Category Archives: Sherrie’s Blog

Sherrie Anderson

Today marks the fourth year of a season of learning to accept, embrace, and yes, even love change! It started as we left the only church family we had known while living in Upstate New York where we had moved ten years before from Texas (As if that wasn’t a big enough change). Leaving a church and all that goes with that process is never easy. Especially as we thought we would be in this church and in this area for the rest of our lives. But that was not to be and we learned our first lesson in change.

  • When God tells you to move on…move on! (Genesis 12:1)

 

Genesis 12:1 “The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.”

Road

After a year of wrestling with God and becoming miserable as we continued to suffer hurts and rejection we submitted to what we knew deep inside through the Holy Spirit’s prompting and finally submitted to the verse He gave us (above). When we left we had no idea where He was leading us but we knew that we were being asked to trust Him and to go…abandoning fear and believing in faith that He would guide us.

I know these are difficult to so many as change can be daunting, but we learned our second lesson.

V

 

Change is necessary for spiritual and personal growth.  

 

I won’t even pretend to try to convince you that change is easy to embrace, but I will say that as you take that step of faith you begin to see the plans of God unfold and the natural progression is increased faith. In the book of Exodus we see that the Israelites were weary from their time spent as slaves in Egypt so God led them out and to what seemed to be an impossible situation. I can imagine the beginnings of faith taking root in their lives as each obediently walked through the parting waters of the Red Sea. Even with that amazing display of power they still had much more changes and challenges that lie ahead.

For our family, the next three years would lead us to three different church environments trying to find where we fit in to God’s plans. It was painful to say the least. False accusations, jealousy, and pain where a part of all of those experiences but that is where we learned our next lesson on change…

  • Hardships flex our faith muscle just like exercise flexes our physical ones.

 

I’ve recently started working out 5 days a week and shortly after each workout my muscles become sore. When someone works out what is actually happening to their muscles is their lactate levels increase, and microscopic damage to the muscle fibers and connective tissue take place. The soreness that is felt after a workout is caused by our muscles naturally learning and responding to new activity. In the same way working through change can be difficult as we learn mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically to respond to the new activity/changes in our lives. Just like working out, the end result is always worth it! We become stronger!

flex

Not only did we go through all that I have described above, but there was personal heartache. Lost relationships for each of us, broken trust, a cancer scare, the suicide of a friend of our daughter, my father moving in with us due to poor health, the alienation by loved ones, the loss of loved ones, our failed attempt at building our dream home, job loss, and of course the accident that almost claimed the lives of our three youngest babes, and the PTSD, depression and physical and mental struggles that would follow that accident for me. Yet, even in the midst of what seemed to be a never ending desert the Lord was still teaching. Our next lesson on change is…

  • God is not only to be found on the mountaintops of our lives, but also in the valley.

 

Psalm 23:4 “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

In the book of 1 Kings there was a battle that took place when the Arameans marched against the Israelites (See 1 Kings 20:23-30). The Arameans who believed that Israel’s God was only a god of the hills went out to wage war against God’s people. Scripture reveals that while the Aramean army covered the countryside, in comparison the Israelites looked like two small flocks of goats. Israel felt weak in small and fared better fighting in the hill country than in the flat plains where their enemies had horses and chariots.

Hills-n-Valleys

I don’t know about you but change has a way of making me feel isolated and small just like the Israelite’s in the situation above. Change can and does make us feel vulnerable to the attacks of the enemy. He loves us to feel isolated and wants to separate us from feeling like we are part of the flock. But God wants us to remember that He doesn’t ask us to go anywhere that He is not and His end goal is to draw us closer to Himself and His plans for our lives and lead us into victorious living in Him!

1 Kings 20:28 “This is what the LORD says. “Because the Arameans think that the LORD is a god of the hills and not a god of the valleys, I will deliver this vast army into your hands, and you will know that I am the LORD.”

This brings me to my final lesson.

  • God uses change in our lives to fulfill His perfect plans for our lives!

 

1 Corinthians 2:9 “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him-“.

It makes me think of all the amazing things that Abram would have missed out on, including becoming had he rejected God’s call to change. Yes, there were difficult times as well and just as Abram we will walk through our desert seasons but just think of what we would miss out on should we hold onto “the familiar” and never venture out “into the wild” with our God for fear of change.

