The Little Black Purse

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God did something extraordinary.

Stepping from the throne, he removed his robe of light and wrapped himself in skin: pigmented, human skin. The light of the universe entered a dark, wet womb. He whom angels worship nestled himself in the placenta of a peasant, was birthed into a cold night, and then slept on cow’s hay.

Mary didn’t know whether to give him milk or give him praise, but she gave him both since he was, as near as she could figure, hungry and holy.

Joseph didn’t know whether to call him Junior or Father. But in the end he called him Jesus, since that’s what the angel had said and since he didn’t have the faintest idea what to name a God he could cradle in his arms…  Max Lucado

The Little Black Purse

My daddy was an alcoholic so home could be unpredictable and depressing and painful. It could also be fun. I never doubted his love but I knew from a small child that I wanted to make different choices for my life and the life of the family I would one day have. Christmas was always good, at least the morning. Later in the day the drinking started and he usually left for a local beer joint. It was like this my entire childhood. I married after the first year of college and moved out. Things were still the same at home and sometimes worse. Then one day I got a call from my daddy and because of the extraordinary thing God did my daddy changed. Drastically changed. And that year for Christmas there was a gift under the tree from my daddy, not my mama and daddy… it was just from my daddy. It was a black macramé clutch purse. While we always got gifts from Santa and from my parents, I had never received a gift that my daddy picked out and bought himself. Why did he buy that gift that year? He had changed and he wanted to do something special for me as a sign of that change. He wanted to be a part of Christmas that year. I don’t have my daddy anymore but I have some special memories and I have that purse that is so small yet represents something so big and wonderful. I still pull it out and use it for special occasions and I always will because it reminds me that anyone can change … my little black purse of sweet memories … because God did something extraordinary.

Seeking after His Heart… 

Cheri

 

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Wonderful Me…

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Wonderful me, you might be asking!   Yes, WONDERFUL ME and that is right out of God’s Word.  And He says the same about you!

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This was one of those words God spoke so directly to me years ago and it brought me healing and wholeness and acceptance and purpose.  And this year, 2017, I need to re-estabilsh myself in this truth of His Word.

I was experiencing the pain of betrayal and rejection when all these same feelings from my childhood also came gushing back up from all the years of suppressing them.  In all the pain, God was working to bring me healing and wholeness, freedom and purpose, and He started doing this from truths in the book of Psalms.

He spoke these words so directly from His Heart to mine.

“Cheri, it was me, the only one true God, the Creator of all the beauty of creation, that formed you.  I formed every detail in the depths of your mother’s womb.  I knew you then.  I planned for you.  I created you in love and with purpose.”

“For You formed my innermost parts:  You knit me together in my mother’s womb.”  Psalms 139:13

I can’t fully explain how much healing this brought to me in my time of brokenness.  And it didn’t stop.  The next thing He made alive in me was that fact that He didn’t make a mistake in creating me, that He actually did a great job creating me … as me!  I am to give Him thanks and praise because I am fearfully and wonderfully made by the Creator of the amazing sunsets, the majestic mountains, the glorious sunrises, the oceans that know where to go and where to stay … that same Creator created me!  Wow!  He intricately and skillfully formed me, like an embroidered masterpiece with many colors … and dimensions.  And I can KNOW that His works are wonderful.  That I am His wonderful creation … His masterpiece!

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“I will give thanks and praise to You,                                                                                    for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.  My frame was not hidden from You, When I was being formed in secret,
And intricately and skillfully formed as if embroidered with many colors in the depths of the earth.” Psalms 139:14-15

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His healing and wholeness didn’t stop there, as overwhelming as that was!  He also spoke loud and clear that He created me with purpose, that He has a book already written of all the purposes and days He has appointed for me … and He did this as He created me in the darkness of my mother’s womb, before one day ever was.  He created me with purpose, with a well thought out plan for my life.

“Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were appointed for me,
When as yet there was not one of them even taking shape.”  Psalms 139:16

And in this time of pain, I am re-establishing myself in Him and I’m reminding myself that He did a great job creating me as me!  And that He still has purpose for my life, He is still working out His plan in me and through me.  Wonderful me!

And I’m reminding you today that He did an amazing job creating you!  You have a purpose!  He has a plan for you!  Take some time and re-establish yourself in the truth of His Word and celebrate the WONDERFUL YOU He created!

 

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Re-Establishing My Trust in Who He Is…

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I never I thought I would be here … I came to Jesus as a child andimg_0036
have loved and followed him since that time … 40 years of ministry and now I find myself re-establishing my trust in who he is … Re-Establishing…

What went wrong?  How did I get here?  How do I get back?  These questions have me inspecting the foundation of my faith to see what needs to be shored up.  Shoring up my foundation by reminding myself of who He is.

He is great and He is most worthy of praise!  No matter what I am facing or how big the giants seem, I can fall into His greatness that is ALWAYS bigger and I can choose to praise Him … the One who is most worthy of praise.  I choose to praise Him in all things and through all things.

