Disturbing The Peace

by Sheri Schofield

I intended to sleep in this morning. But nature intervened. A loud cacophony of distressed bird noises penetrated my sleepy brain. I wondered, “Did the wild turkey’s eggs hatch? Is the gobbler fighting with another gobbler? What’s going on?”

I sat up in bed and rubbed my eyes. Well, if the turkey eggs hatched, I’m definitely going to want pictures! Abandoning my nice, warm bed, I threw on some clothes and hurried outside to see what the clatter was all about.

There on top of the 40-foot boulder pile next to our house stood two Canada geese, squawking at the top of their lungs. What on earth are they doing here? Their pond is three miles away, as the goose flies!

I walked around the boulders to get a better look. The geese were practicing their landing skills. I guess they were used to landing on water and wanted a bigger challenge. Teenagers! I surmised. I’m used to the antics of young animals. The males prefer adrenalin rushes, so they engage in daring feats. Since the geese have webbed feet, they had no way to grip the rock, unlike the ravens that practice flying from that same boulder. So, every time they coasted in for a landing, the geese honked and squawked until they were securely perched on the rock.

The other birds in the forest were protesting loudly. I even heard the moose, who naps behind those boulders, give a loud snort. “Stop disturbing the peace!” the other animals and birds were shouting, each in its own language. It wasn’t hard to translate.

Churches sometimes react the same way when someone new arrives who has serious needs. Many people attend church for the sole purpose of finding peace in their hearts for the week ahead. When someone in crisis shows up, others can resent this intrusion into their peace. They don’t want to hear it— “Don’t disturb us! We don’t want to believe what you’re saying or help you with your problem!”

But isn’t helping the wounded exactly what the church is supposed to do? God did not call us to be like the wild animals! He did not call us to regard church as a social club. It is a hospital for those in spiritual—and sometimes physical—need.

Once when Jesus was teaching in a house, three men tore the roof off part of it and lowered their paralyzed friend down to Jesus, who healed the man (see Mark 2:1-12). Nothing is said of how the homeowner felt about the hole in his roof. I’m guessing he probably left the hole for a few days to tell of the miracle done there!

When Jesus cast a legion of demons out of a possessed man outside Gadara and sent the demons into a herd of pigs, the pigs ran off a cliff. This frightened the inhabitants of the town so much, they asked Jesus to leave their region (see Mark 5:1-20.).

Would we rather celebrate what God is doing to restore people in our churches? Or would we rather tell Jesus to go away so our lives will not be disturbed?

Isaiah prophesied this about Jesus: “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for captives and release from darkness for the prisoners” (Isaiah 61:1 NIV).

I want to be part of that!

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:10 NIV

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Sheri Schofield is an award-winning children’s author-illustrator and children’s ministry veteran of 40 years. Sheri was named Writer of the Year in 2018 at the Colorado Christian Writers’ Conference for her work in effectively sharing the gospel of Jesus. Her ministry, Faithwind 4 Kids, can be followed on her blog at her website, http://www.sherischofield.com. Questions welcomed!

FREE CHILDREN’S PROGRAM! Author/Children’s Bible teacher, Sheri Schofield, offers a free series of video lessons about Jesus and His salvation—for children ages 4 and up. It is available at her website www.sherischofield.com. In this video series, Walk-The-Talk Island, Sheri presents her award-winning book The Prince and the Plan, in 24 video lessons for your children, grandchildren and any others with whom you wish to share. In addition, Campfire provides devotions for children.

Join the Conversation: What motivates our hesitancy to reach out to those who are different than us?

Camping Anyone?

by Sheri Schofield

Once upon a time, I thoroughly enjoyed camping out in the mountains. At least I think I did. But for some reason, all I can remember now is freezing at night every time I rolled off that thin, rubber mat that was supposed to protect me from the cold, hard ground. Honestly, that is all I remember about camping.

But nostalgia is a strange thing. Somehow, my husband, Tim, wants to camp out again. However, he wants an upgrade on the equipment. So, he bought a tiny camper and tried to tow it home behind his little Suzuki. Bad plan. It caught fire on the way home. Unfortunately, the fire only consumed the Suzuki, not the camper.

I recognize ill omens when I see them.

Tim assures me that the old man who sold it to him, slept in it all year. I seriously doubt that: It has a hole in the roof. “We’ll have some good times in it,” he assured me.

