Principal’s Office

Standard

3f7d26102cdeffd138ea8bc04cde7a16.jpg

Unfortunately, as a young child, through the beginning of my pre-teens, I was the target of bullying. Normally this is not a subject I freely discuss, but today is a good day to share. Bullying is hateful, ugly, and puts worry, fear, and undue pressure on the one being bullied. As I entered my teen years, the tables turned and I then became the attacker. This is not something proud of. I did not know the Lord, but that is no excuse. You would think I would remember how it felt…the pain, the sting of hurtful names, ulcers that took a toll on my physical body. However, I just took the pain, pressure, and insults to heart and became hard.

My new Bible study is concentrating on the power through prayer. One of the verses today was Hebrews 4:16, “ Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”  As I meditated on this verse, (looking up grace and mercy because I get those mixed up all the time), I thought about the word confidence.

Taunting others and disrespecting my teachers made me very familiar with the principal’s office. Going there was not my favorite pastime but there I ended up often. Even though I put on the tough exterior, I was riddled with guilt and fear. Confidence was not a quality that I had a lot of. So when I had to write this verse out this morning, this memory came flooding into my mind. Why?

Prayer seems to be the easiest but most difficult action for Christians. For me, I get distracted and my mind wanders. It’s very challenging to stay focused. Even more, guilt, shame and sin keep us from approaching that throne of grace. Instead of going to the principal or counselor with how I was feeling and the troubles in my heart to get help, I chose to try to bury them…and it didn’t stay buried but came out in many dysfunctional ways. We may think, ” Hey, I can’t pray because I did this or that. God is mad at me. I have to remember my sin and it makes me feel bad. I can figure this out. Also, false guilt and shame flood our hearts and minds.

This verse invites us to draw near to God in prayer. That is such a beautiful picture! So often when we feel so inadequate, fearful or guilt-ridden that we stay far away from the throne. Remember, Christ has done the work through his death on the cross and his resurrection! If we are saved, we are forgiven before we even commit the sin! We CAN have confidence to approach the throne of grace (involves the unmerited pardon of our sins, and that pardon was made possible through Christ.)

God is not our principal but our loving Savior! We can unburden our heart before the throne of grace and say whatever we want to say. He extends his mercy toward us through his loving compassion despite our sinfulness. Grace and mercy are magnificent gifts that should take us to our knees in worship and adoration! Remember, we can bring nothing to God except a humble and thankful heart as we trust not in our works, but completely on the finished work of Christ.

I have to say that the many times I saw the principal was not pleasant, fair, or a learning situation. It really did not take care of any of what was causing my behavior and the hurts in my heart. Christ came in to my life and in a moment I became his child. He is still working on me and he continues to work on you. Prayer is a privilege! He loves you. He wants to talk with you. He wants to give you grace and mercy.

Advertisements

What We Need This Year

Standard

Looking back on this year as it comes to a close, I have been pondering on what word I will choose to be “my word” for the year. 2 years ago I chose hope, then this past year was steadfast. I choose a word that I will meditate on, aspire to, challenge myself with, study, memorize verses that include it…immerse myself in it. If you couldn’t guess, peace won!

With all that has transpired in this world…war, shootings, refugee crisis, I have been compelled in wanting to know more of what the Bible says about peace. On Sunday, my Pastor spoke on Isaiah 9:6-7.

“For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon[a] his shoulder,
    and his name shall be called[b]
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and of peace
    there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
    to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
    from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.”

He mentioned that Prince of Peace is Sar Shalom in Hebrew. Sar actually means someone in charge. Perfect! Jesus is in charge of Peace! This, of course, means that to have the peace of God in our hearts, actions and minds, we need to get to know Him better. If we have accepted Jesus as Savior then positionally we have peace with God through Jesus Christ. However, the peace we all seem to long for, the peace of God, is conditional. Sheri, you have some ‘splaining to do. Sorry, I had a Lucy moment!

Peace with God is only found at the foot of the cross whereas peace within is achieved through obedience to the word of God.

Living a life of peace is a choice. Nothing robs you of your peace—you freely surrender it when you allow your circumstances to cloud your vision. Peter did it when he was walking on the water to Jesus. If he can do it, we are definitely prone to do the same. God wants peace to be the fabric of your being and to encompass every aspect of your life. “He wants you to learn to trust his heart even when you can’t trace his steps.”

