Sing to the King Israel Tour

The Secret to Spiritual WELLness

Up in the wee hours. Engaged in peaceful prayers and the sweet encouragement of a devotional I shared with Carpenter Husband before bedtime. Charles Spurgeon’s evening offering from one of his most popular works, Morning & Evening, lingers in my soul…                                           

“Tell the righteous it will be well with them…” (Isaiah 3:10). Here’s just a smidgen of the text…

He will be WELL FED because he feeds upon the flesh and blood of Jesus.
He is WELL CLOTHED because he wears the righteousness of Christ.
He is WELL HOUSED for he dwells in God.
He is WELL MARRIED for his soul is knit in bonds of marriage union to Christ.
He is WELL PROVIDED FOR because the Lord is his Shepherd.
He is WELL ENDOWED for heaven is his inheritance.

This is who we are. This is our position in Christ.

Nothing at all against the insurance company, but we are not in good hands with Allstate. Rather we are in the Good Hands of One who knows us through and through, whatever state we’re in. In all conditions and under all circumstances, IT WILL BE WELL with the righteous (caps mine). Righteousness not of our own, but of God Himself. Talk about an insurance policy!

Interestingly, I googled a bit about that famous slogan to learn it was created in the 1950s by Allstate Insurance Company’s sales executive, Davis W. Ellis, based on a similar phrase he used to reassure his wife about a doctor caring for their child.

Cameron with baby sister, Sarah.

I can remember when my children were little. I cared about every little thing. When they were with me and whenever we were apart, I was seldom not thinking of them, always wanting for their good. Though we each have busy lives of our own, that posture continues today, even as they are now in their latter twenties. Wherever they are, whatever they’re doing, it matters to me. And I delight in hearing from them.

A mother’s love is never waning.

Why is it so hard for us to believe that’s true for us sometimes? We become so self-focused and consumed with worry, living as orphans instead of chosen, adopted, adult children of God. Wholly loved. Always wanted. Blood-sealed in Christ. We forget this is not a month-to-month agreement or a contract that must be renewed annually. This is not some willy-nilly arrangement that could dissolve at any moment due to inclement weather or unforeseen circumstances.

No. This is a lifetime membership. This is forever kinda stuff. WE BELONG. No fees. No cancellation. Just incomparable benefits, including an out of this world retirement plan. Literally. Like soon and very soon.

At a women’s retreat in Minnesota recently, I prefaced the song, “You Go Before” saying, “This is a song about perspective.” Walk long enough with Jesus and we gain some.

Lord, when sin-sick, world-weary, and ridden with anxiety, give us this perspective, YOUR perspective… we are well fed, well clothed, well housed, well married, well provided for, and well endowed.  Yes, it is well. WE are well. For You have made it so.

Sun’s up. I’m thinkin’ blueberry waffles. Thanks for trackin’ with me.

Grace and peace…

Cheri

 

 

A Word to the Faithful

I had an idea for a blog. But, in light of the recent school shooting in Florida it just seemed so trivial. The other day while re-filling our pretty pepper shaker for probably the third or fourth time since being married, I found myself encouraged by my progress as a cook. You see, I’ve never claimed any amount of expertise or even much interest in the culinary arts. I used to joke that I’d learn to cook once I had kids. And then I raised them all the way through to the other end and still didn’t know.

Don’t get me wrong. I cooked. People ate. Nobody died. I just cooked very simply without much concern for seasonings, presentation, or anything that took too long. We also ate out a lot which was a nice luxury, but only served to further delay the beautiful emergence of my inner chef.

By way of full disclosure, this was no secret when Carpenter Husband married me. In fact, to be completely fair, I even worked it into my vows committing to love him “sacrificially, respectfully, romantically, and domestically – including cleaning, laundry, and light cooking.” Yes, I actually used the word “light” right there in my vows. I took no offense to the chuckles that followed from our guests that day. I always figured I got a free pass in the kitchen because girl can write good songs, right?

So, I was going to write about how one can still learn new things even at this age. And how it’s about progress, not perfection. The multiple refills of said pepper shaker was physical evidence of that progress. And that made me feel good about an area that has not been a particular strength for me. And how we should celebrate growth, however incremental it might be. Yay, me, etc.

Anyway, this week I posted a sentiment on Facebook that garnered more likes and shares than normal. The lady who hosts the Bible study I’m in has it in a little frame on her bookshelf. She showed it to us one night and I promptly copied it in my journal.

Because it spoke to me…

God did not call me to be successful. He called me to be faithful.

What does all this have to do with the tragedy in Florida? Joining the throng of so many who have been praying for these suffering families, I found myself thinking, “What can I do? What difference can I possibly make?” And that led to another train of thought…I should be doing more. Contributing more. Making a bigger impact. If only I had a bigger platform, more resources, more gigs, more education. I should have written three books by now and can’t even finish the one I’ve already started. And how many years have I been “working on it” now? (Can anyone say: procrastination?) There’s too many books in the world anyway. Too many artists. Too much noise. Nobody buys music anymore. What’s the point of doing another album anyway. Nobody will hear it. They don’t play my music much anymore. Should I even be doing this? Is it time to do something else? Blah. Blah. Blah.

This was my self-talk, complete with feelings of guilt and insignificance that often follow such an indulgence. On top of that my “problems” are peanuts compared to the families whose lives have just been shattered into a billion gut-wrenching pieces.

And the Lord burdens me once more to pray for all who have lost their babies. For all who are drowning in grief. That God would bring comfort in the midst of devastation.

In the middle of all this, a radio guy who used to spin my tunes back in the day asked if I’d record a video of myself singing “Not With Jesus” from WHAT MATTERS MOST. He’d be sharing his testimony for 300 people at a Food for the Poor event and that song was part of it. In relearning it on the piano this week, I was reminded of the painful places I was walking when I wrote that song. And aware of how much it ministered, not only to me, but to countless others. The song went #1 on Christian radio. I’ve got a plaque in the garage somewhere.

Haven’t had too many #1’s lately, but I can still write a good song. That sure was a good one. Thankful it’ll minister to someone at his event in Florida at the end of the month. He mentioned the shooting was only about five minutes away.

And that gives me motivation to finish a new song I’ve been working on. It’s almost finished. And the phrase keeps coming back to me...God did not call me to be successful. He called me to be faithful…

To the faithful You show yourself faithful…Psalm 18:25
The Lord preserves the faithful…Psalm 31:23
He will not forsake His faithful ones…Psalm 37:28
He guards the lives of His faithful ones…Psalm 97:10
He protects the way of His faithful ones…Proverbs 2:8
A faithful man will be richly blessed…Proverbs 28:20

Thanks for listening. I hope there’s something useful here.

Love to each of you,
Cheri