Defintions Matter

I have seen so many posts lately on Facebook that give the details to life, or so they seem. It is words of “wisdom” or “how to do it right”.

I became convicted after seeing a post because I thought to myself, I wonder if I post in a way that seems arrogant? So, I took a look back at my posts. It was a neat time of reflecting, because what I saw what a definition of my self. I saw what is most important to me (or who is most important to me), where my focus is, and what motivates my spirit. I saw some things I didn’t like or that I thought weren’t pertinent to sharing socially. So I was able to sift through and decide on a purpose for my social media connections.

I was confident in my social media self because it is a real reflection of who I am and the Lord has done a unique work in me during the past 5 years to give me freedom and security in myself. All people need and want that. I’m a work progress, everyone is, and it’s ok. It’s ok to be a work in progress as long as we’re working and progressing.

As I was reading these posts, my concern came from whether our hearts seek to admonish and encourage…or condemn. Sometimes when I read someone’s “wisdom” it comes across as condemnation. Mainly because it appears as a command and order, rather than a personal conviction of their work in progress. The world and the enemy do their best, and sometimes rather successfully, to condemn us. I doubt we need an acquaintance on facebook to do much more. But when we share, out of our own walk, experience, and working in progress, others are encouraged and admonished. They see our love that is Truth spoken through our work in progress.

Encourage::to inspire with courage, spirit, or confidence

Admonish::to caution, advise, or counsel against something.

Condemn::to express an unfavorable or adverse judgment on; indicate strong disapproval of; censure.

This does not go without saying, we cannot effect how someone reacts or responds to our words. But we can be diligent to share the truth in love without condemning. And when we have something to say, we say it to the individual (Matthew 18) and they know we are seeking to love them and hold them accountable (while we, ourselves, are vulnerable to be held accountable, also).

On the contrary to these thoughts, I have been so edified by watching others via social media. Other moms, who have more kiddos than I, walking faithfully through motherhood and boldly walking into new seasons with their children that I have yet to trod. Other marriages as they navigate what it is to walk in biblical healthy marriages. Our college students as they maneuver a much more difficult society than when I was in college and working and seeking the Lord. It’s motivating to watch, via social media, others who are close and far away, as they show their work in progress and do difficult things and make hard decisions, all the while sharing with all of their “friends” on facebook what life looks like for them. Being a good steward involves all of our lives. Even social media. Are we stewarding our opportunity to be real, yet graceful, on social media?

We have more today than ever to be responsible for, and this more includes social media. I’m convicted of the ways I let it steal life from me, yet motivated to use it as a tool to connect and share using my gifts. Everything is a conduit for sharing the gospel, will I press into that opportunity even with social media?

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Busy Mind, Deceptive Heart week 4 preview:: Esther

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God had her in a place of a foreign king at a time when high ranking officials turned on her people-the Jews.

She made a bold appeal to the king. She approached the king in a very unorthodox manner, one which would bring death to anyone (wife included) unless the king gave clearance. This is a great attachment to Hebrews 4:14-16 and of the fact that she wasn’t even approaching the king for herself. She risked her life to save her people.

How can we enter the turf of our own enemies, eat with them & encounter the beginnings of understanding?

How is Esther, a young Jewish woman displaced from Jerusalem, having eyes for her people an example to us?

See you tomorrow night!!!!1

a match made in Heaven…Ruth & Boaz

 

Busy Mind, Deceptive Heart

 

Melissa Sharp

 

September 19, 2013

 

 

 

A Match Made in Heaven

The main characters::

 Ruth is a short version of ‘retut’, ‘lovely friend’.
Naomi means ‘pleasant’, but the name she called herself later was Mara, meaning ‘bitter’.
Boaz means ‘powerful’ or ‘strong’.
Mahlon and Chilion mean ‘sickness’ and ‘used up’.
Orpah means ‘back of the neck’; she turned her back on Naomi.
Elimelech means ‘my God is king’.  

 Importance:: Matthew 1 Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus lists four women, & Ruth is one of them.

Map::

 Ruth is loyal to her mother-in-law.  Ruth 1:15-18

 She follows a God she meets through obedience. v.16-17

 Background of Moabites

 She asks to glean what is dropped. There is provision in Mosaic Law for this opportunity. Lev. 19:9, 10; 23:22; Deut. 24:19

 She works hard and without fear. She isn’t looking for a husband.

