A New Kind of Blog

Let’s see how faithful I can be with this.

I am going to be using my blog as a diary of sorts. I’m just going to post my thoughts on what I’m pondering each day. So, beginning Monday November 13, I will be blogging every day until the end of the year. I want to see if I can do it. And, I want to see if what I am thinking and saying can make on impact on just one person.

Buckle up. It may be a fun ride. Or boring. Maybe a combination of both! 🙂

Sheri

 

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Keeping the Faith

My daughter had an assignment for her 9th grade English class. It had to be a personal narrative on any subject. She chose to write about our friends Pat & Jerrilyn. Kelsey’s message is simple, even in the midst of hardship, pain, fear and sickness we can choose how we live the life we’ve been given. It is in these moments that are character is projected and our testimony is read. Here’s what Kelsey sees in our extended family members. I present to you,

Keeping the Faith, the Testimony of Pat & Jerrilyn

By Kelsey June

How can someone keep their faith in God when nothing is going right? Patrick and Jerrilyn are good examples of keeping the faith. Through everything they have gone through, from having cancer twice, to having an incurable disease, they maintain their testimony.

Pat and Jerrilyn have inspired me because of how strong their faith is in God. About seven years ago, Jerrilyn was diagnosed with diabetes. Four years ago she was diagnosed with a hiatal hernia, which is a hernia on your Esophagus. To close the hernia, the doctors need to wrap her intestines around the hernia to seal it. The doctors thought that the surgery would fix all the problems she was having, but it didn’t. That is when they diagnosed her with gastroparesis. Gastroparesis is when your stomach does not digest food. The diet for gastroparesis and the diet for diabetes are opposite. For Gastroparesis, it is better for you to eat carbs. For diabetes, it is better for you to eat fruits and vegetables. With Gastroparesis’ diet, the fruit and vegetables are bad for Jerrilyn’s stomach, but the carbs for the gastroparesis diet, are bad for her diabetes.

About eight months ago at the age of 39, Pat was diagnosed with prostate cancer. That is really young for prostate cancer. To get rid of the cancer, the doctors took out his prostate. At his six month check up, to make sure they got rid of the cancer, they found more. Pat has had to go through seven weeks of radiation, five days a week, to try and get rid of the cancer. As of September 27th, Pat only has three more radiation treatments.

Pat and Jerrilyn have inspired me. Through all of the medical issues their faith and trust have been in God. If any of the medical issues were happening to me, I do not know what I would do. At this point, Jerrilyn is always in pain but she puts on a good face and trucks through all of the horrible pain. She has gone through a lot with medical procedures and appointments which are a two hour drive round trip. With all of the pain, Jerrilyn still wants to help people and smile. Through all of the medical bills, work, being exhausted from radiation, Pat chose to work on the music for my church’s Saturday Night Worship Nights. If any of the medical issues ever happened to me or my family, I would want to be known for how I kept my faith in God through everything, just like Pat and Jerrilyn.

pbandj.jpgMy question to you… when others look at you and observe how you’re living your life, what will be the attributes they will use to describe you?

We love you PB&J!

YET! Simply Said

I’ve been doing a scripture writing challenge that I found on Pinterest (if you’d like to follow me and do the challenge too just find sherbearhi1104 on Instagram). Today’s challenge was to write my personal life verse, Habakkuk 3:17-19.

Now, if you and I have ever gotten into a spiritual conversation about struggle, pain, anger and loss I have probably brought up this book of the bible. It’s 3 chapters. It’s simple. It’s raw. It’s honest and real. Habakkuk is mad at God. He’s frustrated, and he lets his frustrations be made known to God. He doesn’t hold back, and God answers him. It’s maybe not the answer Habakkuk wanted to hear, but it’s an answer.

Habakkuk is justifiably upset with his current situation. ” ‘O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear? Or cry to you Violence! and you will not save? Why do you make me see iniquity, and why do you idly look at wrong? (1:2-3a)’ ”

The Lord’s Answer, “Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told. (vs. 5)

The Lord goes on to explain that He is going to use the Chaldeans a “bitter and hasty nation, whose own might is their god!” To tear down fortresses, and laugh at kings. In the process the people will be abused, and trampled. Habakkuk then cries out, “Why do you idly look at traitors and remain silent when the wicked swallows up the man more righteous than he? (vs. 13b)” The Lord answers simply saying that Habakkuk needs to write down the vision from God and “make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end – it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay (2:2-3).”

