Tag Archives: comfort

Mutual Faith

For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established; That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me. ~ Romans 1:11-12

It’s what’s kept me going for 23 years. I believe with all my heart that it is the most undervalued superpower of the church today. It’s why pews are sitting empty and saints of God are living defeated lives. God never intended for us to go through this alone. Even He had 12 friends.

Mutual faith is a beautiful thing. Let me tell you what it looks like in my life.

Mutual Desire

On Sunday morning I’m with the local church. A body of believers that I stand doctrinally in agreement with. We don’t argue. Haven’t for the 23 years I’ve been there, (which for some churches is unfathomable). We’ve not argued because we’ve had strong leadership and a mutual desire to keep Christ as the Head of the church. He’s in charge, then we fall in line accordingly – Pastor – Deacons – Church.

If everyone is doing what they’ve been designed to do, you don’t want to do what someone else has been called to do.

On Saturday my heart begins to desire my Sunday morning time with God’s people. It’s genuine and I know that I’m called to serve in that place in my multiple positions. I don’t want anyone else’s! Believe me, God has placed enough on my plate. That’s what He does when you share His mutual desires.

Mutual Foundation

When Victory Baptist church was established in 1992, it came to be out of heartache. A church split that was never desired, causing division among God’s people, which was never intended. I came on board 4 years later. After the dust had settled.

I came in from a church that had been established for decades. A church that loved each other but had lost their mutual desire. There was no Kingdom purpose. No foundation. (I don’t say that lightly) it makes my stomach turn to think about it. But it is unfortunately what is happening to most churches of today.

The foundation of the church is to edify the body and seek souls to be saved. Victory was built on soul winning, something we too have lost sight of over the years. It’s easy to get complacent and become very comfortable with those we have.

Peter sent thousands out from Pentecost. Can you imagine? These people in Rome were of that lot and they were excited, and Paul was excited to meet them. He loved where he was, but he desired to go where he had not been.

That’s a lesson for us! I so desire to go where I have not been.

Mutual Faith

It doesn’t matter where I go, I find those of mutual faith. Or perhaps God sends them my way. I seldom ever go anywhere that I don’t meet up with God’s children.

My husband David and I went on the hunt of yard sales in the city last weekend and low and behold, one after another I met with God’s people. What a blessing!

I drew strength from them. They perhaps did not even know it. Or maybe they too drew strength from me.

By the same token at those sales I also met people that my soul bore witness that they did not know Christ. I feel like I missed the boat because I didn’t take the time to tell them about Jesus. I have friends who you’ll not be in their presence, but a few minutes and you’ll know that they have come to tell you about Jesus. They do it unashamedly, with bold conviction!

I have bold conviction, and a big mouth. I know that I’m failing to use my spiritual gift to do what God designed me to do. Tell the world about Jesus… better.

I don’t take lightly the web platform, after all, how many people has Paul reached and continues to reach for the cause of Christ through the written word. It too is a superpower. The point is, there is not only safety in numbers there is power in numbers! Together we are an amazing team.

I pray this has encouraged you! Feel free to share it and invite people to your church. Let them know you’re a part of a great team too!

Heaven Help Us

In the book of Nahum we once again find Israel having been carried captives into Assyria. A common storyline in the lives of God’s people. Sin, become captive, repent, obtain freedom, repeat.  But before we cast any stones we, generally speaking, don’t have to look long into our own lives to find that we too are repeat offenders of captivity.  The world has a way of laying hold on us and doesn’t relinquish us to freedom easily. Our enemies are fierce, but our Father is the fiercest of all!

When a verse like Nahum 1:7-8 comes into my reading time, I take note, and need to delve further into the God of all comfort. He comforts me like the favorite blanket that I wrap up in on a cool fall morning.

Nahum 1:7-8

The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him. But with an overrunning flood he will make an utter end of the place thereof, and darkness shall pursue his enemies.

Heaven helps those who do

Jesus told the young ruler in Luke 18:19 Why callest thou me good? None is good, save one, that is, God.

