Getting in Tune with God

chick tune

Life… every time I think I have a handle on it, God speaks to me as if to say “Really?”

Twice this morning God brought to my thoughts Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Trust… I think I trust Him, but then I’m not sure if I even get it. If I “trust” Him, why am I always trying to fix life? Why can’t I just wait for Him to open doors instead of picking the lock? Seriously? That’s a good thought. It’s just a shame I don’t take my own advice. I’m still blaming Eve. If she had trusted God and not eaten of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, my life would be so less complicated. Just think about it… not having to live life by trial and error. That goofy fruit really messed things up, rather than having the mind of God, I now have the mind of me… that’s seldom good.

Lean…What must it have been like to literally lean into the bosom of God? I think of the Apostle John who said in John 13:23 “Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.” That always cracks me up! I read it as if he says… “the one whom Jesus loved… He liked the others. But I was His favorite.” But how wonderful would it have been to have sat with Jesus face to face and had a conversation where the Lord’s advice wasn’t a guessing game as I so often feel it is now. I know… the Holy Spirit is within me, and if I was really the Jesus Chick I’d know what He wanted me to do. Well you’re right and I do know what He wants me to do, He wants me to trust and lean but not upon my understanding, upon His. It’s the human perception that causes the error… that doggone smarty tree again. The one of good and evil.

Hindsight is always 20/20. God wasn’t trying to keep Adam and Eve from enjoying life; He was sparing them the full weight of reality.  Reality bites. Reality is where lust replaces satisfaction. What God had for Adam and Eve was perfect and what Satan introduced them to was doubt. Genesis 3:1b Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”

That same lingering doubt is in my mind today… Is that really what God wants me to do? Its then that I must

Acknowledge… Just admit that you can’t go it alone. Adam and Eve were not created to walk in the garden alone, they were created to walk in fellowship with God. He had their path laid out for them until Satan entered the scene and created paths, in the plural sense. God’s way was and still is “one way.” John 14:6Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

In order to get back into fellowship with Him, He created that path home which I took in 1996 when I acknowledged that I couldn’t go it alone and that I needed Jesus in my life. I still have self-will, which is what gets me into trouble and causes confusion. Life isn’t a guessing game when it comes to decision making. We don’t have Jesus face to face, but we do have Him heart to heart. If I’m not hearing the answer to the question I’m asking, then my heart is not in tune to God’s heart and I need to tune it up through the Word of God and prayer.

I hope today finds you in tune!

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Stop! in the name of Love

chick stop

Last night I taught our teens from the Francis Chan study on Crazy Love and managed to heap huge conviction upon myself. I hate that! But it’s necessary in your walk with Christ to look at life through the eyes of God, not the eyes of self. I measure up pretty good next to me… as a matter of fact we’re dead even. But line me up next the disciples, or Who we should be lining ourselves up to (Christ Himself) and I’m not so hot. I fall far short of who I should be. I don’t fall in to the completely lukewarm category but I have tendencies that no doubt make God’s stomach queasy.

Going through the motions:

Isaiah 29:13 says “Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:”

Does that not describe the church of modern day to a tee? Everybody’s a Christian (just ask them) but their lives certainly don’t back it up. SMO’s. “Sunday morning only folk.” If you’re one of them, I’m about to get on your last nerve. If we feasted on food like we feast on the word of God you could count our ribs. It’s truth. How on earth do we expect to survive in perilous times, when the only thing that’s going to get you through is the promises of God? And we don’t’ have them. I’m so proud of my group of teens at our church. Wednesday night we’re packed out! But the truth is, we could do better. That’s why I’ve been doing this Crazy Love series with them. I don’t want lukewarm Christians in my class, I want crazy kids who are sold out for Jesus Christ and they don’t care who knows it. I want them to look at their friends and understand if they don’t tell them about Christ, there’s a good chance no one else will either; and the end result is their friend will go to Hell.

Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 7:2It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.” A funeral is better than a party? Yes, because a funeral brings the reality that our lives are like a vapor.

James 4:14

Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

If we lived what we say we believe we’d be telling someone about Christ. As a gospel singer I’ve sang at a great multitude of funerals. They’ve not all been for saved people. As a matter of fact the very first funeral I sang for was for a lost soul. His family asked me to sing “Hello in Heaven,” because it was too late for the one whose funeral was being held, but it was not too late for the rest of their friends and family. That was a real eye opener for me as a young convert. I’ve been blessed to be among a congregation of people who try to live for Christ. We all fail. Daily. But we’re trying.

