Tag Archives: Word of the year

The Search for One Little Word 2018

Every year I seek a word to focus on that will draw me closer to God. Last year my word was “pursuit.” And pursue I did. The answers and edification for understanding God’s purpose for my life, again. Little did I know that as I pursued God, Satan pursued my mind greater and greater. But, I survived with a few skid marks from my heels digging in as my pursuit often times turned in to God drawing (aka pulling) me forward when I would digress from the path of understanding. Distraction is not my friend but it’s always as close as one.

I’ve prayed for weeks now about my 2018 word. Actually the prayer would go something like this, “God, what is my word going to be for 2018.” To which I would hear “Hope.” And I’d say, “No God, I don’t think that’s it.” I’m sure He rolled His eyes. Especially the 100th time I ask. And so again today, I said, Lord, my word is late. Am I even going to have one for the year? And so I sat down to read and study His word. Not mine. It was then I picked up a book, gifted to me by my friend Anne. It had been signed by the Author Dr. Bobby Jones with scripture penned in the cover. And so I read his scripture references.

Matthew 7:7

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

Matthew 6:33

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

And lastly Romans 5:1-8

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Twice God tells me to seek; three times He mentions hope. Some may call it coincidental, I call it my answer. God probably was about ready to call me an idiot, though He likely wouldn’t because He’s nice like that. But my word for 2018 is shockingly:

“HOPE”

Hope in what? I praise His Holy Name that through faith I have access into His grace. I need it. A lot. Every time I doubt His design, fail to use His many gifts and neglect to praise Him as it’s due Him, I need grace. It is because of that grace that I have hope that I’ll have the opportunity to bring glory to His name in 2018.

I hope that through the 2017 trials and tribulations my patience will come easier and my experiences will be used to help others who may struggle as I do.

Finally, I’m so grateful that I can stand unashamed through the Hope of Jesus Christ Who has filled me with the Holy Ghost. It is through His Spirit that I find hope, peace and wisdom. I didn’t deserve it, but He was willing to go to the cross and die the terrible death that He did so that I could have a relationship, not just head knowledge, but a heart filled with love and the knowledge that the God of all, loves Shari.

My prayer for 2018 is H.O.P.E. – to Help Our People Evangelize. I want to encourage brothers and sisters in Christ, through music, art and the word of God to share the saving Grace of our Lord.

 

All Aboard! 2017 Is Just Ahead

2017-trainI struggled a few days in searching for my 2017 word. I wanted it just right! I wanted something that would cause my mind to go into motion, and in a positive direction when I heard the word. I pondered the word “potential” for a few days and I looked strongly at the word “purpose.” Both of which are mighty fine words and I still consider them to be sub points. But when pursuit came into my head it stirred up the imagery of chasing God’s plan, seeking His will in the direction of my life. Most of the time in scripture, if not all the time, pursuit is used in the form of “pursuing the enemy, as to overtake them.” I’ve felt like that’s been me for the most of my life, with my focus being on my enemy’s pursuit of me. Feeling I was about to be overcome; always on the brink of destruction. That’s a frustrating life to lead. It always wears me out!

So for 2017 I’m pursuing God. And the great thing about that is He’s pursuing me back! He’s not running from me, He’s running toward me. The pursuit is in seeking the next step of God’s plan.

Thus saith the Lord, which maketh a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters; Which bringeth forth the chariot and horse, the army and the power; they shall lie down together, they shall not rise: they are extinct, they are quenched as tow. Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

Isaiah 43:16-19 KJV

That new thing! That’s what I’m pursuing. Isaiah spoke to Israel about the flight out of Egypt, a time that they were being pursued and God drowned the enemy in the sea. For me, I want the enemy drowned in the sea of forgetfulness never to rise again or be remembered. 2017 is unchartered territories, it may be wilderness, rivers or dessert. But God will make the way if I seek His will for my life.

I’m in pursuit of purpose to reach my full potential in the Lord Jesus Christ. He, Who pursued me through the Holy Spirit, He Who erased my past and cast my sins as far as the east is from the west.

Pursuit doesn’t have to be your word for the year for it to be your plan action. I found the following quote in a recent study that said “Allowing God’s plan shouldn’t create more pressure, but rather lessen the burden to figure things out.”  I love that! If I stop looking backward, or steering forward, the pressure is off me for direction. Pursuing will hopefully look more like train ride. I just need to get on board and let the Engineer do the work. When it comes to a stop; get out, do the job at hand and then get back on board for the next adventure.