A very quick and honest search of our own hearts and we realize that we are not good. Sin abounds inside the heart of every man and is only covered by the blood of Jesus when we ask Christ to save us. But it is forever a constant battle creating trouble in our lives. Either our sin or the sin of someone else. So what a joy and privilege and highlight worthy verse we find in the book of Nahum; because even though we’re not good, God is! And He’s a stronghold for those that know Him. A stronghold is a place of security and safety. For King David being sought by Saul, it was cave. For me this morning it’s a blanket on the couch that I’m wrapped up in studying God word. I love this time of the day when the busyness and stress of the day hasn’t quite kicked in and my heart is still tender and receptive to God’s guidance

It’s good seed sown in a dirty ground that grows beautiful things.

Come what may for the rest of the day (an our lives) we have to trust that God is good and He takes care of His own.

Heaven Help those who don’t!

Nahum described it as an “overrunning flood” for the enemies of God. And although most people who have not claimed Christ as their Savior, don’t view themselves as the enemies of God, they are. They are because they’ve allowed the world to rule their hearts and the world is the enemy of God.

James 4:4 says as much when James wrote: Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

That “should” strike fear in the heart of anyone who hasn’t been saved, but it doesn’t. They are blinded by this world into believing that there is another way out besides salvation. And the heartaches and troubles they face every day, that overwhelms their souls and very much feels like an overrunning flood could be traded for the strong hand of God that would remove it and replace it with His peace for the asking. But many will not.

And sadly many who know God and He knows them, live in defeat because they don’t take the time to get in His word where peace is found.

I’m ever so grateful that in all my errors and blunders in life, God’s grace is sufficient to pull me through the tough days and allow me to celebrate the good days with gladness! I pray you’re experiencing that peace today and that you’ll share it with someone along the pathway.

If you’d like to know more about sceduling the Jesus Chick to speak or sing, contact me at 304-377-6036 or find me on social media under “the Jesus Chick.”

How to Apply the Balm

Why is it that the people of God seemed to be so continually perplexed when it comes to the things of life? Parents have no concept on how to raise their children without the help of books by authors they’ve never met, the school is left to discipline and teach manners of those that don’t even read the help books, and the moral decay of our schools is evident on the evening news. It is for certain a scary world we live in. The adults aren’t any better off than many youth; morality is situational and objective for themselves, but yet they believe it should all means be defined by the law for all others. Police are viewed as the enemy, there is no respect for authority from the White House to the Church house and in the words of a man who once attended our church but fell out to world “We’re in a mess.” So what’s the answer? Before you think this is a blog of discouragement and chastisement, read on.

This is a word that will sooth your soul…

Jeremiah 8:22 says:

Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? Why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?

Israel’s idea of the law had become subjective and their world was in a mess too. And so Jeremiah, the weeping prophet; who preached repentance to God’s people, had the same questions that I had at the beginning of this blog. I have those questions because I see so much heart ache and pain in every direction. Parents want to be good parents, children want a home filled with love, employers want trustworthy staff, churches want committed members, but it all seems to be unraveling because nobody is asking the right questions.

Where is our healing? Where it’s always been… in the Balm of Gilead. Jesus.

I know, I know, His name is on billboards, social media memes and in every sermon you’ve heard preached, and yet your world is still a mess. I think I know why. Because we’re not applying the balm.

The Acknowledgement

God has been after me for…. Ever… to use my talents in a greater methods. You see, I know I have the abilities… I just don’t apply them. You know your own issues, but when have you actually applied Jesus’ word to it? And what does that look like?

The Accountability

Israel needed to repent. They thought their ways were good enough and God would take care of them, because after all, they were the chosen. Don’t we each feel sometimes that God will cover us, come what may, even if we’re not exactly where we should be? Or is it only me? Repentance doesn’t necessarily mean that we have some massive sin, (although it could). But it could mean that you have a spirit of rebellion by not seeking God’s solution before mans.

I see more and more frustrated parents who seldom if ever darken the door of the Lord’s house with their children and yet they want good kids. Good kids need to know the only One who is good. Jesus. He is the balm that can sooth the heartache in the homes that are filled with disrespect and unruly children.

