Saturday, November 29, 2008


This has been a nice Thanksgiving for us. So let me give you a run down of my personal thankfulness.

First and foremost, I am thankful for my Lord. I am thankful that I know this Apostolic message. I am thankful for holiness and separation from worldliness. I am thankful for my church family and my Pastor and Pastor's wife.

I am thankful for my job. I LOVE what I do! How many people get to say that everyday??

I am thankful for my husband. I know that may seem hard to believe *smile* but I am. At the end of all of life's trials and conflicts he is the one waiting to help me get myself back together. No relationship is perfect but he did read the 5 Love Languages at my request, and he has been making the sexy is that??

I am thankful for my daughter. She has such incredible strength. When I was a young woman that strength alluded me. I see her face life's challenges and disappointments with grace. Even as I write this she is facing a trial and I am amazed at her! When our children first appeared in this world we were very young (I was her age) and we made a promise that we would get them through college. She has been mainly getting herself through will little help from us. She made a goal for herself years ago and she has stuck to the plan. I am so proud to know that she came from me! Do you know how awesome that is??

I am thankful for my son. In him I see a lot of myself. My beautiful girl is outgoing and never lacks for friends. My son is more like me. He has friends, but there number is not huge. He is honest to a fault and doesn't hold back what he thinks you need to hear. I see him when I am singing on the platform, I see his arms lifted and his face set. I watch his movements for a moment, that's all I can do and still sing. I am thankful God is dealing with him, setting a coarse for him to follow. I am so proud to say he is my son.

I am thankful for my family. I am thankful my parents were able to go to Louisiana and see that new Great Grandbaby. Even though Mom ended up in the hospital I know how much they needed to get away from the 4 walls in their house for a while. It has been years now since they have been able to go for more than a couple of days.

I am thankful that I managed to remember how to cook dressing. And I am thankful that it was good!! Everything turned out good, except for the turkey. I am thankful I didn't burn the house down when I burnt it up....And I am thankful there was still some good meat on it.

I am thankful that I have had a whole Holt's Coconut pie to myself. And I am thankful that Monday dawns a new day and my husband has agreed to start a new healthier lifestyle with me so that we can be around to enjoy our Great Grands if the Lord tarries.

I am thankful that I did not have Lymphoma like we suspected. And I am thankful I did not have a brain tumor. I know there is still an issue looming but I am confident that all will be fine. I am thankful the trails of waiting to find out are over.

And I am thankful for friends. Life keeps rolling along, but you are still there. I love you all. Please continue to help me pray that my piano playing will improve. God has been dealing with me about the fact that I have not been spending enough time with it, but some things have moved out of the way and now I can. He always makes a way!!

I am also thankful for my cell phone and my Mac that allows me to share our blackened thanksgiving turkey with you!! ( and with my Mama in the hospital in Louisiana)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Beginning

"In the beginning God created...." Genesis 1:1

I have been saddened by events of recent days. Saddened, but not surprised.

For those of you that have never met me...let me introduce myself.

My name is Sheri, and I am a mother.

There are those that were born to be doctors, or lawyers, or zoologist. I was born for a purpose also.

I wear other hats that I also love. I am a wife, I am a nurse, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, and a friend. And I am a Saint of God. (at least I try to be)

My vessel is imperfect, the flaws are sometimes very notable. But those flaws have never stopped me from being able to carry this love I have for my family.

And through God's abundant grace I have been able to love others also, though they are not my own children by birth.

I have been given a charge, and I have put everything I am into fulfilling it. My children are PERFECTLY imperfect.

I sit here this morning with tears blurring my vision. One of my babies hurts. And, oh, how that hurts my heart. I would that I could erase every pain, every tear from their lives. But that is not what's best for them. And in my love, I want the best.

I have a very favorite quote. "There will come a time when you will think everything is finished. That will be the beginning." Louis L'Amour

For every beginning there is an end.

BUT, more importantly, for every ending, there is a BEGINNING.

I cannot take away your hurt this morning, my precious, beautiful baby. But I can give you something to hold on to...hope.

That is one thing that has not ended.

He knows where you are right now, knows all about the pain and the tears. But He knows much more than that concerning you.

"For I KNOW the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected END. Then shall ye call upon me, and yea shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:11-13

Remember your First Love, the One that will "never leave thee, nor forsake thee." (Hebrews 13:5)


I love you my precious Dumplin'. You are SOOO much like me. I see myself at your age in every move that you make. And you know what? I don't think I turned out half bad. Hold your head up...look unto the hills....Sometimes one chapter has to end, so the story can continue. And although the ending hurts, remember the sweetness of the beginning and don't begrudge the end. Let Him take control...He knows what is best. Even in the hurt, you can say "Even so, come, Lord Jesus." (Rev. 22:20)

This is for you, Baby. Mama loves you soo soo much!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Working For Peanuts

When I was a teenager going to school in South Louisiana, I had some teachers with some interesting ideas. Now, granted, I was a *Newspaper Brat* which is akin to an Army Brat in that we moved around a bit.

