Have you made your mark?

chick mark

I have many, many quirks and fetishes in life that makes me the strange person I am. One of them happens to be that I like markers. But not just any markers; I like markers that make a statement. Markers that leave a mark! What a novel idea. I like them bold, every color under the rainbow and I don’t want them to fade. I like my people the same way. Every path I’ve crossed in my life has left some sort of mark on me and I no doubt, even if they don’t appreciate my Sharpie analogy, have left a mark on the lives of others.

I’m sure when Frederick W. Redington and William H. Sanford, Jr. founded Sanford Manufacturing Company in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1857 they had no idea that their focus on producing glue and ink would one day explode into the creative masterpieces that have been accomplished by Sharpie artists. I’m likewise sure that when we get to Heaven we’ll have no idea of some of the people that we left a mark on. Apostle Paul told the Romans the Philippians that we were to mark two types of people, so get out your Sharpie dude!

Mark the Trouble Makers

Romans 16:17

Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

I can almost guarantee every church has got at least a few. While Apostle Paul’s marks were concerned with “offenses contrary to doctrine,” those who would change God’s Word to suit their own purpose, there are also those who (contrary to scripture) just love trouble. Those who love making statements that are sure to ruffle someone’s feathers, create dissension among the members or are just plain mean! It comes in the form of gossip, criticism, “correction” and oh so often in the form of prayer requests. Whether it’s changing God’s Word or causing God’s Word to be unheard when someone is upset, we need to mark those people and avoid them. While it’s impossible to avoid someone completely in most of our smaller congregations, we don’t have to linger in their presence either. Dispense the Christian niceties of “God bless ya sister or brother,” and move on down the aisle. Don’t give opportunity to fall victim to having your mind taken off the Word of God and placed on something that you likely can do nothing about.

There is the story of days gone by when an “adulteress woman” was marked with the scarlet letter “A” for adulterer. This for me is akin to what Paul is saying, only he didn’t say mark the sinner, he said to mark those who cause division among the saints, because that is serious business. It’s much like having an affair on Christ because you’re breaking His heart.

Mark the Tried and True!

Philippians 3:17

Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.

I’ve been blessed with a Christian lifetime full of “examples.” There’s likely not enough ink in a sharpie to mark those who have walked beside of me and been encouragers of the faith. Paul said to take note of those people, probably because we’ll need them again. I wish that I could send every single person who’s made a mark on my life a red Sharpie, but I’m sure I’d unintentionally miss someone. It’s more important for me to mark them along the way by telling them that I praise God they’re in my life. How about you? Got a Sharpie dude? Start marking!

Rededication – Getting back to God’s Plan

chick bethelIf I asked you this morning how your relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ is, what would be your answer? It’s not a comfortable question, because if we’re truthful, none of us are walking as close to the Lord as we should be. At the end of Wednesday night teen class last night all the teens had cleared out with the exception of a few girls who wanted to talk (such an honor!). One of those young ladies had made the decision to rededicate her life to Christ and her friend encouraged the way.   She wanted to put a marker down that she could look back at and say “This is the day I moved closer to Christ.” While the renewal of our mind should be an everyday occurance because of the garbage that travels through it in the course of a day, rededication is a more serious event. I think of it much like the time in Jacob’s life when he left home. In my mind’e eye I always picture him as a young man, but in truth he was past the age of retirement when he left his parents home heading toward Haran (Genesis 28:10). That puts a some what different perspective on his behavior and a certain need for a getting his heart right with God.

He’d lied to his father, deceived his brother, and his mommy made him run away at 70 years old… I think it was time. His first night on his own wasn’t in an apartment in the city it was on a hillside with a pile of rocks for his pillow and there he found himself with night dreams, visions and a lot of time on his hands. It’s those harsh nights that get me too. When your mind won’t stop reeling of the things in life that are not as they should be and darkness has a tendency to bring things to light… Like the need for a right heart with God.

Jacob’s dream: (Genesis 28:12-15)

And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. And, behold, the Lord stood above it, and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.

