Monday, April 4, 2011

Better Day Coming

Reading in Hebrews 11 this morning,  I have been filled with such a thorough hope!
Look at it with me:
             "13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. 14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them."

Oh my beloved brother, my beloved sister, we are not home yet! If you are among those throughout the ages and among this generation who have put their lives in the hand of Christ for salvation, this is not all there is. 
Getting awakened by an alarm clock, hitting snooze three times, making coffee, working a nine hour day and paying bills is not it!  And get this, if that's all you're getting out of life now, that's not it for this life either. God makes life on this terrestrial turf extraordinary for those who abandon their own glory for the chance to wash feet. Get involved in something that takes time you "don't have".

Volunteer in human trafficking ministry, go love on the kids at the juvenile detention center, sit in an uncomfortable chair at the nursing home and listen while an elderly woman tells her story. Pay for the single mom's groceries who is standing behind you in line at Wal-Mart.  But even with the great adventure that lurks beneath the surface of a presumably ordinary life, we long insatiably for a place we have not yet seen.

Believer, Jesus Christ the Son of the living YHWH (God) is coming back. He will ignite the eastern skies with all the brilliance of His splendor. Every person from every background, religion, worldview, race and denomination will hit their knees and know He is the true God.  At the blast of a trumpet, you and I will meet Him and our eyes shall be our faith; we will be regailed with the stories of God's faithfulness by those who died for the faith, and we ourselves will regail Paul and Stephen and Moses with the stories of our faith.. 1Peter gives us a hope to cling to until that day:  "Though you have not seen Him, you love Him. And though you do not now see Him, you rejoice with a joy inexpressible and filled with glory; obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls."

Thursday, March 17, 2011

"Arise...and go."

I'm so excited yall...and I need SOMEBODY to be excited with me on this.  I'll try to keep it short and to the point if you PROMISE to jump up and down and say "Amen!"  See, I called my dad this morning after my quiet time and told him what God's spoken to me, and dad in his infinite wisdom said, "yep, that's cool."  Mr. Smarty Pants already was aware of the revelation that seemed brand new to me, so he wasn't as excited. I need you to (even if it's old news to you) to finish with me and say AMEN.  :)

"And the word of the LORD came to Elijah: Depart from here and    
turn eastward and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is east   
of the Jordan. You shall drink from the brook and I have commanded
the ravens to feed you there."
-1Kings 17:2-4

First that just jumped out at me that when God sent Elijah, He'd already planned out how Elijah would be taken care of. So neat!  And THEN...God sends RAVENS to carry "meat and bread in the morning and evening" (vs. 6).  How creative of God is that?? Seriously. Ok, moving forward..

                       "Then the brook dried up because there was no rain in the land..."      

That same brook where God had commanded Elijah to go and where He had so creatively provided food and shelter DRIED UP because of a drought. So what does God do next with Elijah?                

   "Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah: ARISE and go to Zarepath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. Behold I have commanded a widow there to feed you."

                           Recap:  God sends Elijah away from home in the beginning and Scripture shows that God had a plan from the get-go to provide when Elijah arrived. THEN the brook dried up because of drought and God send Elijah packing again; and again, God included in His instructions to Elijah how he would be taken care of (..."I have commanded a widow there to feed you.") 

LIFE APPLICATION:   How many of us as Christians (this includes you and me) when we are in a thriving ministry, church or relationship/friendship assume that when the "brook dries up" that God just stopped being faithful and isn't providing any more? A drought doesn't have to be a sign of God's unfaithfulness but rather a sign to "Arise and go" on to the next location of His provision!

You see, if you're anything like me, you may want to sit by that dried up ol' brook where God once richly provided and then be soooo upset with Him because that brook won't flow. But actually, God has fore-ordained provision at the new destination you refuse to follow Him to. I love that God said to Elijah "ARISE and go..."   Maybe you're sitting by that dryied up brook begging God to provide for ou right there again, but God is saying ARISE up off your butt and go.....