Another often heard conversation I have is with people who are hurting because friends and family have let them down and left them broken. I see people who have been abused in ways that I can’t even imagine and they have no desire to seek the One who can apply a balm to their heart and soul that will heal that hurt for eternity and love them as they long to be loved. He’s a cry away.

The Application

The Balm of Gilead known as Jesus, isn’t available online or in the store. It’s freely available for the asking. Salvation is immediate upon the request to ask Jesus to come into your life and accepting His work on the cross as payment for your sin. But peace,direction, guidance,  contentment, happiness and a wholesome life is only found in those who continually seek a relationship with Jesus for their home. Now… everyone may not be saved in the home, but the one who is can seek the guidance and wisdom of God, and to the best of their ability, live it. As it’s lived, the healing balm is applied. And sometimes it even gets onto the ones who have rejected the Lord and they too feel it’s soothing effects and desire to know the Lord of all, Jesus

A Conversation with the Creator

The willow tree is my all-time favorite tree. I don’t have any in my yard, but perhaps someday I will, especially after reading Isaiah 44. I’m an illustration learner, I must have visuals or soul stirring words to capture my attention and plant a seed that will stay; otherwise it just rolls off this hard head of mine and onto the ground. I need something that will penetrate my heart. God knows. And so as I’m talking with the Lord this morning I hear “Isaiah 44,” and in curiosity I followed the Lord’s leading. I’m so glad I did. It was there that I discovered perhaps why the willow tree has appealed to me over the years.

A Call to the Chosen

44:1-2 Yet now hear, O Jacob my servant; and Israel, whom I have chosen: Thus saith the Lord that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, which will help thee; Fear not, O Jacob, my servant; and thou, Jesurun, whom I have chosen.

Have you ever gotten a call from someone that made you feel pretty important? That’s how Israel should have felt in Isaiah 44:1. In modern day it would be as if they picked up the phone and God Himself was on the line saying, “I could have called anyone, but I chose to call you.”

We take the calling of God so lightly! He didn’t have to save us. But He did. He did not have to speak to my heart in 1996, but He did. And I am ever so grateful! What does it mean to you to be chosen by God? Take a minute just to let that soak in. That He created you to be who you are. The way you look, the desires of heart, the talents you have… everything was designed by Him. Do you criticize or disregard the vessel God placed you in? I know I do. Think of how much effort He put into you! It’s the insanity of the world to think that we could have just “happened.” No… we were splendidly, awesomely designed!

A Comfort for the Called

For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring: And they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water courses.

What a peaceful image to imagine sitting by a river beneath a willow tree that has been soaking up the water and is lush and green. Especially when you’ve been out in the dessert as the children of Israel have been. Or what about us? When you’ve been in a dry place where we sometimes don’t see the working of God and nobody is excited about anything spiritual. The world is full of depressing news and frustrating people; but then you open up the word of God and feel Him pouring into you the water of life and suddenly your disposition changes, because your position changed. The world will say nobody cares, there’s no way out, the whole world is going to Hell in a handbasket, but from the word of God springs hope, life and direction. There is great comfort in that!

A Concept of the Creator

One shall say, I am the Lord’s; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob; and another shall subscribe with his hand unto the Lord, and surname himself by the name of Israel. Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God. And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order for me, since I appointed the ancient people? and the things that are coming, and shall come, let them shew unto them. Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.

We tend to put labels on ourselves. Sometimes it’s from a family characteristic, perhaps it’s from a past mistake or a title given to us by the world. We put far too much stock in titles given to us through our employers.

How hard is it for us to grasp the concept of the Creator? What was it that God created you for? What is your purpose and design? Why do you think God gave you the personality and passions that He did. How can those be used for His glory, and are you using them for that purpose.

Lots of questions to ponder today…

I’d love to hear from you. Find me on Facebook or respond through the contact form, let’s converse!

The Answer to Every Problem

I have no idea what the Lord Jesus might look like, but I for certain know what He feels like.