16 And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not.

For me that was the equivalency of arriving at church, and at the end of service saying, “Wow! I had no idea God hung out here.” I’m pretty sure there are some folks who still don’t know… but I digress. God had met Jacob there and he didn’t know until he awoke from his sleep. That’s the time of rededication! When you wake up and realize that God is trying to move in your life and you’ve been so far from God’s mindset that you had no idea. When He created us, He spoke a plan but then we get off track. As a child of God we all want it… you know… God to do something great in our lives, but we start going through religious motions. We can do it in our sleep. Don’t cuss, don’t chew, don’t date the guys who do (especially if you’re married), go to church, treat people right and so on and so forth. And then church becomes less of a priority, but we still treat people right! Jacob didn’t even do that. He likely felt as low as a snails belly! He knew he’d messed up.

God wanted to do great things in his life, but first Jacob was going to have to come to terms with God, on God’s terms.

Vs. 17-22

And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven. And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it. And he called the name of that place Bethel: but the name of that city was called Luz at the first. And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, So that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the Lord be my God: And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.

Jacob put that stone down as marker in Bethel (which means house of God) as a reminder that he and God and renewed their relationship in that place. Do you have to be in church? No, but it sure helps set the tone! My young friend had come to church last night with the need to lay a marker down. I can’t wait to see what God does with her life! She’s entering her first year in high school and was ecstatic that a church across the street from her high school was opened once a week by the senior class for a prayer lunch. A group of young people returning back to the place God began dwelling many years ago… What do you think might happen there? Revival!!!!! I hope.

Let’s all go to the Rock! Age doesn’t matter, but God needs us to get back to the plan.

Worshiping through Psalm 42

chick praise

I woke up this morning with worship on my mind. So thankful that God is tolerant when I’m not nearly thankful enough. Have you ever had those days? When you realize that God was worthy of so much more than you gave Him. In Psalm 42, David has been forced out of his place of worship by the enemy, and although he’s heartbroken and thirsty for the house of God, he finds a way to worship Him in that place of sorrow and fear. How can I,  who is safe and sound in my own home, who has the privilege and freedom of going to the house of God whenever I so choose fail to worship and praise Him. But I do. So this morning as I worked my way through Psalm 42, I added my own words of praise (those in blue)  that I’m sharing with you this morning. I hope you find time today to do a little praising and worshiping of your own. He is so worthy!!!

42 As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?

                Oh child are you thirsty this morning, does your heart within you pine

                To spend some time at the brook, with your Savior and Lord Divine.

                Do you long for that living water, do you thirst till all breath is gone

                Do you long to be in His presence, just you and He alone.  

My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday.Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.

                The tears from my eyes roll like rivers, but they satisfy not my thirsty soul

                The world continually asks, Where is thy God, and my sorrow takes its toll

                I remember the days in joyful praise with my friends at the church back home

                With joy I recall, and praise Him for all, He is my help, my hope, my own.

O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar. Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me. Yet the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the day time, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.

                It does not matter where I go, my Lord will meet me there

                The deepest waters, or the highest waves, He keeps me in His care

                In daylight or in darkness, He commands His presence be known

                There’s a song in my heart, and I kneel in prayer, for my life is not my own.

I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? 10 As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God? 11 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.

                There are times when I feel forgotten. I’m certain the enemy has won

                And again I hear, Where is your God? And again I’m at Your throne.

                Why am I bowed down in sorrow and restless within this soul of mine?

                Even still I shall praise He Who’s worthy, for my life is wholly Thine.

How To Find Strength For the Day

chick sense

I don’t know how it goes for you on the brink of a new day but for me it goes something like this.

  1. I wake up.
  2. Satan starts messing with my head.
  3. God says, “Shari, come to my room. He’s not allowed in here.”

Where’s God’s room? Just down the hall from mine. It’s a pink door with my name inscribed in gold, there’s also a black door, burgundy door, even a digital door. God’s high tech you know. It’s the Word of God, and in my house it can be found in various colors and forms and in my only preferred version, the King James. That for me is God’s room, the only place that I can make sense of the day and find strength for the day.

The writer of Hebrews said in the last verse of chapter 5, But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” (vs.14)

Exercised senses? I’ve been in the process of bodily exercise to try to reshape this shape of mine for a few months now and its hard work, especially for this aging woman. But the writer, who is believed by many to be the Apostle Paul, says that the strong meat (the Word of God) belongs to those who are “full age.” Those who have grown up! Those who have used the Word of God in a disciplined fashion to discern (recognize) good from evil.

There is some serious truth in that one verse (and all the verses proceeding and following it) But for the sake of this morning and getting you and I off to a good start let’s just unpack this one verse.

