Category Archives: Purpose

Be Thou my Vision

Bible Journaling Art by The Jesus Chick

Proverbs 29:18

Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

One of the very familiar verses often quoted from the Bible, and quite often completely out of context. I have no doubt been guilty of the same. But this morning this verse caught my attention and gave me the desire to dig a little deeper into its meaning for my own personal application.

I consider myself quite the visionary when it comes to life. I love new and exciting adventures and I’m open to the Lord’s leading down unfamiliar paths without hesitation. The problem with me is that quite often it’s a Shari vision, not a God vision. So those paths have many times lead to disaster!

The Word of God is a book like no other in the world. It’s the living, breathing, Word of God that can speak life into its reader. Another book may excite you, and inspire you, but it can’t speak life. It’s also why we shouldn’t read the Bible in a haphazard manner as to take scripture out of context or apply our own definition to it.

When Proverbs 29:18 is quoted, the word “vision” is often thought of as a prophetic vision that renders itself to personal direction. But in this context vision is “an inspired revelation of wisdom from God.” Which may be personal direction, but in its full context, which people tend to ignore, it is followed by “keeping the law.” So… when you take someone like me who is apt to be a free spirit, the law has a connotation of control. And that doesn’t fit well with my application of the freedom of vision.

I’m somewhat telling on my rebellious heart. But it’s good to be real, because it will help you and me both. Nothing is worth doing unless it is the will of God. And the will of God will never be outside the Word of God. So if we want the reality of it, we can’t just say we have a vision without searching the Word of God for the truth of His will. Woah… that’s a pretty deep thought for me.

2019 is on the horizon, and I have big plans, as always. But are they God’s? Good question.

Three points for me to ponder, and perhaps you as well, from Proverbs 29:18

Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

No Instruction leads to Destruction

Proverbs 1:5

A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:

I received a call from my good friend Dewey last week, who asked if I minded some counsel. The Lord knew I was in need of it, and He even sent the messenger, so who am I to say no. And so I listened. But I’m not always that wise. Some of my greatest failures in life have been not seeking or heeding the counsel of others. It’s not that I feel I know best. It’s usually that I just don’t know and I’m too excited to slow down.

But not today. Today I’ve taken it slower and asked God for some insight into the vision He has given me for 2019. The year of our Lord 2018 has been quite difficult. For more than the obvious health reasons. I had an appointment with my cardiologist today and was discussing the frequent, steady chest pains that cause me concern. After listening to me, and running the appropriate tests, it was discovered that I’m under too much stress. Shocker! 2018 has been filled with stress, and I need a reprieve in the coming year. That will require some changes in the vision of The Jesus Chick Ministries.

First… I need to treat it like a ministry. Not a hobby.

Godly Instruction leads to Construction

Council can often be constructive criticism, and that’s okay with me too. So long as it leads to construction and things get built rather than being torn down. The problem with my ministry is I’ve been building it alone, and as God told Adam, it’s not good for man to be alone, or woman as the case may be. I’ve partnered with many others in their ministry work, but I’ve soloed my own, missing the counsel of Christ where He told the disciples to go two by two.

So I need to build my ministry so that it’s more productive. I need to expand my ministry reach, and believe God that my ministry work will be rewarded with financial provision; which has been most of the stress of 2018. I need focus. I need counsel. It’s why I appreciate ministry friends like Dewey who love me and feel comfortable to follow the leading of the Lord to say things like, “slow down.” Or encourage me to seek a 501c3 which would make the Jesus Chick a bonified ministry for contributors and provide me with counsel through a board of directors.

Vision is God’s Provision for the Journey

And so I search His word for direction.

Proverbs 12:28

In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death.

There is but one job one pathway for me, and the way of righteousness is through Jesus Christ alone who will be my vision. There is a song written by Ian Lynn entitled “Be Thou My Vision.” It’s words stir my soul today.

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art

High King of Heaven, my victory won
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heav’n’s Sun
Heart of my own heart, whate’er befall
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all

And so that’s my prayer today. “Be Thou my Vison Lord.” I seek not riches or man’s praise, I seek a pathway that will allow me to share Christ through the talents that God has given me.

I covet your prayers and would love the privilege of praying for you.