I had three of my grands at the house this morning and was fixing them their favorite comfort foods before school; pancakes and hot cocoa with baby marshmallows melting all up in the cup. Yes, I’m aware that is not the breakfast of champions, but it is the breakfast of Noni. They don’t stay that often, so when they do I like them to leave with the feeling that Noni’s is always a place that they are loved and gone the extra mile for. That’s how I’ve always felt with Jesus. That’s how I feel with my family and my friends. Those that God has placed in my life are placed there for the “extra mile” experience of a child of God. I am blessed.

I am painfully aware that not everyone experiences a pancake and cocoa life. If I’m truthful, not every day of mine is so sweet and wonderful either. Life is harsh. And pancakes and marshmallows usually won’t fix it; but understanding the comfort that comes at the greatest of cost but the smallest price is a worthwhile endeavor. It’s knowing the God of “all” comfort.

I was speaking with a friend this week about the tragedy of people in our lives who don’t experience the peace God affords. Most of them are not saved. They’ve never known the peace of salvation, which is the sweetest peace of all and the only true peace. They try to achieve it through Pancakes and cocoa, which is at best a temporary fix. Jesus isn’t temporary. Jesus is eternal! Even so, Christians too often forgo seeking His sweet, everlasting peace in exchange for the pancakes and cocoa version. Color me guilty on that on more than one occasion.

How many times have I sought to remove a heartache by rewarding myself with a new something or another? A cup of coffee and a piece of apple strudel? It matters not the place of comfort we seek, if it’s not in Christ Jesus it won’t fix the problem.

2 Corinthians 1:3b says that He is the “God of all comfort.”

All.

Those three letters are fully inclusive of every problem in life.

  • Did someone hurt you? God loves you. Romans 5:8But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
  • Did you lose your job? God is your provider. Philippians 4:19But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
  • Did your marriage fail? Jesus will never leave you nor forsake you. Hebrews 13:5Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
  • Did pressures of life overtake you? Jesus has the peace that passes understanding. John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
  • Did you lose someone to death? Jesus promises eternal life filled with no sorrow. 2 Corinthians 5:8 – We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
  • Did you fail miserably? Jesus will give you the opportunity to start fresh, without condemnation. Isaiah 43:19 –  Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.
  • Did you sin? Jesus died so that you could be forgiven. Colossians 1:14 – In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.
  • Do you have uncertainty in your life? Jesus is certain. Jeremiah 29:11For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

No hurt or trouble is uncovered. Jesus is the God of “all” comfort. He is the God of all “grace.” 1 Peter 5:10But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

What you discover upon reading the word of God is that the common denominator for every problem is that the bible has the every solution. ALL.

Three very powerful little letters because God controls “all.”

 

How to Make it Through a Terrible, Horrible, No Good Day

Chick Comfort

My husband and I recently watched Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Don’t ask me to critique it. My attention spans can capture a commercial but as for a movie, unless it’s AMAZING, you can pretty much rely on the fact that I’ve got three other projects going while it’s running and a couple setting on the burners of my mind in case those don’t pan out. (truth)

The premise of Alexander’s story is, he’s always having a bad day and his family and their perfect lives just can’t identify. Until the day that the tables turn and Alexander is the chosen child while his families lives fall apart… then the comedy of errors is on. Life is full of bad and good days and we’re all just a phone call away in either direction. The vast majority of us go through life in a state of “Us and Our Typical, Mediocre, So So, Average Days.” Giving little thought to “No Good” days until we’re confronted with them. At least I do. I am the Queen of the “I’m Fine Theory.” Life is good until it’s not and then I’ll pretend it is to the rest of world while my inward world crashes down around me and I’m left in a puddle in the road until the Savior comes and scoops me up, comforts my soul and puts me back in the game of life.

What about you this morning? How exactly is your day? For me… I’m in need of comfort for myself and for my friends; so if you’re one of those… consider this blog for you.

2 Corinthians 1:3-6

The Source of Comfort

Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;

The Creator of life and He Who must stamp “approved” on any circumstance in our life is the God of all comfort. I’d be lying if I said I’d never questioned why God put me through some things in my life. I did not enjoy them, sometimes I was not sure I’d survive them. But I can honestly say that when all was said and done and I was on the other side of that horrible day, God had a purpose and it was always amazing. The harder the trial, the more amazing the end result. It’s that coal and diamond theory… pressure makes us shine.

