Monday, March 31, 2014


Well, we did it.  We went to see the movie "Noah."  We were warned not to waste our money, not to support the director.  We were warned that they had tried to take God out of the story.  We were warned that it was NOT biblical, but we went any way and I'm glad we did.

Too be honest, I really enjoyed it.  First, it's a movie for entertainment NOT a documentary.  That being said, it was beautifully told.  Yes, there were some things in the movie that were really out there but I didn't find them offensive.

The movie has sparked much discussion in our home with my family and that's a good thing.  We often have these types of discussions in our home with or without movies but if it causes discussion and perhaps even Bible reading in other families too, then this movie is doing God's work.

The thing is... I hear people say they are worried that God was taken out of the movie and I have trouble with that.  First, God is everywhere and is in everything.  We didn't put him there therefore we can't take him out of it.  It's up to us whether or not we see him.  Its a choice we make and I chose to and did see God in this movie.

Is it Biblical?  Well, it had a beautiful retelling of the creation story.  It was moving and well, just beautiful.  Does it refer to God?  YES!!!  Noah talks to God several different times.  Cain's descendent talks to God and even quotes how we are made in his image.  Do they call him God?  Usually they refer to him as the Creator though both my husband and daughter say they heard the name God at least once.  Honestly, I was so caught up in it that I don't know.  God is the creator therefore, yes, they mention him throughout the film.

It's funny to me that people are worried about it being strict to the Bible.  I have been in Sunday School my whole life whether as a participant or as a teacher.  How many times was I told about the people around Noah?  How they mocked him and made fun of him?  I asked my daughter about it and she said she was taught that.  You know what?  That is NOT in the Bible.  It's assumed.  It's used to teach kids that sometimes following God's commands is hard and that sometimes the people around us will give us a hard time but we need to do it anyway.  It's a teaching tool that isn't really biblical.

There is much that can be brought out of this movie. It's up to us to choose what we take away from it.

I found God in this movie. He was all over it! I saw myself in Noah, unable to believe that I could possibly live up to what God wants for this world.  I saw myself in his wife and her love for her children and her husband. I saw my husband (in the future) in Russell Crow at the end of this movie with his greying hair long and blowing in the wind.  LOL  Just kidding, sort of.  :P

Anyway, again, I think it's a choice.  You see what you want to see, you get out of it what you want to get out it.  Have faith that God is everywhere.  He can't be taken out of anything, he's there, we just have to choose whether or not we see him.  If He wants this movie to touch lives it will no matter what the director or anyone else says or does to it.  He, GOD, can do anything.  Have a little faith.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Time... where does it go??

Oh my, what a weekend.  We started early and left on Thursday evening to visit K-State with my darling daughter.  It wasn't a real college visit but it did that for us... we know this is NOT the school for her BUT she had so much fun!  Friday was actually "Dance Day,' a day filled with different dance classes and she LOVES dance.  Ballet is her passion but she enjoys other forms as well.  She had so much fun taking the classes.  My darling husband and I spent the day Friday, trying to figure out how our youngest could possibly be old enough to be looking at colleges and our oldest old enough to be a sophomore in college getting ready to go to Basic Training this summer!!  Where did the time go?

We got home today around noon to messages that needed to be returned and I got  right on them...  UGH... it led me to having tons to do.  I serve as a committee chair at church and had some items I needed to get right on because again... where did the time go??

It's funny, time is a commodity.  It is.  We only get so much of it each and every day, 24 hours.  We are told to make the most of it.  How many times a day or week do you see something on social media about how you should choose time with your kids and family over work?  Here lately, I've been seeing it almost everyday.

Isn't it true?  I've always tried to do that but now my kids are older and I'm so glad I took that time for them but now, I'm serving more.  They don't need me the same way or as much.  Now, I do include my kids when I can in my serving.  My daughter goes with me on a lot of my visits and she enjoys it.  She helps on my committee and so on so forth.  Yet, I still feel guilty when I'm busy with my service, with my volunteering, cleaning house or my writing or whatever 'it' happens to be and yet I feel guilty when I'm not doing those things too!

It's kind of double edged sword.  I mean sometimes we really do have to clean house and we really do have to work.  I mean the house isn't going to clean itself and money doesn't grow on trees.  Work has too happen and volunteering and service NEEDS to happen.

