Sherri Evans

Sherri Evans

Friday, June 17, 2016

Living in the Eye of the Storm





Ps 18:2-6

2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. 3 I call to the Lord,who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies. 4 The cords of death entangled me;the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me. 5 The cords of the grave coiled around me;the snares of death confronted me. 6 In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears. (NIV)


I am blessed to live in sunny Florida- a place where I have been known to lay out in the sun on Christmas Day and get a lovely glow!  Just a short drive from my home, I can dig my toes in the pristine, sugar-white sandy beaches, as the beautiful, aquamarine water laps gently on the seashore.  The crashing sound of the surf soothes my soul.  The cry of seagulls completes the symphony of tranquility that I can enjoy.

All of these are benefits of living in a sunny, peninsular paradise.  But then...there are the hurricanes.  During those times, the water is no longer a haven, but a freeway for destruction. Torrential floods, tornadic winds, power outages, all are a huge downside to living in a coastal area.

As Christians, we abide in the sun of hope that is found in Jesus, our Savior.  We enjoy His presence, His peace, His joy.  And we are thankful.  But just as I can come to take my geographical location for granted, I can take the blessings of God for granted.  I can get an entitlement attitude where I feel like I "deserve" to live in a bubble of protection where no harm can befall me.  But such is the not the case of life.  Real life is a mixture of good and bad, joy and pain, sunshine and rain.  What do I do when the storms of life press in?

Ryan Stevenson's "Eye of the Storm" says it so poignantly:
"In the eye of the storm, You remain in control
And in the middle of the war, You guard my soul
You alone are the anchor, when my sails are torn
Your love surrounds me in the eye of the storm"


(Read more at http://www.lyrics.com/eye-of-the-storm-feat-gabereal-lyrics-ryan-stevenson.html#x0ABmDHSmXtKugd3.99)



When a hurricane presses down on the panhandle, we gather our supplies and we batten down our hatches. We hunker in.  (Whatever all that means!)  We run for a place of safety- a sturdy building.   When a hurricane of life comes our way,  we must run into the Rock of Ages.  We must take refuge in the Name of Jesus, our High Tower!



Life has been pressing down on my family for a while.  When it seems the storm is abating, we hear a new wind kicking up again.  It is disheartening.  It is frightening.  But I take great solace in knowing that His love always surrounds us.  Even if we are in the "eye of the storm."


Dear Lord, I pray today for others who are hurting.  Please comfort the mourning and dejected, please bind up the broken hearted and offer joy and peace to those who feel that they are without hope today.  Help us to find our way to the ark of safety, the protection that is in your Word and in the Name of Jesus.  Hide us, O Rock of Salvation, until the danger passes!  In Your mighty name, I pray.  Amen.




© Sherri Evans Ministries 2016. All rights reserved. Used by permission. For booking schedule and information: sherrievans@sherrievansministries.com

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Made Great in the Wait




"31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. " Isaiah 40:31 (KJV)

Last week I was "blessed"  with the opportunity to wait.  We waited at the hospital for 12 hours.  I waited at a doctor's office, and I waited at a pharmacy.  At one point, I had to stifle a giggle so as not to be rude.  Waiting people are not pretty people. 

When the wait first begins, people sit upright in their chair, looking fresh and thumbing through glossy magazines, engaging in light banter with other co-waiters.  But in time, the posture slumps, the magazine is tossed aside and conversation becomes less lively.  At the end of waiting, many people slide down in their chair- if their waiting is long, they may lay down right in a public place!  In time their eyes are glazed over.  Dead eyes.  Their faces, a grimace.  Their eyes resolute. "I will wait forever" becomes their refrain.

As I observed - and participated in- this phenomena, I realized how I must look in the Spirit most of the time.  In God's economy, we are always in the waiting room for one reason or a another.  We wait for direction, we wait for provision, we wait for opportunity, we wait for others to surrender to God.  In the waiting room our character is molded and shaped.  The rough edges are sanded off.  If there is any impatience in us, the wait will show it.  If there is any depth of character or abiding faith, it too, will have a chance to show forth while in the wait.

I am not to the place in life that I thought I would be. At this age, I thought I would already "be" what I dreamed of being.  Vocation/career wise.  But instead, I realize I am still in the motion of becoming.  Instead of looking ahead to a retirement in 20 years, I am hoping to have reached the place in ministry that I have been waiting 20 years to see.  Yes, 20 long years of waiting .  Of showing hope, impatience, and at times, apathy.

