3 Points to Ponder on Christ’s Return

chick soul

The eminent return of Christ can cause a gamut of emotions in me depending upon the day. I look at the sorrow in the world: “Okay, Jesus…come now.” I watch my grandchildren playing: “Umm, Okay, Jesus… wait.” I watch the news: “Okay, Jesus…come now.” I think about lost family and friends: “Okay, Jesus…please wait.” But the reality of it is, He’s gonna return!!! Ready or not. Excited or not. Whether people believe it or not. So I ponder three thoughts today…

ABSOLUTE

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Every single word of the bible is truth: either proven truth, or truth to come. Every prophetic event on the Lord’s time line has happened just as He said it would, the rapture will be no different. Watch the news and it mightily reveals the end times. The arrogance of our leadership who believe themselves to be in control and are slowly siding against Israel will be our end should someone not step up and prevent it. I do not know how America’s story will end “pre-rapture.” Post rapture, when the tribulation is playing out, the only nation under the protective hand of God is the one we tread closely of offending, Israel.

The coming of the Lord is Absolute!

IN HIS TIME

1 Thessalonians 5:1-5

But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.  For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

Christian’s, who have accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and have the Holy Spirit living within them, don’t know the day but they should know to be ready. John 14:17 says Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

And yet we live (myself included) like that day will never come. The return of Christ is in His time. But His time can be before I close this blog today. We are children of the light! Praise God He has shown His light within me and gives me great peace in these tumultuous times, but He did not give us peace so that we could rest. He gave us peace so that others would see the testimony of it and desire Christ. However, you have to speak about the peace, else no one will know and they will be caught unware.

READY?

It’s a one word question that packs a multitude of answers when asking people of their readiness should Christ return.

  • Many don’t have clue that Christ’s return is even on the radar. (just like in the days of Noah)
  • Many don’t believe it.
  • Many fear it, kind of believe it, but doubt it enough not to take action.
  • Many deny it.
  • Many assume because they’re “good” people they’ll be taken to Heaven with all the other good people.

Good people don’t make it to Heaven. For there is none but Jesus Who is good.

Luke 18:19

And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.

Those who have called upon the name of Jesus, believing that He is the virgin born Son of God, crucified on the cross, rose again the third day and now sits at the right hand of God interceding on our behalf will go to Heaven.

John 14:6 reads Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

My three points are the acronym A.i.R. – Look up!

Luke 21:28

And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

chick encourage 2

 

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We Speak of Him

somethin

“Why on earth did You allow that to happen?” A question posed to God on a pretty regular basis with me; especially in the wake of the recent news reports. I don’t even watch the news but it’s so horrific that it’s a part of the conversation in every venue of life. So I’m pondering that question again today… “Why God? What could possibly be the purpose?” We know Romans 8:28 says “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”  We know the breakdown of it (all things work) not all things are. All things are not good. When people are born sick, killed in a senseless act of terrorism, there is no good in that. So this morning I ponder again, “Why?”

It took me 3500 years to get it… I guess I’m kind of slow.

Romans 9:17-23

17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.

Three types of news spread like wild fire on a dry windy day.

  1. Tragedy
  2. Miraculous epic events
  3. Absolute lies.

So to Pharaoh God said (to Shari quote it) “I made you who you are, because people would tell your story, even though technically… it’s My story.”

The history of the Exodus and the continual provision for the Jewish Nation of God is an ongoing saga and one that captivates the world. Saved and unsaved alike have a fascination in the lives of Israel because they are the chosen people of God. Their story has been filled with tragedy and miraculous epic events that are worthy of sharing… and in so doing… there are conversation of God.

So what does that have to do with the tragedy of the day in the news?

Read on weary pilgrim…

Vs. 18-23

Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,

The news:

  1. Tragedy
    • In tragedy we seek God to make sense of the unimaginable and we speak of Him.
  2. Miraculous epic events
    • In miracles we acknowledge God for the unexplainable and we speak of Him.
  3. Absolute lies
    • God may be unexplainable, but He is most certain undeniable. And we speak of Him.

If the world were rotating in perfect harmony, no sickness, no heartache, no unexplainable or unimaginable events…. Would we seek Him or speak of Him? No. Adam and Eve are proof. So in the heartache of it all, God allows (He does not create the chaos – we do that) but allows it so that we will see the only steadfast controlling factor of the universe is He Who created all. And we’ll speak of Him.

