I’ve Been Bitten By The ME!

ME Has MY Eyes!

ME is an epidemic that’s worldwide.  At first, the ME bug is sweet and gives the infected that warm and fuzzy feeling all over, but it soon turns to bitterness and the pain of its bite runs deep.

Perhaps if decisions were made by “us” in place of “me”, relationships would be long-lasting in the home and in the congregations.  It seems our world is more concerned with the feel good moments than it is for truth and walking in it.  We think only of right now but give little regard to the tomorrows.  Abundant life is not about exotic and intoxicating feelings, though those can be a healthy result at times, it’s about the lasting joy that comes when truth reigns and love conquers through the sunshine and through the storms.  ME cannot weather the storms.  ME is more likely to cause them.

We can’t find anything of lasting value if we live with a drive-through mentality.  No give-me-nows will stand the test of time, only those who choose the fight-for-us will last.

How bad has the ME bug spread across our world?  Well, how many of you just thought about the other person, friend, family member, or spouse, that need to read this?  After all, it would make your life easier if they would.

We all have the ME virus influencing our thoughts, but we don’t have to let it mutate.  We can take the vaccination called “US”.  However, there is a disclaimer: Before you take US, be sure you want the lasting impact it may have.  US is a synonym for “Together-Tomorrow”.  If Together-Tomorrow is the result you’re looking for, then US is certainly for you.

There are a couple of side effects with the US vaccination.  The short-term side effects can cause a little discomfort throughout the body as the ME is isolate and US breaks down the unhealthy composites that ME built as connection barriers. Connection barriers stop the flow of healthy thoughts and eventually cut off circulation to the heart, causing a hardening. This hardening is completely reversible.  The long-term side effects of the US vaccine are a healthy mind and intimate connections with others.  Always remember, US is not a give-me-now drive-through, US is a fight-for-us journey.  Give the US vaccine time to work

There is one more thing you need to know before taking US, it must be taken daily and its healing properties only work in the congregations after it has been administered in the home first.

ME may have MY eyes, but it doesn’t have to have my heart. 

~ Shannan

~ Keep us in mind in every decision. ~

The Battle Is On! I’m Heading To South Carolina This Weekend!

There Needs To Be A New Sheriff In Town!

I am headed back to South Carolina this weekend to endorse Brian Adams for sheriff, and to finally tell what really happened in Berkeley County when my husband was killed.  I appreciate all who will be praying for me and for the people of Berkeley County.  You will find all the details in the attached link below.  Come out and see me if you are in the area on Sunday.

“A Battle Is On” but the battle belongs to God.

For the Lord will vindicate His people, and will have compassion on His servants.” – Deut. 32:36a

http://www.brianadamsforberkeleysheriff.com/shannan-parker-endorses-brian-adams-for-sheriff

“Cursed is anyone who withholds justice from the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow.” – Deut. 27:19

All For The Glory of God!

“Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” – Esther 4:14

~Shannan Parker, A Voice For Truth.

Be sure to subscribe to my blog for further updates and thoughts.  Come share this journey called life with me!

Why Not So Happily Ever After?

Not So Happily Ever After

 

“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never fails…” 1 Cor. 13:4-8a

When in a dating relationship, we’re quick to fight hard for the other person, for their happiness and well-being.  We’re conscious about being kind, polite, patient, and we give of ourselves until exhaustion forces us to surrender to our pillow for a full nights rest.  We think good thoughts, dream good thoughts, and speak good thoughts over the other person as we believe in them, hope in them, and endure with them.  “There Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” that will keep us from trying to make sure the other person is happy.

“I Do!”

After the wedding, we often shift from a selfless servanthood attitude to a selfish mentality that’s more demanding.  With all their imperfections, we longed for their time, their attention, and their love, before a commitment was made, only to allow our spouse’s imperfections to dictate our level of love after the wedding.  What happens to grace after the honeymoon?

Back to real life!

The awesome and the ugly things of life were present before the week on the pink sandy beach, so why are we surprised when both the good and bad continue after?  Real life with our jobs, family, friends, and hobbies was happening before the wedding too.  So are those more beautiful than ever sunrises and sunsets that we enjoyed through the eyes of new love.  They’re still happening, even when work resumes, when the babies come, and when the in-laws show up.  So, why do we stop enjoying time with the one we pledged our heart to?  When does the shift from selfless to selfish happen, and why?  When is it that we decide not to be each other’s hero anymore?  It’s as if we can no longer be best friends once we take on the title of husband, or wife.

