What Does God Want?

Two of the most famous miracles performed by Jesus were the feeding of five thousand and walking on water to comfort his fearful disciples. In the book of John, the morning after he had performed these miracles, Jesus had a conversation with a group of people whom he fed the day before. Jesus’ response to a simple question hit me between the eyes like a pop up mole in a carnival whack-a-mole game.

People, witnessing and experiencing the miracles of Jesus began following him, even getting in boats and crossing a lake to find him. But Jesus saw through their actions to their hearts. After holding them accountable to following him because he gave them something (food) Jesus told them to not seek the perishable, but to seek the eternal life that comes from him. What followed is the exchange above.


Most of my life as a believer I have struggled to make decisions because I desperately want to do what God wants me to do; however, I over think and get in my own way. What God wants is really very simple. Believe in the one he has sent.

Humans muddy the waters, but Jesus cuts right to the heart of what is important. I do believe. I also work at the relationship; I learn, I read, and I listen. Then, no matter where I go or what I do I know I am pleasing God.

Don’t overthink…believe. Believe as little children believe.

~Sheryl

Will Power

From the moment babies learn that they are independent from their parents a struggle for autonomy and authority begins. We have all heard of the “strong-willed” child. When it comes to God’s power in our lives, I believe most of us are still strong-willed children. I know I am.

Jesus is my example. So, I ask for God’s will not mine and I wait to see what doors are opened and experiences come across my path as I go about my day to day life. God’s will is always what is best for me.

~Sheryl

A Life Well Lived

My husband constantly asks me, “What do you want me to _______?” Fill in the blank. I attribute this behavior to laziness; it is easier to ask me than it is to figure things out for himself. It drives me crazy, but after thirty three years I have given up. I answer the question then let him do whatever he wants. Most often he does the exact opposite of what I say. It is one of those funny behaviors that people who have been married a long time often do as a result of years of give and take.


But I do nothing without consulting the Father.

John 5:30a

This verse jumped out at me this morning as I asked God to show me what I was to write today. I opened my Bible to John and picked up where I left off. Jesus had healed the lame man and was then confronted by the religious leaders about breaking the rules. What happened next is what we in the south refer to as a “come to Jesus meeting.”

Jesus took the church leaders to task and in so doing said so many profound things including giving us a glimpse into the relationship between Father and Son. Jesus could have done everything he did on his own without consulting the Father. But he didn’t. He is our example, our guide, our teacher. Remember the WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) bracelets? Here is the answer. He would do nothing without consulting with the Father.

I fail at this most days. I get busy or distracted. I wonder how my life would look if I began my day, before I even get out of bed, thanking God for the new day and asking him what he wants of me that day. Do I expect an audible answer? No. But what I know is that in the course of the day something will jump out at me like this verse did, and when I do what is before me I will have done what God wanted of me that day.

At the end of the day, this is a life well lived.

Blessings to you…Sheryl

Acting On Faith

I am a chronic over thinker. When it gets really bad and I am paralyzed in indecision, I usually ask my most trusted friend, “What should I do?” I am always pointed in the same direction.

Nothing can flow when we are pinched off from God.

When I reconnect to God through prayer, reading the Bible, and worship, suddenly I am not so anxious. Decisions become clearer and peace of mind returns.

At the beginning of his ministry on earth Jesus performed three miracles. He turned water into wine at the wedding in Cana; he healed the son of a government official as well as a lame man in Jerusalem. There is something to be gleaned from all three stories but what struck me this morning is that in each case Jesus gave all three people a command. Something they must do — “Fill the jars.” “Go back home.” “Stand up, pick up your sleeping mat, and walk!”

All three had been given a command, but they had a choice. Stay where they were, or believe and take action. These three took action. Not only were they the recipients of a blessing but others around them saw and believed as well.

Everything we do is witnessed by someone. We will never know the impact of a simple gesture or stepping out in faith to do something scary. But what I know is that if I have taken everything to God, trust him and then act, that water will start flowing again.

In closing…this does not mean that I think I will get everything I want. But I know I will have everything I need and more importantly, the peace that comes from being in close communication with God. Jesus made that possible. His life, death and resurrection ensure that all who believe have this access to God.

See you tomorrow…Sheryl

Nourishment

This is looking for nutrition in all the wrong places.

So much of what I think will nourish me and provide purpose and meaning to life only ends up leaving me empty. It makes me think of the song “Lookin’ for Love.”

I was lookin’ for love in all the wrong places

Lookin’ for love in too many faces

Searchin’ their eyes

Lookin’ for traces of what I’m dreaming of

Hoping to find a friend and a lover

I’ll bless the day I discover another heart

Lookin’ for love

Johnny Lee

I’m not looking for love, I found that, I’m looking for daily purpose in my life. I hop from hobby to hobby, always trying to turn those into a business only to get tired and move on to the next thing. I’m seeking a sense of fulfillment and purpose…I’m just looking in all the wrong places.

True Nourishment

I found my answer in the words of Jesus. As I continue my journey of reading and studying the words attributed to Jesus, I find that all the answers I need are right in front of me. He set the ultimate example. I just try to make it way too difficult.

My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work.

John 4:34

In a previous post I wrote about the work each of us is given to do. Doing that work is doing the will of God. Being the wife, mom, grandma, daughter, sister and friend that God created me to be, is doing the will of God. Showing Jesus to the world in the way I act, speak and behave, that is doing the will of God.

In a world filled with dopamine rushes at every turn it is easy to think we are missing something in our lives if we don’t get that high from all activities. Those moments of pure joy that come with doing something and feeling the reward…those are gifts from God to let us know we are on his path. But just like eating cake or winning a video game, too much of a good thing makes that thing mundane.