Fat chance. I am not sleeping in that thing! Tim, however, said it is an investment in our retirement. Now I’m worried about his plans for our retirement! I seem to hear the music from “Jaws” getting louder and louder in my brain.

Coincidentally, my daughter married a man who is eerily like her dad. He, too, is enamored with camping out. My daughter called to invite us to camp out in their new little trailer…in Alaska. Burr! “It will be so much fun!” she tells me.

I hate to be a party pooper, but I am not camping out in another tiny trailer with three other people! “At our age,” I tell her, “we have to use the restroom more than once during the night. And we snore.”

“Oh,” she says after a long pause. “It’s not going to work, is it?”

I can imagine how Sarah felt when Abraham said, “Honey, God told me to leave town and go to a new land where we will live in tents and herd sheep and goats and camels and move around a lot. It will be so much fun!”

No wonder Sarah was barren. With all that exercise, her body probably refused to add childbearing to her burden. That’s what happens sometimes to women devoted to aerobics. Have you ever tried to round up sheep on foot? Well. There you are: Aerobics.

On top of that, God had told Abraham he would be the father of many nations. The pressure’s on, Sarah! It’s all up to you! After many years, Sarah got tired and said, “Hey, let my servant girl, Hagar, take over.” Bad idea!

But Sarah’s faith was exhausted from trying to measure up to Abraham’s expectations. Exhausted from moving all the time. Exhausted from trying to conceive a child to build a nation.

Trying to measure up to others’ expectations can be a faith-drain on anyone. If you’re there, know this: God loves you unconditionally. He will give you the strength you need for each day as it arrives. The grace for tomorrow will be there on time. Your future is assured in Jesus. You’ve got a wonderful eternity ahead…and it does not involve camping out!

Jesus said, “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you may be where I am,” John 14:2-3 (NIV).

Heaven’s going to be a blast!“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him” 1 Corinthians 2:9 (NKJV).

This article brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Sheri Schofield is an award-winning children’s author-illustrator and children’s ministry veteran of 40 years. Sheri was named Writer of the Year in 2018 at the Colorado Christian Writers’ Conference for her work in effectively sharing the gospel of Jesus. Her ministry, Faithwind 4 Kids, can be followed on her blog at her website, http://www.sherischofield.com. Questions welcomed!

FREE CHILDREN’S PROGRAM!
Sherri offers a free series of video lessons about Jesus and His salvation—for children ages 4 and up. It is available at her website www.sherischofield.com. In this video series, Walk-The-Talk Island, Sheri presents her award-winning book The Prince and the Plan, in 24 video lessons for your children, grandchildren and any others with whom you wish to share. In addition, Campfire provides devotions for children.

Join the conversation: Have you ever caught yourself using someone else’s expectations to measure your success?

The Soul-Magnet

by Sheri Schofield

There’s a rodent haven next to our mountain home. It is a huge pile of boulders that towers forty feet into the sky. Rats, mice, pikas, and squirrels call this huge tower home. I’ve noticed it is very well organized. It even has a bathroom for the community on one side of the tower. The squirrels living in the tower have black tails and are very territorial. In the mornings, one or two of them will climb up a tree and scold every bird or gray squirrel they see. Sometimes, a black-tailed squirrel from another boulder tower will scold back. The neighboring inhabitants scold even louder. I imagine they are saying, “This is MY house. I’m the boss here. Don’t come near my place…or else!”

(Sometimes I stand on the deck and make squirrel scolding noises right back at them. It drives them crazy!)

The gray squirrels live in more modest pile of boulders behind our house. They are gentle and curious. They rarely scold. I can talk to them, and they hesitantly listen for a while, then scamper away.

Two different types of squirrels—two different responses to life. Territorial versus gentle. Domineering versus friendly.

I’ve been reading the book of Judges. They had no ruler, no king. Therefore, each one did what was right in his own eyes. My, what contention! Some group was always battling another group, even in times of national peace. When they forgot God and worshipped Baal, He let invaders dominate them. He delivered Israel time after time, but they quickly forgot God.

In later days, they were not willing to let God be their King. They wanted a man. Even after God gave them a human king, it didn’t satisfy them. Jealousy drove Saul to hunt David. Jealousy and sin divided David’s household. Solomon had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines from the surrounding heathen nations. He built idols to their gods and participated in their evil worship. His later life was totally self-centered, though he began his life well. It resulted in a divided kingdom after he died.