It happens to all of us.

Step by step, one accusing thought leads to another, and so begins the dialog in our mind.  Instead of taking the thoughts captive, we feed the attacking whispers until they grow from an accusation to a guilty verdict before the other person knows they’re even on trial.

I don't remember you looking this way before the wedding, and you smell funny!

I don’t remember you looking this way before the wedding!?!?

AND YOU SMELL FUNNY!

The rose-colored glasses get traded, not for glasses that give us clearer vision, but for ones that distort with a darkened cloud of the “What about Me?” syndrome.  The more we listen to the whispers, the more our eyes get clouded by lies.  Little by little we begin to close our heart off to the one we said we would love for a lifetime–for better or for worse.  Did we really mean, “For as long as you make me happy.”?

Could it be that we’re placing an unrealistic expectation on another person to ensure our own happiness?  That’s a lot of pressure to demand from another imperfect human being.  If we’re willing to be honest, we have to admit that we ourselves can’t even live up to some of the expectations that we demand from others.

I think unmet expectations contribute to a lot.  We build a fantasy world in our mind about what life will and should be, and then we choose to live there instead of in reality.  After all, we always get to be right in our personal fantasy land.  Getting real with ourself will most-likely be the first unmet expectation that will disappoint us the most.  It’s easier to look through a microscope at someone else than to look into a mirror.  If only we could step into the messiness of reality by surrendering selfishness to embrace the adventure of living life together–with our own spouse.  If only we could find the enormous amount of courage that it takes to lay down the facade of our internal world and allow ourselves to be exposed for who we really are, a work in progress with equal amounts of imperfections as the other person.  Only then can we truly live in the land of “Happily Ever After” with the one we chose to partner our life with.

If they really knew me.

I also believe that many of us are fearful, not so much to love another person, as much as we fear being vulnerable to being loved.  The fear of letting someone get so intimately close that they can peer into our deepest thoughts and emotions scare us.  Many of us can’t accept ourself.  That leaves us fearful that no one else could either if we truly let them see us.  “I struggle with acknowledging my own shortcomings to myself, so how in the world could anyone else truly love me if they find out about…(fill in the blank)?”  We wrestle!  “If people really knew the thoughts I had to take captive, the things I get impatient over, and the things I’ve done in my past, they would never want me.”  Fear causes us to lock up our heart.  It causes us to demand the position of control.  Fear is a deadly enemy of trust and is a dark smoke-screen to truth.  Sadly, there are many marriages that exist only in the smoke.  They never come to know the freedom of living in the light of truth and trust.

When fear screams at us to run and hide, to push others away or control the boundary lines of how close they can get, let’s remember that it is satan that is the accuser of the brethren.  He not only accuses others but he is also the one who is reminding us of our own past mistakes and shining the spotlight on our own personal flaws.  This is the very moment we need to draw strength from God to face our past.  Remember, Jesus has already redeemed it.  Once we can accept God’s love and forgiveness, we will be free to acknowledge the areas we are still needing to grow, and grow we will, like a flower fully exposed to the sun.  If the accuser can’t get us to self-loath, then he will do his best to blind us to what others do for us by shining a spotlight on what they don’t do.  But, if we can come out of hiding from ourself, then we won’t be so quick to push others away as they work through their own imperfections and fears.  Grace can abound after the preacher pronounces two people “Husband and Wife”, and Ever After can be happy.

Happily Ever After starts today.

In the middle of the dishes, the house repairs, the screaming babies, and the hard to please bosses, we can choose to find the beauty of real life.  Sure, life gets hard, but in the hardships let’s not fail to see the truth.  We are a part of a great adventure.  We are laying a legacy for future generations.  Our actions and reactions today can cause a ripple effect that will last for many lifetimes to come.  Today, I can choose to love all the wonders that are before me – today – or I can slip away into my internal world and live a lifetime of lies.  If we live too long affected by the “What about me?” syndrome, we will die never knowing the elation of true intimacy–to know and be known.  The legacy we pass on will be a cloud of fearful smoke.

The choice is mine.  I can leave a legacy of love and commitment, or one of selfish ambition and deceit.

Married or single, let’s thank God for His love and for teaching us to surrender to Him.  If we can open our heart to God and allow Him to love us intimately, we’re more likely to love deeply and have the ability to receive love when it’s offered.