Carrying the Word of God is not for the faint at heart

Just like building muscle takes repetitive strengthening exercises, strengthening the spirit takes spiritual exercise and discipline. Being full of age has nothing to do with the physical age you are, but rather the spiritual age. How much weight can you carry? If the world were to heap a few thousand pounds of grief on you today are you prepared to carry the load? Not unless you own the gospel; and by own the gospel I mean that you walk in the confidence of the Word of God, having read your portion for the day, seeking the wisdom of God that you might walk in His strength.

Using the Word of God is not for the feeble in mind

Discerning good from evil is sometimes the splitting of hairs and at other times it’s the splitting of wood. Both are tedious, one takes focus, the other brute strength. The decisions you face today may take some serious consideration for direction, or the opposition you face today may take great strength to defend yourself. The writer to the Hebrews knew that when he penned verse 14. Many of them were trying to live life being spoon fed the gospel in the form of milk rather than meat.

They probably attended services…well at least once a week. But when they relied on others to give them the Word of God rather than reading and studying for themselves, it was like hiring their exercise out. Wouldn’t that be awesome! Yes, and totally non-beneficial. In many churches the preacher has to be as strong as an ox because he’s doing everyone’s fitness routine! It’s not until the body or day is in crisis that they turn to the Word of God, but because they haven’t picked it up in a month of Sunday’s it’s heavy and hard to understand. If they’d have read it every day the words would have built spiritual strength within them and the trials and troubles they faced could have been fought off with the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. Glory! That runs joy through my veins to think that in reading and studying even this one verse this morning God has strengthened my spirit!

Good and Evil. They’re both out there and one will win today’s battle. Here’s a few training exercises:

Isaiah 40:28-31 – STRENGTHEN YOURSELF (READ THE WORD)

Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

1 Thessalonians 5:14 – STRENGTHEN OTHERS (SHARE THE WORD)

Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.

And it never hurts to wear cute exercise outfits! Have a blessed day!

Don’t let unexplainable dreams halt God’s undeniable purpose

chick dreams

Restless nights… they’re a rarity for me. I have the gifted ability to fall asleep within minutes of laying down. It perhaps could have something to do with the fact that my overly active mind is either going to stop or explode. I shared a post on Facebook the other day that said “Having a creative mind is like having 2,857 web browsers open all at once.” I laughed… and then sighed. That was me for certain. Another sleep trait of mine is that if I dream, I seldom remember having had them. But not last night… it was a vivid dream with some well-known characters of my past and a few barely known. The setting was my Grandma Vada’s home place where I’d taken my own granddaughter Paityn. We were in an upstairs bedroom that I have such great memories of as a child. Two big ol’ iron beds that we bounced and laughed upon for hours on end; thousands of memories and secrets shared between cousins. But this day as I shared those memories with Paityn, or Princess “P” as we call her, some family members from the past came and halted the visit. I woke up frustrated. My mind reeled as I began to think of how those same family members “finagled” that property out of our family’s lives and that I would never really get to share that special time there with Princess “P”. And then I began to wonder about the power and purpose of that dream… who was behind it?

It seems the supernatural has a super attraction in the word today. What was once a comedic act of the Ghost Busters is today considered “science.” I’d roll my eyes but it would lose affect. Why is it that we’ll put stock in everything but the truth! People will believe that spirits can speak to them from another realm, but absolutely refuse to put any stock in the fact that the Creator of the Heaven and earth can speak to the hearts of man.  They’ll seek a soothsayer to interpret a dream or put great stock in Sunday’s horoscope, and yet the Bible full of prophecies fulfilled and promises never broken is considered an antiquated outdated book. Insert another eye roll here. Seriously? So again I question my dream. Why now did these people that I had long since stopped allowing to inundate my thoughts, invade my sleep? I stopped it right there. Why would I waste a second of time on a chapter in my life that had long since had the epilogue complete? Because Satan could distract my mind from the things in life that I have begun to write a prologue to. You see… God has some plans for my life that I’ve been thinking on a great deal lately, and I think Satan is feeling a little left out.

Dreams are very intimate events. If it’s something that captivates your mind when you awake it’s usually because it’s something meaningful at your very core. And Satan is so very good at core’s… Just ask Eve. I won’t put any stock in something that disturbs me as a sign from God.