Sometimes in our lives we beg and beg for something to happen. We ask God, “Why are you letting this illness continue? Why am I in pain? How much more can I take? I am a servant, why aren’t you listening to me!? And then we are confronted with a simple truth, to be a believer means we have to be willing to accept the good with the “perceived” bad. You see, God said to Habakkuk, write down plainly what I’m saying to you, I WILL do what I said I’m going to do. I’m just going to do it in my time. And because it’s my timing, it’s not delayed… IT’S PERFECT!

And that’s when we see one of the most humbling and perfect verses I have ever memorized,

“Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vine. Though the labor of the olive may fail and the fields yield no food. Though the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stall, YET I will REJOICE in the Lord. I will GLORY in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength. He will make my feet like deer’s feet so that I may run on the high hills (3:17-19).”

YET

You see what Habakkuk did there? He just used one simple word to describe the perfect timing of God’s plans. Even in the midst of devastation, abuse, sadness, pain, depression, anger, desperation and fear Habakkuk said, “YET.” It’s an amazingly beautiful word. It speaks volumes of what our faith should look like when we walk it out daily. We need to be in the practice of telling God where our heart is, but we need to then follow up the prayer with our FAITH by saying to God – YET.

I may be in pain, YET You are a God of healing.
I may be depressed, YET You are a God of mercy.
I may have been abandoned, YET You are a God that rescues.
I may be hurt, scared, and anxious, YET You are a God who knows my heart, and you are a God that has a PERFECT plan.

And so I say simply, YET!

Yahweh (I am)
Eternally
Thankful

 

 

 

 

 

Labels are for Ingredients NOT Skin Color

Browns BugIngredients can sometimes be dangerous. Peanut allergies, for instance, can be life threatening. A label may simply state that a product was produced near peanuts. This warning can prevent a person from unknowingly exposing themselves to something that would send them to the hospital.

Eggs, Milk, Sodium, MSG, Fat, Cholesterol, and Sugar can all be safely avoided by using a label to determine if a food is safe for us to consume. Diets can be followed by using the same labels to determine if you’ll be hitting or missing your caloric intake.

However, labels cannot and should not, be applied to skin color. EVER! We cannot possibly judge someone from the outward appearance and base all of our opinions of someone’s character solely upon the color of their skin.

Would you like to know about me? I’m just some white girl writing a blog post. I’m just some white girl that likes to share her thoughts. But, I’m not all white now am I?! I’ve usually referred to myself as a mutt. I’m a typical American. A blend of all kinds of stuff. English, French, Irish, Scandinavian, some sort of Viking thing and Cherokee Indian. I probably have missed something. Could you tell what I’m made up of by the color of my skin? Of course not. Can you tell my character by the color of my skin? Of course not! Can you tell that I follow Jesus by the COLOR OF MY SKIN???????? NO! You can’t.

You can’t possibly tell anything about WHO I am by only looking at the outward appearance. You can’t tell that I’ve broken 9 bones in my lifetime. You can’t tell that I accepted Jesus at the age of 5. You can’t tell that I’ve never had a baby. You can’t tell that I’m sarcastic. You can’t tell that I’m empowered, happy, educated, loving, musical, poetic, creative or opinionated. You cannot tell any of these things about me from the color of my skin. You cannot ever know WHO I am unless you LISTEN to me.

I feel sorry for those of you that may judge a person because of the color of their skin, the slant of their eyes, the curl or color of their hair, the yarmulke they wear or the hijab they have. You are missing out. You are living your life in a vacuum where you believe that the outward appearance can tell you so much about who someone is on the inside. 1 Samuel 16:7, “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.’ ”

I’d just like to then put this last disclaimer out there and let you know something about who I am, to the core of my being. I fiercely protect those that I love!! FIERCELY! My husband, kids, parents, family and friends! I will, without hesitation, cut you OUT OF MY LIFE if you choose to judge any of my loved ones for who they date because you happen to not like their outward appearance. There’s the door! Go ahead and let it hit you on your way out.