You never know when your part of this adventure will end, so purpose to take some time during the next sunset to reminisce about the day’s crazy adventure.  Give thanks for the one God allowed you to walk this journey with, as imperfect as you are.

God’s mercies are new every morning, so let ours be also.

~Shannan

Purpose to be each other’s happiness, then you can live Happily Ever After in both the awesome and the ugly things of life.

Unaware of His Awareness

Presence

Could it be that God’s delay is His compassion to help us understand the reality that He understands our heartache?  If He answers with His promised answer too fast, we may remain unaware of His awareness of our human questioning hearts.  He understands when we cry out “My God, why have You forsaken me.”  We may feel He is absent in our seasons of pain, but our feelings do not make His presence any less existent.

So often I feel God stands too far removed to see or care about what pains me, but truth is for me like truth was for Jesus.  God never leaves.  God never forsakes.  God is always present and always unfolds His victories in our lives.

“My God!  My God!  Why have You forsaken Me”*, Jesus cried… Then morning came three days later.  The stone was rolled away and Jesus exposed the truth.  God was never removed.  God was fulfilling the promise that He had made so many years before in the Garden of Eden.

The promise.

In The Garden of Eden He said, “He (Jesus) shall bruise your head,”  (Gen. 3:15).

At The Garden Tomb, God stripped death of its sting and bridged the gap sin had created between God and man.

“Jesus from Nazareth, who has been crucified.  He has risen from the dead; He is not here.  Look, here is the place they laid Him.” – Mark 16:6

The victory!

Just as God rose Jesus from the ashes of death, God promises to raise us from ours.

“To all who mourn in Israel, He will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair.  In their righteousness they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for His glory.” – Is. 61:3

He gives a “crown of Beauty” in place of the thorns Jesus wore.  God is fully aware, and fully engaged, and will fully redeem all that was stolen.  If we wait on Him, we’ll not just have beauty but we will wear it as a crown for all to see.  The beauty – God’s glory on display – for our good.  Amen!

Hang On!  All the unmet expectations do not surprise God.  They are a means for God to intersect our lives with His plan.

How has an unexpected event in your life allowed God to crown you with His beauty?

~Shannan

2014, Staying Faithful and Walking In New Beginnings.

His ways are perfect.  His plan is perfect.  His timing is perfect.

*(Matt. 27:46)

Be The VALIANT

Jerusalem Lion

The most violent battles happen between the ears, and the most valiant get to celebrate victories when thoughts are taken captive with Truth.
“For God DID NOT send His Son into the world to CONDEMN the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” – John 3:17
We do not have to keep living the life that causes us to condemn ourselves.  We can choose to live a life led by Truth and walk in peace.  Real peace!  It’s not a conjured up mindset but a heart overflowing.
We can know Peace.
“My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” – John 14:27b
Let’s choose to be the valiant.  Let’s accept that we are accepted.  Let’s allow Truth to dictate our thoughts and set our feet on the path of peace.
Be not afraid, I give.. not as the world gives”.  We are no longer the condemned but the redeemed.
~Shannan
Clinging – Letting Truth be my guide.

“[Advent] is a time of quiet anticipation.  If Christ is going to come again into our hearts, there must be repentance.  Without repentance, our hearts will be so full of worldly things that there will be “no room in the inn” for Christ to be born again.

…We have the joy not of celebration, which is the joy of Christmas, but the joy of anticipation.” – John R. Brokhoff

Stop Being So Humbly Noble

“But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best… and put it on him… Let’s have a feast and celebrate.  For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.” – Luke 15:22-24

A few years back a friend came into my life who had so much potential at greatness.  He is creative in ways that make some of us jealous, but he forfeits his talent and hides behind a smokescreen of success in the business world.  As our friendship deepened, I realized he was overcome with guilt and shame over his past mistakes.  He felt paralyzed, unable to move forward with his life.  Although he was a Christian and had repented for his sin, he refused to receive the redemption Christ’s sacrifice offered him.  Sadly, he continues to wander today, refusing God’s great love and forgiveness.  He has, not God, condemned himself to a prison of loneliness, and keeps those who try to love him locked outside the stonewall he’s built around his heart.  He builds his walls with the excuse that others deserve better than who he really is, but in reality he’s buying into the lie that he’s shameful instead of redeemed.  It’s as if he has said, “Christ’s sacrifice is enough for everyone else, but not for me.”