I can say with all honesty that we have left a season of spiritual drought (a good sign you may need change) and have entered into a new season and love the church family the Lord has led us to. Here we are being cared for, strengthened, and fed.

oasis

 

In seasons of change we learn the faithfulness of our God and it strengthens our resolve to follow Him wherever He may lead.

As children of God we are not called to live by fear…but by faith!

“Embracing change has the exact opposite effect on our fears. It conquers them and fuels our faith!”

How about you? What change is God asking you to make in this season that you are resisting? I would encourage you to make a list of the things you would have to lose by not following God’s call of change. Next make a list of what you would have to gain should you move out of your comfort zone to follow God’s prompting in your life and embrace change. Now would you join me by going to Him today in prayer asking for the faith to follow through with whatever He is revealing to you in the area of change?

As always, I would love to hear from you. Your thoughts, the lessons you learned from seasons of change, or how I can pray and agree with you in this season!

Thank you for stopping in!

Sherrie

Sherrie

By Sherrie Anderson

 

“Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young- a place near your altar.” Psalm 84:3a

 

I’m hungry!  I am sitting here this morning on my porch listening to hungry chirping sounds coming from a sparrow’s nest that is filled with five little fledglings calling out to their momma to be fed.  I finally give in as their cries are unavoidable.  I can no longer focus on the sermon message I am watching on my laptop so I stop and take note of our littlest guests.  As soon as momma comes close to her little brood they began calling out, wanting her to recognize their individual and collective cries.  They are hungry and want her to feed them.  As a matter of fact, their survival depends on it.

Hungry

I recognize my own hunger pains that are deep within.  Hunger pains that I have been avoiding crying out to God to fill.  Maybe it is due to my pride.  I don’t want to have to admit that I am hungry.  Instinctively I want to portray to those in my family and those around me that I don’t have that need.  I am self-sufficient and can take care of myself.

Maybe it’s because I have been hurt and don’t want to confess the need to be fed and mended, as I don’t want to seem weak to those that have hurt me.  Or worse yet, I know that being fed will demand more of me than I do myself.  It means I will have to choose to forgive those hurts as I cannot bite the hand of the One that feeds me by not doing His will.

Maybe it’s due to the un-confessed sin in my life.  I don’t want to have to humble myself and say I am sorry so I choose to just be miserable in my mess. Bird

There is only one problem… I am starving! No amount of food or drink will fill an empty soul or heal a broken heart.

“I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.”  John 6:35

Jesus knew that we would struggle with pride, pity, and pain in our lives.  He knew that eventually we would grow hungry for the wholeness that can only be found by being fed by Him, daily.

“Give us today our daily bread.”  Matthew 6:11

It saddens me as I realize how often I reject food from my Master’s hand due to my own foolish pride.  Sometimes I am overrun by the weariness and pain that this life can deal us.  Finances, strained family relations, ministry unknowns, health issues, a large family to care for, just to name a few.  I feel withered when I do and things only go downhill from there.  I need to be fed! But in order to be fed I have to move beyond my pride and posture myself just as these little helpless babes.  If they try to find food on their own they will eventually make their way out of the nest and fall to their death, if they refuse to take nutrients from their momma, or look for another source for nourishment they will not survive the day.

We are much like this and we live in a world that is constantly tempting us to look to other things to feed the God-sized hole in our hearts.

What is it for you?  Where do you tend to turn for food that never satisfies?

 

Will we choose to sit still before the LORD, to wait upon Him, and then to allow ourselves to be fed by the One who provides the only food that truly nourishes us and satisfies the inescapable hunger in our souls?  Will we choose to set aside all the other voices vying for our attention and instead choose what’s best… to feast upon the presence of our Healer, Redeemer, Provider, through time in study, meditation, and prayer? This is where our hunger shall be satisfied as with the manna from Heaven itself!

 “Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress.  He sent forth his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.” Psalm 107:19-20

I love that the when I move past all the lies of the enemy to cry out to God, He hears my individual cry and He feeds me, delights in me, and reminds me who I am in Him.

Will you join me today in making ourselves vulnerable by expressing our deepest needs and longings of our heart to the One who knows us best and loves us most?