The Thing About Labels

flawlessLabels are defined as a “small piece of paper, fabric, plastic, or similar material attached to an object and giving information about it. A piece of fabric sewn inside a garment and bearing the brand name, size, or instructions for care. The piece of paper in the center of a phonograph record giving the artist and title. A company that produces recorded music.”

A label can unfortunately be used as a “classifying phrase or name applied to a person or thing, especially one that is inaccurate or restrictive.”

I don’t hate many things. I hate jumpy outty things (JOT’s) in movies. They scare the tar right out of me, and I hate them. I hate peas, like the frozen peas, I can’t even stand the smell. That’s honestly the only things I can think of that I hate, except labels. I HATE labels when they’re applied to human beings.

I was thinking about stuff lately, just looking at the state of our world, and I really started to think about labels, how awful they are. How people let labels define them. How people hear a label that’s been used to describe them, and then they decide to live up to that label.

So, I’ve decided to do a small series on labels. I’d love to hear some of your suggestions. Please comment with a label you would like to see me include in this series. I will try to post a label piece every Sunday and Thursday.

Coming Sunday – Labels are for Washing Directions, NOT Body Types

 

My Life is Yours

daisy

Your truth, your love embraces me
Yet I still try to be,
my own person with a worldly view,
not considering to whom I should be true.

I stumble, fall and wonder why,
and I don’t even stop to look to the sky.

Your word sits at my desk,
cluttered in a chaotic mess,
like my heart, soul and mind
desperate to find
hoping to be
only to see
a worldly reality!

You SCREAM
You SHOUT
Yet, I’m still in doubt

A whisper of sanity crashes in,
tearing through my veil of sin.

Your mercy I find, yet don’t deserve
Promises written in your word,
of forgiveness, mercy and glory divine.
I pray that your love will forever shine.

Bind Me
Break Me
Mold Me
Make Me

Take my life and let it be,
a guiding light for all to see.
A beacon in this evil place,
so that I may glow with your grace.

I love you Lord, with all my soul.
I pray that you’ll help me continue to grow.
Please give me chances that I may talk,
and prove my love with my walk!

My Insanity

death.jpg

Psalm 55. When I read this chapter the desperation and darkness was the first thing that stood out. Verses 4-5, “My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fear and trembling come upon me, and horror overwhelms me.” And to see in verse 13 it’s because of a trusted friend. But at the very end of the chapter in verse 22 the focus completely changes to, “Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.” Sometimes in our lives we let the world, pain, deception, and every other thing that is negative overwhelm what is positive and found only in Christ Jesus. So I guess Psalm 55 just reminds me that even if my heart is in anguish within me my God will take my burdens and he will sustain me and he will never permit me to be moved from where he needs me to be!

The following is a piece I wrote in my journal back in 2002. I still think it’s fitting for today!

I stand here debating a contingency that no longer exists. Dwelling in uncertainty and fear. Comforted by hypocrisy and lies. Thinking that this insanity is my reality. But, it’s the reality of the world. A hideous black hole of humanity… the world and me. I have embraced this insanity. Swimming in this sea of garbage.

Technology is not the helper of man, it is the destroyer. Sent here to enslave the population and convince them that they are immortal. Empowered with knowledge and false grace, they walk around blinded by their false sense of security.

So, I wallow in this world of self absorption. Concentrating on me, on what I am and what I want. Giving no thought on how my actions affect those around me. Seeing myself as the only thing that exists in this realm.

How disappointed God must be in me. What a consistently inconsistent Christian I am. I reside in my own reality where my action, or the lack thereof, affect everyone. Yet, I am so involved in my own humanity that I can’t even evaluate the humanity that surrounds me.

What are my goals? They are a husband, children, family and a nice home. Do these things reflect God’s purpose for my life? Or, is it an empty fulfillment in my life to pass the time?

My one and only goal should be to serve the Creator. It is He that made me, and He that sustains me, and He that directs my life.

Yet, even though I possess this knowledge, I still crave the worldly goals. Continually convincing myself that the Lord should grant me my desires.

Why?

What makes me think that God should grant me anything? My prayer should instead be, God, please help me to die to my selfish desires daily and only make Your desires the ones that I think about. The only desires that consume me.

Please God, consume my every fiber, every bone, and every ounce of my energy! And help me to stay focused on Your goals, so that they are the only desires of my heart.