Sin divided people back then. It divides us now. Peace can only exist where Jesus is King of our hearts, and we obey His command to love one another. Tertullian, a first century Christian, tells us the pagans would say this about Christians, “Behold, how they love one another!” It amazed them. The pagans didn’t have any such love, and what they saw among Christians was incredible. Christians were decidedly different!

Do we love one another today? Someone recently described a church this way to me. “They are the nicest, kindest people. But I don’t think the pastor is very deep, and nobody seems to connect the dots too seriously.”

This church has clearly understood Jesus’ command to love one another. They are not arguing among themselves. They are reaching out to others, showing kindness. They are not focused on divisive theology. I’d say they are deep. Very deep. For loving one another is the most miraculous quality of the church.

Once we have learned how to truly love one another, we are better able to understand the rest of Jesus’ teachings and the instructions of the apostles. Love is the foundation upon which we build. After we have learned to love other Christians, we will learn to love the lost. When we love the lost, we have great influence in leading them to Jesus. Few can resist God’s love. It is a soul-magnet.

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing, (1 Corinthians 13:1,2 NIV).

This article brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Sheri Schofield is an award-winning children’s author-illustrator and children’s ministry veteran of 40 years. Sheri was named Writer of the Year in 2018 at the Colorado Christian Writers’ Conference for her work in effectively sharing the gospel of Jesus. Her ministry, Faithwind 4 Kids, can be followed on her blog at her website, http://www.sherischofield.com. Questions welcomed!

FREE CHILDREN’S PROGRAM!
Sherri offers a free series of video lessons about Jesus and His salvation—for children ages 4 and up. It is available at her website www.sherischofield.com. In this video series, Walk-The-Talk Island, Sheri presents her award-winning book The Prince and the Plan, in 24 video lessons for your children, grandchildren and any others with whom you wish to share. In addition, Campfire provides devotions for children.

Join the conversation: In what ways do you show love to your fellow believers?

Solitude Is For The Birds

by Sheri Schofield

I’m getting desperate—I need people! Winter surrounds our home. Three inches of snow cover my car. Ice lies beneath the snow down our long driveway. It is so cold even the bunny is reluctant to come out of his burrow to hunt food. It is quiet up here. VERY QUIET. My husband Tim is a man of solid worth, but he isn’t a talker. Okay, maybe he can find three or four words to string together. But if he could make it two words instead, he’d do it. So, I’m trapped in silence. I cannot escape this mountain solitude until someone plows and sands the driveway.

“Aaagh! Cabin fever! Let me out!” I beg.

“Oh, alright.” Tim sighs, pulls on his boots and heads for the snowplow. My hero.

Solitude is pleasant—in small doses. Tim loves it. He enjoys his computer, working on cars, looking at the view from our mountain retreat and listening to music. But I need more people around me to satisfy my heart. God did not design me to be a recluse. It’s probably because He gave me a spiritual gift of evangelism. So, I headed for town, hoping to further cultivate my friendships with non-Christians.

That day my friend Levi* said, “You know, I’ve got a lot of things I wanted, but they just don’t satisfy me, now that I’ve got them.”

My thoughts went immediately to the Book of Ecclesiastes. “A man who was known for his wisdom wrote about that, Levi. It’s in the Bible, in the Book of Ecclesiastes. You could look it up online. I think you’d identify with what he says and would be interested in his conclusion,” I suggested.

“I’ll look it up,” he said. Levi is usually lonely and withdrawn. But he is opening up a little.

As I walked away, I thought, “No, he will not look it up. Not unless he has a Bible.” So I went to the Christian bookstore and bought him a New Living Translation. It had a special app he could use with his phone if he wanted to know more about it. Guys love apps, I thought. Levi will enjoy this.

I drove back to the gas station where Levi works and handed the Bible to him. His eyes lit up when I mentioned the app. I also gave him a key ring with a leather fob saying, “Jesus cares for you.” Levi was touched and promised to read Ecclesiastes. “After that,” I said, “read Matthew and keep going.”

Ecclesiastes isn’t where I direct most people who are searching for God. But I’ve learned to sail where the Holy Spirit blows. And it worked!

Two days later, Levi thanked me profusely for the Bible. I asked if he had used the app.

“No,” he said. “It’s the WORDS! The WORDS! I never knew what they meant before! It has inspired me to read the whole book!”

Levi was deeply moved emotionally. I could see the Holy Spirit had gripped his heart. God, who wants a huge family in heaven, wants this man to be there.

