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LET GO

Everyday is a choice to surrender control, loosen our grip and allow the Lord to work in our lives. I’ll never forget helping a mother unload her car at a consignment sale at the church. As I walked up to the car I was prepared to unload laundry baskets of clothes, buckets of used toys or books, a big wheel, or other items that children quickly outgrow. As I went to the trunk of the minivan I could hear a young child sobbing. Sobbing to the point of gasping for air. When I asked the mother how I could help she said, “Will you please stay with her, she’s having trouble letting go.” As she pulled the minivan door back, there sat a beautiful child with black curly hair and beautiful blue eyes and the minute I saw her I knew where the sobbing was coming from. She was buckled in her car seat and as she looked at me with massive tears running down her cheeks I noticed a baby doll tightly in her grip. It wasn’t the baby doll she was letting go of, it was the minivan load of things she had outgrown. In that moment I realized how tightly we hold on to our past, things we have outgrown, situations and circumstances that no longer bear fruit in our lives, and predictable comfort. We settle when we could surrender. We stay captive by our thoughts and fears when we could grow and be free. We hold on when we could let go. We white knuckle through life trying to control situations and we end up frustrated, weary and gasping for air.

Think about what the Lord desires to give us if we loosen our grip and come to Him daily with hands wide opened, prepared to receive His “daily bread” (emotionally, spiritually and physically). Let go, let God…now that’s freedom!

We are overcome!
Sherri Juliani

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

OBJECTS IN MIRROR

We have had some incredible conversations during our Community Group time in Canton and Peachtree City. Our discussion has been around setting the RESET on our lives by shifting our DIRECTION to that which gives life, our daily bread, the living and breathing WORD of God and sustainer of strength, JESUS. The Lord placed this thought on my heart back in November and I decided to repost based on our discussions this week. “Iron sharpens iron”, what a blessing to engage, encourage and equip one another in community as we grow in our faith!

“Objects in mirror are closer than they appear.” I took this picture a couple years ago and it resonated with my spirit because I was in a position where I had to leave much in my rear view mirror and move forward in faith. Today this picture speaks to my spirit in a new way. Often times what we see is a perception, a thought that begins to manipulate our ability to reason and a perception becomes a reality.

Someone very close to me saw an obese figure in the mirror, when in reality she weighed 52lbs. at barely 5 ft. tall and at the age of 17. She was eventually diagnosed with anorexia nervosa. Her perception of the image she saw in the mirror was what drove her choices and decisions, the reality was she was starving herself literally to death. 2lbs more and her internal organs would shut down. Nobody could convince her of the reality of truth; her perception was destroying her. How often do we allow perception to become our reality and taint our viewpoint? I’ll never forget the eyes of judgement when we were in public together. It was heart wrenching to see people pass by and stare and whisper. The truth is I saw a sister, a friend, someone I grew up with and admired, in reality she was a beautiful and suffering spirit. Why did others not see what I saw? Perception can strangle our compassion, destroy relationships, crumble organizations, devour truth and damage that which gives life.

Just like the side view mirror reminds us that what is perceived in the viewpoint is not always reality to the circumstance. “Objects in mirror are closer than they appear”, we make choices and decisions often based on a skewed perspective and starve ourselves from reality.

Where do you need to leave perspective behind and press toward a new reality that breathes life into your weary soul? What happens when we shift our focus toward our Creator, sustainer and Savior? Sometimes we must look in a new direction, press the RESET, leave the old behind in order to press into our potential and live in our purpose. Let’s let go and let God, loosen our grip on what is in our rear view mirror, shift our focus from the side view mirror and look ahead – allowing the Lord to give us our daily bread spiritually, emotionally and physically. 

Blessings on your day,
Pastor Sherri
#weareovercome

LABELS

Last night I attended the Fervent 2.0 Conference with Priscilla Shirer and Anthony Evans. She read Isaiah 43 with such passion and conviction, fervent in the delivery. There were no production lights, video or supporting visuals…she simply read the passage of scripture. And then she said, “There is only ONE that has the right and authority to give you your name…and when you figure that out you become an overcomer.” Priscilla Shirer.