Daddy, I’m hungry.  I confess that I have need of the kindness of your love expressed to me by feeding me my daily bread.  Forgive me for running to the food that never satisfies.  I call out to you and ask you to fill me with your Heavenly bread.  Give me all that I need for this day that others may see and sense you through my life.  I give to you all the circumstances of my life that cause me to refuse the nourishment You long to give to me and thank You, the Bread of Life in advance for giving me exactly what I need today.

In Jesus name,

Amen

All

(I would love to pray with you and for you dear one and would also appreciate your prayers for me. Please feel free to contact me at sherrie@bygraceministries.org or reply with your request.  I commit to bring them before the Lord for you this week.)

 

Revoked Man Card

Anyone who knows me knows that while I may be a confident woman with a strong and passionate personality, I am not a woman who likes conflict at all!  This is one of those rare times when I feel like I am going to explode if I choose not to discuss this subject in order to avoid “conflict”.

It all started a few weeks ago when I shared a blog on my FB by Matt Walsh (A strong Christian blogger who now also contributes blogs for The Blaze).  The article (http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/bruce-jenner-is-not-a-woman-he-is-a-sick-and-delusional-man/) started a fierce firestorm on my wall.  Okay, I agree the title was a little harsh at first glance, but once I read the article (because thus far I agree with the majority of what Matt has to say) I got a much better picture of what Matt was referring to and the intent of his heart.

To my utter surprise I started receiving immediate backlash for posting it but not among the liberal, or gay friends that I have on FB, but among the “Christians”.

These were just a few of the remarks:

Who are we to Judge…. Who are we to say such hateful things about another human, Why do we as Christians feel it is ok to judge another person actions like this…. We may not have to agree with what another person chooses to do with their bodies but it is NOT OK TO SAY SUCH THINGS… We are to be a light to those hurting not a hammer of judgement on them!!!!! This article is far more disgusting than this lost soul!!!!!”

I was a bit taken back but decided I would sincerely invited this contact to “unfriend” me as it was obvious that this individual was extremely bothered by my post.

These are just some of the continued dialogue which was then directed towards me…

”I’m sorry if my opinion which also stands on the truth of Gods word offends you to the point that you feel the need to lash out to me a fellow Christian also! I choose to point out that LOVE is our goal and in turn get told to unfriend you! You are suppose to be an encouraging woman of God are you not…. Your reaction is seething with rudeness toward me! May God shine light on your heart to not be a woman that needs to be seen and heard but a woman that chooses to walk in his love and share that love. I believe that Jesus would rather hold this man and heal him than to throw stones at him.” 

When a few other FB friends, (some that I don’t even know to be Christian) spoke up in defense of me the backlash continued.

“I did not attack Sherrie. I just shared my opinion. Just because my opinion is different does not make my opinion wrong. I am calm, I have not said anything rude. I am not being argumentative or unedifying. I am getting more backlash for choosing to love the sinner and not the sin. Just because you may not agree with my stake on this article I am being attacked. Please stop acting like I am in the wrong just because I gave my honest approach to this issue. I have not torn anyone down but can you say the same? My exclamation points and capitals are far less hurtful than the words said on this stream!”

“Christians that act like this are the biggest reason nonbelievers run from embracing the love of God we are trying to share! I try to live each day spreading His love and I can do that without attacking others or being seen as this great amazing woman of God with all these followers standing up for me and patting me on the back and sitting at my feet.”   (emphasis/italics were mine to show some of the hypocrisy here).

My response to all of this:

The heart of Matt’s article is more about why we idolize what scripture clearly states as sin. That is not about judging but about speaking Truth. I am truly saddened by Bruce Jenner and the course his life has taken, but since he is putting everything out there he surely is inviting this and everybody has a right to speak their opinion.  This person’s response to me above was their opinion (and was filled with false accusations and lies toward me). Another one of my FB friend’s (who also had some issues with the article) shared her thoughts but chose not to make it personal. While I might not agree with her I will not attack her character as I know her and love her. Being Christian doesn’t mean we have to agree all the time. I just shared an article and then this person felt the need to attack my personal character.