1 John 4:1 says Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

And it is clear from Galatians 5:22 that the Spirit of God is not sent to trouble the mind when it says “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith.” So if there is a spirit troubling your soul who do you think is in charge of it?  These thing are heavy on my heart because I see so many people giving over to a spirit in their lives that troubles their soul

Spirits like:

  • Hurt
  • Sorrow
  • Fear
  • Anger
  • Bitterness
  • Envy
  • Pride
  • Slander
  • Jealousy
  • Murmuring
  • Backbiting

Oh that list could go on for miles, anything that stirs strife in your soul and takes your mind off of the things of God.

If I had allowed my mind this morning to give place to the thoughts that I awoke with, I can guarantee you the spiritual plans I have had on my agenda for today would have been washed away by the rain outside my window.

It doesn’t have to be a dream. You can be standing flat footed and wide awake and Satan will remind you of something that immediately causes strife in your soul. Again the scripture says in Ephesians 6:12 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

So when it comes to the spirit world (which is very real) don’t open up an avenue to Satan and his minions by thinking on or exploring “their” realm. God isn’t involved with them, so why would you want to be? Those who dabble with darkness just might get more than they bargained for.

Philippians 4:8

Finally,brethren, whatsoever things are true,whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever thingsare just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoeverthings are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

SOUND ADVICE FROM THE SOUNDEST OF SOURCES.

Don’t let unexplainable dreams halt God’s undeniable purpose.

I couldn’t un-see it

chick see

I watched a video on social media this morning of a three young teen age girls who had been intentionally duped by their parents and a make believe online predator. Each girl accepted a friend request from who they thought was a teen boy and agreed to a meeting. One left her home to meet him at a nearby park, another opened the door without so much as looking to see who was there and the most heart stopping was the third who got into a van with the twenty something man and ask where his brother was! The parents were there watching and shocked in horror that their children had fallen so easy to prey of what could have been a sex offender.

I unfortunately am not shocked. We’ve inundated our youth with garbage and filth and then we’re shocked that they skip childhood and go directly to “hitching up” online. Young girls were used in the making of the PSA for youth safety but young boys are just as much at risk. And for us “country” folk who still live in neighborhoods where everybody knows your name…the predators know it too. We’re not in Kansas anymore Dorothy.

Through the exposure of social media, television etc., young children, practically babies, are seeing women and men in lewd acts and because it’s right there on their living room, family or bedroom television, it’s now the norm. It’s as if they’re missing out on life if they’re not dating by age 12. My stomach rolled over when I wrote that.

Each one of those parents had had the “talk” with their children about the dangers of predators and online chats. It didn’t matter. The kids were reacting to what their minds had probably seen a thousand times on everything from cartoons to theater movies. They were well versed in “what should happen next.”

Social media is relatively new… this tool of Satan has been here a long time!

The oldest book in the Bible is the book of Job. And even Job knew he was at risk by being unable to un-see certain things.

Job 31:1-12 I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid? For what portion of God is there from above? and what inheritance of the Almighty from on high? Is not destruction to the wicked? and a strange punishment to the workers of iniquity? Doth not he see my ways, and count all my steps? If I have walked with vanity, or if my foot hath hasted to deceit; Let me be weighed in an even balance that God may know mine integrity. If my step hath turned out of the way, and mine heart walked after mine eyes, and if any blot hath cleaved to mine hands; Then let me sow, and let another eat; yea, let my offspring be rooted out. If mine heart have been deceived by a woman, or if I have laid wait at my neighbour’s door; Then let my wife grind unto another, and let others bow down upon her. For this is an heinous crime; yea, it is an iniquity to be punished by the judges. For it is a fire that consumeth to destruction, and would root out all mine increase.

Let me put that in layman’s terms as best I can to relate to today’s blog.

Job made a promise to God that he wouldn’t so much as look at another woman. He knew that it would be the very thing that would draw him away from God and end in destruction. He knew God was watching everything that was going on in his life, every step that he took was guided by his eyes. Just think about that statement, and how true it is…what we see we want. It’s human nature. What has your child seen, and do you want them to have it at the age of 12 or 3 or 8? Job knew that if he walked in the pathway of iniquity it would also take its toll on his family. He would lose his children and his wife. Can you not see that play out in America today with everything our homes are exposed to? I sure can. Job knew that judgment would come to him for the sins of his home.