There will be no solitude in heaven, for God has been gathering people from every nation to be with Him. He will fill us with such joy that we will want to be continually in His presence. Our hearts will finally be fully satisfied, and we will never be lonely again. Heaven is a holy party place!

After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands. And they were shouting with a great roar, “Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne and from the Lamb!” Revelation 7:9-10, NLT

*Not his real name

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

sheri schofield

About the author: Sheri Schofield is an award-winning children’s author-illustrator and children’s ministry veteran of 40 years. Sheri was named Writer of the Year in 2018 at the Colorado Christian Writers’ Conference for her work in effectively sharing the gospel of Jesus. Her ministry, Faithwind 4 Kids, can be followed on her blog at her website, http://www.sherischofield.com. Questions welcomed!

FREE CHILDREN’S PROGRAM! Author/Children’s Bible teacher, Sheri Schofield, offers a free series of video lessons about Jesus and His salvation—for children ages 4 and up. It is available at her website www.sherischofield.com. In this video series, Walk-The-Talk Island, Sheri presents her award-winning book The Prince and the Plan, in 24 video lessons for your children, grandchildren and any others with whom you wish to share. In addition, Campfire provides devotions for children.

Join the Conversation: Have you recently encountered someone searching for God?

The Most Famous Love Words

by Sheri Schofield

The harsh realities of paganism surrounded Ruth in the land of Moab—until the day she met Mahlon, a young Jewish immigrant. Ruth’s people worshipped Chemosh, known as “the destroyer.” Her people offered human sacrifices to Chemosh, usually young children and babies. But when she met Mahlon, Ruth was introduced to the living God, Jehovah, whose laws required love and life, not fear and death. It was revolutionary!

Mahlon and Ruth were soon married. Mahlon’s brother, Chilion, married another Moabite woman named Orpah. But their joy was cut short when Mahlon, Chilion and their father died, leaving behind their three widows. Their mother-in-law Naomi decided to return to her hometown. She urged her daughters-in-law to return to their families. Orpah eventually did.

But Ruth refused to be parted from Naomi. Why would she want to stay in Moab and suffer under the worship of Chemosh? She told her mother-in-law, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God,” (Ruth 1:16 NIV).

Upon their arrival in Bethlehem, Ruth worked in the barley harvest to gather grain to feed Naomi and herself. The people of Bethlehem grew to respect the young widow for her faithfulness to Naomi. Eventually Ruth married a local landowner, Boaz, and provided a son to inherit Mahlon’s land, a son who was laid in Naomi’s lap, to bring joy to the widow.

While Ruth’s words to Naomi are often used in wedding ceremonies between a bride and groom, those words were originally meant to show the devotion of a young woman to her mother-in-law. Ruth became Naomi’s caretaker, her provider. She did it out of love.

Caretakers often support and provide for others who cannot live on their own. Older women care for husbands whose health is failing. Husbands care for wives who are incapacitated in some way. Parents care for handicapped children. Many caretakers work without thanks, for their loved one cannot speak or understand or express words of love. Yet those caretakers give unselfishly day after day, year after year, serving those whom they love.

Most people do not understand or even think about the sorrows of those who have taken up the role of caretaker in their homes. Often, those who give care do so out of an inner strength, upheld by the Holy Spirit. They have learned to stand alone, in God’s strength.

Valentine’s Day is very hard for many caretakers. Do you know anyone who serves in that capacity? Have you considered sending him or her a Valentine this year? How about a card signed by many, letting this lonely worker know they are loved and appreciated?

Let this Valentine’s Day be the beginning of a pattern among us. May the Lord help us seek out and recognize the Ruths who patiently and quietly serve others. Let’s tell them they are loved and treasured. We can lift their spirits with our encouragement. Let this Valentine’s Day go beyond romantic love and touch the servant-hearts of those in need of joy.

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV)

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Award-winning author, illustrator, and Bible teacher Sheri Schofield ministers to children and their families through her ministry, Faithwind 4 Kids. After serving Jesus through children’s ministries and personal evangelism for many years, she understands how to communicate God’s plan of salvation clearly to those who are seeking God.

