Ref, That’s Gotta Be Unnecessary Roughness, Right?

As I said in my last post; our grandson, Mason just started playing flag football. Even though I am new to this and don’t know all the rules; I feel quite certain that tackling your opponent to the ground and sitting on them, over and over again, would be considered unnecessary roughness, or at the very least, unsportsmanlike conduct, right?

Well, apparently; I have different ideas of what the rules of flag football are.

The thing is the coaches on the opposing team weren’t saying anything to their players about it; and neither were the referees. Nothing. At all. Not even a reprimand to the kids. Really? Are you kidding me? Finally one mom on “our team” told her child, “When he comes at you next time; you tackle him.”

Referee

Referee (Photo credit: Brandon Giesbrecht)

Someone jokingly told our daughter and son-in-law that Mason would put some hurting on some kids if he did that. He is a solid boy, if you know what I mean. They both replied at the same time, that not only would Mason NOT do that; but if he saw someone do it, he would tell the person doing it, to stop; and then he would help the person up that got pushed down. That is just how he is.

I noticed that my son-in-law, Kenny, called Mason over to the side and told him that he was doing a good job. He gave him some pointers, some football jargon that I didn’t understand, gave him a high-five, and again told him he was doing a good job. Not once did I hear him encouraging Mason to use the same tactics the other team was using.

I have to say; I was extremely proud of my son-in-law, and extremely proud of both of them for how they are raising our grandkids. What a great example they are setting, not only to Mason, but to whomever may be watching them.

Part of Mason’s cheering section.

Aunt Kara & Uncle Jacob

If you feel you have been attacked by the hurtful words or actions of someone and revenge is alluring to you; Romans 12:17-19 says:

We should “Never pay back evil with more evil. We should do things in such a way that everyone can see we are honorable. Do all that we can to live in peace with everyone. Never take revenge.”

Mason with his dad after the game. Mason’s team went on to win 28-0.

May you all be extremely blessed,

Sheri Haskins : )

Who’s Your Biggest Fan?

Our grandson, Mason, just started playing flag football. My husband, Roy, and I were unable to make it to his first two games. I told our oldest daughter, Amber, Mason’s mom, that we would be at his next game. She told Mason that he would have some surprise guests at his game, but did not tell him who it was. Mason’s other grandparents told him personally that they would be there; so he was expecting to see them.

Amber told me later in the week how excited Mason was when he saw we were there. That stirred within me a flood of memories of someone who, though they no longer are here in body, are forever in my heart, and I believe was my biggest fan.

My grandmother, Lucy Hickey, was always there for me, not only on special occasions, but when I needed someone to talk to, or wanted to watch something scary, but didn’t want to watch it by myself. She would take care of me when I was sick, staying up as late as it took, sitting by the fire until my ear would stop hurting, and I could finally go back to sleep.

Oh, she would make me work too, but I didn’t mind. From cutting okra and pulling corn early in the morning, to picking and shelling peas and butter beans.

I remember being right beside her in the kitchen as she dropped scalding hot tomatoes in a sink full of cold water. I could hardly wait to plunge my hand in to see if the skin was ready to peel off. I thought that was the coolest thing.

And; she would tell me what I needed to hear; sometimes, not exactly what I wanted to hear. But; she did that because she loved me. I miss that.

I can still hear her voice even though it has been eleven years now since she has been gone. It saddens me to think that Mason nor any of our other grandchildren will ever have the opportunity to meet her. But; as I look around at the lives of her children and grandchildren that she has touched with her love and generosity; I realize that she will be known to our grandchildren because she lives through us.

I would like to be able to say that I, in return, was Lucy Hickey’s biggest fan; but I would probably be standing in line with many others claiming the same thing. So I will have to share that title with those whom she so wholeheartedly cheered for over the span of their lives.

Although I haven’t spent as much time with my grandchildren as I would have liked; I hope that I have many more opportunities to prove to them that I am their “Biggest Fan”!

So, Who Do You Feel Is Your Biggest Fan?

This was my Grandma’s last birthday with us. My husband was snapping random photos of everyone. I can literally hear my Grandma saying, “Roy, you sucka, stop that”, as he was taking this picture of her.

I hope that each of you have had someone in your life to cheer you on; and may you be, in return, someone else’s “Biggest Fan”.

May you all be extremely blessed,

Sheri Haskins : )

Where Does Your Power Come From?

Power Line Tree Trimming: After

This was not what I was going to write about at all; but as I kept trying over and over to charge my phone today, only to find two bars showing on my battery each time I would check my phone, finally discovering the reason why my wonderful cellular device was not progressing further in its electrical charging phase; I decided to share this with you.

While my phone was attached to the cord that it is designed to be plugged in to an electrical outlet; I had not noticed that the other end, in fact, was not plugged in at all to the wall outlet. I was pretty sure that I had just charged my husband’s phone last night, or so I thought, on this same cord.

