Christians. The difference would be in the stain removal. While a Christian’s stains are already removed by the blood of Christ, they simply need some freshening up; the unsaved person has sins that are in desperate need of removal but require pre-treatment. Before I can help an unsaved person become clean, I need to spend some time preparing my heart in prayer and preparing they’re heart for the Holy Spirit to do some work before I arrive.

My attitude can only reflect Christ if my heart does. They’ll only see Jesus if I act like Him.

I hope my laundry metaphor helped you today, it helped me to remember that I’m still a sinner, lest I look down my nose at a sinner.

Life on Trial

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I want to say to them, “Your body is a liar.” Those people I meet who fail to see the need for God in their lives. It’s no coincidence that a bad doctor’s report comes in and all of a sudden there is a need to know and speak to God. And even then sometimes that need is overshadowed by an unwillingness to admit they are dependent upon the Creator. As if that somehow means He doesn’t exist and that they are in control. I guess it may be easier for me because I know that I need somebody else to control my world, else it will spin off its axis and go hurling around hurting people, the same way I do if God doesn’t control me, my mouth, my mind and hands. You’re probably better… Me, I a mess on a good day.

1 John 5:10 says “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.”

That Witness

The intricate functioning of the body cries out that there is a Creator. To think that we one day just were? Come on! That an explosion would create emotion and conscience in the human and a lack of conscience in critters? That we evolved into who we are today, yet monkeys are still monkeys, and dogs and cats are still arch enemies, a rodent is still disgusting and a gnat is still a gnat. And why on earth would you even want to believe that at the end of time there is nothing? Where is the hope in that; or the intelligence? But I’m pretty simple. The Witness within me cries out for the Creator! I long to be in His presence and enjoy His company; I see the evidence of Him in my life and I see the lack of Him in others.

The Liar

He’s good at his job. He tells the wealthy they are self-made, the strong they are invincible, and the powerful that they are in control of their destiny. He tells the destitute that nobody cares, the poor that poverty is deserved, and the hurt and abused that staying is better than the unknown. He convinces the sick that there is no hope or need to search for it, and the well he makes believe that their health is completely controlled by their decisions. And then his breath breathes victory at their refusal to listen to the Witness within.

The Evidence

It’s around us and within us and it’s amazing! And the day that I accepted Christ and the record of God (the Bible) as the undeniable truth, the evidence became evident. I couldn’t look at anything and not see God. Science has proven the same theory when unbiased scientist search it out. The liar screams and the stillness of God sets in the heart of a Christian and they are at peace when the whole world is chaos. Explain that without God.

Are you searching for evidence? Look in the mirror, God created you in His image and likeness, don’t you see it? Are you a child of God? You are the evidence that someone is looking for, what is your testimony saying?