I encourage you to live for Jesus today and tell someone about His saving grace before it’s too late. Live the crazy love that we’re taught the disciples lived.  God likely will not ask you to give up everything you own and serve Christ, but are you willing to use what He’s given you to serve Him? What friend or family are you willing to let go to Hell? You’ve likely said none… but what are you doing to stop it?

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Not what the world expects

ent

chick pizzaI always stand amazed that God would choose use someone such as I in the ministry.  I’m not saying I’ve achieved greatness, but rather that it is great that He chooses to use me at all. Growing up in rural West Virginia often put a complex or stereotype on youth of not being able to achieve greatness due to the isolated conditions of the area. I use that in past tense, because with the media means available today someone in the deepest jungle could be discovered, but that was not the case when I was growing up. When someone from West Virginia made it big, it was big deal… it still is in my world.

I visited my friend Gloria last night for a girl’s night of watching “The Voice,” and low and behold there was a West Virginian on the show. Cody Wickline of Beckly, West Virginia sang the old country standard “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” turning four chairs with his old time country sound. For the record I was not country when country wasn’t cool… I’m still not too country. But this boy certainly deserved the spotlight last night for this talent. Now back to the Bible…

It’s one thing to get noticed on a Hollywood platform, but it’s humbling to get noticed out of the throne room of God. I’m glad that God’s chair doesn’t turn on talent. The world’s standards are not God’s standards, Hallelujah. God’s are much higher, yet He’ll reach much lower to bring us up to His standards.

David sang in Psalm 8:1-2

O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens. Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.

Nobody expected David, the little shepherd boy, to slew Goliath that day in the meadow. On the contrary, when he donned that shield they expected to be holding his funeral the next day. When his dad sent him with cheese and bread he didn’t send him to fight, he sent him as the Pizza delivery boy and messenger. But in 1 Samuel, Chapter 17 we see the making of a somebody…

Verse 12 says  “”Now David was the son of that Ephrathite of Bethlehemjudah, whose name was Jesse; and he had eight sons: and the man went among men for an old man in the days of Saul.” David was the youngest of eight sons, a babe, not a warrior but a shepherd. He was not expecting to make the stage that afternoon when he delivered pizza, but when he seen Goliath making a mockery of Israel, the passion that God had planted down inside of him bubbled to the surface when he ask his brothers “Is there not a cause.” (V29) Sure there was a cause, but it was not theirs to fight. God was about to make a somebody out of a nobody.

David’s my hero of faith for a number of reasons:

  • Because he was failure and God still used him. (Because of his heart)
  • Because nobody had a clue what was going on inside of him (But God did)
  • Because he’d been practicing for battle behind the scenes (in the country with critters)
  • Because he was anointed (And even then he was the last one picked)
  • Because his army was made up of society rejects (1 Samuel 22:2 – distressed in debt and discontent)

David was a man after God’s own heart before he was even a man. God’s “chair” turned in my life the day I accepted Him as Savior. As a young Christian I told I was peculiar. I’m not a Bible Scholar by any stretch of the imagination, but God has spoken messages to my soul long before I started a website. God made me rehearse singing when the world said I couldn’t so that when I stood on the platform the very first time and opened my mouth the congregation of the Lord was shocked that I could sing… and so was I. I still am. God doesn’t use the expected. When the apostles began teaching and preaching the religious crowd was shocked because these “ignorant and unlearned” men spoke with such confidence and intelligence. Babes, the whole lot of them, regardless of age.

So… what’s the world telling you this morning? Sing God’s song, walk the path He’s chosen and step out of pizza delivery mode to become a warrior. That’s His message to me this morning. What about you?

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Trend that Twitter

chick crown

I watched the news for a brief moment this morning and then, as is typical with me, grew weary of the pomp and circumstance of their viewpoints and political correctness. My heart breaks for victims of our societal woes and then ten second later you’re drawn into all the hoopla of Hollywood. We’re a messed up nation! The Oscar awards have certainly taken precedence over all media outlets with the award winners using their night of fame to further their cause or agenda. I guess it’s their party, but if it were mine I’d want to tweet something that had the tenacity to last. #OnlyHisAwardsMatter

There’s going to come a day when political correctness and the personal agendas come to a screeching halt. When the arrogance of man stands in humility before an Awesome God.  When those who are wreaking havoc on the world in the name of any other god will come face to face with the One and only God, Creator and Lord, Jesus Christ. Whew! That’ll preach won’t it. Tweet that Twitter!