 Ruth 2:3 says that  ‘as it happened’  Ruth went to the field of Naomi’s rich relative, Boaz.

 She finds favor with Boaz because she chose the Lord.

 The Lord protected her and showed favor on her, through Boaz. HOW? He praises the way in which she presents herself.

She is noble.

 It was called the law of the “levirate” marriage, from the Hebrew word for “brother.” If no brother was available, a more distant relative might be asked to fulfill this duty. But the widow would have to let him know that he was acceptable to be her “goel,” as they called it, her kinsman-redeemer and provider.

 In English, the word go’el is often translated as ‘nearest kin’, but in ancient Judah it meant much more than that.

 

 Ruth 3

 

 She takes action. Lying beside Boaz, Ruth suggested that he, as the go-el of Naomi’s family, should ‘cover her with his blanket’, a euphemism for marriage.

  Spreading his cloak over her would signify his willingness to become her protector and provider. His response was immediate.

 Boaz is honest. He seems to have been at pains to do everything correctly, so that there could be no question about the legality of the marriage. 

 Ruth and Boaz were married, and she had a son, Obed. Eventually, Ruth would be the great-grandmother of King David.

 

 SOME OF OUR DISCUSSION:::

Ruth left everything she knew to go with Naomi. She knew Naomi was older in age and now a widow. Ruth DID THE RIGHT THING. In doing so, she utimately chose God. Moabites were Israelite enemies due to their history and some stereotyping. She walked in faith that all she heard of God from her husband and his family was true and that He would care for her and her mother-in-law. She was virtuous. One of the many reasons Boaz is drawn to her is that she didn’t have affairs with men, rich or poor. She DID THE RIGHT THING. She followed all of the directions and wisdom from Naomi. She walked through this entire journey with faith and integrity.

 

Loyalty. Who is loyal here & why is that important for us?

 

 

 

Submission: Who is submissive here? To whom? Why is that a lesson for us?

 

 

 

Love: In what ways could you give of yourself more sacrificially to improve your relationships?

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always working

Imagethat’s Who God is…He’s always working. i posted earlier about our garage sale. (you can read that by clicking on “garage sale”)

here’s another way we are being supported.

this is an event a sweet friend has posted on facebook and will manage through her thirty-one site.

 

Here’s a copy of the information posted in the event::

Brady along with his wife Melissa serve as the College Pastor at FBCWF. They have two sons; Drake (3) and Holt (10 Months).

Brady has suffered from chronic pain since January 2012. He has had testing done here, Dallas, and has been to the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, AZ all with little to no answers. They have multiple confirmations the pain is generated by disc herniation’s in his thoracic spine (to this point they’ve been told they’re inoperable in that area of the spine.) They have other avenues to pursue medically, but are convicted and responsible to take care of their current expenses first.

This event was made to bless the Sharp’s in any way that you can. I am a Thirty-One consultant and thought it would be a great idea to host this fundraiser to help them out! They have been a huge blessing to mine and my husband’s life. I will be donating 20% of my commission that I will make off of everyone’s orders through my 31 website. Attached is the link to the event. If you have ANY questions on how to order or anything else please feel free to message me. Let’s pray for them and help them financially as much as you can!

Here is the link to the event.. www.mythirtyone.com/jennykennedy

Garage Sale to benefit…our medical bills

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We will be having a garage sale on Saturday October 5, 2013 from 6 am until whenever. We did this the March following Brady’s hospitalization and several trips to the metroplex to have tests done.

Since that time, he has had many injections, more MRI’s, and a trip to the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix Arizona (you can see those posts here regarding our journey and here about our mayo clinic trip and here about our mayo clinic trip) that brought no answers, results, or treatment.

We have some more options we can pursue (not including the healing we pray for everyday). We feel convicted and responsible to pay for these endeavors we’ve already pursued before making more.

As we did before, we will be taking donations of items you are getting rid of anyway or would like to donate to us.

Please know, we have utilized all of our assets that we were so diligent to acquire and save prior to this season. I have started subbing to help pay these expenses also. We have wonderful insirance, but that doesn’t cover airfare and hotel and other expenses for traveling. Thank you for praying for us, loving us, & supporting us. We know there is an answer and healing. Brady always prays that He would use this until He’s done, & then take it away.

If you would like to bring donations, please email me at sharp.mrs@gmail.com, facebook, or I will provide you my phone number if you contact me in one of those ways. Thank you again for loving us. We are blessed!