I know I am opening myself up here but I’m really becoming confused, not by non- believers but by those within the church.  Those who supposedly have spent years in the church and I would hope to have delved into the infallible Word of God for themselves.  Unfortunately, many of those that would describe themselves as “Christ-followers”  that are wishing Matt and his family death threats and are saying seething things towards those of us “judgmental Christians” probably never take the time to crack open the Word of God for themselves and have fallen prey to the “tolerant” movement within the church.

Christian LOVE has been misinterpreted in our generation to mean “to tolerate” and to support sinful behavior so we don’t look judgmental.

Intolerance

 

 

I wonder what it would have been like if the townspeople came after Jesus and declared he was judging the woman at the well after calling her out for her sinful and adulteress relationships (See John 4), or the man who Jesus healed that had been laying on a mat for years and after healing him warned him that he better stop sinning or something worse would happen to him (John 5). Or should Jesus have apologized to all of those business owners after he turned over their tables in the temple (John 2:15)?  What about when Jesus called the temple teachers of the day (The Pharisees) “Snakes and brood of vipers”.

These examples are just a few and would most likely be considered/labeled judgmental or harsh today by some of the very same people that claim Him as Jesus and Lord.

In a world where more and more Christians are being attacked and martyred for their faith and strongly held beliefs or convictions by those who are supposed to be so “tolerant” sickens me.

Matt Walsh (the Christian blogger whose article I shared) consistently receives death threats towards himself and his family because of his own personal opinions and views just because they don’t line up with the left wing and LGBT community. Last time I checked it isn’t Christians that are out beheading those that disagree with them or suing them in courts and destroying their lives and businesses.

When is it okay for us to stand up for the principles in scripture such as abortion? Is that being too judgmental as well? Jesus called out unrighteous behavior calling the Pharisees a brood of vipers and told them they were going to hell. (See Matthew 23:33) Is that not a bit harsh? I would say it is not. It was righteous anger towards sinful behavior in man.  Men who were members of the church and claimed to love God! Man that He loved and shed His blood on a cross for, but that chose to deny Him and eventually plotted to have Him killed.

As Christ followers we are not to compromise our Biblical beliefs for the sake of getting along and not looking judgmental. Jesus warned his followers that they would be hated because of him so why are we so surprised when the world hates the values we stand for.  As a Christ follower and fellow sinner I will CONTINUE to love everyone that God puts before me regardless of their beliefs, sexuality, etc. Loving them doesn’t mean I have to support and condone their sinful lifestyle. It simply means that I am to remember that while I was a sinner Christ died for me and to extend that same love (not tolerance) to others.  Jesus Himself welcomed sinners to dine with Him and when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples why he ate with sinners. Jesus replied:

“It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.  Jesus (Matthew 9:12 NIV)

But there is a huge difference between choosing to love others as humans made in the image of God and accepting or giving approval to their sin.  I love my husband and I am called to honor him, but God never called me to enable/tolerate any sin in his life, but to speak truth in love. (Ephesians 4:15)

Jesus loved all who came to Him but didn’t hesitate or shy away from sharing truth with them.  I’m sure that He was looked upon by many as judgmental or harsh.  But to those who were hungry for wholeness and healing, He fed them with the love that comes from the truth of God’s redemptive Word… and they were forever changed!

I find it interesting that Jesus’s rebukes were almost always pointed to those in the church rather than the lost.

In the book of Revelation chapter 2 Jesus took issue and rebukes one of the seven churches (Thyatira) for non-other than their “tolerating” the teachings of Jezebel who were misleading Christ’s servants into sexual immorality and calls them to repent or else.

“I have this against you; You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess.  By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols.  I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling.  So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways.” (NIV, emphasis mine)

Romans 1:20-29 defines the implications of rejecting God’s Truth and lays out what He considers sexual immorality.

God’s Wrath Against Sinful Humanity

18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

Especially notice verse 29, “since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind.”

The word depraved in the original Greek language Adokimos and means: 1. Debased, corrupt, unfit, impure, worthless. Of the nous, which is the mind. (Romans 1:28, rejection of the knowledge of God leads to a corrupt and worthless way of thinking). (Notice this is not speaking of the man himself, but of the mind and his thoughts).