We’ll have our own awards ceremony someday, but I doubt any of us will be touting our own agenda. No, we’ll just be so glad to be on that platform we’ll likely utter nothing more than “Oh God…I’m so glad I made it.” There will be no accolades as to how we made unless it’s made it through the fire.

If we want our award day, here’s what’s available:

THE SOUL-WINNER’S CROWN – Have you led another to the saving grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ? If you have, you’ll have the Crown of Rejoicing!  2:19: “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?.” I had the privilege of posting a picture of a very well loved retired Pastor in our area on Facebook the other day and immediately people whose lives he had touched began to post and share what his work in the gospel had meant in their lives, That will be a fraction of what he’ll experience when Christ crowns his head with the soul-winners crown! Glory to God, that’s exciting.

THE CROWN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS – Do you look forward to Christ’s return? I know people who dread it. They’re not ready and their families are not ready and they know it. And yet they continue to live their lives as if they’re promised another day, week, year to be prepared.  2 Timothy 4:8 says “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” Don’t lose out on this crown, strive to see your friends and family saved so that Jesus’ return will be a Red Letter day on your Calendar.

THE CROWN OF GLORY – Have you been a teacher or preacher of the Word of God? All the investments of time and money into making the gospel come to life and some days feeling as if it was for naught and that you’d like to crown somebody (but not in a good way). Well, your reward will come. Nothing done for Christ returns void and nothing done for Christ will go un-noticed. Your crown is waiting! 1 Peter 5:4: “And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.”

THE INCORRUPTIBLE CROWN – Have you ran a good race? Life is full of competition where we’ve been beat down and  beat out for that award, job, position in life, etc.; but there is one race that everyone who runs well will receive the prize regardless of position. In this dog eat dog world that makes my heart smile this morning! 1 Corinthians 9:25: “And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.”

THE CROWN OF LIFE – People who endure suffering, knowing there is a better life in the world to come. The Oscars, Grammies, Emmys and Tony awards will never make it through the fires of God’s testing. But our temptations and trials will become a trophy of grace through the crown of life  we’ll receive in Glory. James 1:12 says  “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.”

 It’s a Promise!

Matthew Henry was quoted to say “We only bear the cross for a while, but we shall wear the crown to eternity.”

Tweet that Twitter. #Hashtag that World.

Weary child of God… your crowns await.

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A God Like that!

chick awesome God

It never ever ceases to amaze me how God speaks to us through the Bible. It’s like sitting across the table from the Lord in the morning having a  conversation over coffee. This morning there was a  time of  refecection and laughter. I’m frustrated with myself that  I don’t dig deeper and know more. I prayed  to hear from Him, I needed to hear from Him, no more or less than any other day, but I need  to know  what He’d have me to know for the day, and that lead me to Genesis 1. Thirty one verses… just like the longest month. All about days and nights and the fact that God is and always has been.

He spoke life into existence from the beginning. He spoke it and He controled it. When there was darkness He spoke light, and then gave it a time frame for which to shine. He placed the earth on its axis that even the slightest degree could cause cataclysmic disaster and He holds it just so. When the arrogance of the world He created alludes that they are in control… things happen. When my own worlds seems spiraling out of control, He reminds me that it is not. And I am humbled that the God of all creation speaks to me in such a manner.

Genesis 1:1-2

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.  And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters and He continues to move through the Living Water today. Why is it so hard for us to imagine that God can resurrect the dead when He brought to life the earth from nothing, and it would still be nothing if God had not made it to be life. It’s not hard for me to imagine God moving over the face of the waters and in animation far greater than any Disney movie I see lightings and thunderings as from beneath the surface life begins to take form. That’s kind of how it was for me when life began to take form in this dead body of mine.