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Kitty Chaos

Well folks, I write to you tonight from a mental state of frazzled delirium.  I have a 6" tall, furry, purring animal in my home now and let me tell you that she has NOT been the companion I'd anticipated.  Not a bad pet, but just....well, how do i describe her?  She's...original.  Her favorite game has been "use Jordan as a jungle-gym". 
People, I'm here to say that claws and human flesh were never intended to co-exist in the way that Missy has forced upon me.  And I will also say that no other animal or human being for that matter has tested my sanctification like she has.  I have screamed at her as she's dug her claws into my behind and hung freely.  I have literally had to pray for forgiveness for losing my temper over this animal.  I'm sleep deprived and scared constantly.
BUT HERE'S THE LATEST game she's invented.  "Treasure Hunter".  Today I walk into my kitchen and Missy is having one of usual hyper-active spells.  In the midst of her big trouncing party she ran full-speed and skidded into her litter box like a toddler at the beach.  She has decided that this green and gray box in the laundry room is not only a place to take a dump but it is a two-for-one sand box/treasure digging station.  Missy was playing in her litter box when lo-and-behold she found a "treasure".  A little nugget of fun. She scoops it up with her front paws, flings it out of the litter box and begins pushing it all over the kitchen like a mouse toy.  I get her pooper-scooper and take it away from her, putting it in the trash. Didn't dampen her spirits. She hopped right back into the litter box and got herself another "treasure" and the game continued. Yall, I am one exhausted mama. Pray for me.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Fraudulent Identity?

Hey yall!!  wanted to say howdy and offer a few snacks for thought. Now mind you, this is not a "handful of goldfish" type of snack. It's a little lengthier than I usually post. This is more like an appetizer of fried cheese sticks at TGI Fridays....big portion, but really good! Make  a happy plate and read the whole blog. See you at the end!

I'd like to invite you to read a verse of Scripture if you'd be so patient:
         “And by this we knowthat we have come to know Him,
if we keep His commandments.
          Whoever says ‘I know him’ but does not keep his
commandments is a liar and the truth is not inhim, but whoever
          keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected.
By this we may know that we are in Him, whoever
         says he abides in Him ought to
                                               walk in the same way in which He walked.”  -John 2:3-6 
I don't know about you, but this verse intimidates me and reeeeally causes me to ask myself hard things about who I claim my identity to be.  Christian. In our rawest, truest form, are we real or are we truly convinced that we are real but only putting on the front of a true Godfollower?
The text you just read with me says that whoever abides in Him ought to walk in the way in which He walked. Does that not just make your head spin? Man it does mine. walking as Jesus the God-man walked!
Think about this with me now my blog friend: It is our duty according to 2 Corinthians 13 to check the sincerity of our walks: 
"But we pray to God
that you may not do wrong, not that we
may appear to have met the test,
but that you may
do what is right though we may seem to have failed."

Paul makes it clear in this text, he wants the people
to do what is right, but not for the sake of “appearing to have met the test”.

In other words, so many people who have attended church all their lives
have a tendency to believe they are Christians who have met the test but
really only do what is right in appearance, and usually only
when they are around other Christians who they think have
certain expectations of them.
Honestly, how many of you if your pastor offered margaritas in Sunday School would take and drink one? Not many. But how many of you would order one on a Friday night at Chili's?  I'm not about to get into a theological debate on the sin/not sin of drinking.  My point is to be real EVERYWHERE you are.  If you wouldn't turn it down in a restaurant, but you would turn it down from someone at church, you are putting on a front and “appearing to have met the test” in front of the ones who have expectations of you.

How many of us have our bibles at a small group in Sunday school in case we were called on, butdidn’t take them to work/school in case a conversation presented itself at the lunch table to share Christ? If you fall into that category, it is because you are working to meet the expectations of one group of people rather that working to fulfill the big picture… the great commission. That doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not a Christian, don’t misunderstand me, but it could be a challenge totake your walk more seriously.

So, all this said, and having examined yourself, can you really call yourself a Christian? I hope yes! There is nothing more awesome than the feeling of knowing that you are in a season of walking in rightstanding with Christ.  But, you may be wondering now if up to this point you've been nothingmore than an imitator camouflaged into the scenery of the true believers.  I'll leave you lastly with the words of a great man:
"Whatever you are, be a good one." -Abraham Lincoln

Friday, January 28, 2011

Another Near-Death at The Pharmacy

Okay, even though I do often post spiritual revelations and thoughts here, I am fully aware that the REAL reason you come to this blog is for the pharmacy stories and similar topical humorous tales that often derive from my torture. So here's the latest.

After a VERY rough morning at the pharmacy with customers bustling in and out, us running around like mad people trying to get prescriptions filled and sold, I finally get to my lunch break.  I'm sitting there during my hour-long breather and just silently praying that God will give me what I need to get me through the rest of this day.  WELLLL....true to His sympathetic nature, He catered to my sense of humor a bit for sure.