 

Bruce Jenner’s delusional actions only confirm the words penned by the Apostle Paul as to what would happen to those that did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God.  I honestly can say that I feel deep compassion and sorrow for Bruce Jenner.  I pray that he turns to the One who knows him best and loves him most.  The Only One who can show him his true identity. The identity as a son of the Most High God who longs to heal the broken places and restore the manhood he once exemplified to the world.  (Watch this video https://youtu.be/4qsrkaZVOI4 ).

As Christians we need to be discerning and not fall for every attempt of the enemy to cause us to crawl under our beds and hide from any conflicts that may make us look judgmental to the world.  Jesus Himself said, “You are the light of the world.  A city on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.  Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”

hide your light

He also said:

“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” “If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.” Jesus (John 15:18-19.20b)

And:

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.  Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”   Matthew 5:11-12

Church, let’s not continue to fall for the “toleration generation”!  We are to represent Truth to the world and stand firm on the sure foundation of God’s Word regardless the cost… or loss of popularity among our FB friends.

(Note: Today the pictures of Bruce Jenner on Vanity Fair Magazine have once again brought this subject in front of our faces (like-it-or-not).  This is an excellent article and fits in with this blog so read on if you dare to be confronted with the depravity of this world and what we as Christians should do about it).

http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/calling-bruce-jenner-a-woman-is-an-insult-to-women/

I’m sorry if that that sounds extreme, but I wanted to get your attention.

I have been blessed to recently meet a woman who felt free to share with me, for the first time in a long while, some tremendous trials and pains in her life. Her words shattered my heart, and I felt ashamed at the words” Christians” had spoken to her during these seasons of real pain.

“God never gives you more than you can handle.”

This precious woman has been through more afflictions than one can ever imagine — the loss of four children, the death of her young husband to cancer, a child with cancer and special needs, just to name a few. She was given this tired expression by so many that she actually wrote a book (she is a talented writer) about what not to say to someone going through difficulties. This platitude was at the top of her list.

I’m ashamed to admit that early in my Christian walk I too made this statement many times. I must have picked it up from others in my congregation. I didn’t know how to “do church” then, and not coming from much of a church background, I went along with it. It sounded good and somewhat Biblical at the time. But the truth is, this saying is NOT Biblical.

3

First of all, God doesn’t give us sickness, pain, rejection, and yes, even death! God is the giver of life, health, and wholeness. He knows the day of our death because He holds the keys to death, hell, and the grave, but He did not bring death into the world. Sin brought death into the world, and through the blood that was shed on the cross, He provided a way for us to escape death.

“Death has been swallowed up in victory.” “Where, O death is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:55 (edition)

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17 (edition)

The source of suffering and evil is not God, but a fallen, sinful, broken world, and the work of the one who came to steal, kill, and destroy.

“Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 (edition)

“The thief (Satan) comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” I am the good shepherd.”   (Chapter and verses) NIV (Emphasis mine)

Jesus himself told the disciples:

“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart I have overcome the world.” John 16:33b (edition) (emphasis mine)

So why, when we encounter those who are suffering, do we make this trivial statement and suppose that it will bring them comfort?

The two lies in this statement are:

  1. that God gives us these horrible things
  2. that WE have the ability in ourselves to handle them.

If I am wrong, show me the scriptures that would support those lies. Otherwise, maybe we need to just stop speaking unbiblical truths in difficult situations, and just be there for people. Without words of comfort that are scripturally based, why don’t we just choose to do that which is Biblical?

“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those mourn.” Romans 12:10,12,15 (NIV)

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.”    2 Corinthians 1:3-5 NIV (emphasis mine)

I am convinced the enemy has used well-intentioned, but misinformed believers, to wound already wounded people. Fundamentally, this comment tells me when I am hurting, that God gave this (disease, crisis, loss, rejection, etc.) to me, but says I can handle it.

No, we could never handle the trials and pains that are part of living in a sin-sickened and dying world by ourselves. A better way of saying it (although I feel it is best not to say this at all) is, “God will never allow anything in your life that you and He cannot handle and walk through together.”