When Heaven Answers






Have you ever just wanted the day to stop? For the clock to stop winding down and allow things to get caught up and back in order. Life has a way of getting out of control, creating anxiety and feelings of unfinished business. Many of my mornings start out that way before I get out of bed! Mornings are my most productive time. This morning I prayed… “God, please bless my brain.” Lord have mercy, I needed Him to speak to my Spirit and give me words not just for the blog, but I needed a message for myself. I needed the sun to stop before it even finished rising. I wanted to feel God’s power working in my life and as always, He moved and I felt it. I believe that God was faithful to provide a message for us both from the book of Joshua.

Joshua 10:12-13

12 Then spake Joshua to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon.

13 And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.

14 And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the Lord hearkened unto the voice of a man: for the Lord fought for Israel.

There was no day like it before, or will we see it in our time again, for it was written, this was one time deal that God took orders from a man.

A little back story is that an ally of Joshua’s was attacked by five other kings for being friends of Israel. By request Joshua and his army came to their aid and God promised victory, even killing more people by casting “great stones from heaven” upon the enemy than Israel killed with the sword. But as the day was finishing up, Joshua didn’t consider the job done. So, in front the witness of Israel, Joshua orders the sun and moon to stop… and it did.

Glory to God! I’ll bet that was a “mic drop moment” in Israel’s history.

I don’t believe God will be doing a repeat of that miracle today, but He is still in the miracle business.

A dear friend of mine who has long since gone to Heaven gave me a method of rest that has never failed me. I don’t abuse the privilege, but on nights when I need my rest, and the time has gotten away from me causing me to head to bed much later than I would have liked, I pray this prayer. “Lord, please give me a double portion of sleep.” I’m essentially asking for God to pack 8 hours into 4, or 10 into 5, whatever the case may be. And He does. Because that’s the God I serve. So Joshua’s request doesn’t take me by surprise or allow one doubt to enter my head that’s its true. It’s also backed up by scientific research!

On October 30th, 2017 Cambridge researchers announced that they had pinpointed the date of the biblical account of Joshua stopping the sun — which they claim is the day of the oldest eclipse ever recorded — to October 30, 1207 BCE, 3,224 years ago.

I didn’t need for Cambridge researchers to tell me it was true. God said it, therefore it was. But it’s nice to know they agree.

The story of Joshua gives me two points of pondering today:

  1. God heard Joshua and so did Israel.
  2. God helped Joshua and so did Israel.

In ear shot of Israel, Joshua stepped out on a limb and orders the sun and moon to stop, which can only be done by He who created them. I’m not that bold. But I can step out in faith in the things the Lord allows and so can you. But we first have to slow down and listen, which is why it’s so very important on Satan’s agenda to make my day and yours get crazy. I don’t need the Lord to stop the sun and moon… I need the Lord to stop me.

I need to listen to what the Lord has to say to me and speak that truth to others in the family of God. So that when it comes to fruition, God will be glorified!

I also need to enlist my brothers and sisters in Christ to become a part of the bigger picture that God allows to work in me so they too can experience the power of God at work in their lives as well.

Those days on the battlefield must have ended in the biggest celebration ever, or perhaps they ended it with a nap being that they had been up for 24 hours. But none the less it ended well and gloriously because Israel showed up and God showed out in a major way.

Today… I showed up at the key board. It wasn’t a battlefield, but it felt like one. I needed direction and God provided it for me. I pray that this scripture and these words encouraged you to understand that God has the victory already done, and whatever else needs accomplished, He’ll do that too. Slow down and listen, enlist your friends and let’s get some serious work done for the Kingdom’s glory!

What Do You Have Left?

Philippians 3:4-8

Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.  Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,

Apostle Paul is one of the Bible characters that I cannot wait to see when I get to Heaven. His stories must be amazing! He’s a “shoot from the hip” kind of guy that always gets me right between the eyes with his words.

Confidence in the flesh

Paul had it, and from the worlds standards had reason to have it. Me? Not so much. I know I’m a multi-talented, gifted by God gal. Totally get it and totally don’t deserve it. But confidence in it? Um… no. Just this morning I’m flitting about getting ready for the day, listening to preaching, got an idea for a blog… then, got an idea for a song to go with the blog, then, while practicing that song I got an idea for a song of my own and went from room to room of my house trying to accomplish all those things at once. In the process, my computer crashed. Total nausea.