I guess we have to have a happy medium.  Having that happy medium sets a good example for our kids.  They need to see that work and service/volunteering are important but they need to KNOW that they are too!

Ephesians 5:15-16 says...
"Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time..."  For me it's not always an easy thing to do.  There are lots of time wasters out there...  things that suck our time from us, sometimes so slowly we don't even notice until it's too late.  We have to be ever mindful of our time and how we spend it.  Make each moment count.  Make time for God, family, friends, work, service and play.  Each one is important. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Our thoughts... Self-talk

I... am... a... worrier.  I’m a contemplator.  I’m a dweller.  I’m a brooder.  I’m an over-thinker.  I’m one of those people whose mind is always running and sometimes that’s NOT a good thing.

I replay conversations in my mind a hundred times.  They can even be old, REALLY old conversations.  

I hear something someone says and then I worry over it.  Are they talking about me?  Did I do something?

Even so far as to overthink my darling husband helping in the kitchen or around the house!  Does he not think I’m doing it right?  Does he think I don’t know how to do... whatever it is... Does he think I can’t do it or that I don’t know what I’m doing?

NO!  He just wants to help so that he can help make my life easier.  He’s being sweet!!

I don’t really know why I do this but... I do.  I’ve really been working on this for quite sometime.  I don’t know, maybe I’m the only person in the world who does this.  If so, please ignore and move on and don’t think I’m crazy please because I would just sit here and brood over that!  lol

The other day I wrote about words and the power they have.  I was mostly talking about words we speak aloud but as I finished writing it, I started thinking about words we don’t share with anyone but ourselves.  Words we use on ourselves.  Our inner talk or self talk.  The words we use then are so important and they have more power than ever!

Our thoughts give us our sense of self, of worth, so we need to be mindful of what we allow ourselves to think.   Proverbs 4:23 says, “Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts.”

I’ve really been working on this in my life.  I work hard at shutting out negative thoughts, thoughts that cause me to get worked up over nothing, thoughts that make me feel less than I am, thoughts that cause me to brood. I try to be more positive, when something is worrying me I try to put a positive spin it and not think in terms of worst case scenario anymore.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t but the more I do it the better I feel and the better I feel the more it works.  :)  

Philippians 4:8 in the Living Bible says, “Fix your thoughts on what is good and right... Think about all you can thank God for and be glad about it.” 

Then I wondered what other translations said, yes I'm weird like that...

In the NIV it says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

And in The Message, it says, “8-9 Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.” (My emphasis added.)

If you go back a little further, they all say not to worry.  The Message ends verses 6-7 with “It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.”

Wow, now THAT’S a thought to dwell on for a while!  Etch it onto your heart.  I know that worry is just a part of life.  We can’t help it.  We like to be in control but when we dwell on worry, when we dwell on negative thoughts, when we dwell on worse case scenarios we let the worry, the negative, the unknown control US.  Instead, worry for a moment, say a prayer and let it go.  Do the best you can in all you can and let God handle the rest.

Monday, March 24, 2014


Wow.  This morning as my darling husband and I were sitting enjoying the morning and I began to talk to him about words and how they mean something. (Yes, I'm often random like that.)  I shared with him how words people have said to me are etched on my heart forever.  I can quiet them for awhile until I see something from that day or put on the clothes I had on at the moment the words were said and they come rushing back to me.  Even words from my youth and childhood!

Words are powerful!  How's the old saying go?  Words are mightier than the sword?  I think that's right.

I just googled it and it should be, "The pen is mightier than the sword" and it comes from several sources in many different forms but they all mean the same.  You can read more about it here.

Words are powerful.  They can wound, hurt and break OR they can heal, encourage and build up.  Unfortunately, the words we remember are all too often the ones that wound.

When I was finished with my dissertation (yes, I often talk too much and way too long) my husband said, "Looks like you have your next blog topic."  I laughed and said probably not but then as I scrolled through Facebook I came across a devotion from Proverbs 31 and it just jumped off the page at me!  You can read it here.  It's wonderful and it was talking about words.  Well, it was talking more about gossip but that's words, right?  :)

I'm not really talking about gossip here, I'm talking more about just every day conversations with people.  I'm talking about those sarcastic moments when we think we are being funny.  I'm talking about those moments when we are 'joking' but the words are very real.

