Where Oh Where Did It Go?

English: A chicken running Français : Un poule...

Like a chicken with its head cut off; I run around frantically searching, tossing items aside like a child ripping through the wrapping paper on Christmas morning. Leaving behind destruction like Hurricane Katrina; I have one thing, and one thing only in mind; to find my precious item that holds such great power.

It didn’t matter, man, child, or beast; it was best to stay clear of my path until I could locate what I was searching for.

“How could I have allowed it to leave my possession?” I wonder aloud, rummaging through my dirty clothes basket piece by piece, not concerned with picking up after myself.

How long before I noticed it was gone; almost three days now? Anything could have happened to it. It could be anywhere. Now; anyone could hold the power that it contains.

As I plunge my head into the washing machine, desperately probing every inch of the drum with my fingertips; I emerge empty-handed. Angrily, I walk about referring to myself in the third person, like Gollum from The Lord of the Rings, fearing that if I pass by a mirror I may see this shriveled up creature with big eyes rather than my own reflection staring back at me.

CG depiction of Gollum created by Weta Digital...

CG depiction of Gollum created by Weta Digital for the Lord of the Rings film trilogy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I really start to panic. Where haven’t I looked?

There’s always the freezer. I found my wedding rings there once before.  Nope, no such luck.

In my mind I try to replay where I last saw it; I shudder as the visualisation comes into play in my mind. After that moment; I draw a blank; I have no recollection of having it in my possession. AT ALL.

Minute upon minute has turned into hour upon hour. I have responsibilities to attend to. My family will soon need to eat. I have to abandon my search. For now. But; I can’t stop thinking about it, worrying about it. It has consumed me, my every thought.

There will be no sleep tonight.

At times, casually I might add, throughout my search, I would ask God for His help in finding this thing in which I feel has so much power.

During this ever-so-restless night, I feel God asking me, “Do you trust me?” To which I respond, “Of course I do.”  Again, a second time, I sense a questioning from God, “Do you trust me?” I reply, “Yes, Father, I trust You.” As I continue to toss and turn throughout the night, a third time comes the same question, “Do you trust me?” I am beginning to feel like Peter in John 21:15-17, as Jesus asked him three times if he loved Him, to which Peter answered Jesus each time “You know that I love You.”

As I told God that I trusted Him; I was reminded of 1 Peter 5:7 “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.”

Had I done that? Absolutely not! I decided to do that now. Sleep finally comes.

With the morning comes peace of mind in knowing that I have given, not only my search, but the fate of who holds the power of my precious item over to God.

Have given up my search, moments away from calling the bank to order a new one, I look down to see my debit card standing upright, on its side, between a small table that fits between our tub and toilet.

Instead of remembering who I am (Ephesians 1) and giving my cares over to God; I had given into fear and spent a senseless night of worrying. How ridiculous is that?

Proverbs 4:23 says “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”

Most certainly I need to remember to guard my heart and give all of my concerns over to God; for I know that He truly does care for me. May you do the very same thing.

May you all be extremely blessed,

Sheri Haskins : )

Advertisements

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

Prayer, Hot Broth and Citrus

I don’t know if it is my allergies or a cold; but this week I have felt BLAH. I woke Sunday morning, in Athens, at my daughter’s, with just a sore throat. Upon waking up at my own house on Monday morning; my head hurt and was stuffed up, my nose was stuffy and running at the same time. My throat was still sore; and I had cough; and I was sneezing like crazing. I felt yucky!

I looked in the cabinet and found Dayquil. “Yes, that should help!” “I mean that covers everything, right?” Still; all I wanted to do was sleep; but I had things to do, laundry and other housework that needed tending to. I didn’t have time to rest. “Are you kidding me?” I had been gone the week before to visit my daughter in Athens.

Well, I would do a little, then rest; do a little, then rest. Needless to say; I did not get much done. I thought, “Ok, just don’t push yourself. Get the rest you need now then you will be able to get what you need done later. “It will all be here waiting on you.” “Yeah, that’s what I’m worried about. It will pile up. Yikes!”

So, I tried to do only what “had” to be done each day and let the major things wait until I got my strength back. I didn’t like taking the Dayquil, so I went to WalMart to pick up something that would only “attack” the runny nose, sneezing, & congestion.

I thought “Ok; rest, something to dry up this junk, and in a few days; I should be good.”

A friend of mine just went on a “weekend retreat” with her husband; so in the midst of my returning back home and settling back in; I had sent a text to see how her trip was. In exchanging our details; I told her of my physical condition. Her reply was “Prayer, hot broth and citrus.”

