Tag Archives: Holiday

An Unusual Thanksgiving Message

Book of Wars Journal entry and Poetry by Shari L. Johnson

Although I know it was a word search that lead me to Numbers 21, I don’t remember what word I was searching for. I got so caught up in verse 14 and wondering just where is that book? And why do I not remember this scripture?

Wherefore it is said in the book of the wars of the Lord, What he did in the Red sea, and in the brooks of Arnon.

I did a quick web search on the book and read that it was a “missing book,” a “canonical book” not included in the scriptures and a book spoken to a man by an angel just a few years ago! None of those intrigued me enough to search any further for the book, but rather I decided just to let the Holy Spirit speak to me this week of Thanksgiving on what that book meant to me. And why I was lead to the book of Numbers, chapter 21, and verse 14 this morning.

I imagined the wars that God had penned in that book for me. Penned much like I do in journaling, for the purpose of reminiscing and to look back on a time in my history that something amazing happened. Something worthy of documenting. And what will it be like when I get to Heaven and discover in that long, lost book, all the times God rescued me.

Ephesians 6:12  says

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Are those wars written in that book? I don’t know.

But I know this. I know God is worthy of far more gratitude than I give, Thanksgiving or otherwise. I’ve had to fight a lot of battles within and without lately, and everyone was won with the Word of God. I had to fight them again usually because I let the flesh take over and remind me not of the win, but of the battle.

Today I’m grateful, first and foremost for my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ who fought every battle for me on the cross of Calvary when He died for my sins, and yours. I’m thankful that He continues to sit on the right hand of the Father, and watch over me, comfort me and strengthen me through the Holy Spirit.

I do not know what battles have been written down, but I know that the battles above my head in the spiritual realm are real. And I know they’re not mine to fight, else they’d be lost.

Every time I write, draw, speak or sing for Him, I know there’s a battle above me to squelch the praises worthy to God’s name, a battle I must fight. Today, it’s a battle I’ll win on my Lord’s behalf.

THANK YOU JESUS. Thank You for that sacrifice on the Cross and thank You for speaking to God on my behalf. I’m sorry it’s necessary. But I’m grateful You are there.

THANK YOU GOD. For listening. For allowing Your Son to make that sacrifice on the cross. I can’t, nor do I want to, imagine the pain You experienced that day.  But I’m grateful that You had a plan to save my soul so that I could thank You in person someday.

THANK YOU HOLY SPIRIT. Thank You for being with me every single day. Guiding me. Strengthening me and encouraging me. Without You I know my creativity would be naught. Without You I know I’d be so overwhelmed. Thank You.

Win your battle, Thank Him today!!!!

Why Baptist don’t do lent… and other things

chick dance

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

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

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

Now, back to my failures.

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

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

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

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Game on!!! It’s Christmas Time

defense

 

Just a few days into the Christmas season and I can already feel it. That attack on me from within and without. Projects are vying for my time, my to do list has gotten longer than Santa’s naughty list, and over all life is way out of control. One more meeting, one more event, one more phone call, one more thing to do, to buy to say… ugh.

It takes its toll. Both physically and spiritually.

You may have noticed that I’ve not blogged for a few days. My uniform hadn’t arrived yet. I’m on the home team where I play offense, defense and sometimes I jump over or crawl under the fence, none of which are very graceful. All of that cute gibberish is for one purpose… to remind you and I both that this is the season we need to be even greater spiritually defended.

My battle hero that I often look at is David. He knew what it was like to be under siege on every level. In Psalm 5:11 he says “But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.”

Let us not allow Satan to steal our joy this season. Don’t think for two seconds that you can defend it, you may be good… but you’re not that good!

Believe

Be Loud

Be Happy

Believe that God has a plan in every Holiday event, mishap or success, believe there is purpose. He is Christmas control.

Be Loud! Make a joyful noise for the Lord at every opportunity; sing carols, sing praise, just sing! You’d be amazed at what a joy spring can fill your heart through a song. (Please pray for me as I sing this weekend at a recording session. Which is partially the reason my blog has been lacking… one of many irons in the fire) Overpower the world’s song with the song in your heart

Be Happy! I know it’s so easily said. But what also is easily done is to look around and see how blessed we are in comparison to so very many others across the earth.

I hope to be back on line in the morning with a little more in depth blog, but for now this is where I am at…

Too busy for my own good, too quiet for the world’s good, and my too lack luster for the Lord’s good, He deserves so much more!

DEFENSE PEOPLE! The Game’s on!

Woohoo ~ Light the World!

I love social media for as many reasons as I hate social media. It’s true. For all the good it does, it also creates that much heartache. But as my good friend Dennis Legg says, “I can eat the fish, and throw away the bones.” There is such great truth in that statement. Facebook has exploded over the holiday weekend with Christmas tree and light posts from homes across the globe. I love it! So much so that I posted my own. But even greater than that are the posts about the light of my Lord.

Not until Heaven will we know the result of the seeds sown through social media. I know there are naysayers. Say on. I’ll even Amen you once in a while. But every time I see a scripture post, a word of encouragement, a cross or the many images with wonderful encouraging words I want to put up a score board and say, “That’s one more for Jesus!”

Through Social Media I have met some of the most wonderful “lights.” People in their own communities lighting the tree every day of the year, not just at Christmas. I know from the comments on their posts that their lights shine true. I’m not the only one that tunes in. Their testimony sparkles of glitter and gold and some days I want to create a fan page for them! But then I think that’s kind of creepy… and really they already have their fan page. It’s the pages in the Word of God that they share so liberally in a liberal world that doesn’t want it, but they got it anyway.

Isaiah 28:10

For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:

Little by little we’ll light the world.

1 John 1:5-7

This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

Let your little light shine!