As we press the RESET on our direction we are reminded of the ONE that goes before, comes behind and hems us in on all sides. What an affirmation to the direction we are being called to lead through the ministry and vision of OVERCOME Church!
MISSION to love our God and our neighbor,
MULTIPLY leaders equipped with the Gospel message, and
MOBILIZE the Body of Christ to BE the church out into a broken and hurting world.

The world will try to label you, people will try to define you, your circumstances will try to limit you. But the LORD says:
I am the ONE that gives you a name. 
I am the ONE that holds your future. 
I am the ONE that calls you a son or a daughter. 
I am the ONE that gives you the strength to be an OVERCOMER!

Let us rest in that today. Let us push the RESET on the false narratives and lies that the enemy has holding us in bondage. We have been set free, and in that truth, we are free indeed!

We Are Overcome!
Pastor Sherri

“But now, this is what the Lord says—
he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
3 For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;” Isaiah 43:1-3

RESET

As we RESET our direction, the Lord’s Prayer is foundational to our journey of setting our gaze toward “thy Kingdom Come on earth as it is in Heaven.” We often recite this prayer as a practice or discipline. The power of this prayer is a transformational RESET when we allow it to penetrate our heart, soak in our soul and strengthen our mind. What if we began to view this prayer as spiritual nutrition for our soul? What if the daily bread was not only physical nutrition, but a spiritual diet of forgiveness, healing, peace and love? Would that spiritual diet allow “thy Kingdom Come on earth as it is in Heaven” to nourish us daily? New life awaits. There is power in the Lord’s Word and spiritual sustenance in His prayer. Allow His words to quench your thirst and fuel your spirit today! 

Blessings to you and yours,
Pastor Sherri 🙏🏻
#weareovercome

The Lord’s Prayer :
Our Father, who art in
heaven,
hallowed be thy Name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily
bread.
And forgive us our
trespasses,
as we forgive those who
trespass against us.
And lead us not into
temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen. Matthew 6:9-13

WHERE’S YOUR FAITH?

What’s your faith story? We all have moments in our life where the rubber hits the road, and regardless of how hard we try there’s nothing we can do to change a situation, so we are left to surrender the situation to faith. Faith that things will change. Faith that a situation will resolve. But what if we began to walk in faith first and not as a backup plan? Jesus tells us we only need a “little” faith and that “little” faith has the power to move mountains in our life.

“He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20

Some of the greatest stories of time were born out of great walks of faith. Abraham left his home, without an itinerary or plan but faith in the ONE that said, go. Noah built an arc before the flood because the ONE that commands the wind and the rain gave him the tools to prepare for epic rains. By faith the walls of Jericho fell because the ONE gave the battle cry for what would allow the walls to crumble. By faith the bleeding woman risked it all to defy the Levitical law that stood between her and new life, to simply touch the hem of the robe of the ONE who could heal.

“He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” Mark 5:34

Hebrews 11 is a challenge to all of us to stand bold and courageous and walk by faith, not as a backup plan but as a banner to the ONE we believe in. The ONE is Jesus! Jesus, the redeemer, restorer, reconciler, pioneer/perfecter of our faith. So let’s walk in confidence, by faith, with our eyes fixed on Jesus, that the ONE that went before us has the power to write our story, a story of what it means to walk by faith.

Blessings on your day,
Pastor Sherri Juliani
Overcome Church

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.“ Hebrews 11:1

CULTIVATE

“Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?” Matthew 16:24-26.

I will never forget the day a gentleman wandered in my office well after services ended. I was preparing for an evening Bible Study and working on my papers for school when this gentleman came to my door and said, “I’m looking to attend a worship service.” It was well past 1:00 and the services were complete for the day. I gave him some information about our services and invited him to come next Sunday. With that he continued to walk into my office and sit down in a chair on the other side of my desk. He continued to share his story with me as if he knew me all his life. For over an hour this gentleman poured out his story to me, a complete stranger. A stranger that was willing to listen. I put my agenda and my plans for that moment on hold and was available to simply listen and invited him to share his heart.

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SOAKED

“You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. 2 I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. 3 Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.” Psalm 63:1-3.

Looking out the window at the falling rain it was evident that the rain was coming faster than the earth could take it in. Large puddles were forming on the ground and in the road. As the rain continued to pour the earth was being SOAKED to overflow. The puddles were now becoming streams flowing like a river.