When I attended church on February 18th, 1996 (this is the weekend of my 19th birthday as a new creature in Christ!), it was that day that I felt the Spirit of God stir the Living Water in my soul. I heard Christ knocking on the door of my heart. I knew His voice and when He spoke my soul came to life. I fought that feeling for literally months, not wanting to confess outwardly that inwardly something had happened. I was a church girl… it should have happened years prior! But it did not. I knew in my heart there was a God, but I didn’t understand the concept of Jesus.

If we’re honest it takes very little imagination to believe that there is a Creator. Because the earth bears witness to it. But it takes humility to understand that the same God who created us, would die for us.  That makes no sense. Scripture speaks truth when in Romans 5:7-8 it reads “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.

In a revival sermon the other night, Preacher Carroll McCauley spoke of the sermon that Peter preached on the day of Pentecost when 3000 got saved, and asked us to imagine the soldier who stuck the spear in Christ’s side coming forward and asking Peter, “Would Jesus save me after what I’ve done.” Yes… would be Peter’s response. The soldier who spit in His face would follow and asked again, “Would He save me?” Yes… would be Peter’s response. The man who drove the nail would come and ask, “Even me?” Yes would be Peter’s response. We can’t imagine a God like that…until we feel Him moving in our souls and hear Him speak… I did it for you too. Oh Glory to God what a thought this Sunday morning! He still moves upon the Water!

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A Trip to the 7-Eleven

chick saturday

We don’t have a 7-Eleven in our neck of the woods, nor any other large chain of stores. We’re about as rural as rural gets before it gets to frontier. You can’t always “have it your way” in Calhoun County, West Virginia, sometimes you can’t even get it! It’s a small price to pay though in my opinion to live in a neighborhood where everyone knows everyone and when the emergency services scanner goes off with directions to a home, somebody around those parts knows who to pray for. But another fact of life in our area is there’s little anonymity, possibly none.

As I read about the Corinthians that Paul had written to, anonymity wasn’t the case for their sins either.

Sometime around the middle of the first century, Paul traveled to spread the word of God at which time he traveled to Corinth. The level of wickedness in Corinth was as bad or worse than America, if you can even imagine it. A check list of issues was

  • Pagan altars
  • Idol worship
  • Worship of other gods
  • Prostitution
  • Blatant sin
  • Rejection of God
Hmm… Sound familiar?

The Jewish population of Corinth rejected Paul’s teachings, so the apostle turned his efforts to the Gentiles and thus the church of Corinth was born. One of the many sins of that day today was the lack of morality. Men and women alike did not honor their marriage and even weak members of the church were involved in affairs on a regular basis. But repentance did come for many.  Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 7:11  –  For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.

A lesson in life from the 7-Eleven. We all struggle with sins and temptations, some to a greater degree than others, especially if your exposure to sin has been greater, then there’s more tools in Satan’s tool box to work against you. But here in this text we find the “overcomer’s club!” They’d fought the battle and won the victory.

Because of their:

The godly sort – the repentance of the Corinthians was genuine. And with it brought evidence of their desire to live for Christ.

Carefulness – to avoid the sins that had drawn them in and away from God. Oh that we would be more careful to avoid the pitfalls of sin through the company we keep and the exposure to multi forms of media. Sin is everywhere… oh be careful little eyes what you see, for the Father up above is looking down in love, oh be careful little eyes what you see.

Clearing yourself – That carefulness to avoid sin, and striving for a relationship with God brings a clearing of the air! There is nothing between you and the Holy One in Heaven.

Fear – A godly fear. A fear of falling back into the ways of sin that so “easily beset us.” God puts that fear in us because He knows without it we’d be prey daily.

Vehement desire – He also put within us a desire to know and serve the living God. You generally don’t know what it is until you’ve found it. But I believe there is a hole in the heart of every non-believer that draws them to the throne of God. They may reject it, but God said He would be lifted up to all men. John 12:32 says –And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

Zeal – Salvation and repentance brings a zeal, a fervor that can only be satisfied by telling the world about Jesus.

Revenge – The ultimate revenge against Satan is a soul on fire for Christ that robs him of the opportunity to steal other souls from God.

Clear of that matter – we cannot work for salvation. But we work to draw out minds into the goodness and wholesomeness of God and away from the sins of the world that will find us clear of the matter. I envision a long spiraling climb and finally reaching the peak of the mountain to where you can see clear from above… oh Glory… to be in that spot. Above the sin and reproach that Satan loves to lay at our feet.