The Science of Comfort

Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

I’m not sure how God turns a lump of coal into a diamond or makes me shine in some of the ugliest circumstances, but it happens. Although we’re the beneficiary of it, it’s not for us that that science occurs, it’s for someone else whose going through a trial of their own, thinking they’ll not survive and then low and behold God sends us  across their path, and the Science of Comfort is the word “hope.” Which could have been lost, with tragic end if we were not allowed to set before them as an example.

The Savior of Comfort

For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.

It is through our relationship with Christ that we identify with His death, burial and resurrection, we understand the new life we were given on the day of salvation. But also on that day of Salvation was Christ living in us and becoming a part of our lives… prospering us through Him. Christ does not joy in our suffering any more than He enjoyed enduring the cross, but He brings us through to the point of victory because on that day He creates in us something new again. Something we’ve never experienced before that will draw us closer to Him and cause us to discover a strength or gift that we did not know existed.

The Salvation of Comfort

And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.

I’ve known far more Christians saved in the midst of heartache than happiness. I’ve also seen the heartache of a saint turned into happiness when they realized that their strength in the storm was what caused a lost soul to recognize the difference between the heartaches of saved and lost.

Friend… if you’re suffering today, I’m not privy to the reason but I’m privy to the Redeemer. And I know He has a purpose in your fight. If you’re not saved, that is first and foremost on your agenda to understanding. Here’s a link to help you out.

 http://thejesuschick.com/the-road-to-salvation/

If you’re a child of God and you’ve found yourself facing the trial of your life, get into the Word of God and cling to those that speak peace to your soul. And if Satan tells you not to bother… run faster, because he’s far too close. And then prepare your Victory Speech! Because God will bring you through.

That’s my God!

awesome-god.500

On shouting ground again this morning with the Word of God! Some days I’m just as apt to give God a sigh of frustration with the world here below. That was last night… Oh how my heart broken for God when I saw once on fire Christians now catering to a world who would who has not hope, and the unsaved looked at me as though I was to be pitied because I didn’t have the intellect to know that God does not exist. I watched as my fiddle case was examined by one such man as he read the verse from Psalm 100 that I have scribed across the case with a sharpie. He admired my penmanship but appeared not to know the Author. They attempt to play gospel music as though it were any other song, but they can’t. Ha! I love it, that’s my God. The One that shows up at the party uninvited and says “Hey, I created you. Don’t pity my girl Shari, you should be so lucky to have what she does.”

Whew Doggie! That’s my God!

Psalm 71 put me in this mode this morning. I was feeling a tad forlorn from the antics of my fellow pickers last night. They’re good people, please don’t miss understand. I wasn’t at some bar in the boonies… well I was in the boonies but not at a bar. It’s a friendly non-alcohol gathering of musicians that are wonderful, wonderful people… but there are a few who would rather God not come up in the conversation because it makes them extremely uncomfortable. It makes them uncomfortable because they don’t understand my God.

Read the “My’s of Psalm 71”. I encourage you to read the whole chapter it’s quite a read.

  • My Trust – (vs. 1) When the world has let you down, in Him you can depend.
  • My Strong Habitation – (vs. 3) When there no place that feels like home, He is there.
  • My Rock – (vs. 3) He’s solid and unmovable. There is no storm that can phase my God.
  • My Fortress – (vs. 3) On my ever side, even my blind side. God has me protected.
  • My God – (vs. 4) When I accepted Christ Jesus as my Savior in 1996
  • My Hope (vs. 5) Today is the anniversary of my Father’s death in 2003, but because of My Hope I’ll see Him again!
  • My Trust – (vs. 5) When my brother was killed at 19 and my Mother was asked why she didn’t blame God, she said how can I blame the only One who will allow me to see him again. That’s trust!!!
  • My Praise – (vs. 6) From before my birth God created me to be who I am and love His people the way I do. I’ll rejoice in every opportunity to serve Him.
  • My Strong Refuge – (vs. 7) That same purpose has on more than one occasion caused an attack on my life but in Him I have safety that no man can touch.
  • My God – (vs. 12) It bears repeating!
  • My Help – (vs. 12) Indeed this very morning he helped me out of the pit of despair the world had created and planted me back on shouting ground.