Now, why didn’t I think of that? I mean; why was prayer not even my first thought? Seriously? I’m not trying to over-spiritualize this. I have absolutely nothing against medicine and doctors. For the last two years I have had some wonderful doctors that have helped me tremendously!

Just this morning I was praying with my mom before she was to go to the doctor to have some skin cancers removed; but I didn’t think to simply pray concerning this cold, or allergies, or whatever it is. Why? Was it because I thought it was too small of an issue to present to God? It does say it 1 Peter 5:7 “cast all your care upon Him for He cares for you.”. It doesn’t say only cast certain cares to God, because others just aren’t significant enough to warrant His time. Was it because I just didn’t consider praying about it all? Oh, I’ll just take some medicine because it’s quick and easy. I don’t have to think about that.

What’s funny is; in spending so much time with God, talking to Him about so much other stuff; it never even dawned on me to say, “Father, You know what, while we are here talking; I am so thankful for everything that You have given me, and Your Word says in Deuteronomy 7:15 “You will remove all sickness from Your people”, so I claim that for myself right now, and I thank You for removing this sickness from me. Your Word also says in Psalm 91:9&10 that since “I have made You my refuge, You, Father, are my dwelling place, that no evil shall befall me, nor any sickness come near me.” So, I thank You, Father, for divine health right now, in Jesus name, amen.”

I think God gives us wisdom to know what to do; but He truly should be our first, not our last resort for all of our cares, concerns and issues; don’t you think? Thanks to my dear friend for reminding me to go to God first; trust Him to bring my healing, and give me wisdom in what other things I can do, and maybe should not do that will help bring restoration to my body.

I used to have earaches really bad growing up. My grandmother would get up with me and sit by the fireplace, with the ear that was hurting towards the fire. She would stay up with me as long as it took for it to ease off. When it finally began to ease off some; she would have her hot water bottle as hot as possible, so that I could lay on it. I remember her using Vicks Vapor rub when we were sick. That stuff would help you breathe.

So, I’m curious how you handle the colds, the allergies, the flu, the toothaches, etc. Do you cover them in prayer, and then have your own method to help with the restoration process? I would love to hear what you have to say.

May you be extremely blessed,
Sheri Haskins : )

How Jamie Nunnally’s CD Helped Save My Marriage

“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” Philippians 4:8

It was Saturday, February 25, 2012; my husband, Roy, and I were headed to Norman Park, Ga. to see our youngest daughter, Kara, perform at her District Honor Band Concert that began at 4 p.m. I stated my desire to leave around 2:45 p.m. The drive, from our house, takes around 45 minutes, with no unexpected stops or detours along the way. This is something I wanted to arrive early at, not only because there would be a lot of people attending, but because I wanted to see Kara, who had arrived on Friday, to wish her luck and take pictures of her with her friends in their uniforms before she performed.

I begin trying to wake Roy from a nap about an hour before we have to leave, but he isn’t responding. I continue to try to wake him over and over. He finally makes it to the shower; but at the last minute decides to pick out a shirt that needs to be pressed over. “Ok”, I think to myself, “I am not going to let this get to me.” The shirt is pressed. We are ready to leave, right? I have everything together and go to the car. I get in and crank it up. I am sitting there waiting and waiting on him. “What is he doing?” I feel my blood pressure beginning to rise ever so slightly. Then my phone rings. It’s my mom, who happens to live in Illinois. So, I’m talking to her while I’m waiting on Roy (trying not to think about what time it is). He finally comes out the door. Then he stops and smokes a cigarette. Really?

He gets in the car at 3:10 p.m. We are on our way. Finally! Then he asks me if Hwy 188 is still out going to Coolidge, which by the way; I never drive this road. I say “I don’t know.” I think to myself, while still on the phone with my mom, “Really; how am I supposed to know? You know I never go this way. Seriously?” The detour signs are still up, but the road block signs are down. But; instead of being safe and travelling an alternate road; he takes a chance and goes down a road that could possibly still be out. Yeah. So; we are driving down Hwy 188 all the way until there is, guess what, no more road. Yep. Now we have to turn around and take that alternate road anyway. Oh my gosh! I feel my blood pressure rising even more now. I am still on the phone with my mom at this point, which is probably a good thing. I am trying my very best to concentrate on what my mom is saying; but it really is hard. I have these thoughts “I will never forgive him if we don’t make it in time to see Kara perform.”