Waiting upon the Lord can be as hard as waiting in a doctor's office for service, or a hospital lobby for news.  But if we are plugged in to Him during the wait, our strength can renew.  We can garner strength to mount up with wings of eagles, to soar above the problem, to gain a loftier, God-sized view.  We can sit aright in our chair.  We can begin to walk briskly and find our feet breaking into a run.  As He infuses us with His power.  We can wait with grace.  Our waiting does not have to be in vain.  It can be fruitful.  Advantageous.  For not only us, but for those in our sphere of influence.
As we waited in different waiting areas, each time, as we set up camp, we quickly identified the areas of the room near an outlet.  We're a modern family!  We all have cell phones, tablets and even laptops to plug in.  We came with our batteries charged.  But we know the wait can wax long.  For hours. For eons.  So, we must be near a power source!

As you wait, are you plugged into THE power source?  Are you remaining steadfast in prayer?  Is the Word your firm foundation?  If not, you will likely faint in the wait.  Charge up, my friend!  You were made to soar!  You were created to run!

Dear God, I pray, today for those who are waiting.  Renew, refresh, and recharge their souls.  Let them sense your nearness.  Enable them to find purpose in the wait.  And peace.  As we wait for Your imminent return, let us wait expectantly and not be lulled to sleep by the much waiting.  Infuse us with your power and your Spirit.  In Jesus' mighty name, I pray!  Amen.



 © Sherri Evans Ministries 2015. All rights reserved. Used by permission. For booking schedule and information: sherrievans@sherrievansministries.com

Monday, July 27, 2015

Afraid and Trusting






"When I am afraid, I put my trust in you."  Ps. 56:3, NIV



We got some devastating news this week.  One of our family members is facing a scary health crisis.  When I meet these types of challenges, my first intention is to meet the crisis with faith.  But I must admit that, at times, something inside me sinks.  I feel like retreating rather than attacking.  I feel like tucking and running.

Have you ever struggled with these types of spiritual conflicts?  There is almost a schizophrenia or two-mindedness. A war between the spirit man and the natural. A conflict between fear and faith; doubt and belief.

I wish I were one of those "super Christians" who always is on spiritually.  But, alas, I am just a flesh and blood believer.  Sometimes I feel weak.  Intimidated.  Other times, I feel invincible.  Revved up and bullet-proof.

As I fought to gain traction in my faith response, I realized that something in me was disappointed that God had not averted this crisis from us.  I wanted deliverance.  Protection.  But instead, He provided a "walk through."  A situation that will require us to lean on Him.  Listen more closely.  Something to stretch our faith and challenge our comfort. 

Then the question came to mind.  If God only kept us from trouble, what kind of witness would we have?  What kind of followers would He have?  Probably droves of people signing on for an easy, cheap, rendition of discipleship.  A protection plan sans the required devotion.

That is the not the kind of weak, wimpy, followers that God is seeking.  He is seeking ordinary men and women like the young David, who amidst bullying, ridicule and rejection, arose to slay a giant.  With one smooth stone.  And the Rock of Ages!

He is seeking women like Esther, who will rise up, "for such a time as this."  He is seeking people like Paul and Silas who will preach and proclaim even if it means imprisonment or death.

He is seeking those who will dare to follow him in radical obedience.  Overcoming faith.  Blind trust.  Oh, God, that I would rise to the challenge!

Dear Lord, I need you.  I pray that you will cause my spirit man to rise up in confidence and strength.  Forgive me for accepting defeat, when you purchased victory.  Sanctity my thoughts, my mind, my faith.  I make a choice to believe in You and to wait on your deliverance.  I admit I am afraid.  But while I am, I WILL trust in you.  In Jesus' Name.  Amen.