It was if God said, “You need to stop. I didn’t give you those gifts to drive you crazy.”

So I took a breakfast break, and regrouped. Rebooted my computer and low and behold my original thoughts for a blog were gone. And so I started from scratch believing God had a new plan.

Confidence in the Flesh will get you in trouble. Every time I feel that I’ve got a song somewhat mastered, I butcher it beyond belief. When I feel I am ready to stand before a crowd to sing or speak, my first thought on stage is “Who let this happen?” Paul was beyond confident, but he threw it all away for weakness.

A friend of mine had a proud momma moment the other day when her son performed and did an amazing job. She turned to me and said “I wish he knew how good he is.” I understood what she was saying, but part of his charm and talent is the grace and humility of him believing that he’s just “okay.”

Paul gave his resume for confidence and then he said, it’s not worth poop! That’s the Paul I know and love. He threw pious dignity right out the window.

Counted it Loss

Why is it that we put so much stock in terminology and the opinions of people? Labels and titles are fine to use as a narrative to our story but they in and of themselves do not define us. I’ve had many titles over the course of my 55 years. But truthfully, each title was a defining moment in my life that made me who I am in Christ. Paul learned and taught that an education was only as good as its eternal ramification for Christ Jesus. Paul used his wisdom to market Heaven in a way that we continue to share 2000 years later, and he didn’t even have social media. That’s an effective education. It’s why he could count the papers that listed his titles as loss, because the only paper that matter, was the word of God.

Consider the Value

Apostle Paul said that all of the noble titles and power he held in the world were worth no more than “dung.” Defined as the “excrement of men.”

So… here’s a thought. The next time you go number 2, just look in the bowl and think about the fact that that’s the value of all of your worldly wisdom and stature. All that matters is what’s outside the bowl, which is what we do for Christ. The question of the hour is “What do you have left?


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

Here’s the Link

Are you a digital missionary or digital menace?

My social media friend, DiAnn Mills, posted a question today about our relationships and social media. How do we balance the two? First of all, I think we have to look at the latter word of the term social media “friend.” That’s gotten out of hand in a few too many worlds.

I consider DiAnn a friend, although we’ve never met, nor really shared an in depth conversation. If I was having a break down I wouldn’t call DiAnn; mainly because I don’t know her number. Nor would I message her, though I possibly could, I’ve never tried that either. I follow folks like DiAnn and other social media personalities because we are like minded and frankly because I like to steal the stuff of creative Christ minded people. Please don’t think I’m advocating plagiarism. By “”stealing” I simply mean, their thoughts lead my mind in directions I might not have gone on my own. So this morning when DiAnn posted her question, and I read down through the comments, a friend of hers (who I’m not social media friends of) commented with the term “digital missionaries.” That was an amazing term I thought. And so my warped way of thinking went into the super hero analogy of how I view missionaries for Jesus Christ and “dada” Super hero Jesus Chick was drawn.

Please don’t think me arrogant. I actually don’t view myself as a super hero. But when you read the stories of the superheroes of the faith, I have to wonder what would they have done with the tools we have in our era?

If Noah had a Facebook would he have had any friends? Would he have tweeted When the dove returned? Being that Abraham was the friend of God, would he have as many friends as the number of stars because his friends just want to get in tight with Jesus? If Miriam had a social media page would she have dissed her brother to all of the Israelites instead of just Aaron? Would David have shared his image of Bathsheba on Instagram? Good night a mighty, what would the Bible have looked like on Social media?!

If Jesus had a Facebook page, what would He do with it? You could possibly answer that question if you’re a Christian, because He does live in you after all. Are you a digital missionary or digital menace? As Jesus scrolls down your page, does He see himself?

That’s what He should see because we who are online should be using it for the purpose of furthering the Kingdom of God. If you have “truly” friended someone and you happen to run across a post that shows them in a pit of despair (it didn’t just happen, it was a divine appointment). What did you do with it? Did you give them a frowny face or a prayer hand, or did you actually take the time to read their issue and respond as Jesus would have?

It’s a question I ask myself today… Thanks DiAnn for the thought path… it was a good walk.