All aboard! 2017 is just ahead!

A Most Unusual Word

UNUSUAL CHICK

This was written in booklet form as a Wednesday night study for the Junior/Senior High Youth group at Victory Baptist Church, in Grantsville, West Virginia in hopes of giving them an encouraging word as we wind down 2015 and soar into 2016.

What truth we are living in as we see in the closing book of Daniel when the Lord says in 12:4

But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.

We are for certain in those days. The time is now that the world needs to see the certainty of the God of an “unusual people.

In January 2015 I prayed for and received a word that I could focus on throughout the year; that word was:

Believe!

I was pleasantly surprised how God would show me this word again and again in various forms and places through the year. So as the year closed and I began asking God for a 2016 word, He responded with what I consider to be a follow-up to 2015 ~ my 2016 word is:

Unusual

It’s fitting for me in more ways than I care to admit. But then I began thinking about the first time as a new convert I was said to be “peculiar.” I wasn’t offended. I knew it had something to do with the Bible, so I looked in my concordance and there it was… in all its splendor in 1 Peter 2:9 (as well as other places) – And as I had suspected it was a compliment, not an insult.

1 Peter 2:9

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;

God loves the unusual.

This year God asked me to share my word with you. We can see the world waxing colder and colder. As Christians it’s so very easy to put up a shield to protect ourselves from the harsh cold world. But what if we rather thawed the icy walls around us allowing them to see and have the living water of Christ Jesus our Lord within.

Those icy souls would be better viewed as snowflakes; beautiful and unique just waiting for the warmth of a child of God willing to do unusual things. Loving the unlovable, generously giving and sharing God’s word with boldness and an excitement bubbling from within that transcends the norm of what people have seen in Christianity. That’s my prayer for you… and me!  Let the world be normal… we’re an original masterpiece of God Who’s waiting to do something remarkable with us. Are you ready?

God loves the unusual

2016 WORD OF THE YEAR

UNUSUAL

In the book of Daniel Chapter 2 is an unusual story about an unusual man and a King who had an unusual request. King Nebuchadnezzar asked for the wise men to first tell him a dream he had dreamed (but couldn’t remember) and then explain the dream.

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Unusual Requests

Daniel 2:1-6

And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him. Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to shew the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king. And the king said unto them, I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled to know the dream. Then spake the Chaldeans to the king in Syriack, O king, live for ever: tell thy servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation.  The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, The thing is gone from me: if ye will not make known unto me the dream, with the interpretation thereof, ye shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made a dunghill. But if ye shew the dream, and the interpretation thereof, ye shall receive of me gifts and rewards and great honour: therefore shew me the dream, and the interpretation thereof.

That’s one strange request! And one that brought deadly repercussions if ignored. The world has unusual requests for Christians, do they not? They require explanations of us that they require of no other religion. They aren’t asking the Muslims to explain Allah, the Buddhists to explain Buddha or the Pagans to explain their unbelief. But we are called to explain everything about Christianity.6

  • Creation (How could God create it?)
  • Separation (why does God want it?)
  • Admonition (Why should we heed it?)
  • Exaltation (Why should we give it?)

Of no other religion are these answers being demanded. We serve an unusual God, and we are asked unusual requests because we are an unusual people. If we could be explained… no one would care. Our God is unusual and Awesome! And He expects His people to be unusual and awesome as well.

Exodus 19:5

Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:

Psalm 135:4

For the Lord hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure.

Titus 2:14

Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

1 Peter 2:9

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;

God treasures the unusual!

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We serve an Unusual God!

Daniel 2:7-11

They answered again and said, Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation of it.

 

The king answered and said, I know of certainty that ye would gain the time, because ye see the thing is gone from me. But if ye will not make known unto me the dream, there is but one decree for you: for ye have prepared lying and corrupt words to speak before me, till the time be changed: therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that ye can shew me the interpretation thereof.hey answered again and said, Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation of it.

The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, There is not a man upon the earth that can shew the king’s matter: therefore there is no king, lord, nor ruler, that asked such things at any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean. And it is a rare thing that the king requireth, and there is none other that can shew it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.