Busy Mind, Deceptive Heart

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It’s already time for another DGroup at our house! Busy Mind, Deceptive Heart meets tomorrow (Thurs Sept 18) at the Sharp’s. If you need directions or have questions, email me at sharp.mrs@gmail.com or catch me on facebook!

Tomorrow night we’ll be looking at the picture perfect love story of Ruth & Boaz. We’ve talked about some heavy and weighty topics the last few weeks, this week we’ll take a breath and dive into a refreshing story of obedience, love, and noble character. Come talk with us as we discuss our hopes & dreams for our future relationships and apply our discussion to our current relationships. Looking forward to seeing you!

from the depths of the freezer files

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(clicking on picture will take you to Who Needs A Cape, where we found our recipes)

Just an update on the crockpot freezer meals! Here’s what we’ve tried so far!

Crockpot fajitas (yum! we used too much steak though-so we wasted a lot) Make sure you have sour cream, tomatoes, tortillas, lettuce, etc on hand to complete your fajitas.

Crockpot Fajitas
Ingredients:
• 1 large onion, cut into 1/2 in. strips
• 1 green bell pepper cut into 1/2 in. strips
• 1 red bell pepper cut into 1/2 in. strips
• 2 lbs. boneless sirloin steaks
• 3/4 cup water
• 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
• 1 tbsp. lime juice
• 1 tsp. cumin
• 1 tsp. chili powder
• 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
• 1/2 tsp. pepper
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
Directions:
1. Spray Crockpot with nonstick cooking spray or use a Crockpot liner
2. Place onion and pepper strips in bottom.
3. Place meat on top.
4. Mix water, vinegar, lime juice and spices and pour over meat.
5. Cook on lo 6-8 hours. Serve with tortillas and fixins!

Chicken Tacos (BRADY’S FAVORITE) and again, make sure you have all the fixings when you make this one.

Crockpot Chicken Tacos
Ingredients:
• 1 Chicken Taco Seasoning Packet
• 6 frozen tenderloins or 3 frozen breasts
• 1 can rotel
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• 1/4 cup water
Directions:
1. Spray Crockpot with nonstick cooking spray or use a Crockpot liner
2. Sprinkle the taco seasoning packet on the bottom of the crockpot
3. Lay the chicken on top of the seasoning.
4. Cover with rotel and pour in olive oil and water
5. Cook on high 3-4 hours.
6. Shred chicken and put back into crockpot
7. Serve on tortillas with cheese and sour cream

Crockpot Maple Dijon Chicken Thighs
Ingredients:
• 6-8 Chicken Thighs
• 1/2 cup Dijon Mustard
• 1/4 cup Maple Syrup
• 1 tbsp. Rice Wine Vinegar
• 1 pkg. sliced mushrooms
• 1 onion, sliced
Directions:
1. Spray Crockpot with nonstick cooking spray or use a Crockpot liner
2. Place chicken in the crock pot
3. Mix together mustard, syrup and vinegar and pour over chicken
4. Top with mushrooms and sliced onion
5. Cook on low for 6 hours

 

Cilantro Lime Chicken (this one was a bit dry so we should have added some chicken stock or water)
Ingredients:
• 3 Chicken breasts
• 1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
• 1 lime, juiced
• 1 cup cilantro
• 1 small bag frozen corn
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1/2 finely chopped red onion
• 1 can black beans, rinsed
• 1 tsp. cumin
Directions:
1. Spray Crockpot with nonstick cooking spray or use a Crockpot liner
2. Pour everything into the crock pot
3. Cook on low for 8 hours and serve with tortillas or tostitos

 

Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore
Ingredients:
• 8 chicken thighs, bone in, skinless
• 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
• 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
• 1/2 green bell pepper, sliced into strips
• 1/2 large onion, sliced
• 1 tsp. dried oregano
• 1 bay leaf
• 1/4 cup fresh herbs such as basil or parsley for topping
Directions:
1. Spray Crockpot with nonstick cooking spray or use a Crockpot liner
2. Pour marinaded chicken and ingredients into Crockpot
3. Cook on low for 8 hours
4. Cook on high for 1 more hour with lid off to help thicken sauce
5. Remove bay leaf, sprinkle with fresh herbs and serve with pasta

Again, all of this came from Who Needs a Cape. These are from her recipes, her research, and her experience!

what we learned from a prophet & an adulterer

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If you missed Thursday, or just want a review, here are the notes! I was so blessed by your stories of redemption and the positives ways you encouraged one another with what you learned from our time together. Looking forward to this coming Thursday!