Speak of Him today…

chick encourage 2

Have You Heard it Said?

chick excuse“That’s just how I am!”

How many times have you heard it said? I’ve heard it far too many and each time I do I want to give them a holy slap on the back of the head! (I wouldn’t, but if I got in the flesh I could) I’m speaking about people who have told me they’re saved but their behavior (not randomly) but habitually doesn’t back it up.

They’re often of a critical and negative spirit about others, especially toward fallen Christians and yet they don’t see that same critical and negative spirit as an issue.

I want to say to them in return “Ummm… okay. Explain this.”

You’re Broke Buddy!

You’ll note that I called you friend. I’m not throwing rocks because my garden is full of my own. I’m not sin free, or self-righteous….but I’ve been charged as a mouth piece for the Lord and I feel the need to share this thought today.

2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

If you’re saved, that may have been how you were –  but now you’re broke and you need to fix it. (Totally stole that thought from Pastor Perry Noble) And it put the shout in my soul! It’s truth in it’s entirety when you read 2 Corinthians 5:17 and you are without excuse. That way you were; God fixed it when He saved your soul. But you put it back in your sack and thought it might come in handy later on when you needed to call someone out and make them miserable, stomp on someone’s heart and call it “tough love,” be rude or smart aleck for the cause of comic relief. You’re not only broke…

You’re Busted!

Galatians 6:15

For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.

No matter what you do (not of works lest any man should boast) or say (It’s under the blood of Jesus) justifies it. Are you forgiven, of course! But what damage are you doing to the cause of Christ who has now entitled you through His blood to be a member in good standing in Heaven? And the lost or hurting soul looks at you who just told them “You need to get over it because that’s just how I am!” and thinks, really? Thank you for showing me Jesus.

Owch!

Like I said, I’m not throwing rocks because I’ve been guilty of getting in the flesh and saying “stupid stuff.” But I’m talking about someone who habitually uses the flesh as an excuse or because they’re speaking to family, feels that they know how they are and should just get over it and go on.

Sorry… you’re busted. Jesus’ blood covered it all, but He didn’t excuse it.

Matthew 12:36

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

Owch again!

chick encourage 2

Dancing through Deception

One of my recent women’s conferences was on the subject of hurt in the ministry. Oh my… did that strike a chord! It caused me to ponder just how deep a wound that was in the body of believers; and if you’ve been a part of a church for any time at all you’ve likely worn the badges of Christianity on your own vest. I’ve seen people proudly display their badges of hurt and I’ve seen others who kept them tucked away from view yet still the pain and anguish of unsettled hurt was transparent. I’ve often written on here that I am the queen of the “I’m Fine Theory.” I’m not saying it’s always healthy reasoning, but it’s how I cope. But what does the Bible say about hurt when it comes from those in the congregation of the Lord?

I certainly make no claims that today’s post will fix the issue, it’s a blog, not a book… although following this conference, I’m inclined to write it. Because that wound in the body of Christ is deep and wide and worst of all infectious.

Today’s post is for the purpose of encouraging you in the moment, and somedays that’s all we need to make it through.

Can I have this dance?

Serving the Lord in any capacity be it a paid staff position, volunteer or voluntold is akin to a dance. Somedays you dance with grace and other day you do the two step. I’m pretty sure I’ve clogged a time or two for the cause of Christ!

The Waltz

One of the most beautiful dances of all time and makes the heart swoon when the lady and her lord glide across the floor in sheer elegance, gazing longingly into each other’s eyes. My early days of salvation bore a resemblance to that grace. I loved the church (still do by the way) but at that time everything with every one of God’s people was beauty and grace. I was in such awe of the goodness of God that I didn’t take the time to dwell on anything negative. Even the negative had a positive side because I knew God would fix it! (I still believe that.) But then the band played a different tune…

The Two Step

The timing of the dance is key! Quick, quick, slow, slow, quick, quick, slow, slow. And so it is how some progress in the ministry. And then there’s the whole “stepping backwards” thing when one is moving forward and another backwards; and should the timing get off someone’s toes will get stepped on and other folks on the floor get knocked down. Now I know that good Baptist girls don’t dance, so this is all metaphorically speaking of course. (Insert smile here) That two step got me in a serious straight a few years down the line in the ministry and more than my toes got stepped on. Someone clogged on my heart. And I was one of the lead dancers on the floor where all eyes were on me, waiting to see if I would miss stepped or keep on dancing. So I put on my prettiest boots and just kept on…  I was “fine.” On the outside.

