Love Your Neighbor

by Sheri Schofield

Don’t you just hate it when the neighbor’s animals mess up your lawn? Me too. It wouldn’t be so bad if my neighbors had something sensible like a toy poodle or even a beagle. But no—my neighbors have… drum roll… COWS.

The neighbors drove their herd up the mountain about a month ago, much too late in the season to entice the cows to stay there. On the first cold night, the herd trotted back down to our place and began camping out here. Our lawn is now a disaster.

I guess some of the other neighbors are complaining to the owners, because two men from that family came up to our place today and drove the cattle off our lawn. They said, “We’re sorry about the cows, but we can’t do anything about them for another ten days.”

The words “I’m sorry, but—” are meaningless. I would have liked to hear, “I’m sorry. We’ll bring our shovels back and scrape the manure piles off your lawn.” But that won’t happen. So, I have two choices: I can either accept the problem and let it go—clean my own lawn when the cattle are gone—or I can remain upset. I chose to let it go.

On the positive side, I’m learning a lot about driving cattle.

Remember what happened after David killed Goliath? He was chosen to carry King Saul’s armor into battle. That could get dangerous, but it was a respected position. Most evenings, David would play his harp for Saul, so the king could fall asleep at night. Cushy job? Yes. But then Saul became jealous of David and started throwing his javelin at him at totally unpredictable times.

David quit. No job was worth that! He fled into the wilderness to the springs of En-Gedi next to the Dead Sea. Saul hunted for him, but no matter how intense the hunt, he never found David, though he came close at times. Once, when Saul went into a cave to relieve himself, it turned out to be the same cave in which David and his men were hiding. David’s friends urged him to kill Saul.

But David would not. He said, “The LORD forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the LORD’s anointed, or lay my hand on him; for he is the anointed of the LORD,” (1 Samuel 24:6, NIV).

Peter wrote, “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing” (1 Peter 3:9 NIV).

I don’t need to make my neighbors feel bad about their cows. Who is that going to help? If they can’t get the family together to herd the cows for another ten days, that’s just the way it is. I don’t need them to feel bad about it. But God wants my neighbors to know I care about them. So, taking this attitude of acceptance a step further, I think I will bake some chocolate chip cookies for them. Who knows what God might do through a batch of cookies?

Jesus replied: “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like the first…’Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments,” (Matthew 22:37-40, NIV).

This article 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 love your neighbor?

Weird Advice from A Makeup Artist

by Sheri Schofield

Have you ever been to one of those make-up parties, where someone trained in the art chooses a victim—um—I mean a model—to use for a demonstration? I did go to one. Once, when I was young and didn’t know better. I was chosen to be the model. The makeup artist obviously didn’t know me, or she would have chosen someone else.

As she carefully applied the make-up base, she said with great seriousness, “Now we must always stroke in the same direction, from the nose to the edge of the face. We don’t want to confuse those little hair follicles.”

I snorted. What?? Confuse those little hair follicles?? She’s got to be kidding!

“What was that, Sheri?” she asked.

“Oh, nothing,” I replied, trying to keep my facial muscles still and not burst out into hysterical laughter. I was picturing the little hair follicles calling out to each other in panic, “Oh, no! Sheri’s applying makeup again! Hold on for your life! First she tells me to move down. Then she tells me to move up. What? Now she wants me to lay down with my roots pointing at her ear! I wish she would make up her mind! I am so CONFUSED!”

Fortunately, the makeup artist moved on to eyeliner and I had to concentrate on holding very still so she wouldn’t poke me in the eye.

Even now, when applying make-up, I sometimes remember that admonition to not “confuse those little hair follicles,” and end up chuckling. That may explain why my makeup is sometimes a little askew.

Consistency, however, is a good thing. And I don’t mean just about applying makeup. (You can do that however you want!) But consistency is important in raising children or teaching Sunday school, or any other form of leadership. It is important in everyday life. Those who listen to our words need to see consistency in us.