The King called their bluff he said “tell me the dream and I shall know that ye can.” As if to say, “prove you’re who you say you are.” God put this thought in Nebuchadnezzar’s mind because He knew the world would think that to be the strangest, most unreasonable request they’d ever heard. “Tell me a dream that you dreamed but can’t remember and then explain it.” That’s crazy. But Nebuchadnezzar was relentless, he said either do it or die.

To Shari quote this part of the story, the wise men then said, “Okay… tell us one more time what you want.”

To which Nebuchadnezzar replied “I know your game, you’re wasting my time.”

I believe that people who genuinely are searching for the truth, don’t waste time on false gods. It doesn’t take them long to see through false gods. But Jehovah God, Our Provider, Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, there’s something unusual about Him and they recognize it. But for many they don’t want to trade their control in for faith.

The “wise men” knew they couldn’t fulfill the King’s request. They told him that this was a “rare”, an unusual request he was asking. No person could possibly answer it, only gods without flesh. The answer to the King’s question would have to come supernaturally.

And God smiled…

He said you’re right. And it will come supernaturally through my man.

 

An Unusual Man

Daniel 2:12-18

For this cause the king was angry and very furious, and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. And the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain; and they sought Daniel and his fellows to be slain.

Then Daniel answered with counsel and wisdom to Arioch the captain of the king’s guard, which was gone forth to slay the wise men of Babylon: He answered and said to Arioch the king’s captain, Why is the decree so hasty from the king? Then Arioch made the thing known to Daniel. Then Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would shew the king the interpretation. Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions: That they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret; that Daniel and his fellows should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.

Daniel had wisdom and insight that was not afforded the other “wise men.” The King likely suspicioned the other wise men’s abilities, but Daniel had a supernatural connection to the dream maker through the power of prayer, his and that of his friends.

So when Daniel came to the King’s henchman and asked questions with wisdom, his reputation had preceded him. When going before the King to ask if he could make known the dream the King didn’t doubt him. The testimony of a child of God who lives their faith out loud is known throughout the communities for which they live. It’s unusual! Hypocrites are a dime a dozen.

The Christian testimony should be such that when problems arise people come to us for counsel. But unfortunately too many Christians live their lives in such a way that their counsel seems no different than any others. God needs us to be unusual.

***

 

Unusual Bravery

Daniel 2:19-25

Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven. Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his:  And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding: He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him. I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou hast now made known unto us the king’s matter. Therefore Daniel went in unto Arioch, whom the king had ordained to destroy the wise men of Babylon: he went and said thus unto him; Destroy not the wise men of Babylon: bring me in before the king, and I will shew unto the king the interpretation. Then Arioch brought in Daniel before the king in haste, and said thus unto him, I have found a man of the captives of Judah, that will make known unto the king the interpretation.

Did you notice that the scripture said “Daniel blessed the God of heaven. And it goes on to say how.

  • He prayed for God, to God, that He would be blessed by men forever.
  • He acknowledged where his blessings came from. For wisdom and might are his.
  • Daniel knew that God is the God of circumstance. Any season or reason in life is of God and He can change it in the blink of an eye. They’d come to kill Daniel, but soon they would adore him.
  • Daniel acknowledged that King Nebuchadnezzar did not get into the position of King without God’s stamp of approval.
  • And Daniel praised God for making known to him the meaning of the King’s dream

God chooses who it is that he elects to use. He controls the lives of the unsaved and saved alike, orchestrating their direction in life like the Puppet Master and the marionette.

After Daniel prayed he went to Arioch and said “Let’s do it.”

You better believe it would have taken gumption for Daniel to stand before the King. He’d already ordered them killed, Daniel knows he’s upset! But Daniel had confidence that the God he served had just delivered him the message that would divulge the secrets locked up within the King’s mind, a message that nobody could deliver.

Do we have that kind of confidence in God today? Do we believe when we hear a message like that from the book of Daniel that God is using it to ask us to step out with greater confidence? – – – We’re about to find out.

Daniel 2:26-30

The king answered and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, Art thou able to make known unto me the dream which I have seen, and the interpretation thereof?

Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, shew unto the king; But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these; As for thee, O king, thy thoughts came into thy mind upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter: and he that revealeth secrets maketh known to thee what shall come to pass. But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but for their sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart.

