There Is Rest for the Weary

The road’s been long
I’m a little bit weary

Boy, can I relate to how Dottie Rambo must have felt when she penned these words. The last six months alone have been long and weary, and there have been a couple of times lately that I felt like I had hit my emotional limit. But God still calls out:

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

What a comfort it is to know that I can cast my care upon Him while resting assured that He cares for me (1 Peter 5:7).

Often when I write, I feel like my blog isn’t earth-shattering. I don’t write much that you probably haven’t heard hundreds of times, but there’s a reason God told people over and over “Don’t forget …” He knows that we are prone to do so. So if you find yourself yawning and thinking, Ho hum. Tell me something I don’t know, then you may need to graduate to my brother’s blog. I like to think that our mission is the same: to challenge people to think and to encourage them to live the life that God created them to live. But we are different so if you are bored with me, definitely check him out.

Meanwhile, if you find yourself weary and discouraged as I have been lately, I want to encourage you to keep pressing on. Let’s finish this race hand in hand if we need to, but do not stop and, whatever you do, don’t look back. God has not brought you out of Egypt to die in the wilderness. Yes, Brothers and Sisters, there truly is a Promised Land that awaits us if we don’t give up.

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  ~Hebrews 12:1-2

Stand in the Gap

And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none. Therefore have I poured out my indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord GOD.  ~Ezekiel 22:30-31

I wonder at times if there is anyone willing to stand in the gap for America. Am I willing to do what it takes, to humble myself and ask God for a revival that begins with me? If we ever needed the Lord before, we sure do need Him now.

I’m concerned about our country. Slowly but surely, our freedom is being taken away. And I’m not just referring to masks. Churches are being not just advised, but ordered to stop meeting. The government is talking of tracking us in order to know who we’ve been around in case we get COVID, but where will this end?

I know that I am not the only one who feels this way but, unfortunately, many are losing sight of who or what we are really fighting. Our enemies are not those who have a different view than we do. It’s not even the government that we are at war with. As God’s people, we need to repent for the lukewarm lives we’ve been living. We need to cry out for God’s mercy on our country … and on the world.

I used to hear a lot about praying mothers and grandmothers. Have others risen up to take their place, or has that become a bygone era as well? Brothers and Sisters, you are never too young or too old to become a prayer warrior. This nation needs you. Your friends and family need you. A lost and dying world needs you. Will you do it? Will you stand in the gap? Will you intercede as God leads before it’s too late?

I hope you will commit with me to watch less TV, to focus less on the news or pop culture or whatever else takes up your time, and to spend more time in prayer and Bible reading, longing to learn more about the God who sent His Son to save a wretch like me. I don’t believe that it’s too late, but I implore the Church to become once again a people of prayer and intercession.

CD Report: 20/20 (The Crabb Family)

The Crabb Family reunited after eight years of not being in the studio together. Although most of the siblings have successful music ministries individually, they still enjoy singing together and, in my opinion, they sound as good as ever. Maybe even a little better. The songs on this CD are new to me except for Mountaintop for Me which is an old Gerald Crabb song that the group has brought back. If you too are a long-time Crabb Family fan, you will want to add this to your collection.

Other songs included are: I See Revival; Stones; Walk on Water; My King Is Known By Love; The Altar Still Calls; Never Been; Keep Me; If God Is For Me; and Sister, Play That Tambourine.

Patience: A Disappearing Virtue

On Facebook the other day, someone pointed out that patience seems to be wearing thin more these days as people have been cooped up for months. Other than conferences being cancelled, life has not changed much for me but I know that not everyone is used to working from home, being with their family all day every day, etc.

Like I trust many of you are, I am praying that this stay-at-home order ends soon, but in the meantime, let’s let patience have her perfect work (James 1:4). While you are at home with your family, work to make positive memories that will bring good out of stress. When you are out and about, make sure that you are exhibiting the Spirit of Christ. It seems like everyone has strong opinions as to whether to wear a mask or not to wear a mask. Whatever you are feeling led to do, do it as unto the Lord but give grace to those who are not doing the same thing you are. Not everyone can wear a mask, many don’t see a need for it, but this does not mean that they do not care about you. Give them space … literally as well as figuratively. Although it is good to use wisdom, ultimately life and death are in God’s hands. Everyone in the world could wear a mask and, without God’s covering, you could still become ill. Begin to trust Him regardless of what everyone else does.

For those of you who have more time to be on social media these days, use it for God’s glory. If you want to bring a dissenting perspective, do it in grace and humility. Refrain from calling names or making those who oppose your view to feel stupid. They say that it’s easier for people to verbally attack people using a keyboard but that makes no sense to me. Writing should be a natural filter where you slow down and think about what you are saying and how you are saying it instead of refusing to rein yourself in.

If you have noticed yourself becoming more and more impatient, call or text a friend and ask for prayer. If you can find a quiet corner, take some time to read your Bible and pray. Read your favorite passages or go through the book of Philippians. Ask your family to forgive you for allowing yourself to become so frustrated and maybe they will pray with you, that God will give you the grace you need for the rest of this season.