March on Christian soldiers! Love ya! If   I encourage, please! share my blog with others.
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Why Baptist don’t do lent… and other things

chick dance

Baptist don’t drink, dance, cuss or chew… okay, yes they do. They’re either really bad at hiding things or they just don’t care. Or perhaps they consider themselves liberal Baptist. Is there such a thing? Yes… they’re called backsliders. Oh dear, did I even go there? I’m not going to get into a debate about the morality of those things or any other things, or get up on a Baptist high-horse and say those things are the ruination of a nation. The ruination of our nation is a sin problem… enter your sin here [          ]. We’ve all got them. So what does that have to do with why Baptist don’t do lent?

Here’s my theory. And this is the theory according to Shari and carries no weight in the world, but I found it to be an interesting thought this morning, encouraged from the Facebook post of a friend of another denomination who was giving up social media for 40 days. My first thought was… God bless her! I’m glad I don’t celebrate Lent, or I’d feel bad. Because I’m a social media junky. I have a love/hate relationship with people disciplined enough to give up the things they love for a period of time. Because for me this is a big spiritual issue. I know there are things that need more discipline in my life and those people make me feel bad. And then to counteract the guilt I have about them, I think about the legalistic people who do “things” 365 days of the year and look down their religious noses at failures like me and I don’t feel bad anymore about not “doing” something. Because Jesus is not about the doing.

So why don’t Baptist do Lent? I personally think it’s because it’s a little too Catholic. I’m not going to get into a denomination bashing blog. I’m not about that. Do I think there will be Catholics in Heaven? Yes. So long as they get there the way Jesus said. But much of the Catholic faith is based on ritualistic living and not Christ relational living and that’s just wrong any way you look at it from the Bible perspective.

Now, back to my failures.

In Luke 4:1-13 we read that the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness for forty days of fasting and temptation in much the same way God led the Israelites into the desert for forty years of wanderings. Lent is forty days of self-denial, although I don’t see any one doing it on the level of Christ. (Luke 4:1) Cut off from all of society, no Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. #HashtagAreYouSerious? (4:2-4) In the wilderness. #HashtagItsCold&BearsBite! Tempted by Satan, without preacher and church support.  #HashtagSinWaitingToHappen? Without food. #HashtagDoYouDeliver? (4:5-8) No Position in life. #HashtagIt’sNotAboutMe? (4:9-13) Facing the temptations of life without giving in. #HashtagDidIJustDoThat?

Lent is serious business. And I respect the decision of those who determine to do a Christ honoring denial of something. It’s not a Baptist thing… it’s technically not a Methodist, Catholic or Episcopalian thing. Anything that we give up in honor of Christ is a child of God thing. It’s not necessary, its “another way” to worship. The issue comes when it’s done for discipline sake and not relationship sake.

The harsh reality for me is I could use some discipline in my life in a number of facets. Building a relationship with Christ is a 365 day trek in the wilderness. Satan doesn’t limit it to 40 days. For those of you celebrating Lent, I love you… but you’re making me look bad. I pray today finds us all in relationally living with the Lord Jesus Christ. Do you know Him? Contact me if you don’t, I’ll show you where to meet Him!

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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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Unpacking the warmth of mercy

chick mercy

PSALM 18 

1I will love thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.

I strummed across my guitar this morning and the words of Psalm 18:2 came to mind. I had been awakened by frustration this morning. Dreams that bothered me, sins recalled, failures always at hand to rehash and reminisce and cause defeat. Satan’s an early riser. But as I brewed the coffee and came into the living room I began to shake off what Satan had laid on my shoulders and though he’s still lurking about seeking to devour my day, I’m determined to get in the mindset of victory. I’m counting on mercy. I don’t deserve it, but I need it. And God is the only one who is worthy to provide it.

I Love Him so

So I love on Him this morning. I praise Him in song. There’s a line in a Claire Lynch bluegrass song that says. “At my last swallow of coffee I’ll just sit here in your presence for a while and let Your Spirit come and move all over me.” And so I did, except its likely not my last swallow of coffee, I’m just getting started. But I needed to tell the Lord that even though I fail Him, I love Him so. And I’m so thankful for that precious, precious Spirit that sits with me this morning.

My Rock

Never moving. Ever there beside me. The world may walk out on me, but from the day Christ walked into my heart He hasn’t move.