Now; I know that I have to forgive him. This is just what pops in my head. I am being open and honest with you. You may think this a little extreme; but I do have issues in this area. My mom must sense that I am not fully engaged in the conversation. She tells me that she will let me go, and to tell Kara that she is proud of her. After hanging up with my mom, my first thoughts were to say, (among other things) “You see, this is exactly why we should have left early.” But, instead; I hit the CD button on the stereo in the car and Jamie Nunnally started singing “Save me from all the things that keep me far from my King. Make me who you want me to be. I give You everything!”

Yep! I definitely needed saving right then, from my own thoughts, and from saying things that would have started an argument. The best thing that I could do was to ask God to forgive me for the impure thoughts that I was having towards Roy; and then redirect my thoughts. We arrived at Norman Park at 3:56 p.m. They were just announcing the middle school band when we were walking in. Before Kara’s performance with the high school band; I had the opportunity to sneak down to the stage, while they were setting up, to let her know we were there and to wish her luck. Luckily, our oldest daughter and her husband arrived early; and she was able to take some pictures of Kara in her uniform for me.

I could have chosen to follow through with my thoughts and said what was on my mind. Things would have definitely turned out a lot differently. But, for some reason, I took a deep breath, looked down and hit that button instead. At first I just listened to Jamie. It wasn’t long before I was singing along with him. After that; I began praying, asking God’s forgiveness and thanking Him that I had access to that CD to redirect my thoughts on something pure, something lovely and praiseworthy.

Galatians 5:16 & 20 says “Walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” such as”contentions, outbursts of wrath”

With each new day that we are given, come choices that we have to make. Perhaps you are presented with a situation where you are treated badly; or you may have someone that is very difficult to get along with in your family, at work or at school. Maybe you feel angry. If it is a continuing situation; you quite possibly could feel discouraged. You cannot change the way that person may choose to act; but you certainly can change the way you choose to think or act. If a thought comes into your mind it doesn’t mean that you have to act on it; and it doesn’t mean that you have to dwell on it either.

Romans 12:1&2 says that “we should present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is our reasonable service; and not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our minds, that we may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

For me, at that particular place and time; renewing my mind came by listening to Jamie’s CD, which is full of things that are “pure, lovely and praiseworthy”. If you find yourself in a situation where you are in need of redirecting your thoughts and renewing your mind, and worship music is not an option for you; the Word of God is the greatest weapon you can use. The book of Psalms has great praises to God. Replace those wrong thoughts by meditating on a verse from there instead. If you can be thinking bad thoughts about someone while you are working, or whatever it is that you are doing; then surely you can replace those bad thoughts with a scripture that is praising God, right? These are just a few my favorites:

Psalm 71:14 “But I will hope continually, And will praise You yet more and more.”

Psalm 86:12 “I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, And I will glorify Your name forevermore.”

Psalm 96:4 “For the LORD is great and greatly to be praised”

Psalm 145:3 “Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; And His greatness is unsearchable.”

Psalm 150:2 “Praise Him for His mighty acts; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!”

As I select scripture; I find ones that express how I feel personally, from my heart, toward God. I find that it is easier to remember scripture if they are of personal significance to me.

Now, as far as my marriage is concerned; am I saying that it would have ended that day if I would have voiced my thoughts? Not necessarily. What I am saying, is that it could have brought on the beginning of an argument that could have escalated into something very nasty, therefore; who knows where that would have led?

God will allow Satan to use circumstances in our lives to tempt and test us. Just take a look at Matthew 4 where Jesus was tempted by Satan. Jesus used the Word of God against Satan. Jesus should be our example.

If you are married; then I can almost guarantee that you have areas where you and your spouse disagree. I am not saying that you argue. I am saying that you probably disagree. There is a difference.

I can assure you, that our enemy, Satan, would love nothing more than to cause conflict in our
homes, in our workplaces, in our churches, in all of our relationships. To not believe this is naïve.

1 Peter 5:8 clearly says “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”

2 Corinthians 10:3 tells us “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.”

We should recognize spiritual attacks for what they are and stand our ground because; Luke 10:19 tells us “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”

Just know that you have authority over the thoughts you think. You can choose to redirect them and not act on them. No matter what else is going on, no matter what anyone else is saying or doing; you are in control of what you think and do.

1 Corinthians 10:13 tells us that “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”

I was tempted to say things that I knew would cause conflict in my marriage and strife in my home; but God provided a way of escape through Jamie’s music. As I listened to Jamie sing; my mind was being renewed by the words I was hearing. As I began to sing and worship God; my heart and my spirit were being refreshed. God is so good!