God? Where Are You?: Answering Your Questions About God and How You Can Find Him by [Sheri Schofield]

Her first book on salvation, The Prince and the Plan, was designed specifically for children. But during COVID, Sheri sensed the need to also provide help for adults. Her new book for adults, God? Where Are You?, tells tells who God is, how we became separated from him, and what he is doing to bring us back to himself through Jesus. At the end of each chapter is a section called “Food For Thought”, which answers questions many unbelievers have, such as—If God is good, why do terrible things happen?—Is anyone too “bad” for God to want to rescue them from sin? This biblically based book is short and easy to read. 

Join the conversation: How can we show love and support for those in a caretaker role?

Cheerful Heart

by Sheri Schofield

My husband Tim and I must be brave and crazy parents: we flew to Alaska to spend Christmas with our daughter and her husband. Burr! As we flew out of Montana—also burr!—we ran into the incoming storm blasting the northwest. The plane shuddered as it climbed. When it turned toward its assigned route, a gust of wind hit it and nearly turned it over. Shrieks sounded throughout the aircraft. Not from me, though. I was too scared to peep. I clutched the arm of my seat and reminded myself that the Lord was with me while the plane bucked wildly.

Suddenly, a woman with a gruff voice shouted, “They didn’t tell me I’d need spurs for this!”

If I hadn’t been so nervous, I would have laughed. As it was, I just held on. However, that humorous shout did ease the tension considerably, and I began to relax.

It looks like this world is headed into another year of struggle and strife. Many people are tense at life’s unpredictable twists and turns. The Bible tells us the world will become more and more treacherous as we near the return of the King. How can we encourage one another during these days of struggle?

Proverbs 17:22 (NIV) tells us, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

We are surrounded by a world of people with crushed spirits, worried about tomorrow, nervous about many things during these turbulent times. We who belong to Jesus have been given the pathway to His peace. The prophet Isaiah wrote, “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in you” (Isaiah 26:3 NIV).

If we can stay focused on Jesus, we can be filled with His peace. If we are filled with His peace, we can be those cheerful hearts that bring good medicine to the souls of others.  We can lighten their loads by caring, by listening, and by covering them—shielding them—with our love. The world is full of people who do not have Jesus’ peace. When they see God’s peace and His love for others shining from our lives, we bring them comfort.

I recently walked into a convenience store just as someone else stormed out. The cashier is a withdrawn young man who shows little emotion. I see him often, as I pick up my daily caffeine at that store. I said, “How’s your day going, Levi? Good? Bad? Somewhere in between?”

He responded with powerful but quiet emotion, “I hate people! They’re always throwing things at you for no reason!” His eyes teared up.

I got it. The customer just before me had verbally abused that young man. I listened to him express his pain. We were alone for just a couple of minutes. I said, “I’m going to pray for you.”

“What?” His mouth dropped open.

“I’m going to pray for you. Now.” I paused. “Father in heaven, Levi has been hurt. Help him to know that you love him unconditionally just the way he is. And heal his heart. In Jesus’ name, Amen.” I smiled and left.

Since then, Levi has started to open his heart a little. He knows I am his friend, that I care about him, and that I belong to Jesus. I have shared Jesus’ love with him. In the storm he was facing, I brought a healing touch of peace. Eventually, he may meet the Author of that peace, as I continue sharing my Savior with him.

You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence. Psalm 16:11 NIV

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Award-winning author, illustrator, and Bible teacher Sheri Schofield ministers to children and their families through her ministry, Faithwind 4 Kids. After serving Jesus through children’s ministries and personal evangelism for many years, she understands how to communicate God’s plan of salvation clearly to those who are seeking God.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rgb72god_-where-are-you_-1.jpeg

Her first book on salvation, The Prince and the Plan, was designed specifically for children. But during COVID, Sheri sensed the need to also provide help for adults. Her new book for adults, God? Where Are You?, tells tells who God is, how we became separated from him, and what he is doing to bring us back to himself through Jesus. At the end of each chapter is a section called “Food For Thought”, which answers questions many unbelievers have, such as—If God is good, why do terrible things happen?—Is anyone too “bad” for God to want to rescue them from sin? This biblically based book is short and easy to read. 

Join the conversation. How do you bring peace to others?

Mary’s Gift

by Sheri Schofield

Jesus was living inside the countdown to Calvary. It was six days until his final Passover celebration on earth. It hadn’t been long since he had raised his friend Lazarus from the dead. To honor Jesus, Lazarus and his two sisters, Martha and Mary, held a feast for him and his disciples. It was their way of saying thank you. The two women served the food and drink while the men ate.