My parents and my siblings were all born in South Georgia. Except for my mother who was born in Alma (in BACON County), the rest were born right here in Douglas, or COFFEE County. (Yea, I always loved telling people that when I was little :->)

My grandfather on my father's side was a sharecropper. I remember many things from those times, although he stopped farming when I was probably about 5.

When I was in 6th grade in Metairie, Louisiana, my teacher proclaimed to the class one day that *although* it was called Hog's Head Cheese, it was not literally made from a hog's head.

My hand shot up.

"Um, my grandmother used to make that and she used a hog's head."

The argument began. I ended up having my father call the teacher and she made him send in a recipe!

A couple of years later I was in class in Sulphur, Louisiana learning about the wonderful state that I was living in when the teacher began to tell those innocent, wide eyed kids about the peanut trees.


I fell out of my desk! And when I climbed back in, my hand shot up.

(Please keep in mind that this was the year I was given the superlative of *quietest girl* so you can imagine how shocked and appalled I was to volunteer to speak)

"Um, my grandfather used to grow peanuts and they didn't grow on trees, they grew on plants. He would pull them up out of the ground and the peanuts would be at the roots. Then he would shake them off and sit them on the porch. My grandmother would boil them for us."

I don't know what shocked her more, the fact that they came out of the ground, or the fact we boiled them!

I was driving home from Gray, Georgia after a meeting Tuesday when I got behind a peanut truck. I started thinking about the peanut.

Some time in the past, someone walked by a peanut plant, and for whatever reason, decided to pull it up. Maybe it was thought to be a weed, maybe it was in the way, I don't know. But when they pulled it up out of the ground there were all of those little peanuts clumped in with the dirt. I suppose that caused them to investigate, and caused some brave soul to have a taste test (and probably a tummy ache if they ate many of them raw).

Thus the rise of the peanut began.

Peanuts have been shown to have many benefits to your health, from reducing the risk of cardiac related death to reducing the size of colorectal tumors. They are an excellent source of antioxidants and protein.

In my life right now, I am facing what appears to be a weed in my garden. It's unattractive and in my way.

What may seem to me to be a spot of ugliness in my life may hold something more for me, if I am prepared to "dig a little deeper." At the root of the problem may be sustenance I need.

That the way it is sometimes. God doesn't necessarily put things in our garden, but if a weed pops up, there will definitely be some blessing clinging to the roots.

To some who face the obstacles of life with bitterness in their hearts, there may be some moaning when the *weed* breaks free and they discover that all they have to show for their efforts and strife are a bunch of peanuts, but not me. I don't mind working for peanuts.

Boiled peanuts and a grape doesn't get much better for this former *Newspaper Brat* and present day *Spoiled Brat of the King of Kings!*