Oh, Read on weary Pilgrim, we serve an awesome God who’s there for you this day.

I love ya, hope I encouraged you. Be blessed Friend.

 PSALM 71 In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust: let me never be put to confusion.

Deliver me in thy righteousness, and cause me to escape: incline thine ear unto me, and save me.

Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress.

Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man.

For thou art my hope, O Lord God: thou art my trust from my youth.

By thee have I been holden up from the womb: thou art he that took me out of my mother’s bowels: my praise shall be continually of thee.

I am as a wonder unto many; but thou art my strong refuge.

Let my mouth be filled with thy praise and with thy honour all the day.

Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth.

10 For mine enemies speak against me; and they that lay wait for my soul take counsel together,

11 Saying, God hath forsaken him: persecute and take him; for there is none to deliver him.

12 O God, be not far from me: O my God, make haste for my help.

Do You Know The Cuddler?

parkers trip home

How precious is that! My Grandbaby Parker Keith arrived home to be greeted by his very excited siblings and cousins as well as a few very excited grandparents! Six weeks after a birth weight of 2 # 13 ounces he now tips the scales at 4 pounds 7 ounces and although I’m certainly glad those weeks of concern are behind us it was as usual a life lesson. Parker has already taught Noni (that’s me) a spiritual lesson I’ll not soon forget.

During his time in the hospital, a 2 ½ hour journey away for us, he spent a few days alone. His Momma had two other children at home who needed care, their families had jobs and responsibilities that would not allow us to spend every day with him and our hearts were torn. Daughter Tiffani traveled every other day to Morgantown, West Virginia to cuddle and bond with her precious new child. But what about the days no one was able to be there? It was gut wrenching to think of him being alone. But it turns out he wasn’t alone. West Virginia University hospital had paid cuddlers! It was their responsibility to spend time each day cuddling babies and providing emotional support to the families. It made my heart a little lighter knowing that someone was cuddling Parker in our absence. Isn’t it awesome that as children of God, we have a cuddler too!

Jesus spoke in John 14:16-20

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 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. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.

Even though God is not physically here with us, His presence is felt in the child of God and what a privilege that is! I need not go through anything alone. Every heartache and sorrow that I’ve faced I’ve had that Cuddler within me speaking peace to my heart. Do you know that feeling? It’s a peace and comfort that only accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior can afford. He died for you, paid the sacrificial penalty for sin (death on the cross) so that you and I would not have to be separated from our Holy God, Who knew no sin. I hope you have that peace today. If not, please contact me and let me introduce you to the saving grace of Jesus or check out the Romans Road to Salvation page on my site. God bless!!! And if you prayed for Parker…. THANK YOU!!!!

Unraveled at the Feet of Jesus

Trying to find a biblical family in the scripture to model your family after is next to impossible. Dysfunction doesn’t even begin to describe it. From the beginning it was filled with disobedience, betrayal and murder. So it should not come as a surprise that our own families are so messed up today, and yet when it happens we’re shocked. And when you couple the fact that those stories of dysfunction were within God’s chosen leaders of the day, who weren’t perfect, but their relationship with the Lord was to be desired; what does that say about us? Few of us have a relationship with the Lord that’s as tightly knit. So we unravel… and our family isn’t what we envisioned, and neither are we.

I can write from the heart of dysfunction. If God were still adding text to the Bible (and He’s not by the way), but if He were, there could likely be the book of Shari. Perhaps many sermons would be preached from my text with a title like “The Diva of Dysfunction.” There likely would not be the intrigue as many books of the Bible entail, but there would be comedy and chaos, heartache and hindrances to the will of God, fractured moments and failed missions. Several trips to the wood shed for certain. But… in the midst of it all you’d find Mercy. And me at His feet… unraveled.