That’s what I always feel like when God chooses to use me in amazing ways. “But God, I’m no different than any other child of God… But He reminds me although that’s true, not all of God’s children are willing vessels for the cause of Christ. This word for 2016 is nothing as it’s spoken by my mouth, but when God puts it into action it can become amazing and used for God’s glory! The word “Unusual” may have been spoken by ordinary Shari, but that makes it no less significant for you should you decide to see what God can do with that word in your life in 2016.  It is for God’s glory that I ask you to be unusual.

Daniel told the King that he knew what his heart said. I make no profession of knowing your heart, only you will know what your own heart says about this word “unusual.” If you choose to take this message to heart I’m convinced that God will do amazing and unusual things with you, but you have to be unusual.

Daniel’s confidence level soared because he knew in His heart it was from God. He served the God Who was truth, and revealed the truth. The very same God we serve today.

2016 has some awesome things about to happen.

The day God gave me this word, within 30 minutes, Steve Boggs called to say Eagle Ranch Revival and Mission Center had just been given 50,000 dollars. – unusual things….

I’ve been feeling bad, but God says you’re going to be fine. I have unusual things to do with you.

Daniel told the King, I’m not anyone of any greatness, but I serve a great God who will use me anyway. You may say that “You’re just a kid from a little town in West Virginia.” God however thinks you’re amazing, but in order to go up, you have get down.

Matthew 23:12 says

And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

If we’re going to be used by God humility is required. There is a vast difference between confidence and arrogance. One is right and the other wrong. One relies on the power of self, the other realizes that without God we’re nothing but with God we’re everything! Make sure you walk in the confidence of the Creator. Daniel reveals the Lord’s message with confidence in the “Lord’s message” not his own wisdom.

First Daniel describes Nebuchadnezzar’s dream…

Daniel 2:31-45

Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible. This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.

Then Daniel interprets the dream regarding the future of the King’s monarchy… that’s the wisdom God affords.  What man cannot even imagine is but a small thing to God.

This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king.


Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.
And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold.  And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth. And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.

Daniel is a young man revealing great prophetic truths by trusting in the Truth that God has revealed to him. I’m not a prophet… I cannot say what your future holds except to say that it will have far greater things in store for you if you determine to be “unusual” for Christ.

This world will fall. But we serve a God who has created a world that will never fall.

Right now America is still an awesome land. We have power, strength and glory (though it’s fading). As Daniel spoke to Nebuchadnezzar he reminded the King of his greatness and the providence of God that placed him into that position. God’s providence still reigns in our lives, serving to get us where we need to be. He’s got a plan and we’re a part of it; that plan is to spread the truth of eternal life through Christ Jesus. A position that we take for granted. Ambassadors for Christ is not a position that God took lightly when He watched His Son being crucified for us to have it.

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An Unusual Position

Daniel 2:46-49

Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odours unto him. The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret. Then the king made Daniel a great man, and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon. Then Daniel requested of the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, over the affairs of the province of Babylon: but Daniel sat in the gate of the king.

God not only placed Daniel into a place of authority, but Daniel asked that his friends come along for the ride.  Daniel was put in a place to be elevated and used for that eternal Kingdom. And I believe that that’s why He has us in this place. I believe that God can do some amazing, awesome, unusual things with every one of us. And that we can bring our friends into that same blessing. But we have to (using the old Cliché) DARE TO BE DANIELS.

I would like to see every one of the youth in our ministry elevated into positions of greatness for the glory of God.  And God can do that. But you have to be a person of unusual character in the world today. When I say “dare” to be a Daniel I’m setting a challenge before you, because it’s not easy. Unusual means having a right heart, staying in His word, working in His house, having the right friends to encourage you and listening for His guidance in all things.

Are you ready to do unusual things for the God of glory?

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Questions to ponder

  1. Are you living your life in a manner pleasing to God?
  2. Would your friends seek your counsel?
  3. If God asks you to do the unusual, are you confident to trust in His ability to make it happen?
  4. What is it that speaks to your heart about Daniel’s unusual story?
  5. Spend some serious time in prayer asking God where it is He’d have you be unusual. What was His answer?

A paper copy of this booklet is available for $5.00, plus shipping cost of $2.00 via Paypal. For a copy please message me at talk2shari@gmail.com or message my phone at (304)377-6036.

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