Where Do You Live

Imagine a place, a most beautiful land. Not a dry barren desert but a land with verdant hills and valleys, gently watered by the rain of heaven.

This land is cared for by the King. He watches over it and all those who live there, with much love through all the changing seasons of each year making it a plentiful land to dwell in.

If the people of this land love and serve their King with all their hearts they will prosper and feast upon the fruits of this rich land.

The rains are sent at just the right times so that the crops will grow and the vines will flourish giving a fruitful harvest so that each one can eat and be full.

But not all who come to this land remain there, they enjoy its beauty and riches for a while but then they start to wander outside of the borders.

They are allured by the pleasant things they see around them and go after the fruits of other lands that are pleasing to their taste.

These fruits may be tasty and not appear harmful but they are drawing them further away from their King. Their allegiance is no longer fully to their King. They no longer want only the life giving, satisfying fruit of his land but they feast their bellies upon other fruit as well. So does this land exist and where is it?

Friend, this place is real and there is room for each of God’s dear children in this beautiful, fruitful land, for this land is Christ Jesus and He says ‘ABIDE IN ME’

If we abide in Christ we will be watered with God’s word and King Jesus will be with us in the land in every season.

He will be there in both the valleys and on the hilltops.

We may not always see Him but we will know that He is always there with us, every moment of time.

We will be fed and filled with His love, we will be fruitful if we ABIDE and remain in Christ.

BUT

‘Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them; And then the LORD’S wrath be kindled against you, and he shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit; and lest ye perish quickly from off the good land which the LORD giveth you.’

Ah, dear Friends, are you thinking that YOU don’t worship other gods?

Anything that takes away our heart and affections from God is an idol. Those things that steal our time in God’s word are poisoned fruits.

The things of this world may seem harmless but if they cause us to wander away from that nearness to our God they are poison to our souls. Can we truly abide in Christ while we are hugging the world to our chests?

Are you really worshipping God or do you give more of your time and attention to other things? Seemingly harmless things.

Which have you spent the most time looking at today? A screen or your Bible?

Precious souls, I say these things because I have been in that place of wandering, I spent many dry years there. I know how these ‘harmless’ things can so quickly consume us!

The Lord in His love and mercy brought me back but it was through hard trials and much affliction and yet, all glory be to His Holy Name, He brought me back.

Sweet friend, Don’t let the devil feed you with excuses .

None but Christ can ever truly satisfy you.

If you have wavered from that place of your first love, do not rest until you are back in that fruitful land, the land watered and cared for by the God of heaven and earth, that place of ABIDING in Christ.

And if you are still seeking, seek on dear soul and don’t give up until you are resting in Christ’s

Remember…

God not only tells us to SEEK and to COME, He also commands us to ABIDE.

Your friend in the way,

Sharon xx

Illustration from Deuteronomy 11 and John 15.

Do You Worship Idols?

Do you ever wonder if God is really first in your life? I’ve been looking at the book of Hosea and at spiritual adultery and idolatry and it’s so searching. It has opened my eyes to just how much we need to be ‘kept by the power of God’. I just cannot keep myself. The devil is too cunning for me and it’s only with God’s help that any of us will be kept. When I was three I had to say those six words ‘kept by the power of God’ at our Sunday school prize giving service. Afterwards I told my Dad that when I went to heaven I would tell Jesus my text. How wonderful it will be if both you and I are able to tell Jesus that one day in heaven!

First let me tell you why this subject struck such a chord with me.

There was a space of several years, soon after I was baptized, when life was busy, the world took over and God just wasn’t first in my life. I was kept outwardly in so many ways but God just wasn’t the most important part of my life. Nobody at that time asked me how I was doing spiritually, no-one asked me searching questions but how I wish they had!!

So because my heart aches for every one who reads this to have a full spiritual life, I’m going to ask you…

Are you a spiritual adulterer?

Do you worship idols?

Are you a friend of the world?

I’ll be totally honest with you here friends. I went for several years only reading my Bible as something to cross off the to do list and real, true, earnest prayer only happened in emergencies. I was distracted by the cares of this life, my time was devoted to my work and preparing for our wedding, and then looking after a home and family and other pursuits. I became an idolater because I pursued these things more than I persued my God. I fulfilled my desires with the things of this life and not with my Saviour and I became a spiritual adultress. Yet these things never truly satisfied me. Do you ever look back longingly to the ‘time of your first love’? Did you Come to know Jesus as your Saviour and forget or not realise that you needed to Abide in Him? I did and my spiritual life became so dry.