May you be extremely blessed,
Sheri Haskins

If you would like to know more about Jamie Nunnally and his music; you can do so by visiting
http://www.facebook.com/jamienunnally
http://www.myspace.com/jamienunnally
http://www.jamienunnally.wordpress.com/

Help! There’s a Stranger in My Home, but She Looks Just Like Me

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

As I had the opportunity recently to sit quietly and reflect back over this past year of 2011; I was reminded of many things of which I am thankful for. Our newest granddaughter, Zoey, was born. Our grandson, Mason, started school. Our youngest daughter, Kara, started high school and made District Honor Band, once again. Our daughter, Amber, turned 20, started her senior year at UGA; and God used her to do many great things in Peru. I am also very thankful for those of you who prayerfully and financially supported her through this outreach.

In this process of recalling events of the past year, it was also brought to my remembrance the likes of things which I would rather not have experienced as well; physical and emotional pain, were the first to come to mind. But, the scripture does not say to “rejoice only when you feel like it, and give thanks when things are good.”

We as Christians were not promised a life without problems; matter of fact, Jesus said in John 16:33 that we would “have trials and sorrows”, but to “be cheerful because He has overcome the world.” He also says that we can “have peace in Him”, if we choose to do so.

Through my physical issues and our financial difficulties, certain characteristics seemed to surface from within me that I did not like. I was unable to do things as I used to. That frustrated me. In time I became angry with myself. I am the kind of person that when something needs to be done, I usually do it right away, and everything has to be just right (if you know what I mean). Now; I had to take my time or rely on someone else to do it. This did not come easy at all for me.

Then I felt as though everyone else thought I was not fulfilling my duties as I should. They were lashing out at me. I was hurt; but I kept it inside. As time passed, I noticed I became critical and judgmental; and the anger was beginning to show as well. I would be angry at everything, the stupid remote, the dog, the person driving right on my bumper when I was already going 5 mph over the speed limit; you name it. I did not like this person that I was becoming. I asked God, “What is going with me?” “I don’t like who I am.” He led me to this book, The Bait of Satan by John Bevere, which I had read about four years ago.

Jesus said in Luke 22:31-32 “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you; that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” Notice that Satan requested that he be allowed to sift, (shake) or test Peter. Jesus did not pray for Peter to be spared from that, only that his faith would not fail. Jesus knew that Peter was going to deny Him; so He prayed that when he returned, Peter would be a source of strength for the others.

John Bevere writes in The Bait of Satan,

God showed my wife Lisa five purposes for shaking an object:
1. To bring it closer to its foundation
2. To remove what is dead
3. To harvest what is ripe
4. To awaken
5. To unify or mix together so it can no longer be separated

Through this sifting or shaking process that I have been experiencing; I was awakened to my true heart condition. It seemed as though there were wounds that had not been dealt with from long ago; then more recent wounds were piled on top of those. I had allowed that to build into anger, resentment, bitterness and offense. Growing up, there was so much tension and strife in our family. Our parents divorced and our mom worked, leaving me, the oldest, to care for my two younger sisters most of the time, which I do not begrudge at all. I love my sisters dearly! Being the oldest sibling, I felt the need to be strong for them, so if ever I was hurt, I didn’t feel that I could acknowledge that. I would deny the pain, thinking that would make it go away. So learning at a very young age to deny my pain, caused for a lifetime of wounds in my heart that needed to be healed.

John Bevere writes that denying the hurt is a form of pride. He, himself, experienced this; and God revealed it to him. He said,

“I knew it was wrong to be offended so I denied and repressed it. I convinced myself I was not, but in reality I was. Pride masked the true condition of my heart. Pride keeps you from dealing with the truth. It distorts your vision.”
He continues, “There was a time in my life when I went through intense trials such as I never faced before. I became rude and harsh with those closest to me. I cried out to the Lord, “Where is all this anger coming from? It wasn’t there before.” The Lord responded, “Son, it is when they liquefy gold in fire that the impurities show up.” He then asked me a question that changed my life. “Can you see the impurities in the gold before it is put in the fire?” “No,” I answered. “But that doesn’t mean they were not there,” He said. “When the fire of trials hit you, these impurities surfaced. Though hidden to you, they were always visible to me. So now you have a choice that will determine your future. You can remain angry, blaming your wife, friends, pastor, and the people that you work with, or you can see this dross of sin for what it is and repent, receive forgiveness, and I will take my ladle and remove these impurities from your life.”