But Mary wanted to do something more for Jesus—something special. She slipped away and found the twelve-ounce jar she’d been saving and brought it into the feast room. Removing its lid, she poured the jar’s contents over Jesus’ feet. A rich perfume filled the air! She knelt down and wiped Jesus’ feet with her hair.

What a lovely, extravagant, intimate gift for Jesus! The perfume was made from nard and was extremely expensive.

Judas Iscariot, the disciple who was a thief and who was about to betray Jesus into the hands of his enemies, protested indignantly. “That perfume cost a year’s wages! You should have sold it and given the money to the poor!” He wasn’t interested in the poor but wished to pocket some of the money.

Jesus turned to Judas. “Leave her alone. She did this in preparation for my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me,” (John 12:7- 8 NLT).

The disciples were still arguing over who would be the greatest in Jesus’ coming kingdom. At a time when they should have understood Jesus was headed for the cross, only Mary had been truly listening. Only Mary saw the specter of the cross looming ahead. Only Mary gave Jesus a gift that showed she understood. Only Mary chose to lift some of the load on Jesus’ heart that day.

Christmas is a time for giving gifts. We share our love for each other in this manner, while we remember Jesus’ first appearance on earth as a tiny baby. But what if we could understand Jesus’ heart? What if we could listen to his thoughts as we think of a gift for him? In light of what he has done for us this past year, what would that gift be?

One morning in children’s church, one of the children put a guitar pic into the offering basket. I asked him about it later. He said, “I wanted to give Jesus something. I made this guitar pic. It is all I have. I want to give it to Jesus.”

This young boy gave Jesus the most precious thing he had. In God’s eyes, it probably far outweighed any other offering given that morning at church. He understood how much Jesus loved him. He wanted to shine his love back to Jesus.

Are we listening to Jesus’ heartbeat this Christmas season? What is he saying to us? What has he been teaching us this year? What gifts can we bring that will tell Jesus we are listening to him? That we love him? Do we have the equivalent of that perfume or that guitar pic to give Jesus on his birthday?

Listen to his heart! His love is extravagant. Is ours?

We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters, 1 John 3:16 (NLT).

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

sheri schofield

About the author: Award-winning author, illustrator, and Bible teacher Sheri Schofield ministers to children and their families through her ministry, Faithwind 4 Kids. After serving Jesus through children’s ministries and personal evangelism for many years, she understands how to communicate God’s plan of salvation clearly to those who are seeking God.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rgb72god_-where-are-you_-1.jpeg

Her first book on salvation, The Prince and the Plan, was designed specifically for children. But during COVID, Sheri sensed the need to also provide help for adults. Her new book for adults, God? Where Are You?, tells tells who God is, how we became separated from him, and what he is doing to bring us back to himself through Jesus. At the end of each chapter is a section called “Food For Thought”, which answers questions many unbelievers have, such as—If God is good, why do terrible things happen?—Is anyone too “bad” for God to want to rescue them from sin? This biblically based book is short and easy to read. 

Join the conversation: What has Jesus been teaching you this year?

New Every Morning

by Sheri Schofield

Make me an altar from stones that are uncut and have not been shaped with iron tools. Joshua 8:31 NLT

“Tim! Drew said his first sentence today!” I exclaimed, as I welcomed my husband home from work.

“What did he say?”

“He said, ‘I wub you, Mommy!’” For a first sentence, that was delightful.

Have you noticed how enthusiastic new Christians can be? God must enjoy them immensely. They are so full of excitement and eager to obey him. It warms my heart and fills me with joy to see this new life taking shape in them, too! Just as I treasured every step my children too, every new word they learned, every hug and every smile, so I enjoy those first steps new believers take.

I have some friends who came to Jesus as a young married couple. They read the New Testament like they were on their first safari, noticing every new thing, delighting in each of the Lord’s commands. They came across the story of John baptizing Jesus. At first, John didn’t want to do it because he felt Jesus should be baptizing him instead. But Jesus told him, “It should be done, for we must carry out all that God requires,” (Matthew 3:15 NLT).

“Oh! We need to be baptized!” my friends concluded. They didn’t know how baptisms were done by churches. All they knew was that John baptized Jesus in the Jordan River. So, they filled their bathtub with water and baptized each other.

Spiritually, they sprouted like seeds in the springtime, flourishing and obeying all they read in the Bible. They read that they were supposed to become part of a group of believers, so they joined our church. What a joy it was to get to know them! They were unshaped by the church culture, willing to let God teach them, eager to follow the Holy Spirit’s leading; willing to be conformed to the life Jesus presented in the Bible.