But God in His love, mercy and great goodness didn’t leave me there, He brought me back but it was through much affliction, He took away my health and strength, I could literally no longer do the things I had previously filled my life with and He sweetly brought me to realise in it, that without Him I can do nothing. As I turned back to my God and leaned on Him in my weakness, so He, in His love began to teach me what it is to lean only upon Him. I thank and praise God for taking away my health because in and through it ‘He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God:’

Those of you that know me well, know that my prayers for healing were not answered physically but instead God gave me a much greater healing, He restored my soul.

I hope you can see a little from this why my heart aches to see others brought into a place of truly abiding IN Christ, of resting in His love and of feasting upon His word. To live daily in that place of rejoicing in and leaning upon the God of our salvation.

So, let’s come a little closer, are there things you are putting before God? I’m not saying the only thing you can pick up when you have a free moment is your Bible but have you picked it up at all today or is there something else you’d rather be doing?

Is there anything in your life coming before God?

Are you going after idols rather than your God?

Let’s look at Col 3:5-6

‘Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is IDOLATRY: For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience’.

Have you put to death the passions and desires, the things you covet and go after, the things that draw you away from God? These verses tell us that the wrath of God is coming on those who seek after earthly things above the one true God. As we go after these ‘idols’ we turn away FROM our God TO something else and commit spiritual adultery!

How we need God to continually cleanse us from our idols, to keep us from unfaithfulness in our relationship with Him.

Do you have longings and desires after other things or people?

Are there those things in your life that you feel satisfy you more than God satisfies you?

Are there things that you treasure more than you treasure God?

Are there things you enjoy more than you enjoy God?

Are there things you choose to do and as a result you do without God?

Because God loves his people so perfectly He is jealous over their love, He desires ALL their affection, just as a husband doesn’t want his wife to commit adultery and give her affection for him to another.

‘Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.’ James 4:4

We CANNOT serve God and man friends, God wants and has every right to our whole heart.

If this has struck a chord in your heart then ask God to make His desires your desires and to open your eyes to any way that you may be committing adultery and to cleanse you from your idols and to help you to truly seek and desire Him only Him.

This is something we’ll have to keep praying all our lives because the enemy knows our weaknesses and will constantly be trying to lure us away. This life is a battle and the enemy is stronger than us but we do not need to fight alone, God will help us to be faithful to Him if we truly desire it. The victory is secure for each and every soul that Jesus died to save and who put their trust and hope in God alone.

A Tale of Two Trees.

Imagine you are given a beautiful delicate young tree. It will need some careful nurturing so you choose the spot to plant it carefully. You have a wonderful fertile place where it can thrive in the sunshine and be well watered by the rain but there’s another young sturdy tree there so you move that and plant your new delicate tree in this wonderful spot of ground.

The rain falls gently on it, the wind blows softly through it and the sun shines down on it and it thrives. After you have allowed the tree to take root for a few weeks you look at it and decide that surely there’s room for the other tree here too. So you plant the original sturdy tree right next to the new beautiful tree.

As the weeks go by they both appear to be doing quite alright side by side. But under the ground the roots are slowly becoming tangled together.

The sturdier tree grows fast and begins to shade the beautiful delicate tree from the sun’s rays, shelters it from the refreshing rain and its roots sink deeper and deeper stealing all the goodness and moisture from the soil. The beautiful delicate tree begin to look sickly and wilt. There just isn’t room for them both to grow side by side!!

When we first come to know Jesus as our Lord and Saviour all we want in our hearts is Him. But over time how easy it is to let the world back in. Gradually, bit by bit, it becomes tangled with our Christian life. Our roots cannot go deep down into the fertile soil God has placed in our hearts and souls, we cannot be firmly rooted in Christ, gaining sustenance from Him because our roots are getting strangled by the roots of the world. The world begins to steal the nutrients from the soil of our hearts and block out the warming rays of the Son of God. Our souls no longer get the water they need to thrive and we begin to wilt in our Christian life. There just isn’t room for both friends!!