And so will it ours. I’m not throwing stones at you without several landing in my own garden.

Another trending social media post yesterday, and yes I watched it, was this oversize lady, and I use that term loosely, apparently drunk on the beach who couldn’t stand up from the edge of water. Each time she attempted the wave crashed in and knocked her back down and as the tide went out her body came out. She rolled around on the sand as her fella attempted to pull up her parts and pieces and the crowd looked on in hysterics, not one offering to help… although I’m sure their fear was being drug down with her. One gal commented, “I can’t un-see this!” Well, like the idiot that I am, I can’t un-see it either! I was drawn in by the sheer antics of it.

Be careful little eyes what you see… for the Father up above is looking down on you in love, oh be careful little eyes what you see.

Please be careful out there today. Don’t roll every video that trends on your site and turn off the garbage in your house whether those who dwell there are babies or big people. None of us need to see it.

 

 

 

 

 

What You Can Do Today for Our Youth

chick school

It’s the first day of school in our area, perhaps your youth began earlier or not yet, but it’s no doubt on the horizon. And with it comes concerns which differ depending on the region… or the day. Things changes so quickly and what our young people are exposed to is beyond comprehension in comparison to what it was like not so many years ago. As I lifted my youth group to the Lord this morning my heart was heavy for them, they’re good kids in a bad world… My heart aches for them. These thoughts brought me to the Word of God this morning in search of a Word of encouragement for youth workers, parents and anyone concerned for our youth. And here’s where I landed…

Luke 21:38

And all the people came early in the morning to him in the temple, for to hear him.

This wasn’t only Sunday but week days as well… These where the days between Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem and the day of crucifixion. How quickly things can change. As we set here in the days between His crucifixion and return we too should find ourselves in the presence of the Lord each morning. Jesus preached in the town each morning but at night He would lodge about a mile away in the Mount of Olives; away from the noise of the city and the hustle and bustle of life. Probably away from the religious folk. Jesus’ examples for us are needful reminders in this hectic world that we need time to wind down in the evening; but in the morning as the day begins we should find ourselves in the presence of the Lord seeking a sermon for our souls.

Those who met with Jesus in the temple weren’t there to sit easy in the pew. They had faced some opposition to get there and so will you. I presented my Pocket Testament League program to my youth last night and asked them to start a league of their own.  To commit to reading a portion of scripture every day and share the gospel. They’ll be facing huge opposition to accomplish that task. I encourage you as well to get your bible, or look at it online and pick you out a sermon for the soul. It’s in there… words that will encourage your heart and spear you on for service. And then share what you read with someone else. God’s Word never returns void.

If you’d like to be a member of the Pocket Testament League you can join at www.ptl.org/code/signup.php. They have so many free resources to help you on your walk with Christ and becoming more like Christ. Resources that will teach you how to share the gospel and then give you the tools to do just that! It’s an awesome place to hang your hat for a while. If you decide to join the league (there’s no cost) please enter my membership number when prompted (574096) I want you in my league!

But before you go… take just a minute to lift up our kids to the Lord. Please pray as the Lord leads you but a few suggestions from me would be this…

  • Pray they are hedged in with safety
  • They are shielded from wickedness
  • They are a light in that dark world
  • They are brave in their witness
  • They are bold in their testimony
  • They are support for one another
  • They study (Jesus, English, Math, etc.)

3 High Mileage Lies

chick lie

When I think of Satan (and those in this field of work will just have to forgive me) I often think of him as a used car salesman. One of those in the polyester suit, with a cheap toupee, wreaking of cigar smoke and more gold on his fingers than a television preacher. They may not be the father of lies but they might be the grandchildren. (John 8:44) I hope my words painted the scoundrel image I was after, but the truth is Satan comes in whatever form he needs to in order to get your attention. 2 Corinthians 11:14  says “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.”

What light has he shined into your world lately? Every day I hear of someone buying into his cheap lies. He did not come to them in his tacky car salesman garb; no, he was dressed in the exact apparel that he knew would cause them to give him credence in their life. He’s so very good at deception.

Here are 3 (of the many) lies that he desires you to believe.