We don't really think about our words much and especially when we are 'joking' or 'playing.'  The words are funny to us but that doesn't mean they are funny to the person at whom they are aimed.

An example that always comes to mind is...  When I was, I don't know, 18 or so my family had this couple from church over for dinner.  They were good friends of our family.  Now, you have to know that I have only ever had one real boyfriend, my husband, and I never really dated... not by choice but because I wasn't really ever asked.  At this point I had not met my husband yet.  Then the man asked a question about how you put the toilet paper roll on the holder and I said it didn't really matter.  I just had never really thought about it before and he said, "No wonder you've never had a boyfriend!  You don't even know how to put the toilet paper on the holder!"  Now, let me tell you that I am now in my mid forties and every time I replace the toilet paper I hear this man's voice and yes, I put it on 'correctly' in the 'over' position.  Now, I'm sure this man was just teasing but I went to my room later and cried.  To me, my not having a boyfriend was nothing to tease about!  It was a very sensitive subject for me and here I am now in my mid-forties and I still remember what he said and I remember how everyone laughed.

Funny, I was just thinking this all sounded familiar and I looked and I've blogged on this before, back in 2011.  It's something that really resonates with me, I guess.

Words.  Our words have such power. How we use them really matters. How we use them in all situations matters.  When we are angry or hurt, we sometimes say really mean things.  I know I do...  Especially when it's with my husband.  It's awful how we hurt those we love most.  I've really tried hard to end this terrible cycle.  I know it will make for a happier life and marriage.

Our words matter.  They really do.  Don't ever think that what you say has little effect on people because it's just not true.  They have an effect. Reminds me of a children's song I learned when I was little and that I sang to my kids.  One verse says...
         "Oh be careful little mouth what you say,
          Oh be careful little mouth what you say,
          for the Father up above is looking down with love,
          so be careful little mouth what you say."

What does the Bible say about words?  I googled it.  (Google is amazing and I use if often for just such things.)

Proverbs 12:18
    The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Proverbs 16:24
     Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

Proverbs 13:3
    Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.

Proverbs 21:23
    Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity.

Whew!!  Proverbs has a lot to say about words!! This is only a few passages. Maybe that's why the book of Proverbs is so long... the author understood the power of words.

Ephesians 4:29
    Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

James 1:26
   Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.

That one seems so harsh but I think some times harsh is what we need to remind us of important things.  I know I need to watch my tongue more often do you?

Proverbs 16:24
     Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

Friday, March 21, 2014


A few weeks ago, in my sermon, I talked about relying on God’s strength and it’s importance.  God want us to rely on him.  Then last week I was reading the lectionary reading for the week and the old testament reading was on God calling Abram and Abram’s obedience.

The Call of Abram
1The LORD had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people 
         and your father’s household to the land I will show you. 2“I will make 
         you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great,
         and you will be a blessing.[54] 3I will bless those who bless you, and
         whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed
         through you.”[55] 4So Abram went, as the LORD had told him; and Lot 
         went with him.

Zondervan (2011-01-09). Holy Bible (NIV) (Kindle Locations 2362-2372).
        Zondervan. Kindle Edition. 

Can you imagine how hard it was for him to leave everything?  To leave his people and father’s household?  To go to a land he didn’t know?  To follow God’s call? To trust God’s promises? I can’t imagine it.  I’d be terrified!

In my disciple class we read the book of Acts a couple of weeks ago.  We read about Paul.  At one point, Paul had a plan of where he thought they should go next but then he had a dream or vision and God told him not go that way.  So he didn’t.   Paul was obedient.

Obedience is hard sometimes.  When someone tells us to eat ice cream or mac and cheese... well that’s easy to be obedient!  Two of my favorite things!!  But when God says, “Sherri, I want you to take classes for Lay Servant Ministries and then for Lay Speaker and then preach what I call you to preach,” well, that’s a little harder for me. 