Today, it is far too common for parents and leaders to freely act out and express their emotions rather than keeping a tight rein on them. This was something I have had to seriously battle, for my heart tends to react emotionally to life and my mouth expresses what my heart says. But in my mid twenties, I saw the value of keeping my emotions in check in order to become an effective parent. My protective nature toward my children demanded that I become consistent. I realized my children needed my actions to back up my words about Christian living. I could not say one thing and do another without confusing them.

Consistent demonstration is necessary for building strong believers. God told the prophet Malachi, “For I, the LORD, do not change” (Malachi 3:6 NIV). Paul, the apostle tasked with reaching the non-Jewish people of the world, told the Corinthians, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1 NIV). We also see in Hebrews, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8 NIV).

Consistency marks the mature Christian. It is based on the least talked about fruit of the Holy Spirit: self-control. When we keep our eyes on Jesus, the Holy Spirit gives us the strength to be consistent in setting an example of godliness for others. That way, when we speak about Jesus—as we have been commanded—our words will be believable. There will be nothing inconsistent or confusing about our testimony of faith. In that way, we will draw others to Christ. That is God’s will for us.

We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understand that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way. Colossians 11:9-10 NIV

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: Who is the most consistent person in your life?

How to Receive God’s Blessings

by Sheri Schofield

Last week, while scouting the mountains for new flowers, I spotted white irises growing in the middle of a wetland. Dressed in shorts, a summer shirt, and flip-flops, I’d come prepared to explore and take photos. So I parked the car and headed into the meadow. There was a stream running through the grass. I stepped into it and sank further than I’d expected. I suddenly found myself splashed liberally to the waist with muddy water that looked suspiciously like it was laced with cow manure. Hmm. Oh well, I thought. I have a plastic grocery bag. I can sit on it in the car until I’m finished hunting flowers. Why, I’m just getting started!

Interesting fact: Did you know that cow manure, if not removed from the skin in a timely manner, can cause a rash?

Let me tell you about a group of people who were liberally splashed with a form of spiritual manure which they did not wash off. It was the people of Israel after Moses rescued them from slavery in Egypt. God rescued them from Pharaoh through a spectacular demonstration of his power, sending plagues on Egypt until they released Israel from bondage. Shortly after their release, Pharaoh chased after them with his army, corralling them at the Red Sea.

The Israelis were terrified. “Moses! Why did you bring us out here to die? We could have stayed in Egypt and lived!” they complained.

But God had a plan. He divided the Red Sea, dried the earth with a wind, and had Moses lead them across to safety. When Pharaoh’s army chased after them, God brought the waters down on the Egyptian warriors in a spectacular crash and destroyed them.

You would think this would make a seriously gigantic impression on the Israelites! It did. For three whole days. Then they came to water in the desert, only to find it was bitter. Again, they whined and complained against Moses. Moses said, “You are complaining against God, not me.” God used Moses to miraculously fix the water, so they could drink it.

But the complaining was not over. It lasted forty days, all the way to Canaan, the land God had promised them. Moses sent spies into the land, and they came back with reports of great abundance. But there were also giants in the land, and they advised Israel not to try to enter; all except Caleb and Joshua, the spies who called on Israel to believe God.

Response? The Israelis tried to stone Moses and Aaron! God responded to their refusal to trust Him by making Israel wander in the wilderness for forty years until every adult from that generation, except for Caleb and Joshua were dead.*

Paul wrote, “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:19-23 NIV).

“Dissensions” and “factions” are synonyms for complaining, both against God and each other. A complaining spirit is a pollutant, like cow manure. It is a spirit of slavery. A spirit of trust will bring God’s blessings to our lives and wellness to our souls.

Hold onto the wonderful gifts God gives through the Holy Spirit! We must guard our hearts against complaining, and take a warning from Israel’s failure. Hold onto God’s joy!

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. Psalm 28:7 NIV

*These stories can be found in Exodus 4-15 and Numbers 13 & 14.

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: What spiritual pollutant do you need to wash off?