# 1 You are unworthy of forgiveness

It’s such an easy lie to buy because most of us don’t live like we should and we’re faced with those saints that just look so good! They walk it and talk it and you just know that if you followed them home their perfect life would continue as their family gathered around the dinner table in prayer, no one argued, children did their homework without being asked, all the beds were made and the dishes done promptly after dinner, followed by devotions at the hearth with Daddy and a kiss on the cheek good night. Turn that show off, it is not reality TV. But neither is the garbage on television that we have inundated our minds with as acceptable living. The fact is we’re all imperfect. Are their saints that live closer to the cross than you and I? Yes! But they struggle too, it’s just in private and in ways that Satan chooses for them. He likely tells them too that they are unworthy.

So what’s the answer? You need to take a bath every day. It’s good hygiene for the body, but its much better for the soul.

Hebrews 10:22

 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

All that dirt Satan heaped upon you today will wash away with the blood of Jesus, and through His cleansing you are worthy.

#2 You are unheard

Usually that feeling too comes from the feeling of unworthiness. We revert back to childhood in that if we were good we were rewarded, and if we were bad we were punished. So… if I’ve messed up today, God assuredly knows it and will not answer my plea for help. Praise God He is not like us!

1 John 5:14 says this: And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:

Perhaps we think our prayers are unheard because they were not answered as we desired. But our desires may or may not be what’s best, they usually aren’t because they’re created from our earthly viewpoint. We can have confidence, glory to God, in His will. God wants to hear your desires just as we want to hear the hopes and dreams of our children. But when your child at age five comes to you and says, “I want to be a teenage mutant ninja turtle when I grow up,” you don’t start looking for toxic waste to dip your child into. That’s not healthy. And God, Who from eternity’s standpoint we look like five year olds, hears our prayers they’re likely just as silly… and toxic! And just because our imperfect children get into trouble and let us down we still do not grow tired of listening to their petitions, and God never grows weary of listening to ours. But He too wants to be heard. You have to stay in His word to keep your confidence up.

# 3 You are untalented

This is my personal fave! I listen to Satan tell me that lie every day. And even if he comes to me in that cheap suit, wreaking of cigar, I buy it again. Satan doesn’t have any new lies, that’s why he reminds me of a used car salesman. He just keeps selling me the same lie over and over again. It certainly has high mileage!

What could God possibly do with me, my mediocre abilities and broken life?  I’m always shocked at the answer… anything He wants to. But first I have to put my hand into His and say, “Lead on Lord.” I’ve seen so many dreams and desires  come to fruition;  sometimes in the same mediocracy I gave it to God in and other times it was far beyond what my mind could have imagined. Experiencing God’s goodness first hand gives me the ability to boldly say “God can use anyone.” It’s not up for debate. There is a talent within you, and you know it. I don’t believe it when people say “I have no talent.” Usually I can already see what it is. But even if I can’t, it’s still there because God gave every one of us purpose. And that purpose is a talent within that only you can do.

Isaiah 46:9-11

Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.

God said to remember… He has purposed it, and He will do it. Don’t let someone else do your job, put your hand in His and say, “Lead on Lord!”

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How to be Fashionably Late

chick time

I have a friend or two and a relative or two who are most usually late for meetings and events. It’s not that they’re irresponsible or forgetful, they are some of the most responsible and intellectual people I know… it’s just that their prep time is longer than usual. Perhaps they need prompters to help them along. I’m about to take Mark 2 in places it may have never gone before, and for some of my Bible Scholar friends, they may prefer not to travel this road with me at all. But it’s on my mind today.

I love it when a preacher speculates about the story around the story; adlibbing conversations that may or may not, most likely did not, occur around a biblical event. My nephew Robert preached on Mark 2 last night at his home church, and he just wowed his ol’ Aunt Shari at what an amazing work God is doing in his life. Isn’t that the kind of work that God always does? Amazing!

This morning that scripture is still heavy on my heart, but not in the context that Robert preached it… I’m thinking about the story of the four men who carried their friend to church from an entirely different perspective.

Fashionably Loud

Mark 2:1-3

And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house. And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them. And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four.

What a church service! Loud, crowded and the roof blown off. That’s just how I like mine.