My husband was military and I remember at the 10 year mark it was decision time.  I didn’t want him to join the army in the first place and so I didn’t want him to stay in either.  As we were discussing it and our options, I told my husband - who wanted to stay in - that the only way I would be okay with it was if he got orders for Ft. Huachuca, AZ, but he couldn’t request it.  The odds were in my favor!  Or so I thought...

A week or two later, wouldn’t you know it, he received those very orders.  He didn’t request them, they just came.  Boy Howdy did I learn a lesson!  A lesson in obedience and listening for God’s guidance. A lesson to trust God.

Saul’s conversion (when he becomes Paul) is yet another example.  He’s out killing and imprisoning Christians.  Then Jesus visited him and he is blinded by the light.  Jesus told him where to go and wait and what would happen and he obeyed.

There is another person in this story, a disciple named Ananis.  He had a vision and the Lord told him to go to Saul and return his sight to him.

Ananis says, “Whoa!  Wait a minute!  This is a bad guy!  He’s persecuting your disciples.  Are you SURE about this?”  Then God answers “Yes.  He is who I have chosen to go share my name with the world.” 

So Ananis goes to Saul.  Now I wonder, Ananis was probably a little nervous to go to this man who is known for persecuting Jesus’ followers, but he trusted the Lord and obeyed.  On the other hand, can you imagine how Saul must have felt?  Being placed in the hands of one he was planning on persecuting? I bet he was nervous too... Maybe a little afraid of retaliation.  Ananis was told Saul was praying.  I wonder if his fears were expressed in these prayers?  But he trusted and obeyed.

Anyway, Ananis laid hands on Saul and the scales fell from his eyes and his sight was restored and he was baptized.  

Both Ananis and Saul or Paul now showed great obedience and trust.  What great examples of following the Lord’s direction.  We all need to learn obedience.  It’s not always easy and many times it’s pretty scary but when we follow God’s calling, his leading, when we obey what the Lord tells us to do and trust him, well, we just can’t go wrong.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Hello? It's God calling...

Today, I am having an interview for Lay Speaker designation. I woke up a nervous wreck and scared to death. I prayed and read my Bible readings for my Disciple class and prayed some more. I talked with my darling husband and then my dear mother. Then I arrived and prayed so more! Ha!

It was a bit nerve wracking but a fairly easy process (once I got to this point). They were super nice and it was very conversational so that helped. It feels weird talking about a call. HA! Not just any call but My call. I don't know why it's so weird but it is. Maybe because it seems surreal to believe that God could be calling me, me, Sherri. I'm a nobody, what could I do? But here I am. 

In Disciple, this week we talked about Romans. We were reading from the Message and at some point someone said, "God can use anyone - he can take a nobody and make them a somebody."  Hmmm!  What a concept!  I think the direct quote is:

           "I'll call nobodies and make them somebodies; I'll call the
            unloved and make them beloved.  In the place where they
            yelled out, You're a nobody!" they're calling you "God's living

Wow.  So, God can really be calling me... God IS really calling me and I'm trying to answer that call.  It's not easy.  He's pulling me out of my comfort zone.  Even just talking about it is pulling me out of my comfort zone.  But you know what?  Sometimes, getting out of your comfort zone can be a lot fun!!  Oh, and rewarding too.  :)  Try it!!  You just never know what God has in store for you.

By the way, I was approved by the district and they will send their recommendation to the conference for approval!  

Friday, March 14, 2014


In a recent sermon, I said that Lent is a time for transformation, a time to draw near to God, a time to reflect on our lives and our relationship with the Lord.  I wonder if it is also a time to reflect on our relationships with one another as well.

Recently, I posted (on my old blog) about some struggles I was having with the church, the church universal.  I was talking about how I think sometimes we are missing the boat in certain areas.  I thought I was talking in general terms (though specific examples) but I think some people took it very personal for which I am truly sorry.  Funny thing is, they didn’t know the whole story but thought they did.  It breaks my heart that I hurt them or anyone else.  It was not my intention.

I think I mentioned in my first post that I’ve been taking a lot of classes for Lay Servant Ministries and Lay Speaker Designation.  The classes have really got me thinking.  Some of it I already thought and it just gave confirmation and others it really brought things to light.