He will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5 (NIV)

“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.” Hebrews 13:6 (NIV)

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”   Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)

“You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV)

“Do not be afraid, for I am with you.” Isaiah 43:5 (NIV)

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight.” Proverbs 3:5 (NIV)

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “e is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”   Psalm 91:1-2 (NIV)

 

I want to encourage you to take the time to note the scriptures you once clung to during the painful seasons of your life. Keep them with you so you can comfort those with the same comfort you yourself received. Often all that is needed is a hug and a listening ear. We cannot fix others’ problems, but we can show them love just by being there and providing a meal, a card with scripture, or flowers to brighten their day. We are the hands and feet of Christ and our job is to bring them the Good News. Jesus is the Good News in all the tragic situations we will ever face.

So love them and point them to the One who knows them best and loves them most.

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I have a confession to make….

I’m broken.

My family is broken.

My church is broken.

I live in a town that is broken.

In a state that is broken.

In a country that is broken.

In a world that is broken.

On a planet that is broken.

All broken!

 

I took a walk along the beach with my little ones yesterday morning.  As we looked for treasure that had been washed up from the depths of the ocean the night before I heard my children gleefully shouting, “Look mama, isn’t this one beautiful!”  I looked to see their unearthed fresh from the sea treasures that they were shoveling into their little buckets.

Shells of different sizes and shapes.

Some were broken.  Others were still whole.

I told them to throw out the broken ones and to only look for and keep the whole ones, the ones that were without flaws or imperfections.  I kept one such shell for myself with beautiful tan hues and dark veins running through it and we returned home with our “catch of the day”.Perfect Shell

 

I’m up early this morning and unlike yesterday the clouds are thick over the ocean, the waters are raging, and the rain is falling.  As I look out the window I see the kid’s favorite shells on the table of our deck.  My instructions when we got back to our vacation home were to go through the myriad of shells they found and choose the ones they liked the best to keep.

Funny how kids don’t always listen to our instructions!  As I look out the window I see their favorite picks and among them I see broken shells.  Yes, broken!  I’m reminded again of how I don’t like seeing broken things, broken people, broken relationships and our broken world!  All broken, broken…

So much of my life is “broken” right now.  I’ve spent my life ministering to the brokenness in others while trying to keep away from brokenness in my own life.  I’ve experienced much KidsShellsbrokenness in my past and have run from it in the present, but am beginning to realize that I cannot escape this reality called brokenness.  It is the consequence of living in a sin-stained broken world.   Broken in the garden and it will stay broken until Jesus, the perfect One comes to bring beauty again out of chaos and order out of disorder, and sets up His New Order, His new Kingdom.  And then it hits me….

“The Spirit of the Lord Jehovah is upon me; because Jehovah hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.”  Isaiah 61:1 (ASV Bible)

The promise is for now!  He longs to take the broken, bind it up, and make it beautiful NOW!  In my heart I have known this but it hits me like a cool wave of ocean water washing over me taking the sting out of a harsh summer day.  The broken-beautiful is all around if I would stop running from it long enough to see it! 

 “Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life.”  Psalm 23:6a (The Message Bible)

I must stop running.  I must choose to see the beauty in the brokenness of my life.  Christ’s body was broken and God saw beauty!

19 Taking bread, he blessed it, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, given (broken) for you.   Luke 22:19 (The Message Bible, Emphasis mine)

What is broken in your life today dear one?  Broken marriage, broken dreams, broken health?  The list is endless.

Will we stop running from brokenness and instead choose to acknowledge and give thanks for our brokenness?

 Is our brokenness safe to give to the One who broke Himself for us?

 

“My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.” Psalm 51:17 (NIV)

 

I’m learning that there is beauty to behold in our own broken lives. Will you choose today with me to stop running and take a moment to find the beauty that lies within your own broken home?  I can choose to stay fixated on all things broken and see them as something I would rather cast off or I can begin to choose to see through a new set of lenses.  To see the broken-beauty in all things…

Today I choose to be thankful for the “broken” in my life.  For my broken body, my broken family, my broken living situation!  I am a “miraculous” in the waiting room of God.  Waiting for Jesus to come and to set the broken straight and to bring beauty from the ashes!

KidsOnBeach

When my focus is not on the broken but the One who makes things whole I and my brokenness become whole in Him!

“Bring gifts and celebrate.  Bow before the beauty of God, Then to your knees-everyone worship!”  Psalm 96:8 (The Message Bible)

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