My Fortress

Nothing gets in unless He or I let it in. It’s me who has caused the breaches to need repaired as in the days of Nehemiah. I’ve allowed sin or doubt to break down the fortress that God has created for me. But praise God it’s repaired through repentance and dependence on what my God can do.

My Deliverer

Even from my dreams this day the Lord swooped in and removed me from those thoughts. Through His grace and mercy He stands ready to fight my battles and rescues me just as the Prince for which I dreamed of as a little girl. I knew He was real…

My God!

Oh to utter His name brings job into my soul because I know what it was like without Him. I remember what it was like to feel as if I didn’t belong anywhere. Even now I struggle with “belonging.” I need it, and He knows I need it and every time I get that feeling that I just don’t  fit anywhere in this world, my God come by and says, “that’s because you’re not of this world.” And my world is righted once more.

My Strength

I’m as weak as house cat on my own, but through my Lord I have the strength of a mighty lion. Roar!

My Trust

Is in Him alone.

My Buckler

Shielded from those fiery darts that Satan likes to hurl at me. I occasionally like to peek on the other side of the shield just to see what’s going on. That’s when I get into trouble. I don’t need to see what’s going on in the world, I need to focus on the world that God has given me.

My Horn of Salvation

O glory! Like the bull who makes his way through the streets of the city to fight the matador! But Christ never loses a battle and He will pound into the ground the enemy that comes against us. That is the Horn of my Salvation!

He is worthy, and I am safe.

There’s a lot packed into those three small verses. And through my unpacking of them this morning I know my day is covered. I hope that you were blessed by the Word of God… I hope that you praise Him for He is worthy and I hope that you are shielded in His watch care and salvation today.

((hugs)) from the Jesus Chick this morning!

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But Now… Stop your worryin’

CHICK NO WORRIES

Child of God or no, there are very few people that I’ve ever met that didn’t worry. If any really? Some call it “concern” and in the spiritual sense I get that. We know that God has this world under control and that nothing occurs without first having His stamp of approval on it. But when you’re in the thick of heartache and trouble, serious “concern” has a way of creeping up on you.

Isaiah 43 is looking at the release of the Jews out of their captivity and looking even further than that to the redemption of them and us through the Lord Jesus Christ. Verses 1 through 7 are filled with great promises for us to cling to when Satan is whispering in your ear… “you’re  goin’ down.”

7  Promises in Isaiah 43

1 – 1But now thus saith the Lord that created thee,

If God can speak the universe into existence, is there anything He cannot do? Yes… lie.

O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for 2 – I have redeemed thee,

On the cross of Calvary Jesus redeemed us, purchased every child of God with His very own blood sacrifice. As the teens and I studied the “Crazy Love” of Jesus Christ in our Wednesday night service a little girl came to know His saving grace. It was one of those nights where you could feel the Spirit moving and had absolutely nothing to do with me. God had shown up and anointed that class room with His presence before I ever opened my mouth. Two thousand years ago He redeemed little Theresa and planned it out so I could be there the day she came to understand.

3 – I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.

There’s something awesome in knowing that God owns me. I belong to the Creator of all the universe and He has plans for me. He called me for a purpose. It’s like having the CEO of the universe ring your number today and say, “Hey, I have a little something for you to do.” How cool is that!

When thou passest through the waters, 4 – I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

No matter the troubles we face, we’re going through. They cannot consume us for we are eternal beings in the hand of God. Many days I’d just rather not go through. I’d much rather go around. But I have yet to go through a trial where I didn’t see the purpose when I arrived on the other side. Every heartache and trial I’ve endured has allowed me to glorify God to someone later. It’s not fun, but if we didn’t have the bad times, we NEVER  appreciate the good times.

For 5 – I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.

When the children of Israel went through the plagues prior to leaving Egpyt, a great many Egyptians died. God didn’t take that lightly. He did not want those people to suffer, and He didn’t want the Israelites to forget that their freedom came with a high price and ours with an even higher price, His Son. The Egyptians were rebellious and refused to heed God’s request. Jesus willingly went to the cross with no sin of His own to pay our debt, because those whom He creatare precious in his sight.

6  – Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.

7 – Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.

He’s with us now and He’s going to bring all His children together someday soon. Oh glory!!!! That’s a promise that I love holding on to.