They were like the stones of the memorial Israel built after crossing the Jordan River—unshaped by the tools of man. Their hearts were sculpted by the Holy Spirit. They were new creations. Paul wrote, “He (Jesus) died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them. So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view…This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun” (2 Corinthians 5:15-17 NLT).

Our new lives in Jesus must be built on one thing: God’s love. We love God. We love each other. We reach out in love to those who do not know God. Yes, God told the Israelites what His love looks like in Exodus 20. There God spelled out how to show our love for him and for each other.

But the Israelites didn’t get it. They became judgmental of each other’s behavior instead of loving. Knowing this, Jesus made it clear. He simplified the instructions. “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples” (John 13:34-36 NLT).

Do not let the world—the hands of others—shape us. Like fresh, new believers, let us allow the Holy Spirit to shape us. Let our love for Him be new every morning.

The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. Lamentations 3:22,23 NLT

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

sheri schofield

About the author: Award-winning author, illustrator, and Bible teacher Sheri Schofield ministers to children and their families through her ministry, Faithwind 4 Kids. After serving Jesus through children’s ministries and personal evangelism for many years, she understands how to communicate God’s plan of salvation clearly to those who are seeking God.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rgb72god_-where-are-you_-1.jpeg

Her first book on salvation, The Prince and the Plan, was designed specifically for children. But during COVID, Sheri sensed the need to also provide help for adults. Her new book for adults, God? Where Are You?, tells tells who God is, how we became separated from him, and what he is doing to bring us back to himself through Jesus. At the end of each chapter is a section called “Food For Thought”, which answers questions many unbelievers have, such as—If God is good, why do terrible things happen?—Is anyone too “bad” for God to want to rescue them from sin? This biblically based book is short and easy to read. 

Join the conversation: Are there things in you that have resulted from the world’s influence? Attitudes or actions, that are not from the Holy Spirit? How can you tell?

When There Is No Why

by Sheri Schofield

“We’re going to go with Papa and Grannie to visit Auntie Pat,” Mama told us.

“Yay!” we yelled, running around, whooping and laughing. We hadn’t seen our cousins in several months.

Friday, we all piled into our grandparent’s station wagon. Donna, my five-year-old sister, Mikey, age six, and I all climbed into the open back area. I was eight. Mama and our baby brother, Davie, sat in the back seat. Our grandparents were in the front.  Dad was working that weekend and was not part of our trip.

It was a fun visit. Each of us had a cousin corresponding to our age with whom we paired off. On the return trip, my grandfather said, “Let’s pray before we drive.” It was our family’s custom to ask for God’s protection before leaving on long trips. A big, harvest moon filled the sky later that evening. All of us children fell asleep while my grandfather drove on through the night.

The next thing I remember was waking up in a hospital. We had been in a horrible accident. My Grandfather, Mama, Donna, and Davie were gone. Mikey was not expected to live. Grannie was badly injured, and the doctors weren’t sure about her, either. My hair was filled with dried blood from head wounds, and my broken arm was taped to my body.

God sent an angel to tell me my missing family members were with Jesus now. He was dressed in a long, white robe. Nobody believed me, but it didn’t matter. I knew the truth and hugged it to my heart. I never asked, “Why?” My loved ones were gone, but they were with Jesus. It was enough for me to know the truth.

Children are like that—accepting of truth, quick to grieve loss without questioning.

Over the years, I have responded to grief like I did as a child. I understand there is no why.In accepting that, there is peace. Yes, there is grieving and remembering those who had gone on ahead of us into eternity. But for the child of God, eternity with Jesus in heaven is a sure thing. I know beyond all doubt because I’ve seen it. In knowing that, there is peace and great strength.

I didn’t stop grieving the loss of my mother until I was thirty-one, when Tim and I lost a child through miscarriage. Suddenly, I was so grateful that Mama was in heaven to welcome our son! Daniel is safe. He is with his grandma.

Jesus once held a child on his knee and said, “Unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven” (Matthew 18:3 NLT).

God intervened in my childhood days and showed me a glimpse of heaven to give me strength and courage. That lesson taught me to accept the losses he allows, without asking why. That is how children respond to a loving Father.

For me, there is no “why”. Loss is deep and painful, yes. But healing comes with acceptance, as surely as morning follows the night, when we trust God absolutely.