 
 

© Sherri Evans Ministries 2015. All rights reserved. Used by permission. For booking schedule and information: sherrievans@sherrievansministries.com

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Living up to the Name




 
    
Acts 11:25-26
 
25 Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, 26 and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.
NIV
 
I went into a fast food restaurant this week, to grab a snack and use the faster Wi-Fi for work.  When I arrived at the counter, no one was standing there to take my order.  Across the dining room an employee yells, "Precious!" About that time, an employee with a name tag bearing that name, turns around and glares at me.  Begrudgingly, she stomps to the register, and as if by dare, she says "Can I take your order?!"  I give it to her.  She then turns around, grabs  a cup, and slams it on the counter.  "That will be $3.58," she demands.  I reluctantly hand it over to "Precious" and she throws my change back at me.
I'll admit, by this time, I was waffling between humor and a very poor attitude.  Part of me wants to say, "Look, never mind.  I do not want to do business here anymore."  The other part?  I'm dying laughing.  "Precious" is acting anything but precious.
As so often is the case, the Lord immediately begins to instruct my heart.  How many times do you bear my Name, but act anything but Christ-like?  Busted.  So many times!  In that moment, I hang my head a little bit and thank the angst-ridden cashier with my gentlest and cheeriest response.  In kind, she softens and smiles.
So many times I am guilty of forgetting my Name.  My mission.   Who I represent.  When I wear a Christian shirt, I try a little harder to live it out.  But sometimes as I speed down the interstate, I forget my  Ichthus on the back of my car.  "I am a Christian." "I am a lawbreaker."  Can they both be true?  At the same time?
We all sin.  We all fall short.  The glorious grace of God stands ready to offer us mercy and cleansing.  We do not have to be perfect to bear His Name. He doesn't blot my name out of the Lamb's Book of Life every time I fail to live up to the family name.  But am I representing?  Am I representing Him well with my attitudes, actions and words?  Especially when the right thing is not being done to- or for- me?
Want to be more Christ-like?   More readily identified as a Child of the King?  Join me in this prayer:
"Dear Lord, I fail and fall so short of Your goodness, Your righteousness and Your love.  Help me to live out my faith in a way that is identifiable and understandable to others.  Forgive me for the times that I cause people to lose sight of you. When I am a poor representation for you. In Jesus' Name.  Amen."


 
 

© Sherri Evans Ministries 2015. All rights reserved. Used by permission. For booking schedule and information: sherrievans@sherrievansministries.com

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Lord, I Can't Even Help You!





"26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us[a] with groanings which cannot be uttered. "  Romans 8:26 (NKJV)

 

"Lord, I don't even know how to help you.  I have no idea how to even pray about this situation.  I need  you to take care of this!"  March 30, 2015

"Lord, ditto..." March 31, 2015

This is a recent excerpt from back-to-back days in my prayer journal.  Have you ever experienced this type of situation?  You know you need to pray about it.  You feel a tugging to pray.  You feel the emotional build up that only "praying through" can fix and then...you stall.  Unable to proceed.

Usually I feel like I "know" how to pray.  Pray for healing. Deliverance.  Guidance. Provision.  Easy- no brainer stuff!  But there are life situations that are definitely above my pay grade and skill set!  My mind runs through different scenarios.  But none of them feels right.  None have the outcome that feels right.  It seems hopeless...

I am so grateful that when I do not even know where to begin, He knows.  HE KNOWS!!!  God, my  loving Father,  knows how to intercede.  He knows how to line up critical players in just the right timeframe.  He knows how to change the heart of others.  He sends the provision...the right word...at just the right moment. 

He has a plan that surpasses anything our minds can fathom.

In situations that deal with others-especially those with multiple others- things can be murky.  Convoluted.  The usual tips and tricks just do not work.  Only God knows the heart of man.  Only God can apply just the right pressure to mold and shape us in our situation.

Are you over your head in a situation?  Come!  Let us pray together!

Dear God, thank you for praying for me.  Thank you for caring for me. And for carrying me.  Oh, Lord, I am so lost in this situation.  I want your will, but honestly, I do not even know what it is.  Give me the grace to stand steadfast in the wait.  Increase my faith.  Soften hearts.  Unveil your plan.  Purify my heart.  Remove the things in me that interfere with your plan.  And God, pour out lavish love and help to all those in need today.  In Jesus' Name.  Amen.
 
 





© Sherri Evans Ministries 2015. All rights reserved. Used by permission. For booking schedule and information: sherrievans@sherrievansministries.com

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

When My Days Are Short



When My  Days Are Short

"Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." Ps. 90:12 (NIV)
 
Last week our family laid one of its own to rest.  We gathered to remember, to offer encouragement, to mourn...and yes, to consider the uncertainty of our own lives.  Who would be next?  Am I ready, if it is me?  Are my family members assured of their own eternal destination?

But then, the thoughts generalize to the less morbid.  Is my life counting for anything?  When they gather to say goodbye to me, will there be a void?  Will I have a legacy that I leave behind?  Believing children, grandchildren, friends?

"Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom." Ps. 90:12 (NLT)

Life is short -whether we are granted 70 years on this earth, or 100.  In view of eternity, our days here are but a mist, a vapor.  So fleeting are they.  So why then do we spend our short time on so many things that do not matter?  Worries that are meaningless? Pursuits that are only fulfilling in the moment?  Does making the extra $30,000 a year translate into anything of lasting value?  Is all of our recreation really that essential to our quality of life? 

A life that is lived to serve, lived to love, lived to impact others for heaven, is the only kind that will be rewarded when we stand before our Maker.  When our lives, our actions, our motives, our moments, are weighed upon the scales of eternity, will they be of value?  To anyone but me?
A life lived in the proper perspective of time, with an eye toward eternity, is a life wisely spent.  Not wasted.  What can I do today that will matter to someone else?  Am I fulfilling God's purpose for me?  The thing I was formed in my mother's womb to accomplish?  Or instead, and am I frittering away the precious commodity we call time?

Today, O God, teach me  to number my days aright. Teach me to live in the moment, with an eye to eternity.  Show me who to encourage, who to reach, who to bless.  Help me to not waste precious time worrying about an uncertain future, being angry or petty.  Help me  to be sober about the time I have.  And thankful.  Thankful that you gave it to me to steward.  In Jesus' Name.

If you know you are not ready to meet the Lord should your days be fulfilled today, would you pray this prayer with me?

Dear Lord, I am a sinner.  I know that I  cannot do enough  good to be saved.  I need a Savior.  Lord, I believe that you are the Son of God and  that you died for my sins, and carried the penalty for my wrongdoing.  I confess my wrongs to you and I ask you to forgive me.  Wash me.  Cleanse me.  Make me a part of the family of God.  I  ask you into my heart and take you as Lord of my life.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

If you  prayed  this prayer with me, meaning it in your heart, you are a new creation!  You are born again!  Your future in  heaven is sure!  The Bible tells us:  "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."  (I John  1:9) 

If you received the Lord, I would love to hear from you so that I can pray for you as you begin your new life in Christ!  

You may comment here.  If you do not want it published, say so, and I will not publish it!







© Sherri Evans Ministries 2015. All rights reserved. Used by permission. For booking schedule and information: sherrievans@sherrievansministries.com

Monday, February 16, 2015

When the Walls Close In




Trapped.  Hemmed in.  Without options.  Without hope.  I believe that is one of the bare bones definitions of a trial.  We look for a door out, but we find none- whether it be because we were placed there by God,  or because it is inescapable in other ways.   We cry out to God for an answer but the situations persist.  What is a Christian to do when the walls of life are crushing in?

"No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it."  I Cor. 10:13 (NIV)

I believe the first thing that we have to do, is recognize God's faithfulness.  People will disappoint us.  Good fortune will fail us.  But God will remain faithful.  He cannot do  otherwise.  Faithfulness is part of His nature. When He does not answer as we had hoped, or in the time frame that we desire, we must cling to the truth that God loves us and will be faithful to us.  Always.  Without fail.  Through time without end.  He is committed  to us.  And He does not break His covenant.
The second thing we must realize is that He is sovereign and has the absolute right to say, "Enough!  It is finished!"  He will not let us remain in a situation beyond His ability to see us through.  When we are going through it, He is there.  And He strengthens us and provides us a way out  or a way of escape.  Even when life feels out of control, it is never out of His  control.  He limits the tests.  The heat of the fire.  The persecution.  He limits it to what He has given us grace to endure. 
Finally, we must confess the Truth of the Word of God instead of the facts of our circumstances.  The power of life and death are in the tongue.  We must choose to speak life and hope into our situations.  We have to dare to believe His Word is true and align our thoughts and words with His.

"He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me."  Psalm 18:19 (NIV)

When the ceiling seems to be dropping, when the walls are suffocating and pressing in, cry out to the One who can set you in a spacious place.  Believe that He is your way out.  He is your portion.  He is your defense.  Faithful, faithful is He.


Dear Lord, I lift up my situations before you and ask you to help me to look above the walls and ceilings of my trials, and instead, look to you, the author and perfecter of my faith.  I see you as my deliverance.  I see your staying hand that prevents me from being consumed in the fire.  I cry out to you!  Rescue me!  Strengthen me.  Open my eyes  to see Your hand.  You are my desire and my defense.  In Jesus' Name.  Amen.