Matthew 25:43-44 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

Are the people in your list strangers or friends? Naked – when they bear their soul, do you clothe them in kindness? When they are sick do you really pray? When they are in the prison of being alone together on social media, do you visit them? When they need a drink of the water of life, do you show them how to quench that thirst in Jesus Christ? Are a digital missionary? If you are, you’re my hero.


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

Here’s the Link

Ministry Isn’t An Afterthought

I seldom ever just draw for the sake of drawing. It’s likely with a blog or a request in mind that I doodle the “Jesus Chick” cartoon that I use so often. Today, I finished some work for the Bible College, began to process my thoughts about a blog topic and determine what might follow that as far as getting something accomplished for the Kingdom and then my mind drifted. To a place of just wonderment. A siesta of sorts. I know… I just came back from a siesta. Four nights of revival and two at the beach and the sad part is, I needed that siesta to remind myself that I need to take more siestas.

Most people who look at my life look at me as an “unemployed woman” who occasionally serves the Lord (which isn’t a real job according to most), sings a little on the side (which is technically goofing off) and is readily available to forget about the laundry and dishes (true story) and go off on jaunts across the world with her bestie and play with her grandbabies with the remainder of her spare time. I just wore myself out talking about my time off!

I thought, perhaps today, I’d share a little about the glamorous days of “The Jesus Chick.” If you’re in the ministry, you can no doubt identify in many ways. If you’re not, please use this as a catalyst to pray for those of us who “don’t have a real job.”

On Monday’s I pack my guitar and song books into the car and travel to our local nursing home. I sing and minister in word to about 10-15 long term care residents. I try to sing songs of their childhood faith so that they can chime in. What a blessing that is to see patients who can’t remember their name half the time, recall every word of “How Great Thou Art!” Sitting across from me is usually a very cranky faced woman. She breaks my heart. She knows religion but she doesn’t know Jesus. She’s bitter at the world and my music soothes her soul temporarily, but just like Saul, who hired David to soothe his, when the music stops… so does the peace. She doesn’t know peace. I carry that home in my guitar case. It gets heavy sometimes.

On Monday nights a couple of friends and I meet at the church for a Bible journaling class where we share our art, but more importantly we share our heart. We’re burdened for our people. We want our churches to grow, we want our friends and family to experience the fire of Jesus! During the day I prepare handouts for the girls and conversation starters. Everyone needs conversations of the heart. It helps us grow in our own faith when we sow seeds into the lives of others. Good seed. That’s important to know. Stay away from those who sow weeds in your garden.

Wednesday’s I have a teen ministry where I try to sow good seed and pull the weeds of the world from the lives of children. Good grief there’s a lot of weeds to pull. If it’s been a while since you’ve sat down with teens to have an in depth conversation about their life you’d be shocked at what they face and be awed that they can come out of it unscathed. Only in Jesus.

If you follow this blog you know I have weeks of abundant writing and weeks of less. It depends on how much life takes its toll on my time. I sing at every opportunity. Often times for secular events hoping that my words in song and my testimony in between will spark a conversation with someone in the audience.

Spare time is often helping other ministries with promotion and publication art. And then when the weekend rolls around it’s game on for Jesus! I teach Sunday School, sing solo and sing in the choir, organize events and take care of our own church publications and such.

Does it sound like I’m complaining or bringing attention to my works for Christ? I surely hope not. That’s not my intent. My intent is to allow you to see that ministry may appear that it’s an afterthought; especially for those who work “real” jobs. But carrying the burden for souls in a guitar case, a hymnal, a cyber church and the occasional back pocket or purse is a heavy load. There’s no time off from your mind. I speak not only of myself but of ministers all over the world. Serving God is the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done in my entire life, I’m sure they’d say the same.

But sometimes you just want to fly away… or splat a mud puddle in cute boots.

“And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! For then I would fly away, and be at rest.” PSALM 55:6

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

Here’s the Link

 

What’s in Your Tool Belt This Week?

Much like my counterparts of yesteryear there is a great deal of my Saturday preparing for my Sunday. Although mine is not to the degree of those of the past. I’ve heard my parents speak about spending Saturday’s ironing ‘Sunday go to meetin’ clothes, preparing things for Sunday’s dinner that could be prepared ahead. Getting done any normal daily work that could be done a day ahead so that Sunday was spent in genuine rest in the Lord Jesus.