On the inside I was one hot mess, but I did eventually make it through with valuable life lessons. I received my first certificate of completion in the school of deception.

So what’s my advice if you’re facing that today? Make a change.

You may have to change the music, change the dance or the venue all together.

The word deceive is derived from the Latin word , decipere, meaning to catch, ensnare or cheat. The deception of a friend is the hardest on the heart and can trap us in that place. We never believe that we’ll be forsaken by someone we care about, and when it happens it casts a dim light over relationships in general. Trust becomes harder and harder and advice seems to become more abundant. It’s in that place that change needs to occur.

Change the music

People’s advice is readily available and often wrong. Take caution on where you seek counsel. Satan is more than happy to fill your mind full of negative thoughts about those who hurt you and anyone else in your life that might hurt you. My hurt stopped when God sent a friend in whom I could confide.

Proverbs 27:9

Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel.

Satan will sing a song that will ensnare you in unnecessary pain for a very long time. Yes, betrayal hurts, but you can move on by changing the music. Find a Christian friend that will encourage healing and stop talking about the hurt.

Change the dance

Change the direction of your steps. You’ve got to put a new plan of action in place. Your previous actions caused hurt, so let’s make a new plan; one that has you in a new direction. Another major factor in me getting through the hurt I experience was that I always had a new project that kept my mind occupied on new and exciting things.

Luke 5:37

And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish.

I love that scripture. It reminds me that hanging on to old things will often damage the new things. Sometimes we need a fresh start (new wine)! The old bottle is just going to leave a bad taste in your mouth… move on!

I’m several years on the other side of that hurtful time, and still yet today Satan will sting my heart with a reminder. I’m not saying it’s easy… I’m saying it’s necessary if you want to dance in the harmony of the life God wants for you.

Dance on sweet friends!

Is it Real Religion?

chick real2

A little reflection is probably good for the soul, but it certainly needs to be balanced. As I wind down 2015, I’m first of all shocked that I’m winding down 2015! Somebody put my life in fast forward mode and I can’t slow down. Do you feel that way too? But as quick as it went, this morning had me thinking about what I did with the past 323 days. Were they productive for the cause of Christ? Some were, some weren’t but for a fact they are both un-re-doable. Should you double hyphenate a word? Life is short… let’s walk on the wild side.

A little food for thought today from the book of James caused me to ponder the question “Has my 323 days been real religion.”

RELIGION MAKES ME NAUSEOUS

You can be “religious” about anything. I was raised in “religion.” A theory of theirs was religiously going to church was “enough.” Saying you are a Christian was “enough.” Don’t overdo church, once a week is “enough.” Well enough already! There is no point in rehashing pre-salvation failures, those are under the blood! Glory to God!  Lukewarm Christianity that makes my Lord want to puke and spew us out of His mouth isn’t good. So when I start “going through the motions” of Christianity it concerns me. I want to arrive at church with great expectation of what the Lord is going to do, I want to get up in the morning and say, “Reporting for Duty Sir!” to the Lord… and mean it. I want there to be excitement in my life every day for the opportunities before me. I don’t want to be religious, I want to be as spontaneous as a fire on a windy autumn day, igniting everything around me. Yes I’m getting fired up! How about you?

James 1:22-25

But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:   For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

My second point is this

RELIGION MAKES ME NERVOUS

And it’s why I’m reflecting today. Not living up to my potential as a child of God can cause eternal damage and a friend to be in that fire that cannot be quenched. If I get lacks on my responsibilities as a Christian, and concern myself more with the affairs of this world and not the cause of Christ, who will I not see in Heaven? I look around at friends and family and I’m nervous for them. Because I don’t see Christ in their life and I have no assurance if they were to die today that they’d be in Heaven. I don’t want to go through the motions of Religion, I want a relationship with Christ which will motivate me to share the gospel. Reflection and reading God’s word blesses and readies my heart for service.

James 1:25

But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

RELIGION MAKES ME NEGATIVE

It’s a line I have to try so hard not to cross, and one that I see so many good people crossing. They spend more time setting fires of destruction with their negative attitude and critical spirit than lighting a fire for Christ. They’re constantly (religiously) concerning themselves with what’s happening in another church, rather than concerned about the lost and those in need.