The Prayer of Faith

by Sheri Schofield

There was snow on the ground when some big, husky men showed up with chain saws to cut trees for firewood. A long, cold winter was coming, and most of them had wood stoves for heating their homes. For an hour they worked steadily away, sawing the trees, sweat rolling off their foreheads. Finally one of the men said, “This is really hard work. I don’t know if I’ll get enough wood today to last through the winter.”

The men straightened up and stood looking at the small pile of logs they had cut. Then one man hesitantly said, “It might be easier if we turned on our chain saws.”

Hm. You don’t believe that? Okay. But how about this—You go to church every week and kind of listen to the sermon. You wish the lost people in town would get saved. Or maybe you have just finished teaching a Sunday school class, but the kids were rowdy and you couldn’t seem to get anywhere with them. You’re frustrated and distracted. You lose interest in the sermon and start making your grocery list.

(Warning: DO NOT LET YOUR PASTOR SEE THAT GROCERY LIST! He may be equally frustrated. He works long hours and sees few people come to the Lord or overcome their problems. The evidence of your inattention might be the last straw for him!)

There is no difference between what the woodcutters were doing and the behavior of most Christians in America today. Like the woodcutters, many Christians are attempting to serve God in some way, but they have forgotten to turn on the power. They don’t even know where the power switch is. Something is very wrong.

Time and again when Jesus performed miracles, he spoke of people’s faith healing them. He told us to pray—in faith—until God answers our prayers. He told us to pray and never, ever give up.

The prayer of faith is the power switch for reaching people for Jesus, for in fervent prayer we connect with God, the Source of all power. What is the prayer of faith? It begins with a heart of absolute trust in God.

One year, my husband was very ill. He could not work, and he could not be left alone. With a husband, two children and no income, the responsibility for support fell on my shoulders. I chose to pray. Three nights a week after my family was in bed, I drove over to the church and prayed for two or three hours. Mostly, my prayer was simply a cry for help, for healing for my husband. I poured out my heart to God, and he poured his presence into me, with peace and instructions. I held onto God like a child holds onto its mother’s hand, desperately refusing to let go.

This went on for eight months. During that time, I sometimes received letters from distant friends saying, “God told me to send this to you.” It would be a check that covered our expenses. God gradually put my husband back on his feet so he could work. That in itself was a miracle. Better still, our children grew in faith and became strong Christians as a result of my dependence upon God. My relationship with God has grown from there, and I have learned the secret of his presence in my life. He is the Power Source of all I do.

Have you been working hard and seeing few results? Could it be time for you to turn on the power switch and watch God roar into action?

The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.  James 5:16 NIV

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. She was named Arise Daily Writer of the Year in 2020, and Writer of the Year in 2018 at the Colorado Christian Writers’ Conference for her work in effectively sharing the gospel of Jesus. Sheri also writes devotions for children at her website: www.sherischofield.com in “Campfire”, and is in the process of developing a children’s program on her YouTube site. Questions welcomed!

Read Sheri and her husband’s amazing story in One Step Ahead of the Devil: A Powerful Love Story. Thrust into national politics because of her husband’s work, Lissa McCloud struggles to save the life of the man she loves from those who are bent on his destruction. Based on true events, the reader is taken deep into the heart of national politics –all the way to Congress and the President of the United States.

Join the conversation: Has God infused you with power? Please share!

Lord Of Our Dreams

by Sheri Schofield

My husband Tim and I had a dream: We wanted to become missionaries overseas. We had wanted it since I was four and he was seven years old. We both grew up watching old movies that showed missionaries in pith helmets moving across deserts and through jungles. It looked exciting!

Preparation for that work, however, took a very long time. I went to Bible school and college. Tim went to college, which was when we met and married. Then Tim tackled medical school—on a military scholarship, which meant he was required to serve three years after residency in the military. We were in our mid-thirties by the time we were ready to begin anything in missions. We chose Panama. Tim would apply for a post in the military hospital, and I planned work with the missionaries in Panama City, where we hoped to live.