Sunday’s are not so Holy for the church or the world either one.  I would be guilty of failure to “rest” on any given Sunday. Although I’m in church for morning and evening services, I’ve been known to spend those few hours in between at a store, or any other number of activities. But my Saturday’s are spent preparing Sunday School lessons, Powerpoint presentations for services and attempting to get my head wrapped around worship. The world takes its toll on me. Even though I’m home much of the week.

Saturday is not the only day I work on the building, but it does cause my mind to be more focused. Sad… but true.

What’s in your tool belt for the weekend services? That’s the question I ask myself.

HAMMERING IT DOWN

No self-respecting carpenter would be found without a hammer in his/her too belt. Jesus Himself learned the trade of carpenter from His earthly father and building the church is the foundation of Christianity. If Sunday services are no more than a lecture hall, we’ve missed the mark. God nailed down our purpose when He handed out the great commission for all believers. Not just preachers.

Matthew 28:19

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Contrary to popular belief He did not say sit on your hinder parts in the church on Sunday and accept no responsibility in the building process. Pastor’s need to pass out a few hammers on Sunday morning and remind the congregation as they leave the building to use the tools he’s given them for the week.

PRYING IT UP

I fully believe it would take a pry bar to get some believers up out of their seats, their hands out of their pockets or their voices out of the depths of their soul. Today we should be preparing out hearts for the services in the morning. Imagine if we took the time on Saturday to pry the sins and junk deep within us out and entered the building with a Spirit of freedom to worship. Wow!! What would that look and sound like?

King David knew that a clean heart was necessary for the freedom of fellowship with God when he wrote Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”

It would be good if today we did a little cleaning before Sunday and pried some of the dirt out of the corners of our lives.

MEASURING OUR FAITH

My grandchildren love to find David’s tape measure and pull it out as far as the can only to release it and watch it zing back inside itself. I fear we often measure our faith in the same manner. A quick look at the distance we’ve traveled, the things we’ve done and then it’s back in the box with a pat on the back for a job well done. But what if we measured our faith by the word of God instead of by the world’s standards. Would our faith even make it out of the box?

In preparing for Sunday’s services I wonder what my faith looks like to God. Have I built anything substantial this week or is my work simply cosmetic. While the structure beneath is rotting inside.

SAWING THE WORD

2 Timothy 2:15

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

If we look at the New Testaments example of building the church, I’m pretty sure we’re not even in the same blueprint. And before anyone says “times have changed.” We must admit, “The Lord hasn’t.”

His word is as relevant today as it was the day it was written. If Peter could see 3000 saved, so can we, but not without a change of attitude toward the tools of the trade.

Nowhere in the book does it say there was a dress code to serve Christ.

Deuteronomy 22:5 reads:

The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.”

This scripture was written at a time when both men and women wore basically the same form of apparel. Although no doubt there was a difference between the two. Just as my jeans and my husbands are completely different. My pockets have bling! His pockets have a leather patch. I wear lace, he wears plaid. But people will read into the word things that just are not there. They do the same thing with worship, evangelism and ministering the gospel. Rather than focusing on building the house… they worry about the drapes.

There are rules. They still apply. But many of the rules for which we govern our Sunday’s with are not found in the word.

When you build a house, you start with the foundation. When you build a church you do the same. Every single word of God.

Isaiah 28:9-10 reads

Who shall he teach knowledge? And whom shall he make to understand doctrine? Them that are weaned from the milk and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.

God laid out the instructions for building His church. We need to stick to the plan.

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

Here’s the Link

Where the Chalkline Leads

I’m certainly not your ordinary missionary. When most people think of a missionary, they consider the work on foreign fields and those works are mighty and necessary. But few consider the United States as a missionfield.

The hard truth is, America has just as much a need for missionaries as any country in the world. And while I serve foreign mission fields as well through Marietta Bible College, I have no less a burden for my own land. I love this country, and I desire to see her in the God Glorifying state that she was once in. I believe that starts one city at a time, and God has laid Windom, Minnesota on my heart.