True peace is a calm assurance coupled with a quiet joy that God has your life under control and that He is continuously yet mysteriously working to accomplish His purpose. God knows your unfulfilled desires, your broken dreams, your disappointments, and your defeats. He longs to give you his peace in the middle of these challenges.

I will admit, I am a natural worrier. In fact, I am a natural sinner too. God has taught me much, over the years, that He is faithful and reliable to take care of whatever may come my way. Prayer unlocks the door of peace. Ask God to give you focus on Him and not what you see or feel. Ask him to help you maintain your reliance on Him and dependence on His power. Be in the Word…studying, memorizing, and reading. It truly does “renew your mind.” Philippians 4:6-7

Psalm 31:5 “My times are in your hands.” Your life is under God’s watchful care so you can rest under his wings. He wants to fill your life with even greater peace–so that it may overflow to others. We are here to be a channel of his love and grace.

Do you long for and desire peace? He is totally available to you!

 

 

 

Rocky Paths

Standard

Crazy stuff happens in this uncertain life we live. This last health battle made it feel like I was walking on uneven pavement; not sure of my footing…my future.

When you are hurting, (physically, emotionally or financially), it can knock the breath right out of you. Fear and whirling thoughts creep into your heart and mind to the point that impending doom is all you feel. When walking on a rocky path, at first you manage because you are fresh, rested and your focus is clear. Then you start to get tired and your foot slips on one of the pebbles on the road, or your ankle twists. Pain begins and fatigue ensues the further you travel on. We keep pushing through even though we should stop, rest and just wait for help. We can do this OURSELVES!!! Really?

This verse came to my mind so I thought it was worth looking into.

“I waited patiently for the Lord, he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out…he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.” Psalm 40:1-2

 “Rock is a  word that has opposing meanings. It can mean shaky and unstable—the shocking news rocked my world. It can also mean, solid, strong, and immovable. That is the Rock of our salvation—Jesus.

Wow! Perspective and focus can change everything! Instead of looking at the “rocky” places of your life as obstacles, see them as springboards to becoming more like Christ.

“Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered.” Hebrews 5:8

As you walk this bumpy road, remember each trial, hurt, disappointment and pain is molding and making you like Christ. Not easy, but definitely worth knowing that narrow way is leading you home.

Remember…

Standard

Dogwood-Flowers-Wallpaper-SpringYep…remembering is not my strong suit especially on the days I experience brain fog.(a feeling of being somewhat disconnected or spaced out, mentally confused and lacking clarity, focus and concentration.) Many times throughout the day I ask myself,”Where is my purse?”, “Where did I put my phone?”  and inevitably I find them right where I had put them. You can relate, right? Why do we so quickly lose sight of where that phone or purse is? Sometimes it’s because we do not see the importance, in the moment, of focusing on what is before us as we walk away and onto the next thing in our busy lives. We lay that phone down and we don’t think twice about it until we need it again. Then it becomes an urgent need.

As I have been reading through the Word, doing Bible study and listening to preaching, a recurring word or some form of it, keeps coming up…remember. 

A perfect example of forgetfulness in the Bible are the Israelites. God continued to supply their needs and rescue them over and over again, however, when disturbances came across their path the complaints, murmuring, despair and doubts multiplied. Moses would seek God, as in the situation of the lack of food, and God would tell Moses to remind them of who He was, what He had done and his faithfulness. (Ex. 16:4-5)

Today, we can read His Word, pray, serve, and God is faithful over and over to us yet, sometimes when we receive a blow that comes out of nowhere, we tend to forget His provisions bathed with grace. We forget his promises. We need to choose to remember.

There some ways that I have incorporated into my life to help me to remember God’s goodness during trials. In so doing, I can trust him more.

1. Memorizing Scripture

2. Putting the Word up on our walls in every room.(Canvas prints, needlepoint, handwritten, or computer generated)

3. Keeping the Bible in every room so that it is accessible at all times.

4. Praying often to our Heavenly Father to be filled with the Spirit.

Back to the case of that elusive phone. When laying it down, I could say aloud to myself, “I am going to put you here.” If I just focused for just a moment and bring to remembrance aloud, maybe I won’t “lose” it. The same applies to our life in Christ. If we prepare…building on our foundation by focusing on Him, then when that unexpected phone call comes, devastating diagnosis lays heavy on our hearts or a myriad of other interruptions happen, we have a better view of Him and we can remember that he promises to “never leave us or forsake us.”