Cell Phone Cameras

Cell Phone Cameras (Photo credit: compujeramey)

Two of our daughters, Amber & Kara, had been in the kitchen last night making cookies. I knew they had unplugged some things, but hadn’t thought anything of it since. In their cookie making process; Amber was using her laptop for a recipe. As she tried to plug it in, it would not charge in any of the outlets. At first we could not figure out why. They finally came to the conclusion that the reset button on one of the outlets simply needed to be pushed in. I guess too many things going on at one time had tripped the breaker.

These things made me realize how sometimes we think just because we are plugged into church; you know, we go every week, never miss a service, or we have a certain area of ministry that we feel called to be involved in and we stay so busy “doing” for God, we have good “Christian” friends or groups that we are “plugged” into, that we rely on these things as our sources of strength.  And all these things are great; but they should not be our primary source.

I know that Hebrews 10:25  says  “And let us not neglect our meeting together”, but Jesus tells us in John 15:1-5 to “Abide in Him, that He is the vine; we are the branches, and without Him; we can do nothing.”

rooted poster (John 15:4)

rooted poster (John 15:4) (Photo credit: Grant MacDonald)

Just as my phone would not charge without being plugged in to the main power source; we need to make sure that we are not so plugged in to other sources, depending on them for strength, such as our friends, church, pastors, etc, that we neglect to check to make sure we are plugged in to our primary source, God, with a consistent, personal & intimate relationship with Him.

May you all be extremely blessed,

Sheri Haskins : )

Hope Remains

Upon dealing with the same physical and emotional issues for the last several years; I have, at times, become discouraged. Even though I have made considerable progress in some areas; it seems as though there are other areas where I have made slow-moving progress, only then to slip backward.

I feel one of the hardest physical aspects foMain health effects of sleep deprivation (See ...r me has been the continual lack of sleep. It makes it especially hard for someone who already deals with migraines. I am not talking about a few hours of sleep loss here and there. I only average 3-4 hours of sleep each night on a regular basis. This began about 6 months to a year prior to my multi-level cervical disc fusion in 2009. We thought it would improve after my surgery, feeling that it was pain-induced sleep deprivation. Only; in 2010 I was involved in a motor vehicle accident that seemed to increasingly make matters worse.

Last night was one of those nights where I awoke at 1 a.m. As I lay there, shifting, re-adjusting, trying to get comfortable, trying to go back to sleep; I just couldn’t. I tried praying, not just for my situation, but asking God to lay the needs of others on my heart that I could intercede for, to take my mind off of myself. Still awake at 3:30 a.m.

As I was finally dozing off this morning, feeling as though I might could really sleep, the alarm was going off at 5:15. It was time for my husband to get up. He usually gets up and drinks his coffee, then he will wake our daughter, Kara, around 6:00. I get up and fix her lunch sometime after 6:30. He takes her to school in the morning on his way to work. I pick her up in the afternoons.

As I lay there trying to go back to sleep, I could hear him in the kitchen and as he came back through our bedroom. Finally my body gave in to sleep; and the next thing I know he was asking me if I was going to fix Kara’s lunch. I fixed her lunch, told them goodbye, and went back to bed.

One day like this is one thing. You think; “Things are going to get better.” But when you continue to face them over and over you get a little discouraged. I know people go through a lot worse; but I feel like my days are passing by, like I am missing out on so much. You know?

When the doctor tries this and that. You try praying. You feel alone. Yeah; it can get discouraging. But when I woke the final time this morning, a lot later than I would have liked to; these words were in my head:

“When disappointment finds me and things don’t go my way. My joy will not be stolen. No one can take my faith. And I won’t stop pursuing. No I won’t be afraid. Though I’m not sure what’s coming, I know that Hope Remains.”

These words are from the new CD, Hope Remains, by Jamie Nunnally.

If you feel like you are facing a hopeless situation  Psalm 39:7 says “ Lord, what do I wait for?My hope is in You.”

Psalm 43:5 says “Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again—my Savior and my God.”

May I encourage you to visit Jamie’s site and listen to “Hope Remains” and allow it to minister to you. While you are there; listen to some of his other music and may you be extremely blessed by it. Afterwards, you may want to go over to Amazon and download your own copy of “Hope Remains”.

May you all be extremely blessed,

Sheri Haskins

I’m Not Lisa

About a month ago I received a message on Facebook that read “Hey, Lisa, how are you? Hope you’re doing well. I would like to know about yourself and about your family. Tell me more about your life. What do you do? What’s your hobbies?  Looking cute, nice smile. I hope you always smile as now in your future life. Hope to hear from you soon. Take care.  Keep safe.”

Lisa Simpson

Upon first reading the message on my phone; I did not notice that it was addressed to Lisa. I just read it as if it were addressed to me, Sheri. As I read it the second time I realized that it was, in fact, addressed to Lisa.

So, was this message intended for Lisa and sent to me? Was this message actually intended for one of my daughters in the picture with me? Hmmm. But where did the name Lisa come from? I have no idea.

One thing I do know for sure is; I’m not Lisa.

This reminded me of a time when, Jamie, first asked me to sing on the worship team while Dana King was out. Anyone who knows Dana, knows; those are mighty big shoes to fill. As I sat with Jamie about to let him hear me sing for the first time; I said, “Well; I’m not Dana.” Jamie replied, “I don’t want you to be Dana; I want you to be Sheri.” Whew; that was a relief!