One day, Tim came home with a surprise. He walked into the house carrying a big bag. Our two children and I crowded around to see what he had brought home. Tim pulled four pith helmets out, put one on each of our heads, and solemnly said, “We’re going to be missionaries now.”

Tim grinned while I dissolved into laughter in his arms. The children, who had never seen those old missionary movies, were totally bewildered by our laughter. Tim said, “We’re going to Panama.”

A little over a year into our work there, we faced great devastation and had to die to our dream. God had another plan. He sent us in a direction we would never have chosen: politics. He put us there to open a door to free others from injustice. Afterward, God brought us to Montana. He said, “I have prepared a place for you here. Be at peace. Stay.” Now we serve God in this unexpected destination.

Joseph had two dreams, visions from God that indicated Joseph would one day rule his family. But he was only seventeen at the time. God had to prepare him. How? Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery in Egypt. In the land of his captivity, he rose to prominence as a manager. But his owner’s wife lied about him and got Joseph thrown into prison. There in prison, God again blessed Joseph, and he was given authority to work among the other prisoners. God gave Joseph the ability to interpret dreams, but those whom Joseph served did not speak up for him when they were freed. 

If Joseph had taken his eyes off God, he would have become bitter. But he did not. He kept focused. He kept on trusting. Eventually, Pharaoh had a dream and needed an interpreter. He learned of Joseph and called him in for a consultation. Joseph told of impending famine and counseled storing grain in preparation for it. Pharaoh made Joseph second in command of all Egypt. When Joseph’s brothers went to Egypt for food, the vision God had given him years before was fulfilled. The brothers all bowed to him, for Joseph was the man in authority. (See Genesis 37- 47.)

Sometimes God plants a vision in our hearts, a dream that does not go away, a finger pointing in a direction we are to follow. He does not show us more than the first step, for we might grow weary at the long road ahead. Yet in the end, the dream God gives is amazing. We can trust God to accomplish his purposes … if we keep our eyes on him.

God is faithful. He has a plan. He is Lord of our dreams.

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” Isaiah 6:8 (NIV)


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. She was named Arise Daily Writer of the Year in 2020, and Writer of the Year in 2018 at the Colorado Christian Writers’ Conference for her work in effectively sharing the gospel of Jesus. Sheri also writes devotions for children at her website: www.sherischofield.com in “Campfire”, and is in the process of developing a children’s program on her YouTube site. Questions welcomed!

Read Sheri and her husband’s amazing story in One Step Ahead of the Devil: A Powerful Love Story. Thrust into national politics because of her husband’s work, Lissa McCloud struggles to save the life of the man she loves from those who are bent on his destruction. Based on true events, the reader is taken deep into the heart of national politics –all the way to Congress and the President of the United States.

Join the conversation: Has God ever given you something different than what you dreamed He would? How did that turn out for you?

Fear No Evil

by Sheri Schofield

Snow and ice covered Montana. It was 40 degrees below zero when my plane took off and headed for Texas two years ago this March. From there, our mission team traveled by van into the Sierra Madres of Mexico. Only a few months earlier, the cartel had killed a large number of American women and children on the other side of the mountains from our destination. It was not a safe time to be traveling in that region.

Toward the end of that week, the pastors and I led seminars for the Mexican pastors and their wives in Pena Blanca, a small town. While I taught the wives a class on multisensory teaching, our pastors conducted educational classes for the Mexican pastors.

That Friday, as I was teaching, I heard a big boom followed by what sounded like fireworks. A few blocks away, La Lenia drug cartel had blown up a state trooper car containing three troopers. The “fireworks” were machine guns. The battle raged back and forth between other troopers and La Linea cartel throughout the day, sometimes coming as close as a block away from us.

When the noise became too loud, I would pause until it passed. There were adobe walls between the battle and us, but it was still dangerous. However, I did not feel afraid. I had a strong sense the Lord was with us.