Melissa Sharp

Busy Mind, Deceptive Heart

September 11, 2013

the pursuit of happiness. lies.

the pursuit of obedience. truth.

When the Lord began to speak through Hosea, the Lord said to him, “Go, marry a promiscuous woman and have children with her, for like an adulterous wife this land is guilty of unfaithfulness to the Lord.” So he married Gomer daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.

  1. Gomer is promiscuous.

It is evident that Gomer was a woman who had been exposed and addicted to the moral decay of her society, and God intended to use Hosea’s relationship with her as an object lesson of His own relationship with His unfaithful people, Israel.

  1. Israel is unfaithful.

What God says is wrong with Israel:

God said there was no faithfulness, or kindness, or knowledge of him (4:1); there was swearing, deception, murder, stealing, and sexual vice (4:2); the prophets and priest were corrupt (4:4); the priests no longer taught the knowledge of God (4:6); the religious leaders had become merely opportunists, in their greed profiting from the sins of the people (4:7); there was harlotry, and drunkenness (4:11); the people had become idol worshipers (4:12), and we know from 2 Kings 17 that there were human sacrifices.

  1. God is intentional.

The naming of the children from God’s perspective:

The first child was named, Jezreel.  Jezreel was both a city and a territory located in the heart of Israel, and it was from the heartland of Jezreel that much of the wickedness associated with Israel’s history originated.

The second child was named Lo-ruhamah.  This name comes from two Hebrew words: lo in Hebrew is a negative, and means “no,” or “not,” and ruhamah means, “to have pity.”  So the name “Lo-ruhamah” means, “to have no pity.”

The third child was named Lo-ammi, meaning “not mine.”

  1. God is redemptive.

The story of the book is about how God, who found Israel to be stubbornly faithless and spiritually rebellious, had to allow them to experience the consequences of their waywardness.

God’s purpose for Hosea’s marriage to Gomer was to confront Israel with their sin of unfaithfulness.

Hosea 2

Gomer leaves and is unfaithful in her lifestyle.

At some point Hosea came to the realization that providing for Gomer’s needs wasn’t going to help unless her heart changed; in fact, it would only enable her to continue her wayward lifestyle, so he made the very difficult decision to cut off her support. In time the consequences she had been protected from began to roll in. Eventually Gomer’s lover sold her into slavery, and she discovered the sad truth that so many others have discovered: that often what presents itself as an opportunity for self-fulfillment, ends in bondage and despair.

Hosea 3:1-5

We notice that Gomer, though purchased, was not immediately restored to her former status as a wife, and things would remain that way until her heart changed. The same is true with God and Israel. God allowed Israel to experience the consequences of their unfaithfulness.

He’s waiting for a change of heart, and it hasn’t happened yet, but it’s going to happen. Did you notice when? Verse 5 says, “in the last days.”

Common Themes:

Unfailing love. Who freely gives? Who receives?

Acts of love vs. feeling.  Compare your reactions to the reality of Hosea’s response. What is the difference between reacting & responding?

Redemption. God & Hosea confront & love through rebelliousness & disobedience. How can you follow that lead in your relationships?

Idolatry. How are you idolatrous? How does it affect your relationships?

***If you would like my personal teaching notes with extra information, please contact me at sharp.mrs@gmail.com

Busy Mind, Deceptive Heart week 2 preview

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We meet again tomorrow evening! Thursday, September 12, 2013 at 8 pm join us at our house!

We will discuss all the richness we can glean from the disobedience, rebellion, and lack of faithfulness of Isreal. God so compassionately walks with us through Isreal’s waywardness & uses a heart-wrenching comparison of the relationship between Hosea & Gomer to draw us closer to Himself. While drawing us into Scripture, we will be convicted & encouraged in our own relationships.

We will have a time to discuss & reflect the following so come with open and teachable spirits.

Unfailing love. Who freely gives? Who receives?

Acts of love vs. feeling. Compare your reactions to the reality of Hosea’s response. What is the difference between reacting & responding?

Redemption. God & Hosea both confront & love through rebelliousness & disobedience. How can you follow that lead in your relationships?

Idolatry. How are you idolatrous? How does it affect your relationships?