There are times I read the word with such conviction of the heart. It pierces my soul as I know the failure of Shari. Not the failure of mankind. That, I have very little control over. But myself… that’s another story entirely. And sometimes that story needs a brown wrapper. Okay… I may have exaggerated that point – no brown rappers for me, but sin is sin, whether it comes in a brown paper bag from a convenience store, or something else thats takes your heart away from God’s purpose.
The word of God has been washing my soul this morning and cleaning up the inward woman that has a tendency to stray into unhealthy spaces. Not the brown paper bag spaces, but perhaps my craft room, video game or social media. Plunging my mind down a rabbit hole of time that cannot be regained and has nothing of value to show… well maybe not “nothing” but for certain very little. Even my craft room has become a place of discouragement lately with unfinished or failed projects that allow evil thoughts lurking in the recesses of my mind to poke their heads out and whisper “failure” into my mind. And rather than calling them the liar they are, I simply respond with “you’re right,” knowing that I’ve just spent hours doing nothing productive for the Kingdom. And I don’t mean t drag you down this tunnel of fun, but I think it’s a question we need to ask ourselves daily. “Did I impact this world for Christ?”
James 1:21-27 KJVS
No Brown Bag Living
 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.  But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
I’m not talking about a sack lunch either, but rather the brown bag of disguise we call denial that we have an issue with our spiritual self. The things we’re not so proud of and we’d certainly not boast to the Pastor about. But on Sunday we wear the Gucci bag of religion that makes us one of the pretty people, but then before we get home from church, or maybe in church, our mind starts to drift into paper bag space.
I’m ashamed of the time I’ve spent recently on mindless games and videos. It is so easy for me to go there to seek refuge from weariness and frustration. The video’s make me laugh or ponder, and the games take me into an world of illusion that takes my mind off the cares of the world. Neither of those things are bad really, until I fail to do the missions that God has put before me because I’d rather not deal with life. I’m not kidding. That’s how I roll. Maybe you’re rolling with me. I hope you’re not, but if you are, give this girl some love today and let m know I’m not alone, and that perhaps this blog encouraged your spirit today too.
No Brainless Laboring
 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:  For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.  But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
How does one labor brainlessly? Basically not thinking about the effect of what you’re doing in life. I love it when my fine wispy hair is newly cut and styled and my make up covers up the blemishes on my face as I get ready for the day. But not long into the day the make up is wearing thin, my hair is droopy and the real Shari shines through. Or maybe “shine” isn’t the appropriate word. It could just as well be the Shari Charade. The last time I looked into the mirror it was great, but now what I’m unaware of is the effect the day has had on me. That’s what happens when we go about our days without taking the time to reexamine our motives and the intents of the heart through the word of God. Why am I doing what I’m doing? And what purpose is it serving. Scripture really serves as a mirror to the soul. When I examined mine I could see a little brainless laboring and a lot of brainless living. I was doing very little that was going to have an effect on eternity.
No Brandishing Lips
 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.  Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
Brown bag living and brainless laboring is bad enough, but all talk and no action is the worst. People look at our lives and the pretty images we display but do they see us doing something in the world for the cause of Christ, or just talking about it? I know that what I do on my job in the secular world helps to provide safe drinking water to our community. But what am I doing with the water of the word to keep my people safe? And how bold am I about it.
Yesterday I clinched my lips shut when my conversation with someone made them grimace. I stifled my opinion to prevent their agonizing over what should have been a shared moral standing as children of God. But unfortunately it wasn’t. The reason it wasn’t is because this world has caused most Christians to stop looking in the mirror but rather they’re looking out at the world for a moral compass. FYI, the moral compass of the world points south. But let me put a good dose of self reality on it: even though my moral compass was not pointing south, it wasn’t pointing north either. I was not nearly well versed enough to defend my opinion if the opportunity had arisen, and the fact I didn’t means I’m somewhat east or west. Thats the dangerous reality of me, I often times knows just enough to be dangerous. As a Christian I need to know the details as to why my compass points north.
So there you have it. Brown bag living, brainless laboring and brandishing lips are not just a problem of the world.