Saturday night, our pastor asked for volunteers to go with him on Sunday to a church located on the other side of La Linea’s territory, where Sinaloa cartel operated. I knew we would be stopped by the cartel on one or both sides of the line. Only two young men reluctantly volunteered. Neither of them knew Spanish, nor did my pastor. I did not volunteer that night, though I did speak some Spanish. I wanted to pray about it first and find out what God wanted. Sure enough, God said, “Go with them.”

I did. Our trip to the next town was uneventful. But on our way back, we were stopped by about fifteen machine-gun toting cartel members. They wanted to know who we were and where we were going.

Pastor simply said, “No Espanol. Iglesia?” (“No Spanish. Church?”) I remained silent. If needed, I was available, but I would wait to be asked. The cartel checked the VIN on our car then let us go.

At no time was I even a tiny bit afraid. Why?

First, I have been face-to-face with death a few times, and I found that Jesus was there. Live or die, to be with Jesus is to be at peace.

Second, I knew that God had sent me on this mission trip to help those Mexican church leaders. Being in the center of His will is always the best place to be.

David knew this same peace. He wrote about it in Psalm 23:4. “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me” (KJV).

The times in which we are living are filled with anxiety and fear as we battle a pandemic and job losses. As I write, a record-breaking snowstorm has hit the United States, creating more stress. Isolation. Loneliness. Fear. Financial insecurity. These are the enemies we face—Satan’s cartel.

How do we cope? We don’t look at the enemy—We look at Jesus. He is with us. We can trust Him completely.

Whatever else God is doing, He is certainly getting our nation’s attention. Maybe He will send revival! Wouldn’t that be a great outcome?

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Psalm 91:1 NIV

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. She was named Arise Daily Writer of the Year in 2020, and Writer of the Year in 2018 at the Colorado Christian Writers’ Conference for her work in effectively sharing the gospel of Jesus. Sheri also writes devotions for children at her website: www.sherischofield.com in “Campfire”, and is in the process of developing a children’s program on her YouTube site. Questions welcomed!

Read Sheri and her husband’s amazing story in One Step Ahead of the Devil: A Powerful Love Story. Thrust into national politics because of her husband’s work, Lissa McCloud struggles to save the life of the man she loves from those who are bent on his destruction. Based on true events, the reader is taken deep into the heart of national politics –all the way to Congress and the President of the United States.

Join the conversation: Have you had to trust the Lord in a dangerous situation?

It’s Time To Be The Church

by Sheri Schofield

People from all over the city have been hiking our mountain trails, having paintball parties, and hunting meat for their freezers this year. With the pandemic in full swing, there has been little else to do except recreate in the mountains, maintaining social distancing when approaching others on the trails. With the increase in human presence, the deer and the elk have disappeared from our mountainside. They have fled to safety elsewhere.

But in the meadow below, the field mice, ground squirrels, and the bunnies have remained, undeterred by the tromp of boots or the sound of rifles. They shelter together in their dens and nests. They have endured. They are peacefully abiding in what is a time of great stress for the other wildlife.

People around the planet are struggling. COVID, intertribal fighting, famines caused by drought and locusts, loss of jobs, and the disruption of the food supply, has brought many people to the point of desperation. The World Food Program alone reports that 270-million people are going hungry in countries where they are serving. They are able to help only 130-million with their program. Rebel groups are recruiting people with the promise of food in exchange for fighting.[1] Christians around the world are suffering.

In times like these, it would be easy to panic or flee to safety. The problem is, the whole world is affected. There is nowhere to go. What can we do to endure this crisis on planet earth?

The past holds the key. When we look back to the World Wars, when over 65 million husbands, sons and fathers marched off to war, we read of communities coming together for prayer meetings. They sang songs like, “O God, Our Help In Ages Past” to keep up their courage. They helped each other.

With social distancing, it is hard to get together for prayer meetings or singing. Unless … remember Zoom? Remember Face Time? We can still meet, pray, and sing together, with help from our social media tools.

In these difficult times, we need each other! We need to interact and remind each other of our great God, who keeps our souls safe during the stormy blast. God has provided us the tools to meet, whether by phone or by computer. If ever we needed to abide together in our safe place with God, it is now.