Several months ago it was brought to my attention that someone close to me had made some decisions that could adversely affect the rest of their life if they continued on in the manner in which they were going. Prior to this knowledge; God had laid it on my heart to encourage someone who I barely know. I felt that specific words of encouragement, at a specific time, were meant for this person. After learning, though, that such a thing could be happening with someone very dear to me without my knowledge; I doubted my ability to hear God’s voice correctly. How could I trust myself after neglecting someone I care so much about?

It was the last few weeks of school. I was driving to pick up my daughter, Kara. I was angry and disappointed with myself. How could I even think that God could use me to encourage someone with whom I had such little contact with, when someone exceptionally close to me was sinking so deeply right in front of me; and I couldn’t even see it? Why would God not show me this if I could really hear His voice? Maybe if I had been paying closer attention this would not have happened.

I’m literally explaining aloud to God as to why there is no way He could possibly use me, seeing as to how I have failed those closest to me. “I should have seen the signs, God!” “How could I not have noticed?” “Did you try to tell me and I wasn’t paying attention? Did they try to tell me and I wasn’t paying attention?” I am so distraught over this. I know if anyone were to see me rationalizing to what looked like thin air; they would think I am absolutely nuts!

I have cried so hard for so long that my eyes have begun to swell. By now I am to the point of sniffling quietly. There is no other sound in the car. I feel that I hear the word “CD”. At first I ignore it; because I have no faith in anything that I hear at all anymore. I am so discouraged. I feel that I hear “CD” again. I finally give in. I push the “on” button on my stereo and these words to the song “You Are So Good” by Jamie Nunnally begin to play “You’re not looking for perfection. Your desire is connection. So, now I’m changing my direction. You’re calling me. You’re drawing me closer. God Almighty, Lord of Glory. You are so good to me, so good to me.” (Just so you know; this is not at the beginning of the song. This just happened to be where the song started playing.) I begin to sob, not cry, sob.

“Ok, God”, I say, in between my sobbing , “so I don’t have to be perfect; and you just want a relationship with me. Is that what You are saying?” ”I’m trying to hear Your voice, but how can I trust myself if I am letting those down who are closest to me? I’m trying to let You use me, in whatever way You will. I just can’t seem to get things right. I’m sorry”, sobbing even harder now. “I’m really trying.” I’m so sorry.” Jamie’s song is still playing, I begin to try to sing “You are so good to me, so good to me.” “Your thoughts are higher. Your ways are better.” My voice is cracking and my nose is completely stuffed up. I am so glad I am alone in the car. I continue to try to sing, “Your love is deeper. I’m bound no longer.”

Joyce Meyer says in her book, “The Love Revolution”

Cover of "The Love Revolution"When I fail, I ask God to forgive me and start fresh; and I believe that is the best policy. We spend far too much time feeling bad about ourselves because of the mistakes that we make-and that is a waste of time. Only God can forgive us and He is quite willing to do so if we will simply ask Him. If we aggressively think about what we can do for others there will be no room in our minds for wrong thoughts.

I wish that I could tell you that after that moment in the car; I had no more doubts whatsoever; but in all honesty; I can’t do that. I still struggled. I would feel confident one moment of what God was asking me to do; then in the next; I was struggling again with doubt.

The following week, as I continued to seek God, in some quiet time alone with Him; I felt drawn to a specific page in Joyce Meyer’s book “Battlefield of the Mind” which read,

Cover of "Battlefield of the Mind: Winnin...

Cover via Amazon

“Here is another good thought to think: I believe God. I believe He is working in me no matter what I may feel or how the situation may look. The Lord has begun a good work in me, and He will bring it to full completion.” (Philippians 1:6  Philippians 2:13) It is in this manner that you can effectively use your weapon of the Word to tear down strongholds. I recommend that you not only purposely think right thoughts, but that you go the extra mile and speak them aloud as your confession.

Remember, God is delivering you, little by little, so don’t be discouraged and don’t feel condemned if you make a mistake.

Be patient with yourself!”

Just as Jamie didn’t expect me to be Dana; and I am definitely not Lisa; God doesn’t want or expect us to be anyone but the person He created us to be. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”

When we fail or make mistakes, and we will; He doesn’t want us to waste time feeling condemned. Romans 8:1 We should just ask for and accept forgiveness and allow God to bring healing.

Quite honestly, I believe my fear and lack of confidence to pursue what God was asking me to do stemmed from my quest to attempt to do things on my own, in my own strength rather than rely totally on God. No, I’m not perfect; and if I wait until I reach perfection to do anything for God, then it will be too late. Jamie’s song “Now Is The Time”, written with Jim Courtney, that is on his new CD Hope Remains, just released today, inspired me to “Make today the day! To step aside and leave my independence and pride! And make it all about Jesus!”

John 15:5  For apart from me you can do nothing.

May you make today the day that you stop putting things off and make it all about Jesus! May you not allow any situation, circumstance or person cause you to doubt who God created you to be or the purpose in which He has called you to. And may you be extremely blessed,

Sheri Haskins : )