“For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise.”        Psalms 96:4

Great … larger in size than anyone else. The quantity and quality of His greatness is beyond our ability to understand;  His greatness is unsearchable. We get only a glimpse of the extent and magnitutude of His qualities.  We see it in the beauty and intricacy and detail of his creation — displayed in His service to others. In His strength, He is always stronger; there no other like Him. He is the only true God;  we never can do what He can do — what He does.

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Great seems too small when talking about God … and although I can’t begin to comprehend His greatness, I can choose to trust His greatness and how He works that greatness in me and in my life.

“No pagan god is like you, O Lord.

None can do what you do!

All the nations you made
will come and bow before you, Lord;
they will praise your holy name.
For you are great and perform wonderful deeds.
You alone are God.”  Psalms 86:8-10

So, here I am re-establishing myself in His greatness — shoring up my foundation with faith in His greatness in every challenge … in every struggle … in every circumstance.

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And I plant myself in the fact that way back those many years ago when I asked Him into my heart as a little girl, HE began the good work in me and I am confident that He is still working on me to complete what He started.  I am a work in progress … and He is more than great enough to complete that work.

“I am convinced and confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will continue to perfect and complete it until the day of Christ Jesus … until the time of His return.”

Philippians 1:6

Re-Establishing My Trust in Him

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img_0031My trust was shaken.  I tried to choose to trust each day no matter the circumstances but I found that after constant disappointment and just not understanding why God wasn’t doing something, I just stopped trusting.  Most people didn’t know because I put on the “trusting” face and kept going.

Then God spoke and I heard… “Cheri, its time to re-establish yourself in me”.  My prayer became “Lord, teach me how to re-establish my trust in you.”  So I started … with the very basics.  Trust.  Trusting God.  Trusting God’s heart for me.  Going back to the Word and little by little, day by day, choosing to replace the lies I had allowed the enemy to stuff down my throat — with the truth of God’s Word.

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What has changed?  Me … I have changed … and I’m still changing.  Some days, it is easy and other days, it takes focus and persistence — a made up mind.  And the thing that makes the biggest difference is consistantly being in the Word and allowing that Word to transform my thinking, which transforms me.

I don’t understand … so each day, I must submit my lack of understanding to him and choose to trust his heart for me.  It is not always easy; it is a process and I am growing in the process.  I’m choosing to trust — one day at a time.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.  Proverbs 3:5-6

Time To Re-Establish

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Re-establish.  This is the word God gave me for 2017.  Why?  That is a loaded question.  It all started five years ago when the door we walked through, that we believed was a dream come true and a position clearly designed just for us.  We sold our home, gave away our horses, left family behind and uprooted from a place we had raised our family, had a ministry that still bears fruit today … a place that we spent about 20 years to pursue God’s purposes and plans.

And it was unraveling from the start.  We loved what we were doing but all too soon it became very obvious that there were deep rooted dysfunction and deteriorating health in the organization and leadership.  We kept being faithful thinking maybe God could use us to bring change but a short two and a half years later, we found ourselves unemployed and devastated.

Even in our pain, we chose to trust God, to trust his plan for us.  Then the jobs didn’t come and the savings dwindled away and we ended up moving in with our daughter and her family.  But we kept trusting … kept believing that God had a plan for us.

And five years later I found myself at the bottom.  I had pretty much given up on God and his plan and purpose for me … I had pretty much decided he was done with me.  And then the still small voice … “Cheri, it is TIME … time to re-establish yourself in me and in the truth of my Word”.  I realized that I had let disappointment crack my foundation in Christ.  Disappointment in God.  Disappointment in people.  Disappointment in the Church.  Disappointment in me.

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“After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.”                                      

I Kings 19:12

So, here I am.  Re-establishing myself in God … in the truths of his Word.  I love the Story of Joseph but being honest, HOW did he make it 40 years?  We see the end in one setting … he lived his story 40 years before seeing the purpose and what God had planned for him … what God was preparing him for.  I don’t see where He is taking me and the purpose that He is preparing me for but each day I’m choosing to trust … and each day I’m re-establishing myself in Him and in the truths of His Word.

And as I re-establish, I am planting myself in this truth … He began this good work in me and He will complete it.  He never gives up on me … or on you!

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Want to join me this year as I re-establish?  Maybe you need to do some re-establishing too?

Telling the Story

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Tell your story … God hears our cries over and over when we find ourselves in desert wastelands, in darkness, hungry, thirsty, dying, the aftermath of rebellion, the storms of life … He hears our cry and he steps into our situations again and again and redeems us and redeems our situations. Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story … Tell your story again and again!

THEN they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them…saved them…brought them out from their distress.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story—those he redeemed from the hand of the foe, those he gathered from the lands, from east and west, from north and south.

Psalms 107:1-3, 6, 13, 19, 24

Seeking after His Heart…

Cheri