During the early days of the church, when persecution drove the believers underground for safety, the writer of Hebrews wrote: “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another…” (Hebrews 10:25, NLT).

Let 2021 be a time when the church abides together in God, making use of whatever means we have been given, to communicate, love, lift, and support. Is anyone sick, unable to work, or has had their business closed down? Those of us who have enough must reach out in love and help them. Is someone alone? Discouraged? Imagine what a phone call could do to lift them up! And of course, there’s email. Or how about the old-fashioned, written note of encouragement, sent by snail mail?

If ever the church needed to be the church, it is now. Let us turn the Holy Spirit loose among us and see what God can do through us! This could be the greatest time of revival in decades … if we reach out to each other… and to the lost … with words of hope and love, with deeds of kindness and support.

Church, it is time: BE the light of Jesus to your world.

Our people must learn to do good by meeting the urgent needs of others; then they will not be unproductive. Titus 3:14 NLT


[1] https://www.time.com ‘2021 Is Going To Be Catastrophic’, by Joseph Hincks, December 9, 2020

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. She was named Arise Daily Writer of the Year in 2020, and Writer of the Year in 2018 at the Colorado Christian Writers’ Conference for her work in effectively sharing the gospel of Jesus. Sheri also writes devotions for children at her website: www.sherischofield.com in “Campfire”, and is in the process of developing a children’s program on her YouTube site. Questions welcomed!

Read Sheri and her husband’s amazing story in One Step Ahead of the Devil: A Powerful Love Story. Thrust into national politics because of her husband’s work, Lissa McCloud struggles to save the life of the man she loves from those who are bent on his destruction. Based on true events, the reader is taken deep into the heart of national politics –all the way to Congress and the President of the United States.

Join the conversation: How have you responded to God’s call in this pandemic crisis?

Living In Victory

by Sheri Schofield

Snow fell unexpectedly here in Montana’s Rocky Mountains. It was over a foot deep at our house and very wet. Then came a freezing rain and rapidly dropping temperatures during the night. The next morning as I worked around the house, I could hear the sound of great bundles of ice-covered snow falling from the trees. Many of the trees’ branches were broken under the excessive weight, and some trees in our forest fell. The burden was crushing.

Sometimes the enemy of our souls drops a crushing burden on our hearts, much like that heavy snowfall. How do we get through such times, when our hearts are broken?

Many push God away, angry that he has allowed such suffering. They ask, “If God is good, how could he allow this?”

We tend to forget that we are living in a world still ruled by Satan. The Bible calls him “the god of this world”. The Apostle Paul wrote: “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers” (2 Corinthians 4:4 NIV).

But you thought that when Jesus paid the price for our sins at Calvary, he defeated Satan! So why then do we still suffer under Satan’s rule? Why does the devil still have the power to hurt us? Where is the freedom from our enemy?

Yes, Christ defeated Satan at Calvary. But this deliverance works a lot like an election. In the United States, the votes are cast in November, but the new officials do not take office until the middle of January. Those who were defeated still rule until the new leaders are sworn in to office.

In the same way, Satan has been defeated, but he has not yet lost his position. He can still kill, steal and destroy— for Jesus has not yet returned to earth to claim his kingdom. However, while we await Jesus, we have been given the Holy Spirit to help us combat the devil. Our King Jesus has given us a great weapon, power in prayer, to overcome the devil’s works. We may not always stop our enemy if he takes us by surprise, but many times we are able to reverse his injuries and intentions by the power of prayer. It is our greatest weapon. Through prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit, we bring God’s might against the evils of this world and the devil.

But there is a day coming when heaven will declare, “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down” (Revelation 12:10 NIV).

Are you struggling with a crushing burden? Remember that you are part of an army! You have a team of other believers! Call your Christian friends and have them do battle for you in prayer! We are not to fight the enemy alone.

If you are not struggling at the moment, remember that you have brothers and sisters who are. Let’s not let them down by neglecting to pray for them in this time between Calvary and the return of Jesus! Let us hold each other up so that the great burdens we sometimes have to bear do not crush us. In this way, we can live in victory.

Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12 NIV.

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. She was named Arise Daily Writer of the Year in 2020, and Writer of the Year in 2018 at the Colorado Christian Writers’ Conference for her work in effectively sharing the gospel of Jesus. Sheri also writes devotions for children at her website: www.sherischofield.com in “Campfire”, and is in the process of developing a children’s program on her YouTube site. Questions welcomed!

Read Sheri and her husband’s amazing story in One Step Ahead of the Devil: A Powerful Love Story. Thrust into national politics because of her husband’s work, Lissa McCloud struggles to save the life of the man she loves from those who are bent on his destruction. Based on true events, the reader is taken deep into the heart of national politics –all the way to Congress and the President of the United States.

Join the conversation: Are you shouldering a burden that we can pray about on your behalf? Please share!

Pass The Salt, Please!

by Sheri Schofield

Winter has come to Montana, along with its ice and snow. It’s time to start putting Ice Melt on the slippery patches between the back door and the car so that nobody will fall going in and out. I’ve been avoiding putting it on the steps, though. The edges of the steps are already chewed into rounded shapes because the bunnies, mice, skunks, and deer love the salty flavor! It is a great temptation for them, much like chocolate is for me.

With January snows approaching, I know I will see many little paw prints and hoof marks clustered around the back steps every morning. The animals usually eat breakfast before daylight then return to their cozy dens and lairs for naps. Except for Mopsy the bunny. She runs laps on the snow-covered lawn after breakfast. I steadfastly refuse to find a lesson in that for me!

The creatures of the forest find the salty Ice Melt irresistible. It’s as welcome as an ice cream truck coming down the road. Jesus said that we are the salt of the earth. We are to be irresistible, too! I’ve been looking for ways to be salt in the lives of those I meet.

The pandemic and its limiting of contacts has narrowed my outreach. But there are store clerks that I see often. I’ve heard some of them say that customers have become more gruff and harsh now that they are hiding behind masks.

I’ve made it a habit over the years of learning the names of each clerk at every store I enter. At the counter, I ask about their lives briefly, and I remember what they say. The next time I see them, I ask about what they said before. Sometimes we talk about faith, too. This is one way I can be salt in my world during this time of great separation and isolation.

In Luke 10:25-37, Jesus told a parable about a man who was traveling. Bandits attacked him, took all his clothes and possessions, and beat him up and nearly dead. The man lay bruised and broken alongside the road. A priest walking down the road, saw the man … and crossed the road to the opposite side. Next, a Levite, someone who worked in the temple, chanced to walk by. He saw the wounded man, pulled his cloak closer around him, and scurried by as well.

Finally, a Samaritan came down the road. (The Samaritans were despised by the people to whom Jesus was speaking.) But the Samaritan stopped when he saw the wounded man. He showed compassion. He cleaned and anointed the victim’s wounds, helped the man onto his own donkey, and took him to an inn, where he cared for the man. The next day, the Samaritan gave some money to the innkeeper for his continued care for the wounded traveler. He agreed to pay any cost necessary to help the man. Then he went on his way, promising to return.

The Samaritan was an example of the salt of which Jesus spoke.

In the coming year, I am asking Jesus to show me new ways to be salt to those around me. Where will there be wounded souls along my path? How can I help them? How can I touch their hearts with Jesus’ love? During this time of great trial, how can I lift up those whose pathways I cross?

Pass the salt, please! I want to flavor my world with love!

Then [Jesus] said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.” Matthew 9:37, NIV

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. She was named Arise Daily Writer of the Year in 2020, and Writer of the Year in 2018 at the Colorado Christian Writers’ Conference for her work in effectively sharing the gospel of Jesus. Sheri also writes devotions for children at her website: www.sherischofield.com in “Campfire”, and is in the process of developing a children’s program on her YouTube site. Questions welcomed!