The enemy would like to use this time to cause us to be discouraged and angry and divided but, with Christ, we are more than conquerors (Romans 8:37). If you are one of those blessed to be able to work during this time, thank God for that. If you are laid off, praise Him for continuing to meet your needs. If your family is getting on your nerves, rejoice that you have a family. The more you count your blessings, the less stressed you will be, and God will receive glory in the midst of the storm.

My God Shall Supply Your NEEDS

When I was a child, I would quote Philippians 4:19 as my favorite verse:

But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory through Christ Jesus.

This continued into my thirties when 1 Corinthians 4:8-10 began to hold more meaning. Lately, though, I find myself going back to Philippians. I don’t think anyone dreamed that our country would be shut down for months to the point that many are without jobs, but I believe that God will take care of His children during this time. Do not succumb to the habit of fretting but, instead, let your requests be made known to God with thanksgiving, and the peace of God will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Hey, that’s another quote from Philippians 4 (verses 6 and 7). I think the “thanksgiving” part is key. If our attitudes are accusatory and full of complaint, He may let us feel a lot more want until we realize how good He has been to us.

I know I say this a lot but since we often need reminders … wants are not necessarily needs. This is important because many times we think God is failing us when, in reality, we do not need the things we think we need. This is a hard lesson for a lot of people and, honestly, there are things that I have grown accustomed to and would hate to be without (especially in the technology department), but if I had to downscale, my needs would still be met.

If you are at a place where you are struggling to make ends meet, praise God for the things you do have. Ask Him to give you wisdom to know what you need to do to get through this difficult time. And thank Him for meeting your needs–both past, present, and future. I would love to pray for you if you are going through a financial crisis. Simply email sonyelise@gmail.com and explain your situation, and I will help you present your need before the Throne of your Father. He is able!

How Zealous Are You?

A while back when I was reading the book of Joshua, I began to think about how he finished the work that Moses started as he was commissioned to do. I picture him full of the fire of the Spirit as he slew king after king and conquered each territory that he entered. When he decided, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15), he pressed on and never looked back. When Moses became frustrated and hit the rock instead of speaking to it, he was not allowed into the Promised Land, but God knew that Joshua could get the job done. It would have been easy for Joshua to strut around and think himself a big shot for being chosen as Moses’ replacement, but we never see pride rise up in him. I expect this is because one cannot be full of themselves and full of the Spirit.

Dictionary.com defines “zeal” as “great energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause or an objective.” Does this define your walk with the Lord? Are you running toward Him, doing everything He asks of you with great energy and enthusiasm? Or are you merely coasting, going through the motions, and getting by? For most people, it seems to be the latter. Many profess their love for God but they do not show God how much they love Him. James 2:26 tells us that “Faith without works is dead.” If you really love your Creator, everyone around you should know it.

I can relate to the psalmist when he cried, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation!” I have not lost my joy, but I would like a resurgence of enthusiasm that doesn’t wane.

As I close today’s post, I want to encourage you to keep pressing in to a closer walk with the Savior. Don’t just declare your love for Him but exhibit it as you walk by the way, as you rise up, as you lie down, as you talk to your neighbor. Let your words be gracious (Colossians 4:6), your conduct pure (1 Peter 3:2), and your countenance a reflection of Jesus. Amen.

CD Report: Faithful Still (Down East Boys)

In a world where even Southern Gospel music has veered a bit from its roots, I still enjoy traditional southern gospel male quartets. The Down East Boys are one such group. They incorporate a mixture of slow and fast songs with good quartet harmony. Of special mention are I Hear and A Story that Began at the Cross. I started this report right after Easter, and those two songs were perfect for the season.

Other songs included are: Amazing Amounts of Amazing Grace; What Love; John Saw and Wrote about It; Those Hands; Fall Like Jericho; Church of the Living God; God Will, Yes He Will; Bottom of the Basket; and Sweet Journey.

Attention Book Readers!

Hey Everyone, I have been working on a blog post that is just not coming together but I hope to finish it in the next day or two. Meanwhile, I wanted to let you know that I am hosting a party for my online bookstore this month. If you like to read and you are on Facebook, take a minute to “like” Sony Elise Christian Books. Then watch my videos and read my posts for a chance to win a book at the end of the month. Thank you so much!

A Conference Worth Watching

  • April 24, 2020 at 7:25 pm in

Many years ago, we became aware of Pure Life Ministries, a ministry that is dedicated to calling people to holiness. In 2000, they started an annual conference which we attended for several years. I have not been able to attend in quite a while so I am thrilled that they are live streaming this year’s conference. I just watched the first session, and I am excited to see how God speaks to my heart this weekend. They will be streaming the first session again tonight at 9:00 EST and tomorrow morning at 8:00 EST.  Plus there will be several other speakers. I encourage you to make time to catch some of these sessions. You will find the schedule at the bottom of here. Below is the trailer which will give you more information. May we be bold followers of God in the midst of a crooked and perverse world.

Larry Hinson Is in Heaven

  • April 23, 2020 at 11:30 am in

I received the sad news last evening that Larry Hinson of the Original Hinsons passed away unexpectedly. I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to meet him and his wife, Jana, a few years ago. He will be truly missed. My prayers are with the family. This is the first song I thought of when thinking about Larry. He sings the second verse. I hope you enjoy.

 

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