James 1:26-27

If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

As I wind down 2015 I want to be wound tight for 2016. I want to be busy in my relationship with Jesus and the people I meet every day. I want to open my “Big Stinkin’ Mouth,” in the words of a recent sermon title I heard. I want people to see the love of Christ, and that I am religious with my relationship with Him so that they’ll know it’s real!

Join me! And if you feel so inclined… share me. Post this blog link on Social media or share it with a friend!

Love ya… mean it!

chick encourage 2

10 Things that Will Please God

chick 10

This morning I prayed through the 10 verses of Psalm 146 by reading the verse and meditating on the goodness of God in my life. I didn’t write down my thoughts, only my points because I wanted you to have the opportunity to bless God in your own way unjaded by my life. He’s been so good to me, and you too… but differently. It was such a peaceful blessing to get to know God a little better as I read and prayed through this Psalm. I know He’d like to hear from you today, and so would I. Let me know what great things God is doing in your life or if I can pray for you. There is a link to my contact information at the end of this blog.

Psalm 146

  1. GIVE HIM GLORY

                        Praise ye the Lord. Praise the Lord, O my soul.

  1. PRAISE HIM FOR ANOTHER DAY

While I live will I praise the Lord: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.

  1. PRAISE GOD THAT HE IS IN CONTROL

Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.

  1. PRAY FOR OUR LEADERSHIP (they are only human)

His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.

  1. HOW HAPPY ARE YOU THAT YOU HAVE GOD? (tell Him))

Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God:

  1. THANK GOD THAT IN OUR UNSTABLE WORLD HIS TRUTH IS UNCHANGING

Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth for ever:

  1. PRAISE HIM FOR HIS PROVISION AND FREEDOM

Which executeth judgment for the oppressed: which giveth food to the hungry. The Lord looseth the prisoners:

  1. ASK GOD FOR WISDOM TO SEE WHERE AND HOW HE’D HAVE YOU SERVE

The Lord openeth the eyes of the blind: the Lord raiseth them that are bowed down: the Lord loveth the righteous:

  1. PRAY FOR THE LESS FORTUNATE AND BLESS THEIR PATH AS THEY CROSS YOURS TODAY

The Lord preserveth the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down.

  1. PRAISE GOD FOR HIS SOVEREIGNTY AND ETERNAL LIFE. NEVER CEASE PRAISING!

The Lord shall reign for ever, even thy God, O Zion, unto all generations. Praise ye the Lord.

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Email me at talk2shari@gmail.com
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Rest, Reasoning and Relaxation with God’s Word

chick ponderingEvery time I pick up God’s precious word it speaks to me. Sometimes like a child in Sunday School class who wants to tell you everything that happened at the house this week. They need to catch you up on the latest and greatest; and other times in commentator form… slow and detailed. And then I realize, no, that’s how I read it. And guess which one I’m apt to be reading as. There’s nothing usually slow and detailed about me. More likely than not I’m a “Let’s skip to the chase” kind of gal.

Skipping details can, if you’re not cautious, gets you into trouble. It may not be coincidence that fast talkers are slow learners.

My morning began about 4:30 a.m. as I lay in bed with my mind rushing to and fro like an intersection at rush hour. I need to get this done and this done and this done. I want to do this, but I have to make sure this is done first and wait… I’ll have company this morning so… GET UP!!!

So I do.

I brewed the coffee, picked a couple of tunes on the guitar, worked out a fiddle lesson for my niece Phebe, ate some cereal and settled in on the couch. And when I finally stopped trying to write my day for me, God said… shssshhh. Let’s just be still for a minute and so I was…

And there in the stillness I heard the songs I’d been practicing lately

Peace be Still

There is a Time

Come as You Are

Each one of those songs preaches a sermon to my heart, each one has made me shed tears. This morning His word brings them together. The world is chaos. Between the political mayhem and the arrogance of anti-God rhetoric on the television my mind is often tumultuous; and that’s not good for someone who’s mind already runs like a race horse. I feel like I’m about to wreck!

PEACE BE STILL

Mark 4:39 

And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

I love the song, I love the scripture, and I love the Lord Jesus who calms the chaos in my mind with just three small words. Oh what power there is those words though! No matter the turmoil Isis and other political parties try to stir they cannot un-calm the peace of God. They do not have the power over the ocean.  They can stir no more than a puddle. Thank you Jesus for that peace this morning!