When I was a child I remember wanting to play in the rain. There was nothing better on a hot summer day then to feel the cool drops of rain drip on your hot sticky skin. I remember running barefoot through the puddles to see who could make the biggest splash. My mother would encourage us to stay inside so we wouldn’t get wet. In fact she would say, “Don’t go out in the rain, you will get SOAKED.” As an adult I had to question what she meant by that. Her reply was, “When you get SOAKED you are wet to the bone.”

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WATERFALL

“Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. 8 By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life.” Psalm 42:7-8 (NIV)

The first time I heard Chris Tomlin’s song Waterfall was at my son’s homecoming choir tour. I sat on the front pew with my dear friend and as soon as the first chorus was sung my eyes filled with massive tears that rolled down my cheeks and onto my lips. The tears were filled with so many emotions that had been settled around boulders of pain and suffering. The truth of God’s Word in Psalm 42:7-8 was like balm to my aching soul and the voices of the students broke the boulders free. Once the tears began streaming there was no way to hold them back. It was like a waterfall running unhindered and free, there wasn’t a tissue box big enough to capture the flood of tears. Everything that had been guarded was set free to flow. Some of the boulders I placed there to protect myself. Some of the boulders others placed there with false narratives and assumptions. Regardless, it was time for the boulders to be broken free and for the water to move again. Not only would the water move again it would flow like a waterfall, relentless, powerful and rushing with purpose.

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INVITED

“The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it.” Genesis 2:15

From the very beginning we learn the only expectation God had for Adam was to till and keep the Garden. Adam would need to soften the hard soil, remove the rocks and dig out the stumps. Adam’s connection with the Creator and the Creation would be to spend time preparing for growth and new life. The seed that would produce flowers for nectar, trees that would bear fruit, and greenery that would provide shade and refuge would come from God. However, Adam played a very important role in the garden alongside the Creator. Not only was Adam to till and prepare the soil he was to guard and keep the garden. Adam would need to invest daily to weeding, watering, and clearing the garden from weeds that would choke and destroy growth. Adam was to till and keep it. CULTIVATE!

Jesus explains further about what it means to CULTIVATE for the Kingdom of God in the Gospel of Matthew Chapter 13. As I read through that passage of scripture this morning I was reminded of the daily tilling and keeping in our walk with God. The garden of our soul. The tilling of anything that would prevent growth and new life in Christ. The rooting out of sin and insecurities. The tilling of deceit and hurt. Pulling the weeds of anger and hate. Preparing our soul for maximum growth! Keeping our soul free for Kingdom work.

It has been an overwhelming year for me personally and as I reflect on the last six months I am reminded of what it means to CULTIVATE our soul. The last few weeks people, that were complete strangers upon our meeting, came into my path to share their stories and the call on their lives to help others. These people have a deep-seeded passion to help others because of their personal experiences in the storms of great suffering and loss. They can personally reflect on the providential care of the Lord in the midst of their pain and they are bursting to share with others that are struggling to breathe. You see a beautiful Kingdom-vision ministry and community is being birthed out of extreme brokenness and pain. The soil that has been tilled and kept is preparing for growth and new life.

How is it with your soul?

What tilling needs to happen today to prepare your heart, mind, strength and soul for maximum growth in Christ?

How can you manage your time and guard your spirit with people and things that will CULTIVATE new life and bear fruit that honors and glorifies Christ alive and well in your soul?

How does your garden grow?

“Ground that drinks up the rain falling on it repeatedly, and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God.” Hebrews 6:7

Back to tilling and keeping!
Blessings and Love,
Pastor Sherri

STOP!

Every morning I get up and on my way to get coffee and I am greeted, at times, by a lady that holds a stop sign up so that school traffic can pass through more easily.  I couldn’t stand this at first.  Often I was in a hurry and I needed to get to where I was going.  Sometimes I would be in the back of the line and the line would start moving.  I would think I was going to get through, but the lady would hold up her STOP sign right in front of my car.  Uggghh!  It really bugged me…A LOT!

 

Now I love it.  In fact, I give her a friendly honk and she has the most beautiful smile that comes across her face.  I even play a game that I can get a certain distance and still honk my horn and watch her wave in my rear view mirror.  We don’t know each other’s name, but she knows my car and I know her STOP sign.

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