Read Sheri and her husband’s amazing story in One Step Ahead of the Devil: A Powerful Love Story. Thrust into national politics because of her husband’s work, Lissa McCloud struggles to save the life of the man she loves from those who are bent on his destruction. Based on true events, the reader is taken deep into the heart of national politics –all the way to Congress and the President of the United States.

Join the conversation: How are you flavoring the world with love?

Living On The Cutting Edge

by Sheri Schofield

The road leading toward our home in the mountains crosses a cattle grid that makes a huge, clanging noise whenever a car drives over it. For the past month, I have noticed two teenage ground squirrels perched on the long metal bars. I know they are teenagers not only because they are only half-grown, but also because of their behavior. As I approach the grid, I slow down and try to dodge them. They can hear and see me coming, but they stay on top of the bars until just before my tires touch the metal, then they duck at the very last second.

I get it now: these teenage ground squirrels are adrenaline junkies! They want to live on the edge and feel the thrill of near-death experiences! They love the feel of all that metal clanging and shaking around them! For them, it’s like going to the circus and riding the hammer or the roller coaster, or trying to ride a bull at the rodeo.

King Saul’s son, Jonathan, was like that. He loved living on the edge, out where he took his faith to the limits in win-or-die-trying situations.

The Philistines, constant enemies of Israel, had been raiding the land, robbing people of food, livestock and possessions. Jonathan couldn’t stand it! He and his troops attacked them. But that just stirred the Philistines up even more, and the problem just got worse. All Israel was frightened. Many fled to the mountains and hid in caves, and King Saul, Jonathan’s dad, was distinctly upset about his son’s actions.

But Jonathan learned that the Philistines were camped at Michmash. He told his armor-bearer to go with him to spy on the Philistine camp and see what God might do. “Perhaps the LORD will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the LORD from saving, whether by many or by few” (1 Samuel 14:6b NIV).

“Do all that you have in mind,” his armor-bearer said. “Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul” (1 Samuel 14:6-7 NIV).

Jonathan said, “Come on, then; we will cross over toward them and let them see us. If they say to us, ‘Wait there until we come to you,’ we will stay where we are and not go up to them. But if they say, ‘Come up to us,’ we will climb up, because that will be our sign that the LORD has given them into our hands” (I Samuel 14:6-10 NIV).

When they arrived, the Philistines mocked them and told them to come up. So Jonathan and his armor-bearer did. The two men immediately killed twenty Philistines! Then God sent a panic that filled the entire Philistine army. They all fled!

I once stood as Jonathan did, in imminent danger, looking at an impossible battle, but knowing that God could give me victory. Should I or should I not fight? I remembered that D. L. Moody had once said, “The world has yet to see what God can do with a man fully consecrated to Him.”

I echoed that thought and said aloud, “The world has yet to see what God can do through the woman who is sold out to Him.” I moved forward into battle . . . against an enemy no one had ever beaten . . . and God gave me an incredible victory. My actions resulted in a new law that now protects many others.

If you are facing an impossible battle, know this: God gives victory to those who step forward in faith and trust Him. Take your faith to the limits! See what God will do!

This is what the LORD says to you, “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours but God’s.”      2 Chronicles 20:15 NIV

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

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Living On The Cutting Edge – encouragement from Sheri Scholfield on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

sheri schofield

About the author: Sheri Schofield is an award-winning children’s author-illustrator. She was named Arise Daily Writer of the Year in 2020, and Writer of the Year in 2018 at the Colorado Christian Writers’ Conference for her work in effectively sharing the gospel of Jesus. Sheri also writes devotions for children at her website: www.sherischofield.com in “Campfire”, and is in the process of developing a children’s program on her YouTube site. Questions welcomed!

Read Sheri and her husband’s amazing story in One Step Ahead of the Devil: A Powerful Love Story. Thrust into national politics because of her husband’s work, Lissa McCloud struggles to save the life of the man she loves from those who are bent on his destruction. Based on true events, the reader is taken deep into the heart of national politics –all the way to Congress and the President of the United States.

Join the conversation: Have you ever faced an impossible battle? What happened?