If you have allowed the world to take root and steal your joy will you ask the Heavenly Gardener to work in your heart, uproot everything that is stealing what you need to thrive and make room only for Him, so that you may become deeply rooted in Christ Alone.

It was the bible study that I did on Ephesians that has had me thinking so much lately about being rooted in Christ and what it means. I have put more details about the study below. ⬇️

With love,

Sharon

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<<<<
quick facts about the study.

▪It's a FREE email based online Bible study.

▪It takes just 10-15 minutes per day to complete.

▪It follows a five days on, two days off format.

▪It covers the whole book of Ephesians.

▪It includes 4 free digital gifts from Sarah’s Creative Partners.

▪ It launches on October 16, 2017 sign up Here<<<<
e is also a shop containing hand crafted items created just for this study. Each item has a link that will take you to that artist shop including my Etsy shop where you’ll find my scriptures yarns created in collaboration with Sarah for her Bible study.

What is your purpose?

Do you ever wonder what your purpose is here on earth? I’ve been thinking over some verses about this a lot this year. One thing is certain, we weren’t created for our own pleasure yet how often do we live as though we were? I know I often do, putting ‘ME’ first!

🌿We were created for God…

ALL things were created BY him, and FOR him: Col 1:16

🌿We were created for God’s pleasure…

Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for THY pleasure they are and were created. Rev 4:11.

🌿We were created for God’s glory…

Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for MY GLORY.

🌿And in a specific way God’s people are to;

🌿glorify God….

For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. 1 Cor 6:20

🌿Crucify self and walk in the Spirit….

And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Gal 5:24-25

🌿Walk in obedience….

If ye love me, keep my commandments.

🌿Do good works…

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Eph 2:10

There’s a questions these last verses raise that I’ve often thought about and that is that if salvation is by grace alone through faith alone, where do good works come in?

If we’ve been shown much of what we are by nature we may wonder how can anything good ever come out of me?

Well, it can’t, but if we belong to God we are not doing this alone,

it is Christ working in us and through us.

I’ve just finished studying Ephesians again, this time using a bible study on Ephesians by Sarah Koontz (see the end of this post) and she puts it so well – ” God’s work in us paves the way for good works to flow out of us.”

” Good works do not flow out of our goodness, they are a direct result of God’s work in us through the Holy Spirit.”

“Christians don’t manufacturer good works, they manifest good works. We are simply the riverbed through which God’s goodness flows.”

I think that these few points cover not only good works but the whole Christian walk. We cannot begin to glorify God, crucify self or walk in the Spirit in and of ourselves and we don’t need to try to.

How quick we are to try! We are so independent, make big resolutions, try to do better but one thing I’m having to learn is that the Christian pathway is not one of trying, it’s a path of relying!

These things come only as a direct result of the Holy Spirit working IN us and THROUGH us.

This begs another question, is there room in me for the Holy Spirit to work or is my heart too full of other things? Doubt, anxiety, fears, the world, other people’s affairs, judgemental attitudes?

When I pause and I’m helped to take a good look inside, what a lot of junk there is.

These things become like the debris, dead leaves and other rubbish that falls into the river, silting up the riverbed with a foul smelling, rotting waste, clouding up the water.

Let’s be pausing friends, and as God helps us, to battle against the things that clutter up our hearts and souls and asking God to create in us as clean heart and to renew a right spirit within us, keeping our armour bright by holding it up to the light of God’s word. Trusting in Christ alone, let’s take up the heavenly armour (see last blog post) and fight against all that would distract us from God by filling our hearts with heavenly ammunition, the sword of Spirit, His own Holy Word.

Then, as we keep filling our hearts and minds with the light of God’s word there will no dark corners left for the debris of doubts and fears and the rubbish of the world to lurk in.

Written to you with love

Sharon x

If you want to read more of Sarah Koontz study on Ephesians you can sign up for it HERE.

It is email based, ten to fifteen minutes a day with a five days on two days off format. Sarah writes in an easy to read, casual conversational style.

There are free printables throughout the study and if you join the study in October there are giveaways throughout the month including a skein of my scripture yarn this first week of October.

As I’ve got to know Sarah more over the past few months I’ve seen what a beautiful heart she has and what a longing she has to see other women loving God’s word.