I've got my shovel today, Lord, instead of my sword. Let's start digging, I'm getting mighty hungry!!

~~~On a side note: The phrase working for peanuts is thought to have many origins. But the most interesting of all is that it originated with Harry M. Stevens, who is thought to be the original concessionaire at a sports park in New York. Also credited for popularizing the drinking straw which he handed out with sodas so the fans did not have to take their eyes off of the game, he began selling peanuts in 1895 when the New York peanut company, Cavanaros, paid for their advertising in the Giants program with, you guessed it, PEANUTS! Thus, Mr. Stevens stated he was *working for peanuts.*~~~

Monday, November 10, 2008

When the Heart Murmurs

When my nephew was born many years ago we were told he had a heart murmur. Immediately we became concerned, but the doctor was quick to reassure us that it was probably harmless and he could very well outgrow it in time.

I happened to be somewhat younger at that time, in fact, I was still in high school, but I can still remember the questions that I had. Looking at that amazing little baby, it was impossible for me to imagine something was not right.

In the years that have passed since then as he has grown into a man with a baby of his own, I don't think a lot about that long ago fear, although the murmur can still be heard in him.

One of my dearest friends had a baby girl a few years back. She also had a murmur. but unlike my nephew, hers has been worrisome and requires monitoring after 7 years.

When you listen to the heart, you should hear two very distinctive sounds, a Lub and a Dub. A heart murmur can be heard in addition to these sounds. It will more than likely make a whoosing sound.

And for the most part, heart murmurs are harmless, especially in children. But there are times when intervention must take place to correct the cause of the murmur.

Heart murmurs are not a disease, but rather an indication of a problem within the heart itself. And although the sound the murmur makes can help to pinpoint where the problem lies, the murmur is not the cause of the problem, but merely the effect of the problem.

On some occasions, surgery may be required to correct the cause of the murmur.

The children of Israel left Egypt riding on the miracles of the Lord. What triumph they must have felt, standing on the opposite side of the Red Sea, with the Promise Land ahead, and the bonds of slavery behind.

Moses sang of the glory of the Lord, of His greatness, of His faithfulness, while Miriam and all the women took timbrels and danced before the Lord with all the joy in their hearts.

What an awesome moment that must have been.

But it seems just three short days later they could no longer hear the joy in their hearts for all that the Lord had brought them through. They began to murmur and complain about the bitter waters that they were faced with.

We heard an awesome message last night from Bro. John Phillips as he spoke of this time. He noted that never, during the entire 40 years, did you hear anyone say, "Boy, I can't wait to see the Promised Land! It may be tough now, but when we get to that place there will be milk and honey flowing!"

No, the only sounds it seems they made were murmurings.

"The water's bitterrrrr....."

"We want some Breadddddd....."

"Why can't we have meattttt....."

"There's not enough waterrrrrr....."

"We want garlic and onionsssss........"

"The people are too strong, we'll never take the landddddd......"

God could no longer hear those two things He required from His people over the sounds of their murmurings.

He could no longer hear their praise.

He could no longer hear their worship.

He knew their murmurings were not the problem, but rather the symptom dealing with the condition of their hearts.

There are those today who are never satisfied. Even with His abundant Blessings, even with His neverending Mercy, they grumble, they complain.

They complain about everything, from the driver in the next car, to the checker at the grocery. They gripe about their Sisters in church and grumble about their Brothers.

It's always too hot, or too cold. The music is too loud, or not loud enough. The Preacher preaches too long, or too short.

And even though they have repented, they have been Baptized in Jesus' Name, they have received the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:38), even though their heart beats for the Lord, there is a sound there that covers the normal sounds that should be heard.

Their praise, their worship is drowned out by the drone of their heart's murmurings. And as the murmur increases other things are affected.

Gone is the joy, gone is the dedication, gone is the obedience, the submission.

What is the beat of your heart saying today?


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Leaving Your First Love

During the period that Paul wrote to the Romans, there were those there teaching that because grace brought salvation it was not necessary to include obedience to Christ in that saving faith. They believed that you could live in sin, reject God's moral law, and yet possess eternal salvation.

Romans 16:17-18 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.

I can imagine that it would seem to be the path to follow to those that were presented this alternative to living by the Word. How wonderfully simple, believe and be saved, and you are saved forever from your future sins. So, you can receive grace and then return to life as usual.

Romans 6:1-2 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

How indeed.

I have a theory. I believe that once you truly meet Him sin looses some of its appeal. I believe that when you REALLY spend time in His presence, you can never leave the same because you want more of Him and less of the world, less of the things in the world, and more of the things of God. You are buried in the water of baptism, and when you arise from that cleansing flood, those sins of your old man are dead. As your walk with Him deepens, your desires for the things behind you should become more and more shallow.

How do you live a holy life without leaving behind those sin weights and shackles? I know not how. Holiness is not transmitted by contact either. Sitting on a church pew does not make you holy.

The corrupting influence of sin can infiltrate your life from just the exposure to it, because the more you are exposed, the more desensitized you are to it. Sin will defile everything you do. If your life continues to be filled with sin, it defiles your worship.

What can eventually happen is God will give you over to a reprobate mind, which is a mind void of judgment. You can no longer determine the right from the wrong, can no longer see your own sin.

Suddenly you find pleasure in sin, not only your own sin, but the sins of others. Sin becomes entertainment. And even if you are not committing the sin yourself, you are placed in the same condemnation as those who are as if you are consenting with them.

If only the memory could remain forever for all that have received the Holy Ghost, that memory of falling in love with Jesus. If only all could keep their eyes on Him.

But some don't. You can even see them, still on the pews, going through what has become for them a ritual of sorts with no depth to their worship, no tears flow because no conviction is felt.

Revelation 2:4-5 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

Is your first Love calling to you? Is it getting easier to believe the message the world would like you to hear? Do you find yourself more ready to accept things that you would have never accepted before?

If you will listen, you can hear Him, calling out among all the voices of the day that would have your light snuffed out. His voice is still the same, because He is still the same. His Word, still the same.

Because He first loved you, because He will never leave you, nor forsake you, because now, more than ever, He is worthy, return to your first love.

There are those today that would have you believe the things in the Word are not necessary anymore. The world is waiting to deceive you.

But, He's calling you back. Today is the day. Return again.