I wonder how often we forfeit our blessings because of fear or self-condemnation?  How often do we become a martyr for self in the name of nobility, or try to pass off the good that comes our way with false humility?  “But you don’t know what I’ve done and the places I’ve been!”  We chime.  It’s true that there are consequences for our actions, but there is also redemption.

Have you been The Prodigal Son?  Don’t stay in that mindset.  The Father stands waiting to receive you and ready to bless you with all the abundance heaven has to offer.  Your gifts belong only to you.  In God’s kingdom, which is here now and tangible, there is more than enough for all of His children.

Redemption – To release from blame or debt.  To get back.  To change for the better.

Bag Over Head

Why do we run?  Why do we hide?  Are our decisions fear based or are we being a martyr for a less than noble cause?  Passing off our blessings to someone else simply because we feel unworthy is handing them less than God has for them.

There’s nothing noble or courageous about denying the good God is offering us.  No, the truth is we are just masking a darker part of our soul that’s stating that the cross is not enough – for me anyway.

Noble – Humbly accepting all that is offered and walking faithfully forward despite what lies behind.  (Shannan’s definition)

Have you trusted God and accepted His Son, Jesus?  Then why disregard any other portion of His word?

“Those who come in through me will be saved.  They will come and go freely and find good pastures.  The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy.  My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life – in all its fullness. – John 10:9-10

His mercies are new every morning, so accept all He is offering you, a rich and satisfying life.”

What fears haunt you in the secret places of your mind?  What is it that you fear others will find out?  What regrets keep you running from others and from yourself?

Stop

Are you ready to stop letting the enemy lie to you and steal from you?  Then stop keeping a record of your wrongs.  Stop letting pain dictate who you are and isolate you.  I dare you to let Love swallow it up.

Love

“Love will never condemn you for being lost, but love will not let you stay there alone, even though it will never force you to come out of your hiding places… love is opposed to everything that is hurting you and keeping you from being free.” – Cross Roads, by WM. Paul Young

Stop being so humbly noble.  Living takes courage.  Are you ready?

~Shannan

I refuse to rebuild walls.  I choose to risk all again, because every step, every stumble, and every loss, leads me to greater gain – truly living.

~ Love Is Worth It ~

I Am Reminded Once Again

Sometimes I get so busy serving God that I try to conquer what I think He’s called me to, but all I’ve achieved in the end is the ability to run ahead of Him – missing Him and His truth completely.  I am learning that the roadblocks, the detours, and the delays I face, may just be God’s perfect timing.  It may be His grace and patience, and His form of rescuing me from a destructive path.

“Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early AND latter rain.” – James 5:7

I’m letting go of my thoughts, dreams, hopes, plans, and my ideas.  I’m placing them all in the care of the One who loves me.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” – Jeremiah 29:11

He Is Trustworthy!

Dear God help me to always remember the rest of Your words found in this promise You’ve given.

THEN you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I WILL LISTEN to you.  AND you will seek Me and find Me, WHEN you search for Me with all your heart.  I WILL BE FOUND by you, says the LORD, and I WILL BRING YOU BACK from your captivity; I WILL GATHER you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the LORD, and I WILL BRING you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.” – Jeremiah 29:12-14

God keeps His promises!

Father You have redeemed me.  May every word that I speak, every step I take, and every action I make, be pleasing to You.  Thank You for Your protection.  Help me never to fall.  “Lead me not into temptation but deliver me from the evil one.”

~Shannan

2011, Keeping It Real!

Please keep me in your prayers.  I have accepted a speaking engagement in South Carolina.  Where it all “ended” may just be where it all begins.  May God be glorified in every word.

A Pile Of Garbage!

https://i2.wp.com/cdn.wn.com/ph/img/f1/3e/91d89ee29efd6aedcdcef341e735-grande.jpg

Just because you can't see it, does not mean it doesn't exist!

I was talking with a friend the other day.  It amazes me how the wrong doings of one person can cause another to be so greatly gripped by fear.  My actions today will have a ripple effect on society as a whole, both on people related and unrelated to me; good or bad.  I must choose wisely.  If I do not, I could be robbing someone of their blessing.  Making me not only a deceiver but a thief also.

Is truth worth fighting for?

If you answer yes to this question, then be sure you live a life of truth.

Darkness and light cannot co-exist.  “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” 2 Cor. 6:14

~Shannan

“But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea.”
Mark 9:42 This life is not all about me.