Be you. Be kind. Especially be kind to those who are not kind to you and let God handle the rest. That’s what Jesus did. He went where he was sent and took care of what was right in front of him. The more we live like this the more opportunities God will bring across our path to experience the joy of true nourishment.

Until Next Time…Sheryl

Love Walked Among Us

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” ~John 3:16

It really is so simple yet so profound. Jesus, for thirty-three years lived on earth – God in human skin. He lived to show the world what it means to live a life that is pleasing to God. In return we are asked to do one thing, believe he is who he says he is.

Humans have made it complicated. Humans put rules and regulations in place. To belong you must….and the list begins. Jesus simply said, “Believe.” Put your faith and trust in Him. That is it. You ask, He answers. When we trust Jesus with our lives, our very existence, we are given the gift of the Holy Spirit. We are reborn and God’s Holy Spirit resides in us to guide and teach us. It is a living miracle.

Jesus came to do a specific job. Everywhere he walked people knew he was different. I think that’s what we are all supposed to do. We don’t have to knock on doors or preach on street corners. We just have to live a light-filled life. And when someone asks, we can tell them, “It is Jesus.”

~Blessings…Sheryl

Life’s Work

In today’s highly connected, technological world, it is so easy to become discouraged. Social media creates the illusion that, it seems, there is a life out there we are not only missing out on, but that none of us can ever live up to. It is a conundrum for me. I enjoy engaging with folks who have similar interests as I do; I love sharing what I am doing; but I detest the inevitable discontent it breeds.

I am a creative person and all of my hobbies, in my mind, become possible business opportunities. I allow this mindset to suck the joy right out of everything I do. I am constantly pursuing validation through the work of my hands.

This morning I read this verse:

God in heaven appoints each person’s work.

John 3:27

No, I don’t believe God finds us our next job. But I know that we are all created with a certain set of abilities, gifts and talents along with the personality to use these things for good. In my case I am a nurturer. Though I never became the teacher or the mommy I always wanted to be, but all of the strengths needed for both of those were put to work in every area of my life.

I became a medical assistant so I could work in a doctor’s office; several years later I became a licensed nurse which led to working as a school nurse. I stopped working and came home when my step daughter’s mother died and I was needed here. That led to many years of nurturing her and then her children. And now, we have our oldest granddaughter living with us as she navigates her place in the world.

At sixty-four I spend much time analyzing where I’ve been as I look to where I might go next. It is clear to me that God appointed me as a caregiver to the next generation. One day when my work inside my family is done I will step out once again and care for the children and youth in need in my community. I don’t know where or how, I just know that God put that work on my heart and it will be my work for life.

May you find and know your worth and purpose; it comes from God and no one can separate you from it.

~Sheryl

Pass It On

I’ve stopped watching the news and reading newspapers. News stories have always been about the bad stuff that happens in the world, but today it is all so sad and what makes it worse is that the people in charge (both political parties and so many in big business) are doing whatever they need to do to maintain power and wealth. Everyone has an agenda; how do we know who is telling the truth? There is no care and concern for ordinary people. They are all crooks and thieves.

In a world that is upside down and backwards, who can we trust? There is only one who loves us all with a perfect love and that is God. Psalm 94 is one that I turn to for comfort. The closing verses give me hope and peace in the midst of the chaos of the world.

I can’t change all the wrongs in society, but I can lean on and learn from God then go about my life bringing that perspective into all my interactions with people. I can be a little ray of God’s light amongst the dark and pain. So can you. Your smile or small act of kindness could be the difference in someone’s life and day. Accept God’s love and his care then pass it on…the world will thank you.

Fear, Sparrows and Me

What do these things have in common? Jesus spoke about them all in the twelfth chapter of Luke. Well, he didn’t speak about me personally, rather he was speaking to his disciples. However, all who believe he is the Son of God; God made flesh who walked the earth then was persecuted and executed only to rise in three days to complete his purpose then ascended into heaven, we, too are his disciples. So what did he say?

Fear

I live with anxiety. I take medication so the symptoms are under control but my mind still can grab a hold of some thought or situation and go crazy creating scenarios that are not real. They are products of my imagination. Jesus very clearly says “Don’t be afraid. Do not worry.” So why do we live in fear?

It is one of the subjects spoken of the most in the Bible. I think it is because God knew that humanity, separate from Him, would try to survive on their own. Think of a small child who wants to venture out into the world, but is cautious; they will only go where their parent goes to keep them safe. Without God’s presence the world is a very scary place.

Sparrows & Me

Sparrows seem like happy little birds. They hop around urban areas scavenging for food and zip about in the sky from bush to bush hiding from predators. I have always taken great joy in watching sparrows go about their business.

Jesus uses sparrows to teach us how much we are loved and that God is with us always. As great teachers do, he used ordinary things to illustrate his message. Sparrows are small, prolific, commonplace and in the food chain, fairly helpless.

Maybe it is the small and helpless part of this that strikes so close to home for me. I am small and helpless – literally, I am a small person with little ability to protect myself. But I know that God loves me more than the sparrows and “the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to Him than a whole flock of sparrows.” This verse, Luke 12:7, is not the only time sparrows are used to show us how valuable we are to God. With a love like that is it no wonder that we are told over and over, “Do not worry.”

Worry = Broken Connection

Whenever I find myself worrying about the future…what I should do or where I should go, how will something work out…I know I have become disconnected. Worry comes when I have let go of Jesus’ hand and begun relying on my own knowledge and wisdom. Just like that toddler who must have their parent with them to feel safe and secure, I must stay connected to Jesus. He is my everything; he is my savior, role model, teacher, comforter and Lord. Without him my life has no value or meaning.

So, I start my day here and know that what comes next will all work for my own good no matter what that may be.

Blessings to you and those you love. ~Sheryl