However… a journey such as this isn’t cheap. I humbly ask that you consider supporting my mission trip this November as I move forward for God doing a great work, and perhaps beginning a great and mighty revival across our land. I’d like to start by stirring up a few gals in Windom and this morning I’d like to stir you a litle too! I read this morning a scripture in Hebrews, Chapter 10, verse 24

And let is consider one another to provoke unto love to good works.

Countless times I’ve used Hebrews 10:25 as a reminder about the need of attending the house of God. But this morning I thought on the these words. Perhaps a precursor to seeing an amazing work in the house of God! Provoking people with purpose. Provoking has a negative connotation to me when I see the word, after all it is defined as  “to stimulate or give rise to (a reaction or emotion, typically a strong or unwelcome one) in someone.” So why is it used in the scripture prior to people attending the house of God? Have you ever shared the gospel with someone in hopes of getting them to church, it’s not always easy is it? It’s not easy being a servant of God. He didn’t say it would be, but it’s always worth it.

Image result for carpenter's chalk lineThis morning as I talked to God about my life and the Windom trip, He was very clear about what He wanted for me. And that was to “Focus.” That has been a word that God has used again and again in our conversations. Focus on the task at hand. But He added to that the word align. Aligning oneself is to get directly in that path. He brought to mind the illustration of a carpenter who flips the chalkline for a straight line, and that is the path he takes. When He starts me on a path, He’s drawn that line from where I am to where I’m to go and I need to stay on it. Aligned with God. Focused. That’s been Minnesota for while. He’s kept those friends in my view every day. There’s a work there for me to do and I believe it’s to be a part of provoking the Love of God in that city so that He can do a mighty work. No, it’s not a foreign mission field, but it’s a missionfield for me. A place to share the Love of God and to see a “good work.”

Below is the link to support the trip. I am an unfunded missionary. I don’t have a job, but I have faith that God will provide. He does that though people who can’t go, but want to be a part of the mission work. I pray you’ll consider my cause.

 In His love and for His Glory,

Shari (the Jesus Chick)

https://www.gofundme.com/theJesuschick

 

 

The Backslider’s Gospel

backsliderAs I read the opening of Apostle Paul’s letter to the Galatians this morning, I felt as if I should start this blog:

Shari, a servant of Christ (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead:) and all the brethren (and sisters) who are with me, unto the churches of Calhoun County. Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ.

What a regal introduction. We take, or should I say “I take, my calling of God for granted.” Paul was writing to the churches of Galatia because they were believing a polluted form of the gospel.  Paul marveled that they were “so soon removed from him that called you unto the grace of Christ unto another gospel.”  (Galatians 1:6b) And as I read across those verses I thought back about the people that I have seen give their lives to Christ at an altar of grace and tsmhen were so soon removed. Those who I had watched walk and serve Christ. Not as those do who get saved and vanish. Which is often the issue with a soul will who comes searching for a temporary fix to a permanent problem rather than a permanent fix to a temporary problem. Whew! That a good word right there! But the folks I think on are those who I served with for years sometimes; and then one day they were just gone. Believing another gospel? They’d likely say no. Because they’re not serving in another church. They’re absent without leave, and believing a gospel for which they aren’t even aware.

The Backslider’s Gospel

A backslider’s gospel is perhaps what I would call it. For some reason or another they found their time could be better spent outside of the church. They occasionally come on Christmas and Easter. A funeral attendance will heap conviction upon their shoulders for a good thirty minutes after the service. But then they determine that Sunday is like any other day. And they can love God on Monday just as well. They have nothing to prove by being in church.

Just as I need to be reminded Who it is and why it is that I serve Christ, a backslidden Christian too needs a reminder. Paul said in verses 15-16 “But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace. To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: Neither went I up to Jerusalem to which were apostles before me ; but I went to Arabia, and retruned again unto Damascus.”

While Paul didn’t go to where the other Apostles were, he was still in the ministry. He was preaching and teaching the gospel as the Holy Spirit revealed it to Him. He wasn’t called to follow the church, or the leaders, he was called to follow God. So be it when someone leaves our church and moves on to serve in another, I’m not concerned for their soul. I miss them, I’m like a mother hen I want all my peeps in one place, but I’m spiritually mature enough to know that’s not always the way God sees it.