I am not thrilled to have gone through these trials this past year, but for what God has brought to my attention and the healing that has taken place, I truly am thankful. Do I still have a long way to go? Yes, indeed. I have to say that through all of this; I have, and am still learning a lot about myself. I have definitely grown a lot closer to God; and for that; I am ever so thankful for, as well! To say that you forgive someone is one thing, but to acknowledge that you have been truly hurt and allow God access into your heart to bring healing to that wounded area, is a totally different thing. I do hope that you will take the opportunity to ask God if you have any wounds that you may have denied or tried to forget about, and then quietly wait on Him. If He reveals anything to you; then allow Him to bring healing into that area.

May you be extremely blessed,
Sheri Haskins

Convenient Caring

I realize that we all have an area of gifting in our lives; and everyone has the choice of whether they want to allow God to use theirs for His glory or not. But caring for one another is something that we can all do without having any special talent.
Some of the most endearing memories that I have of my grandmother, are of her caring for others. I think for her, it came naturally. I can’t imagine her ever thinking twice about calling or going to see someone, or sending that encouraging card at just the right time.

I’m just wondering; have we become so wrapped up in our own lives, our own circle of friends, or perhaps our own problems; or maybe too callus to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, to care about others anymore?
Have we become a victim to our enemy, who is stealing away our precious time, our health, and our energy? “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” John 10:10 Now, I know it goes on to say that “Jesus came so that we may have life, and may have it more abundantly”; but what I am talking about, is; how do we allow the day to go by when someone is in need, and we probably know; but we never bother to make that phone call, or send that text, or email, or message them on FB; or however it is that you choose to communicate, to let them know that we care?

Am I the only one that has ever been guilty of this?
Well, just in case I’m not; I would like to say to those of you that feel you missed the opportunity to minister to that person; “God is so forgiving and loving, and for that I very thankful! He will give you another chance to minister to someone else; if that is what you want. Just make yourself available to Him, and listen.

BUT

We don’t need to wait until it’s “convenient” and we see that person in Wal-Mart and say, “Hey, I’ve been thinking about you. How have you been?” Then we find out they have been going through a really hard time, and they could have used an encouraging phone call a few weeks ago when God laid them on our heart. Then when you leave, you feel guilty and condemned because you didn’t follow through. Now, that is the enemy. “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:1

Not only has this person been robbed of being blessed, but you, me, whoever was going to be used to minister to that person have been robbed; and now, if we allow ourselves to, will feel guilty. What does that sound like to you? Sounds to me like “our adversary the devil walking about, like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”1 Peter 5:8
Just think about it. God laid that person on your heart for a reason. Do you really think that Satan is just going to let that go? Again, 1 Peter 5:8 “We have to be sober, vigilant” because he, Satan, is aggressive! I’m telling you “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.” 2 Corinthians 10:3

Sure; you and I make our own choices on how we utilize the moments given to us each day; and there will most assuredly be circumstances to warrant our attention for a period of time. I mean, if we are honest, our family activities alone require much of our schedules; and before we know it, the day is gone. You meant to call, but you didn’t.
But, we make a choice on what to do, right?
Now, I am not saying; do not participate in anything. What I am asking is, if we are living any differently than the rest of the world. As Christians, are we listening for God’s voice in all that we do each day, or are we just going about our lives nonchalantly.

Excerpt from Walking with God, John Eldredge:

Jesus said “Remain in me, and I will remain in you” John 15:4. As Christians we don’t get to live a “normal life”, and accepting that fact in all the details of our lives is what allows us to remain is Jesus. I remember a friend admitting something like this about his family vacation, “I don’t want to ask God if we’re supposed to go to Hawaii this year. I just want to go.” And you see how the collision of our desire to live a nice little life and our need to remain in Jesus can bring about a sanctification of our will, where all things truly are subjected to Christ. But there’s something we need to be honest about; part of us doesn’t really want to hear what God has to say. He goes on to say,“Really. Even after years of God’s rescues and surprises and blessing upon blessing, there’s a part of me that gets irritated when someone says, “Let’s ask God.”

I challenge you, let us not be Christians living a “normal life” that care when it is “convenient”, but listen for God’s voice and follow through when He lays that person on our heart.

Matter of fact, let’s go a step further and purposefully ask Him each day to give us someone to encourage.

Now, for you, my friend, who may feel you have messed up way too many times, made too many mistakes, and for some reason you think that He can’t use you. If you truly want God’s forgiveness, 1 John 1:9 says “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” And, just take a look at the Apostle Paul’s life.

Be extremely blessed,
Sheri Haskins : )