Here’s a little more about Sarah from her site.

Sarah Koontz is a passionate storyteller who enjoys using illustrations to communicate deep spiritual truths. Sarah writes to inspire women of all ages to explore the beauty of God’s design at SarahKoontz.com.

Sarah lives on 13-acres in South Dakota with her husband, two daughters and a rowdy flock of chickens. She revels in their simple, uncluttered life.

Who are we fighting and how?

Have you ever been really annoyed at, argued with or hurt by someone?. I have and it’s not always been someone I don’t get along with, sometimes it’s been those closest to me. Why? We love these people in our lives so why do we get irritated by them? Maybe your first thought is sin and yes, you would be right but let’s dig a little deeper.

I love the book of Ephesians and I’m just beginning to study it again using a preview of Sarah Koontz study guide that begins on October 16th. But today I decided to go to the end of the book and look again at my favorite part in chapter six where Paul speaks of the armour of God,

Verse ten begins with Paul telling us to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Not to be strong in ourselves, not to try harder, not to work harder at controlling our sinful nature but to be strong in the Lord. How?. In the power of His might, NOT in our own might, power our wisdom but in the Lord’s.

Then we are instructed to put on the whole armour of God. Every…. Single…. Piece! So that we can stand against the wiles of the devil. Friends, the devil has so many schemes and tricks and lies to use against us and the only hope we have of prevailing against him is as we stand in Christ, covered from head to toe with the whole armour of God.

Now we get to verse twelve and this is what I particularly wanted to share with you. Remember how I started, talking about getting annoyed and the cause of it. Well maybe you and your husband disagree on something, or one of your little ones is constantly being naughty, you’re exhausted and it’s just making you so cross. Think….are they your enemy? Is your dear husband, or your precious child your enemy? Or even that person who has always been unkind to you? No, of course not, then who is?

Let’s look at verse 12. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world,

So, we see that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, not against people, whoever they may be, but against the devil and all the forces of evil seeking to create havoc in the world and discord in our lives and in particular the lives of God’s children.. A force that WE can never overcome ‘But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ 1 Cor 15:57

This is what I really wanted to share with you all. So many things may feel to be against us BUT… God’s children are assured of victory through Jesus Christ as they fight, not with anything of themselves but in and through Christ with the whole armour of God.

The Christian has six (or seven if you include v18,) items in their Armory. Five of these are for our protection and two to fight with. For our protection, truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith and salvation . vs 14-17 And our weapons? The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God v17 and prayer v18. It would take too long to write about all that I learnt here but let’s take a quick look at our weapons, how are we to fight? Our sword is the wonderful truths, commands and precious promises that we find in our Bible and our other weapon is prayer, but not just prayer, it’s praying always.

Do we have our armour on? Are we daily protected from the assaults of the devil and the powers of darkness and are we carrying our weapons about with us in our hearts everywhere we go? Are we keeping our armour bright by reading our Bible or is our armour gathering dust along with our Bible? Are we always standing alert in prayer. God doesn’t just give us these commands for certain times and seasons, they’re for every day!

How far short I know that I fall friends. What grace and help we need each and every day to even be ready to stand. BUT…’My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.’ 2 Cor 12:9.

What is my heart behind Savour of Salt?

You can read a little about why my site is called Savour of Salt and what brought me there here but today I wanted to explain my heart and my longings behind what I write and create.

My main desire, the longing of my heart is to encourage women to really seek the Lord and to abide In Him. Also to share with you a little of what the Lord is teaching me or lays on my heart to share.

You will find daily micro blogs on Instagram @savourofsalt and also shop updates and peeps into my creative world. Here, on the blog, I hope to share some of my thoughts in more depth.

As I share a little of my testimony you will see why seeking and abiding are on my heart.

I began to truly seek God at the age of twelve and was baptised when I was nineteen. It was a very sweet and precious time of walking with the Lord but life was busy, we were planning our wedding, I was working full time and gradually the world crept in. My love for God’s word diminished and I became very dull spiritually.

Over the next ten years or so my Bible was read as something to cross off of my to do list and prayer became a duty or somewhere to go in times of need. God was faithful

and appeared in those times of need but my spiritual walk was lifeless and dull.

