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 : )

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 : )

Empty Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Egg Carton & Peter Pan Peanut Butter Jar – Ugh!!

I have to say that the way holidays are so commercialized, makes me a little sad. We hardly see one go by before there are displays for the next one. Of course it is up to us, individually; to celebrate the true meaning of each one; don’t you think? But I have to admit that I do enjoy some of the sweet treats that come with the holidays.

This Easter, my youngest daughter, Kara, and I were in Athens visiting my daughter, Amber, who will be graduating from UGA in May. Kara and I returned home that evening to find some treats that my husband had bought for us, chocolate bunnies, chocolate covered marshmallow eggs (one of my favorites), peeps, & M&M’s. Yeah; I thought it was sweet of him.

I, of course opened my chocolate covered marshmallow eggs first. Like I said; this is one of my favorites. Well; I had no lack of help eating my eggs, which is fine; I don’t mind sharing. So, Friday, I am at home all by myself, all of my eggs have been gone; and I see Kara’s carton on the coffee table. I’m thinking all day, “I’ll just have one of hers.” I mean; she and Roy helped eat mine.

So, I go to get one, after thinking about it all day and; it’s empty! “Seriously? Are you kidding me? Why is it on the coffee table and not in the trash can where it should be? Why would you, whoever ate the last one, leave it here to tease me, to make me think about wanting my favorite Easter treat all day long? Really? What was the purpose in leaving this empty carton on the table?”

“Ok, Sheri, it’s not that big of a deal.” But, I have had a taste for that all day, just thinking about it. You know that feeling? You have your mouth set for something, then, there’s the letdown. Oh, well no need dwelling on it. What good will that do?

So, I pick up the empty carton and take it to the trash. I then see an empty Peter Pan Peanut Butter jar on the kitchen counter. “Really? Why is that not in the trash as well? Can no one remember where the trash can is?” I think to myself, “What purpose was that serving on the counter; taking up space?” But then again, “What purpose does an empty water pitcher serve in the refrigerator?” I have better question, “What purpose does a boat motor serve in the kitchen by my freezer?” Can anyone answer that one?

As I am pondering the answers to my questions; I feel a gentle tug at my heart, as if God is saying, “Just let it go.”

Although I haven’t spoken any words aloud; God sees my heart. I haven’t grumbled and complained out loud for anyone else to hear, even though there is no one else around, it doesn’t matter; Proverbs 23:7 says “As a man, or a woman, (in my case) thinks in her heart, so is she.” 1 Samuel 16:7 tells us that “although man sees what is on the outside, God looks at the heart.” Whether the actual complaint comes out of my mouth or not, does not change what God sees.

Luke 6:45 tells us that “Out of the abundance of the heart our mouth speaks.” So, if I had continued to feed my heart with how I “felt” about the empty carton, the empty peanut butter jar, the empty water pitcher, and anything else that I could think of from two months ago, because we all that’s how it works (or am I the only that is guilty of that); the grumbling and complaining would have eventually came out of my mouth.

We have to be careful what we are allowing in our hearts. Proverbs 4:23 says “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”

So, I had to get over those silly little things, just as my family has issues with me that they have to overlook as well.

Colossians 3:13&14 says “Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.”

We have to remember to do as Philippians 2:14&15 says “all things without complaining and disputing, so that we may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom we shine as lights in the world.”

Who knew that it would take an empty chocolate covered marshmallow egg carton and a Peter Pan Peanut Butter jar to remind me of that.

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 : )

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