THERE IS A TIME

Ecclesiastes 3:1

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

The seasons work in perfect harmony for creation. In West Virginia we’re in Autumn, the leaves have fallen to the ground and the earth is gray and barren around our home. But if I just wait a few more months, the earth will come back to life and a new season will begin. This chaos that we experience on earth… it too is a season.  The arrogance and anti-God rhetoric will die and God’s purpose will be fulfilled.

We read of a city John saw coming down from God out of Heaven,
The walls are of Jasper, the gates are of Pearl, the streets of pure gold;
He tells of a pure river of life that flows from the throne,
And after we’ve reached that beautiful place we’ll know as we’re known

Lyrics from “Let’s meet by the River”

COME AS YOU ARE

My new guitar piece that I’m working on is a song by Crowder called “Come as you Are.” Oh my stars… the lyrics to this song are just beyond! I don’t know of anyone in my life who’s not been broken in one form or another, but recently my heart breaks in two as I see the anguish on the faces and I know that I have the answer but they refuse to listen. They’re trying to fix their own life, scrubbing and buffing the fenders of the car until they shine, not noticing that the engine is missing. They want their lives to look perfect to the world, and to the world it just might… but God looks inside. And what He sees is an empty space that He longs to fill and provide the peace that they desire, but aren’t willing. And I am not of this world… so I see it too. That’s the spiritual discernment that God affords His children.

Matthew 11:28

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

I am so grateful to serve a God Who is Able to

Calm my storm

Give reason for ever season

And give rest to the weary…

Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours

CHICK SEAL

If that headline caused you to break out in song or bust a move, you’re either a lover of the oldies, or you’re an oldie. Although I was only 8 years old when Stevie Wonder released that song, it was still quite popular in my teenage years, so as I studied Revelation 7 for my teen class this morning, my ol’ fleshly mind couldn’t help but go back to that song. No, I didn’t bust a move, but in my mind’s eye I did go back to the 70’s when love and I were young. But reality soon kicked me back to 2015 and what caused me to reminisce is now in the forefront of my mind, and that is the fact that I have been signed, sealed and delivered, GLORY TO GOD! for almost 20 years.

Revelation 7:3-4 speaks of the 144,000 of the tribes of the children of Israel, servants of God, sealed in their foreheads and protected from the wrath that’s being poured out on the earth. The last evangelist team on earth. But what about the one before that? You know… us! We don’t have a seal in our forehead, but if we’ve accepted Christ as our Savior but we have one across our heart that declares we are children of the living God. That should cause us to bust a move and do a little holy dance across the floor this morning.

Ephesian 1:13 says ~

In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

There it is – Signed, sealed and delivered! The promise of God that we are sealed by the providence of God that regardless of what happens in this world, nothing happens to us without God’s stamp of approval and for His glory.

You better believe in the hour that Revelation 7 is being played out, when all the world is in chaos even greater than now, these 144,000 are going to be feeling the seal that protects them from the enemy that wishes them dead. And this morning I feel that seal as I read the latest on ISIS and their grand scheme of taking over the earth. This wicked lot of men who proudly boast and proclaim victory over the suffering in Paris will one day meet the wrath of God and their arrogant touts will cease as they bow to the King of kings and Lord of lords, Jesus Christ.

But until then remember…

YOU ARE SIGNED

Isaiah 49:16a

Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; 

On the cross of Calvary Christ bore our names in His hands so that we would have the promise of eternal life.

YOU ARE SEALED

2 Corinthians 1:22

Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.

The second we accepted Christ’s final work on the cross as payment for our salvation, God sealed His Spirit inside us so that we may know and feel His presence in our heart.

YOU ARE DELIVERED

Luke 1:70-8

As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life. And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel.

It’s that time of year again when the Christmas season is upon us. What better time to remember that we are signed, sealed and delivered to serve Him without fear. Preparing the way for our friends and family that they may know the peace and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ before it’s too late.

Go and Tell somebody!!!

Church and Chick Emotions out of Control

chick emotionI get really excited over the silliest of things. For example, the latest iPhone update included additional emoji’s, of which two were… are you ready! An emoji which rolled it’s eyes and one wearing my glasses. I know!!!! Is that cool or what? I warned you it was silly. But I’m am eye roller, just ask my kids. I need that eye rolling emoji if for nothing else, just being able to send it to my kids so they know I’m rolling my eyes. And the one wearing my glasses, well that’s just cool.