But when someone leaves church for the house… no… that’s not God’s plan. That’s a backslider’s gospel. That is the one that allows you to believe that you can be “be just as good at the house as you can in church.” No you can’t. You’ll tell yourself that you’ll read your bible and listen to the word of God. For a while maybe, then you won’t. You’ll tell yourself that you don’t need Christian fellowship. Yes you do. All these things serve a purpose in your life that you don’t want to live without. You can survive. But not nearly as well.

The gospel not only convicts the soul of sin, but it soothes the heart.

Sin may not be continuously on your door step after you leave the church, but Satan will be. He’ll place things in your life to assure you stay away from God’s house, because even Satan knows you’re better off in church.

The fellowship of believers may cause a disagreement now and then, but there is no truer friend than that of the body of Christ if you’re in the right church.

The Backslider’s gospel is the most deceiving of all. Because it tells you “You’re okay.” And you’ll be okay until you’re not and then you’ll be away from everything and everyone that can help you make it through the rough patches of life. And then Satan will convince you that nobody cares. What a liar!

If you’re away from God. Get your heart and mind set for Sunday morning. Be in your seat. If you’ve not yet left, but you’re contemplating it, hang on to the back of that pew with every ounce of strength you have and then hit the altar and ask God to help you through. Don’t go to church for the sake of other people. Go to church for you.

Don’t Look Back!

chick 2016 cropped

Unbelievable!  We’re teetering on the edge of 2016,  and although my body feels another year older, my mind is saying “What happened?” It was just New Year’s Day 2015 yesterday! It’s like we’re on a Nascar track headed for the finish line and we’re not even slowing down for crashes. Troubles beset us round about but our eyes are on the next pit stop in life.  Try as I might, I can’t slow it down and it will do no good to look back.

Jesus said in Luke 9:62 No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” Forward Ho!!!! Well I guess I just went back from the race track to the wagon train. Today on the Eve of 2016 I’m scheduled to sing at the funeral of a dear child of God who lived a full life and to her too it no doubt seemed like but a day. To her children they surely long for more time but it’s not possible. We’re on the course and the time allotted is known to no one but God. So what do we do when we’re teetering on time passing and the future? If we’re wise we’ll go to the Word of God!

James 3:17

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

James 3:17 is a good reflection point that provokes anticipation. Sounds like a great verse for New Year’s Eve!

Reflection

Wisdom from above – From the creation of all, the Word, which was authored by God has been pure and infused into the soul of a child of God through the Holy Spirit. That same purity produces purity (not perfection) into our lives, our conversation, and intentions, by driving us forward to a better life in Christ. The purpose of reflecting on 2015 is not to look back on the failures (although they can be good lessons) but rather use it as a gauge on where you’ve been and where you are at this point in time so that you can determine where you want to be when you stand on the eve of 2017, if God allows. Looking back for the purpose of counting failures is detrimental to your purpose. It causes doubt and confusion… neither of which bring anything good to the banquet table. They bring stale leftovers from a dinner you didn’t even enjoy the first time… throw them out and move on!

Peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated (treated) full of mercy and good fruits. Sounds like a place I’d like to be in 2016! A day spa that lasts 365 days of the year and at the end of the day has the Lord rubbing your shoulders like a player on the field of life, telling you what a great game you played. That game is well played by extending the mercy we’ve been shown by Christ. We’re not on the field to crush our opponents, we’re on the field to win them over to our team and then they become the fruit of the banquet table! Glory to God isn’t it wonderful how God uses food analogies. Because He knows we’re a hungry people… be it for physical or spiritual food… we long for it… and lots of it!

God is no respecter of persons, nor should we be. Without partiality, and without hypocrisy. He loves you just like He loves me, although sometimes I’m pretty sure I’m His pet, just sayin’. In the words of my sister Sarah…. God is soooooooooooooooooo good! And so very real. We need to share that message with every soul that crosses our path… or race track… or trail.

Anticipation

As I anticipate 2016 I’m looking forward to the Lord doing great, unusual, mighty things in my life and ministries. What are you looking forward to? Don’t look back unless you’re using it as gauge to see how far the Lord takes you next year. Forward, ho!!!!

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Managing Your Mission

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If you’re a child of God, the second you step your foot to the floor  in the morning you’ve entered the mission field. The mission field varies from child to child but it’s a full time job wherever you are or whatever you do. Look around you right now, and look around yourself later… there you are on the mission field. God has a plan for you in that place and at that time, and Satan has his own strategy… foil God’s plan.