From Heaven I have a feeling my life looks like a tangled mess of God’s intentions. Maybe yours does too. We have to remember that regardless of what we do, God does see the other side.

  • Poor decisions can take us down a wrong path. And though the distance is rougher and longer, God can still bring us to His intended spot.
  • Broken relations were not His plan, but the healing that He provides can make you stronger and more appreciative of the unbroken.
  • Finances may not be your forte, (it’s not mine) but by giving back to Him what we were entrusted with, perhaps that seed will take root and grow in ways we can’t even imagine. Or He may just give us contentment… and that’s okay too.
  • Sometimes family is the tie that binds, and sometimes it’s the tie that gags, but it’s the foundation of the gospel. We are the family of God. And if He can put up with our shenanigans do we not owe our family the same. A man who sought God’s wisdom ask his counselor “When can I stop caring.” The counselor’s reply was “When God does.”

If I wrote an exhaustive list of dysfunctions you wouldn’t take the time to read my blog. So let’s put it like this. You fill in the blank. “Dear God, ________________ is unraveling in my life. And I need you to knit it back together.”

Scripture says in Colossians 2:2 ~ That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;

We don’t know the end of our story. But we can be comforted in the knowledge that we are loved and that God’s plan is still on track. That tangled mess that we see, will one day be a viewed as a beautiful tapestry …or perhaps a cable knit sweater.

I hope today finds your life at peace, and wrapped up in the love of God

Unity of Community

welcome home candle

I have lived in small communities for all but two years of my fifty years of life. And with little complaint… other than occasional inconvenience, lack of privacy and choices with regards to shopping. But overall the blessings of living in a small West Virginia community outweighs the city any day of the week for this girl. But one thing I’ve noticed as I’ve been blessed with an opportunity to travel to other places in the United States and across the sea is the church community is the same regardless of location, and where ever I’ve gone I’ve been home!

The word “community” is derived from the  communité which is derived from the Latin communitas (com, “with/together” + munus, “gift”).

The church community is ever on the decline in America because of lack of priority in families and a failure on the church to live in a manner that differs from the world, but it’s still the best thing going!  It’s a gift indeed to walk into a congregation of people that you’ve never met before and within five minutes feel like you’ve been there a life time.

Philippians 2:1-5 ~ If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

Paul wrote to the Philippian Church with a few small, cost free requests. Get along. Help each other out. Have mercy. Perhaps that’s a part of the reason the church is on the decline we’ve stopped taking the time to live out Paul’s instructions.

To follow Paul’s example you must first be “in Christ”, having accepted His salvation and having the Holy Spirit dwell inside of you. That is how those people that I had never met before felt like old friends. Because the Spirit of Christ within us bore witness to one another. It’s an exciting thing! It was to Christian friends that Paul speaks to and I in turn am sharing his message in hopes of seeing at work in our churches today the unity of the community of believers. There were three things Paul mentioned that was necessary for unity.

  • Consolation – relief or support. A feeling of hope! The gospel of Christ is a full service gospel. The same words that convict the soul of a need for salvation, soothes the soul with a feeling of hope. But it is of little effect without legs to walk beside someone or arms to hug them tight in a time of trouble. That’s why the church was established so we could help one another through the hard times of life.
  • Comfort – security or relaxation. A feeling of home! When I walk into the sanctuary of Victory Baptist Church there is a joy that leaps within me. It’s my Father’s house, and as His child I feel as much at home there as I do in my living room at the house. That’s how it should be for every believer that walks through the door, whether or not it is their home church. There should be a feeling of belonging.
  • Mercy – forgiveness or compassion. A feeling of humanity! We’ve all been in need of forgiveness; and essential for a feeling of unity in the believers is mercy. As someone once said “The church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints.” Everyone who walks in the door should feel the acceptance of the Lord to come “just as I am.

Philippians 4:1-5 is a church that understands the J.O.Y. of the Lord.  ~ Jesus first, others second, and yourself last.

When you walk into your church on Sunday morning, I hope you walk in looking for that soul who needs to link with yours for consolation, comfort and mercy and a feeling that they’ve just arrived home.