I’d like to add a few Christian emoji’s to the list for the next iPhone update.

How about an “I’m holier than you emoji.” It would have a dangling cross beneath it’s chin and a smug look. I needed that one last week when someone looked down their nose at me because sometimes my warped sense of humor goes too far. It would have been wasted though because I don’t foresee myself being in a “texting” conversation with that person. But I’d still like to have it for grins and giggles.chick emotion 1

What about animated emoji arms of praise. I need that!!!!

A more practical use of an emoji would be the preacher one. I’ve seen the emoji with Catholic collars, but we’re Baptist so I’d prefer my emoji preacher would skip the collar and perhaps be behind the sacred desk. I could use this one as a reminder to my kids that services start at 10. Or any other time I wanted to remind them that they need to attend church. And when they responded with an excuse I could send them the rolling eye emoji. Win win!

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One that I’m sure we could all use is a “What were you thinking” emoji… no wait. Just use the eye rolling one it’s universal!

There most assuredly needs to be that Baptist “talk to the hand” not to the face emoji. That way when someone else tried to share their opinion they could just message them this emoticon and the arguments would cease. Imagine how   great that would work for church unity. (not)

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What about a “back of the head emoticon?” For those church folk always looking back when someone has a new idea and they say “That’s not the way we’ve done it here.” Oh… now I’ve gone to meddlin’!

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While I’m there… we need an “eye rolling, smug face, if only emoji’s had hips so I could put my hands on them” emoji so that when kids cost the church money or made a mess someone could send that to the deacon board. Wow… I may have just crossed the line.

We Christians are an emotional lot are we not?

But the emoticon that we really need is the Holy Kiss. The one that says I’m just a sinner saved by grace, but I sure am glad you’re here. I need  to share that one before I share any of the others, even with the mean people.

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Romans 16:16

Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.

1 Corinthians 16:20

All the brethren greet you. Greet ye one another with an holy kiss.

2 Corinthians 13:12

Greet one another with an holy kiss.

1 Thessalonians 5:26

Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss.

Logic is so Overrated

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In need of hope? Glory to God I need it every day! I wake up with Satan at the foot of my bed telling me that there is no hope. I should give up on the day before it gets started. The aches and pains in my body tend to raise their hand in agreement and say “we think that’s logical.”

There is no logic in faith (at least to the world) and faith gives birth to hope. Apostle Paul speaks of that in Romans 4, reminding the believers of an original believer, Abraham, who against hope believed in hope.

Romans 4:18-25

Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

CONTRADICTION TO HOPE

It was not logical that a one hundred year old man should have a child, but God did not say he would have a child, God told him that he would be the father of nations. That goes beyond what the body and mind can comprehend. There is no doubt in my mind that Satan continually tried to steal Abraham’s hope by telling him that he was crazy to think he was going to have a child. Why else would he have bought into Sarah’s plan to have a child with Hagar. (Genesis 16)

God tells me through His word this morning that although the world (and my body) says that there is no hope, there is hope and there is a plan. I need to stick to it.

CONFIDENT IN HOPE

The word says that Abraham staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief. His faith gave birth to the hope that God’s Word would be fulfilled and his wife would give birth to a son just as God had said. Faith comes first. We cannot have hope unless we have faith. I have faith in God, Jehovah, my Provider.  He has proven Himself true again and again, Satan has proven himself a liar again and again, and I want to see through, not to stagger, as God brings to fruition, (gives birth) to this plan He has for me. Do you have that confidence today? God is faithful… trust Him!!!

CONVINCED IN HOPE

Abraham was fully persuaded that, what he (GOD) had promised, he was able also to perform. Don’t let Satan convince you any other way than what God has spoken. When I began to write this I started to say that Satan was on the bed post, but that put him above me, and that is not the case.

Paul said in Romans 16:20 ~ And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen. He may have been speaking of Satan being under our feet in the very near future or in the end times, but regardless Satan is beneath us, not above. I don’t need to elevate him in any way in my life – be it metaphorically or literally. I am convinced that God is the God of All Hope. Satan is a liar. My faith in Christ has been proven again and again!

Satan is a contradiction to hope. Be confident and stand strong in his adversity, be convinced (assured) that God will deliver what it is you stand in need of just as He delivered Sarah of that precious child who was the beginning of the great Nation Israel that God had promised!