My mission for today is to create a battle plan that is road worthy. One that I can take on the road via this blog and share with other leaders to encourage them and myself as well to be prepared for this day of battle. I found the battle plan in Deuteronomy 20

You’re going!

Like it or not, if you’re in the leadership of the church, meaning you carry a position of any sort, you’re the enemy of Satan and his minions. But God says “Be not afraid.”

Deuteronomy 20:1 – When thou goest out to battle against thine enemies, and seest horses, and chariots, and a people more than thou, be not afraid of them: for the Lord thy God is with thee, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

Forget the numbers and forget their method of transportation. It doesn’t matter if the enemy out numbers you or if they have greater means of getting to their destination, they’re not in charge. Oh my, how I needed to hear that today! I get overwhelmed when I start counting what needs done, or what obstacles are in my path. But then I read the Word of God and I am quickly reminded that my Commander and Chief sits high and looks low and He can orchestrate this army of enemies to part down the middle and allow my pathway to be straight, or He can give me strength for the battle, but either way my destination has been established of old provided I stay on the path. Oh… I’m going!

Your Pep Talk

Deut.  20:2-4 – And it shall be, when ye are come nigh unto the battle, that the priest shall approach and speak unto the people, And shall say unto them, Hear, O Israel, ye approach this day unto battle against your enemies: let not your hearts faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be ye terrified because of them; For the Lord your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.

Your High Priest, Jesus Himself comes nigh to you today and tells you… let not your heart faint. Is it not the Holy Spirit that dwells within your heart, Who has the original battle plan that was drawn up by God Himself in His hand? He’s right there with us on the battle field. He’s not sitting in some office passing out orders, He’s got His hands right in the thick of what we’re in working through it for our good. God says  don’t faint now, you’ll miss the victory party! The victory party starts before the battle is over. We celebrate each step along the way as we watch God’s providence have its way again and again. Everything we’re going through will be a testimony of  His presence in our life. Don’t faint!

Your Orders

Deut. 20:5-7 – And the officers shall speak unto the people, saying, What man is there that hath built a new house, and hath not dedicated it? let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man dedicate it. And what man is he that hath planted a vineyard, and hath not yet eaten of it? let him also go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man eat of it. And what man is there that hath betrothed a wife, and hath not taken her? let him go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man take her.

Dedicate – when I get a new instrument I dedicate it to the service of the Lord.  I want that instrument to be an instrument of the gospel through music and ministry. I don’t want it used for vain purposes of building myself up but rather a tool of my trade. In verse 5 the scripture says that our entire home should be dedicated to the Lord. Have you dedicated your home to His service? I’m asking the Lord to use my home in whatever capacity He chooses. This morning it’s an office, this afternoon it may be romper room if my grandchildren are around, but may God be glorified through it. Amen!

Plant – Vs. 6, What’s in your vineyard? And will you enjoy reaping what you’ve sown? I pray that we are all sowing seeds of the gospel along the way, but as well as those seeds I’m also sowing things into my life and into others. If I want to harvest abundantly in my life I need to sow the right seeds in the right soil. Be it financially or spiritually I need to make sure that what I’m planting is what I want to harvest. I don’t want a job, I want to harvest a ministry, but I also need provision for my family so that I am not a burden. So I’m headed to the seed store to see what God wants to plant that will provide a crop of provision. What are you needing to harvest? And are you planting the right seeds?

Marry –verse 7 speaks of betrothal. That’s a commitment. Are you committed to the cause? It’s going to be a battle, you’ll be spending a lot of time together, and if you’re in it for the long haul you better be married to it. Get to know God’s plan for your life inside and out and don’t walk away from your destiny.

You’re Ready

Deut. 20:8-9 – And the officers shall speak further unto the people, and they shall say, What man is there that is fearful and fainthearted? let him go and return unto his house, lest his brethren’s heart faint as well as his heart. And it shall be, when the officers have made an end of speaking unto the people that they shall make captains of the armies to lead the people.

In closing, God says if you’re not ready, go back to the house before you discourage someone else. But if you’re ready, God’s got people that need you for a leader. These are exciting times! What’s God going to do with you today… Lead on!

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