John 14:26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you in all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.”

A “Thomas” Moment

Standard

blessed-who-see-not-believe

Yesterday, I was having a “Thomas” moment. The need and longing to see Jesus face to face overwhelmed me. Never had that come over me with such emotion before.

Faith is believing without actually seeing…walking hand in hand with Him, talking for hours in a garden setting or resting my head on his shoulder. I pray, Lord increase my faith.

With eyes of childlike faith I am able to see his face reflected when reading his Word. Strolling through the avenues of prayer I commune friend to friend. After exercising, my physical body was exhausted so he blesses me with rest in his “green pastures.”

My Savior is so absolutely accessible to his children. One day I shall see him as He is! Until then, I will continue to long to see the look in his eyes, feel the warmth of His light and hold onto Him for all eternity…but for now, I will walk by faith and trust as a child should do.

John 20:29 “Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen yet have believed.”

If the Song Fits…

Standard

HYMNS-for-Him_t

Singing is something I thoroughly enjoy participating in. I used to sing secular music, country in fact, when I was younger. Music was the first thing I would turn on when I woke up, providing a lift to my mood, almost instantly. However, with my selections I could easily change my mood and emotions with a song.

My music choices have changed over the years…especially since I was saved. I love singing to the Lord, privately and in public. Now this blog post in not whether you should listen to secular music, only hymns, southern gospel, contemporary christian, etc. (even though it is very important to pray and seek God’s face concerning these issues. We are to pray about everything, right?)

The purpose of this post is to emphasize that a song fits wonderfully in our prayers.  As my prayer life has become more and more an integral part of my journey, I have found myself just singing to the Lord as I sit quietly in a prayer state of mind. It may be a song that I have heard that pops into my head or one I just made up…like a Psalm.

Today, our church has called for its people to fast and pray. We are encouraged to share prayer requests. I am choosing to sing also in prayer. Try it. Just sit quietly and then think of a song…or just start praising and thanking Him with your own tune. If the song  is glorifying and prayerful to God it is fitting to Him!

Psalm 57:7 “My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast, I will sing and make music”

Heaven Touching Earth

Standard

Sound-of-heaven-touching-earth_website_edited-1

If any of you follow me on Facebook, you know that lately a dear sister, who I do not know personally, is battling cancer. It has touched places in my heart that I am going to try to share through words. 

Her name is Kara and she is dying. She has a husband, children, family and friends who love her and desire to be of some comfort and joy to her. Kara, however, is in fact a comfort and joy to them. Facing all the same physical difficulties others fighting have had to endure, yet she is battling it differently. Looking death and dying straight on and choosing to live…however, looking forward to Heaven but such a longing for more time on earth.

Reading her blog and watching her videos that she shares, has spurred me to ask, “Why don’t we live each day as it is our last.” Yes, people have asked that question before and yes, songs have been written on the subject…but why? As I have contemplated that daunting question, I have a few ideas. First of all we have responsibilities we must fulfill…jobs, school, appointments, etc. Secondly, we don’t like the thoughts of death and dying. We are to be joyful as Christians, right? Those topics cause us to be sad, thinking of leaving our loved ones, fear of how we are going to die and if it will be painful and we don’t need to dwell on that. Certainly not to dwell on it, but should we think of dying…our eternal destiny each day? If not dying at least anticipating the return of Jesus Christ, which, by the way, could be any minute.

We should choose each day and how we live to count for eternity. If we don’t have that view of “Heaven touching earth”, we lose sight of what we were created for…to glorify Him.

Kara is dying, yes, but so are we. The Bible clearly tells us that we are not promised tomorrow. She is choosing in the battle God has chosen for her to still live, praise, have joy, love, make memories. I desire that deep in my soul…I hope you will consider death with a different view. Think each day on it to spur us to live to the fullest knowing that even in death, as Christians, we will live for eternity in our Heavenly home! Still, I long to be here for a little while longer.

Phil 1:21-23 “ For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell.  I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.”