One of these is accountability.  It’s not something I’m particularly fond of but I’m learning that it’s important.  I used to think, “It’s none of anyone’s business, it’s just between me and God.”  It didn’t matter what it was: giving, reading my Bible, going to church, praying, exercising, my diet, housework and so on, it was just between me and God.  But I’m learning that there are great reasons for accountability.

Accountability can make us better people.  It can make us think before we do something or it can deter us from NOT doing something.  It can help us to eat better, to exercise more, to be less lazy in my case.  It can keep us growing spiritually as well.  It can keep our spiritual lives from becoming stagnant.

Accountability can be an encourager.  It can be what encourages us to be better.  It can be what keeps us on the right path.  It can be something to help us grow in our relationship with Christ and with one another.

Now, I’m not talking about in your face mean accountability, though sometimes that is what is needed.  I’m talking about gentle nudges. 

In the United Methodist Church there has been a rise in getting back to accountability groups.  Groups where we hold one another accountable.  We confess our faults to one another, we pray for each other and “stir up one another to love and good works”.  It’s not a place where we condemn one another or a place where we make one another feel bad, but a place where we encourage one another and be a reminder of “Oh yeah, I need to be in prayer or in the scriptures or serving others daily.” 

In my post, I talked of ways we are pushing people away from the church by not being as intentional as we should.  I may have been a little “in your face” but I was upset and sometimes we can get that way. (I’m confessing a fault here.) Sometimes we get in a place of complacency and we forget to look around us and see needs that are right there.  I know I’m totally guilty of this!  Sometimes we get so focused in one area of mission or work that we miss another one that is just as important, that is right in front of us screaming for attention but we just can’t hear it.  Then when we do hear it and we are called accountable for it we get upset and hurt.  We don’t want to see it because it would cause us to feel guilt.  There is no reason for that.  Guilt is not productive.  Instead we should be glad we finally heard the scream and then get busy to help with it.  Get busy to be in mission!

Accountability isn’t about guilt.  It’s not about feeling bad.  It’s not about beating each other up for our shortcomings or our busy schedule.  It’s about encouraging one another, helping one another to grow and become the people God calls us to be, a people in relationship with him and one another. 

I bet some pretty awesome relationships can be developed through this.  Real, true, genuine relationships that are healthy and productive, relationships that grow and lead us to grow in every good way.

We need each other.  We need to be in relationship with one another.  God created Eve because he didn’t want Adam to be alone.  He knew Adam needed a companion.  We all need companions, friends – true friends.

That’s a lesson it took me a long time to learn.  You can read about that here and here.  Friends can hold each other accountable.  Friends can be that voice of reason, or of reminder, or of love and support.  All of that is part of good accountability and we all need that.  

Accountability IS good.  Yes, it can make us feel bad if we find that we are lacking but instead of letting it get us down, let it lift us up!  Lift us into action, into picking things up a bit, into being who we are called to be.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

A New Chapter

I've been thinking of starting a new blog for while now but this morning, I finally decided to do it.  My old blog is called Musings By Mommy.  You can find some of the posts listed in the side bar.  This morning I realized that I'm not really "Mommy" anymore.  I'm mom.  My kids are growing up.  One is in college and the other in high school. I'm not a military wife anymore as my husband has retired and is now working in the civilian world.  I've been on a journey for the last year really trying to find myself.  You know, to figure out who I am by myself.  Oh, I'm still a wife and mom and always will be but I need to have a little something for me.

In this year or really even longer, I've discovered a little bit of who I am.  I have been taking classes for Lay Servant Ministries and I've been loving it.  I'm going for Lay Speaker designation next week.  I've preached at my home church and also at a nearby rural church who needed some one to fill in for a few Sundays.  I LOVED IT!!  It was so much fun.  I enjoyed preparing and then presenting the sermons.  I actually LOVE speaking!

The funny thing is is that I am very shy.  Or I always have been anyway.  I have a hard time calling and ordering pizza!!  And yet, here I am not only speaking but wanting to speak!  It's the darndest thing.  LOL

I love preparing the sermons.  It takes a lot of time but really do enjoy it.  I enjoy the studying and researching.  I'm learning so much.  So for now, THIS is who I am.

I hope you will join me on this journey.  I love to get comments so please let me hear from you!