Why is it that ¾ (or greater) of the churches in America feel the need to sit and soak… or sulk. They’re more resemble a funeral than praise and worship. What part of “Worship” hour did you not understand when you arrived at church. I’d rather see someone late and loud, than on time and dead. I love seeing people so desperate to see God move that they’re willing to take extreme measures to make it happen. So they got there late… I’m sure it was not an easy task for the four of them to carry this guy from his home. Nor is it always easy for that Momma or Daddy to get their brood bundled up and on their way. When they finally got there they were likely hot and tired, not willing to wait any longer. They were late enough! There’s got to be another way in… “Hey nobody’s using the roof!”

Fashionably Lead

Mark 2:4-5

And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.

The man sick of the palsy could not get himself to Jesus, so his 4 friends not only lead the way up they broke it up. They were desperate to get to him to the Lord and they didn’t care how big of a scene it created. Sometimes it’s necessary for leadership to make a scene in order to get things stirred up and the Spirit moving. How far are you willing to go to hear the Lord say to your friend “thy sins be forgiven thee.”

Fashionably loose

Mark 2:12

And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.

And thus where my thought derived from this morning. They’d never saw it in that fashion. What fashion? I expect that he not only walked… he walked with style. Possibly what they’d call a swagger. He may have even danced a jig. There’s something about a new convert that can be visibly seen, if they’re lucky it never fades. Well… I don’t want to say lucky, let’s use the word blessed! When you’ve been bound by sickness or sin either one, and you’re suddenly free of it you understand the value of being “loose.” It changes the way you walk and talk and people notice. You have the freedom to speak and act with boldness!

Are you a fashionista? Are you loud, are you a leader, are you loose? (in the godly way of course.) Let’s make some noise for Jesus today!

It’s not up for debate

chick debate

I did not watch the Republican debate a few days ago, and I cannot say that I’m sad about it. Republicans praised themselves for a job well done like high school jocks coming off the field after a winning game and the Democrats acted like school children poking fun of the new kid with weird clothes. And that was just the social media posts. The News crews didn’t act any better. Can you tell that I put little stock in American democracy? Will I vote? Of course I will, I’d be crazy not to; but the reality of it is we have a lot of crazy people in society who didn’t vote the last time else we’d not have the demonic forces in the White House that are there now. Hey… this is my blog, if you’re offended… get your own. It’s not my intent to offend, it’s my intent to stir your heart for the cause of Christ, not for the cause of a political party.

Life is not up for Debate

Romans 14:7-8 says “For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.

Although you may eat well and live well the truth of the matter is you do not control the length of your life. You may shorten it by stupidity, but the how long you live is entirely God’s decision. How you live your life is yours. You are either living it for God, or you are living against Him. There is no in between. Being a democrat is no more wrong than eating pork… unless you are a democrat who doesn’t believe in Jesus Christ, or you do not care that your behavior offends Jesus Christ or His people. Being a republican is no more right than not eating pork. Those are earthly titles and works, what are they doing for Christ? And if your goal is to offend the democrat… you’ve not presented Christ in a very good light, because Christ is not in either party, but the agenda of Christ better be in both if Christians are going to stand up for it. You are either 4for Him, or against Him and you are for certain living out one or the other by your decisions.

Judgement is not up for debate

Romans 14:9-10

For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living. But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

Whether or not we agree on candidates we need to understand that Christ died for all, so that living or dead we can have a relationship with Him. Opinions are like hearts, everyone has one; and they beat rapid or slow depending upon what they’re passionate for or about. Every heart of a child of God should be passionate about God’s people who He died for. Whether or not you agree with them, shouldn’t change how you feel about their soul. But that’s not what I see happening. Christian Republicans and Democrats alike are touting that they have only the best in mind for God’s people… and yet the evidence is to the contrary because neither side treats the other as God would intend. Both sides are judging from a human viewpoint… not God’s. And even though I certainly see God greater in one party’s agenda than the other, I don’t see that party coming together in the cohesiveness of Christ who died for all. Rather they have separate agenda’s that God is partially in and they themselves govern the rest of the agenda. Christ died for all (the entire agenda). You either live for Him or not… Not in part, but in whole.

The Final Authority is not up for debate

Romans 14:11

For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.

God will not be mocked… that’s Bible. And you may not care that you offend me or anyone else. But if you have offended God you’ve got problems. He is the final authority on life. He decides if you live or die, and when (not if) you stand before Him one day there will be no arrogance about you. There will not be a political party in Heaven nor an agenda up for debate; it was settled on the cross. Does yours line up with it?

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