Then God in His love allowed me to become chronically ill with lupus. I’m often asked how I keep cheerful with my chronic illnesses (I also have fibromyalgia, sjogrens and osteoarthritis now) and with my restricted mobility, but friends, it isn’t me, it’s because in and through it God has brought me to lean harder on Him, and I can rejoice because through it He’s brought me out of a lukewarm place into a far, far richer place spiritually. I can rejoice when I am so exhausted that even taking the next breath seems an effort because then I have to lean harder and I’ve learnt that depending wholly on Jesus is a precious place to be. Having said that, it’s something I’m having to learn over and over again, because sadly, there’s still a lot of stubborn independence in me! But it’s when I live depending wholly on Christ for everything, that the joy and peace and blessing comes. It’s hard butt it’s also beautiful and precious and sweet as I lean into God’s grace and in my weakness am made strong in Christ.

‘No more Me Lord, just all ‘Christ in me’ is my prayer now. We all need God every moment but it often takes the hard places to make is realise it and for us to lean only on Him and not go on in our own strength. .

So you can see the means God used to bring me closer to Him, it’s been a hard though blessed way and my heart longs to encourage other women to keep closer to God, to not get to a far off place where the journey back is long, hard and painful. Throughout those years in my twenties of feeling far from God, I didn’t have anyone ask me how I was doing spiritually, was I abiding in Christ? I didn’t have anyone ask me if I made time for God each day, no-one encourage me to set aside time to read my Bible and pray, or to seek a life walking close to God. No-one to say that it was ok to miss the dusting this week and spend that time with God. No-one encouraged me to spend my spare time in things that would matter in 500 years time rather than filling my life with earthly things. So, you see, my heart aches and longs to see other women brought into that place of close communion with God and an abiding in His love.

For you to know that you don’t have to strive harder, just lean harder and for you to have a closer walk with God. If your are feeling in that far off, lukewarm place right now dear friend, draw near to God, through prayer and in reading His word and He WILL draw near to you.

Why Savour of Salt?

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I set up my shop – Inspirational Yarns – on Etsy in February 2016.  I was selling hand dyed yarns and other knitting/crochet related products that I had made. The shop was doing well but through that Summer of 2016 God began to plant a longing in my heart to create items that would glorify Him.

Over the coming months God spoke to me in several ways confirming that it was His will for me to take my business in this direction. In spite of this I was still hesitant and although I did begin to create scripture yarns I held back from really changing the direction of my shop. In April 2017 after a year of consistent sales my shop went dead.  In the coming weeks I recognised that the Lord was prompting me to move forward but still I held back.

One day in June I sat down and really analysed what was holding me back and it all came down to fear.  These fears included fear that what I created wouldn’t be good enough, fear of what others might think, fear that my motives might be misconstrued, fear that I couldn’t write well enough about what God laid on my heart to share and fear of stepping on other peoples toes.  I took it all to the Lord and left it with Him praying that He would, just one more time, give me a really clear direction whether to move forward with this or not.

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The next day during the Sunday evening service the visiting minister preached from Matthew 5:13 ‘Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted?it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.’ (kjv) I was so convicted under this sermon. Here are few of the things that he spoke of  ‘the children of God being a walking testimony of God and how just as salt is there to be used, so are God’s people and it isn’t that we can be a disciple if we want to, we are disciples. Believers are not here to please themselves, but to do the will of the One who called them out of darkness into light. ‘This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise.’ (kjv) We are here to fulfil God’s will and not our own. God’s people are Salt and Light. Our lives are the only sermon some will ever hear.

I now knew beyond doubt that I was to change the direction of my shop. I still have niggling fears from time to time but I trust that I am in God’s will and in the end that is all that matters.

Next came the question of the shop name as I needed something that reflected what I would now be adding to the shop.  To change the name of such a young shop probably didn’t make good business sense but I went ahead and my shop became SAVOUR OF SALT!

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I still continue to sell my stock of handdyed yarns and accessories in the ‘Inspirational Yarns section of my shop and I still take orders for these too but my main focus is now on Scripture Yarns, colouring books, wall hangings and other scripture pieces I may make.

I would love you to visit my shop – Savour of Salt I will consider any custom order requests.  Just drop me a line at savourofsalt@gmail.com.

Thanks for stopping by, keep seeking and abiding friends ❤

Sharon x