God sees our pain. “He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds” (Psalm 147:3 NLT).

Be comforted, my friends. God loves you and will hold you close to his great heart until you enter his presence someday—if you will let him.

“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful,” Revelation 21:4, 5 (NKJV).

This article brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

sheri schofield

About the author: Award-winning author, illustrator, and Bible teacher Sheri Schofield ministers to children and their families through her ministry, Faithwind 4 Kids. After serving Jesus through children’s ministries and personal evangelism for many years, she understands how to communicate God’s plan of salvation clearly to those who are seeking God.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rgb72god_-where-are-you_-1.jpeg

Her first book on salvation, The Prince and the Plan, was designed specifically for children. But during COVID, Sheri sensed the need to also provide help for adults. Her new book for adults, God? Where Are You?, tells tells who God is, how we became separated from him, and what he is doing to bring us back to himself through Jesus. At the end of each chapter is a section called “Food For Thought”, which answers questions many unbelievers have, such as—If God is good, why do terrible things happen?—Is anyone too “bad” for God to want to rescue them from sin? This biblically based book is short and easy to read. 

Join the conversation: When is the last time you asked God Why?

What To Do with an Empty Quiver

by Sheri Schofield

Our church is holding its annual garage sale later this month to raise scholarship funds for our children to participate in camp and mission trips. I figure it is a good time to give away some of the cute dishes I’d stored for when I had grandchildren. I do have grandchildren now, but they live far away and I only see them once or twice a year. They have long outgrown these dishes—serving bowls with duck feet, a painted bumble bee bowl on a spring that makes it bounce, salt and pepper shakers that look like chicks, etcetera. I sigh as I put these in the garage sale, but there is no point in keeping them now.

The Bible tells us that our children are like arrows that fill our quivers. The thing about arrows is that they are not meant to stay in the quiver. They are designed for flight toward a distant target. We never know where the Lord will send our children once we release them.

But what about our now-empty quiver? God never intended us to live with empty quivers! He wants us to continue reproducing our faith in the lives of others.

The Apostle Paul told Timothy, “I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you…You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses, entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others” (2 Timothy 1:5, & 2:1,2, NIV).

Timothy was not Paul’s physical son. He learned of Jesus through his mother and grandmother. He became a spiritual son to Paul (“my true son in the faith” 1 Timothy 1:2) while serving God under Paul’s leadership. Paul instructs Timothy to share with others the things he learned from him, in order to reproduce Christian leaders.

One does not have to be a strong, bold leader to reproduce godly character. The most influential person in my life was an eighty-two-year-old widow who took me into her home after high school every day while I waited for a ride home. She always had a snack for me. Together, we would sit at her table, and she would thank God for His provision before we ate. I used to glance up at her as she prayed, for her face glowed as she spoke with God! I wanted to be like her someday.

I became an arrow in her quiver.

Paul also wrote—”As for you, Titus, promote the kind of living that reflects wholesome teaching. Teach the older men to exercise self-control, to be worthy of respect and to live wisely. They must have sound faith and be filled with love and patience. Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that honors God. They must not slander others or be heavy drinkers. Instead, they should teach others what is good” (Titus 2:1-3 NLT).

While our words can be powerful and guide those under our influence, a living example gives feet to what we teach. They see God through our humility, selfless acts, and loving with no expectation of something in return. By living this way, we inspire others to follow in our steps as we follow Jesus.

We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. Titus 2:12, 13 NLT

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

sheri schofield

About the author: Award-winning author, illustrator, and Bible teacher Sheri Schofield ministers to children and their families through her ministry, Faithwind 4 Kids. After serving Jesus through children’s ministries and personal evangelism for many years, she understands how to communicate God’s plan of salvation clearly to those who are seeking God.

Her first book on salvation, The Prince and the Plan, was designed specifically for children. But during COVID, Sheri sensed the need to also provide help for adults. Her new book for adults, God? Where Are You?, tells tells who God is, how we became separated from him, and what he is doing to bring us back to himself through Jesus. At the end of each chapter is a section called “Food For Thought”, which answers questions many unbelievers have, such as—If God is good, why do terrible things happen?—Is anyone too “bad” for God to want to rescue them from sin? This biblically based book is short and easy to read. 

Join the conversation: Whose spiritual quiver are you in? Are there “spiritual sons and daughters” in yours?