It was fate, and the small dark-haired hispanic 5-year-old was bouncing playfully around his mama's waist while she picked up her medicine. But then, (and I could hear the theme from JAWS growing louder and louder) Grandma comes creeping up the aisle in her motorized cart.  Grandma, obviously not well acquainted with this high-tech motor machine tries frantically to put on the breaks and even swerves, but poor Pueblo bounced right into the path of Grandma's death machine.  The boy's Buzz-Lightyear shoes went flying up over his head and he tumbled to the ground with a *thud*. In horror, Grandma tries to get the cart away from the child but in her state of panic accidently puts the cart into reverse and hit the kid a SECOND time!  I guess she figured any job worth doing is worthy doing thoroughly.

In my efforts to apologize for bursting out into laughter, I did peek over the counter to see if Pueblo survived. No harm done. I just figure now he won't want to accompany mommy to the Pharmacy. :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Guitar Center and Hip-Sticking Finger-Licking good Food.

Gooood morning my now 14 followers! I see all your pretty little faces on the margin of my "followers" list and I am reminded of how blessed I am to know each of you.  Which by the way, "followers" just sounds weird. I'm not Charlie Manson and I'm not Jesus, having followers is goofy. what do I call you guys? lol. This little blog community should have an identifiable name. lol.

So I am headed to the place I can most tangibly identify with Heaven.....Guitar Center. Wall-to-wall decked with shiny guitars begging to be cradled in my hands and to let their voices be heard for a few minutes. I may even take one of my less-needed guitars and "put it up for adoption"...i can't say the "T" word. It sounds so inhumane. I'm not trading  it in like I don't want it any more, it's just that a $400 cat deposit will come at a less painful expense if I can get $200 out of a guitar I never use.

AND....THE GRAND FINALE....we are eating at Cheddar's most likely today. The home of the cookie-monster skillet sundae. Heaven on your tastebuds and cellulite on your hips. I can't wait.
So how has this week been for you? Have anything this weekend you're looking forward to?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Awaken The Dawn

Through a series of events literally too extravagant for words, God has knocked me off me my feet this weekend. And now, via this blog, I'd like to pass the blessing forward to you.  My 13 followers. :)

The past two years of my life I would categorize as a season of trial. It wasn't all bad, but there were two blatant issues that hung over me like a shadow almost constantly.  I tried (like all of us have with one issue or another) to "give it to God". Isn't that what we good Christian folk always say to one another when we don't know what other counsel to give?  "Just give it to God."  Well I'd tried again and again to give my burdens over to Him, but somehow I kept obliging myself right back to the God role.  Carrying them myself. 

Well, LOOOOOOOONG story short, this past Saturday night God all-out drenched my apartment with His presence and in a moment of worship, just Him and I, I felt Him say into my heart,
"I promised in My Word that sorrow lasts for the night and joy comes in the morning. Jordan Shea, your  Morning is here. Now Beloved... awaken the dawn with your praise."
Yall, I can't with my little blog words describe to you the literal feeling that came over me of breaking through and crossing a finish line. It's like I'd busted through a stained-glass window and it shattered into a million pieces.  God TOOK that burden from me. I didn't give it, didn't have some giant moment of surrender, God did what I could not do my self.

Here's where the application for you comes in. If you are currently in a night of sorrow, mourning, or trial and you're weary, sleep-deprived, broken, hoping that God's Word comes to be true for you:  Awaken the dawn with your praise.   Here's what God showed me. I think I would still be in the dark night of sorrow had I not for the past two years deliberately praised Him. I would get phone calls late at night from a friend who was struggling, and even in my brokenness for them I would hang up that phone, grab my guitar and sing "blessed be Your name!"  I truly believe that this dawn of morning in my life was awakened by my praise.

Wherever you are, "dawn" does not have to mean heaven. there can be a place of restoration here on this terrestrial turf. I believe it. It doesn't necessarily mean that everything you've lost will be given back, but every strand of joy the enemy has stolen can be reclaimed. Your night has lasted long enough. Awaken a new day in your life by choosing to bless God's name. Angels lean in and are intrigued with wonder when they see this being called man, the apple of God's eye, worship. We get to experience something that Scripture says angels long to look into:  Grace.  The created beings that have beheld the very countenance of God envy us!  We know a part of God's heart that they can only imagine. Take hold of God's graces and worship Him for He is good.

Keep doin' the walk.