That’s a question I ask myself almost daily. Do I have enough time. Probably not. Do I have enough money? Seldom ever. Do I have enough food for everyone? That depends on how hungry they are. Do I have enough news on the Ridgeview? Depends on the day. Do I have enough energy? Doubtful. Do I have enough patience? Oh dear. So many, many other “Do I’s.”

I seem to always fall short. Perhaps you too can identify. The question is, what to do when I feel like I am never enough? Right now I have dozens of things on my to do list that make me feel as though I’m a failure. The house is a wreck. I’ve failed as a homemaker. Five out of the seven days, David fixed his own meals for various reasons. I’ve failed as a wife. I missed covering some County Events for the Ridgeview News. I’m a failure as a publisher. I became frustrated in my walk with God. I’m a failure as Christian. I became frustrated with the church, I’m a failure as a servant. The new puppy peed in the floor. I’m a failure as a pet owner. F.A.I.L.U.R.E. That is a mindset that I have struggled with my entire life. It’s a daily struggle, because I fail daily, and the first thing that pops into my mind is “you’re a failure again.”

Why is that? Why do I have that mindset when God’s word clearly says that He created me in His image? (Genesis 1:27)

My lack of self respect and confidence is most likely from my lack of time with God. My lack of time with God is from my lack of organization. My lack of organization is from my lack of health and strength. My lack of health and strength is from my lack of attention to the details of life. My lack of attention to the details of life is my lack of self respect and confidence. My lack of self respect and confidence…

It’s a vicious cycle.

This morning, I sat down with the word of God and just pondered it. For me. Not for you. Although perhaps it will speak to you too. I wonder if Paul considered himself a writer? Did he know what God was doing through him? Paul had a level of confidence that I long for. I have moments of it. They generally last a few seconds, when I am confident that God is doing a work in me and I can let somebody have it with both barrels. And then I think… wait a minute Shari. How dare you call someone out when you’re such an idiot most of the time. But then I think about work God is doing through me, as a writer. Even though I too am the chiefest of sinners in any crowd. He still uses me and encourages my soul Paul’s words from Philippians 4

Philippians 4:1-23 KJVS

[1] Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved. [2] I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord. [3] And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.

What? Divisions in the Church? Well I never…

I’ve yet to be in a church that didn’t have divisions. Some worse than others. It’s a matter that weighs on my heart when I hear of it. It weighs far heavier when I’m apart of it. It takes its toll on me spiritually and physically. It causes me to doubt who I am in Christ. I lose my confidence. And the circle starts. I stop talking to God because I buy the lie that He’s upset with me because I’m uspet. And Christians are not supposed to upset. We’re supposed to be Hoooooly. You know with lots of O’s.

The problem with division is everyone thinks they’re right. Otherwise they wouldn’t be divided. Nobody that I know ever said, “I’m wrong and I’ll fight to my dying breath to prove it!” No, we fight for what we believe in. And if someone doesn’t believe like us, there’s a battle. For me that battles takes place most of the time inside my mind. I refuse to divide the church. That’s the Devil’s game. What I want to do is serve the Lord. But division sucks the desire right out of me.

Paul said that he wanted Euodias and Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. There’s a lot of stuff in the world we can disagree on, but when it comes to the things of the Lord, that will cause confusion in the church and the world doesn’t need to see that. They need to see an undivided, rightly divided gospel.

Why do you suppose Paul mentioned the division of men, and then reminded them to help the women? Do you suppose women in the ministry wasn’t something they were comfortable with? Do you suppose men were actually wrong? This isn’t about women’s rights, I assure you. This is about human nature. People can think less of someone for many reasons. Gender, age, race, culture, etc. etc. etc. This should never be. God didn’t want anyone’s focus to be on who someone was. Only on the work of the ministry. That should be the focus of the church.

[4] Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. [5] Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. [6] Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. [7] And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

What? Extreme’s in the Church? Well I never…

Twice God said Rejoice! Oh how I love to rejoice! And then in He said, let your moderation be known unto all men.

I was watching a church service online the other day and there were people dancin’ and praisin’ and just have a great time in church. My feet got a little happy too. My first thought was, well they ain’t Baptist! And they weren’t. And I’m not saying they were right or wrong in the Lord, that’s between them and God. What I’m asking is “What’s God’s idea of moderation?” Moderation means self restraint. That means to keep the flesh in check. Don’t let the flesh get out of control. And what that means is let the Spirit have control and to know the difference. It’s that right division all over again.

When the Spirit bubbles up in me, it should not be denied. If I feel like shouting Amen! I should. If I feel like raisin my hand, standing up or saying Glory to God, I should! Paul says again and again in his writing, “rejoice.” But he never says to what level. But then there’s that word “moderation.” How we rejoice should point to the glory of God, not to the fact that you are “Hooooooly.” Or a good dancer.

Paul said in Chapter 3 of Philippians

Philippians 3:1-6 KJVS
Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe. [2] Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. [3] For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. [4] Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: [5] Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; [6] Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.

Why do you think he touched on “Beware of concision?” Division. And he speaks of it in reference to rejoicing. Do you think Paul had an inkling there could some day be division in the church with regard to worship? Again he warns about the flesh which appertains to both sides. The religious and the out of control. There is an extreme on both sides. Paul had lived it.

When there is chaos in my home and life. I cannot think clearly. When there is chaos in the church, the focus cannot be on God. But when there is a genuine clear presentation of great joy, it lifts the spirit of not only the person exuding the joy but the people observing it. It’s why when I read the word of God and I see the joy in Paul’s life, that wasn’t perfect, I know that I too can have that freedom of joy if I focus on what matters.

Glory to God! I just wrote myself happy!!!

[8] Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. [9] Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. [10] But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.

Wait? Things won’t always work out like I planned?

Paul tells the Philippians to focus on the good. To focus on the things they know are right, and let the Lord take care of everything else. The people of. Philippi would have helped Paul more, but they lacked opportunity. But what they, nor Paul lacked was joy.

I have to realize that I am not going to get everything done that I want to get done. But that should not steal my joy. And my comes from Heaven, not from earth.

Paul closes chapter 4 with the reminder that we’ll not have everything we want. But we’ll have everything we need. Even the church let Paul down (vs. 15). He was counting on them for their help. It such a God breathed scripture for me today. That in my struggle, with life, church, finances, all the things, God shows me that it is a universal issues from the days of old.

[11] Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. [12] I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. [13] I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. [14] Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction. [15] Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. [16] For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity. [17] Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account. [18] But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God. [19] But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. [20] Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen. [21] Salute every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren which are with me greet you. [22] All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar’s household. [23] The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

Keep servin’. Keep Praising’. God bless ya! – Shar

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Shari Johnson. (aka The Jesus Chick) has been encouraging women of faith and youth for a closer walk with Christ for over ten years. Having a burden for the leadership in American Churches, much of her writing is meant to spear on the servant of God to do more for the cause of Christ in these uncertain times. With humor, transparency and solid bible teaching Shari outlines messages that are easily understood, life applicable, and often with easily remembered points to ponder in hopes that they’ll be reflected on throughout the day and serve as encouragement on the go. Her servant’s heart is grounded in her own local church believing that it is there that the greatest impact can be made and unfortunately suffers the greatest neglect across America. Shari speaks at women’s gatherings in hopes of leaving a giggle in their soul and a burning desire to serve in their own local body of believers having it said of her “I laughed, I cried, and I was drawn to the foot of the cross…” Which is what it’s all about. For information on scheduling Shari, call her direct at (304)377-6036, message her via email at or find her on Facebook!

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