How blessed we are to have friends who lift us up, who speak truth to us, who listen, give advice, encouragement and their constant prayers. This is richness; this is true treasure to have such wonderful women in your life.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

What is a Wife To Do With "Courageous"?

Peter and I did something the other afternoon we hadn't done in quite awhile...we went to the movies!  I wanted to see Courageous because I had heard so much about the movie, and it was at the "Dollar" theater, so the price  was right:)  Here's my quick review of the movie:  It won't win any Academy Awards or Golden Globes for acting, writing or cinematography, but it does have a message worth listening to, and I've got to hand it to those guys at Albany Baptist Church in Sherwood, Georgia, they know how to get a message across.  They did it in Fireproof and in Facing the Giants, and they have done it again with Courageous.  The opening scene is a surprise and sets the theme of the movie.  It is really worth seeing, but probably NOT with your husband...the father of your delightful children!  I wrestled with myself throughout the was EXHAUSTING!

I am married to a wonderful children think he is, well, pretty much perfect.  He is their hero and the man my girls measure every other man by...poor guys.  And though I, too, think he is pretty amazing, I haven't quite made it to the stage of adoration our children have.  That is why when watching Courageous I immediately began thinking..."Man, I wish there had been a movie like this around when we were raising our kids.  Peter could have been a part of the 'challenge.'"  I wondered, as I sat next to Peter in the theater, if he wished he could have done things differently with our children...if he had regrets.  I wondered if he were thinking about how he could be a better father now.  I thought about the great conversations we would have when the movie was over.  I envisioned it...what I would say...what he would say...I was having a pretty emotional and impactful conversation with myself when I heard that "still, small voice" say"  "Don't you say a word.  You just be quiet."  Hmmmmmm? Could that possibly be the Lord?  Can I tell you that from past experience anytime I hear "hush," it has always been from Him.  He knows my biggest problem is my mouth, so sometimes He has not used such a "still, small voice."  

Whenever I am moved emotionally, I want to DO something.  That can be good or it can be very, very bad, especially when it involves others.  I can see exactly what they should do or say clearly.  In fact, I have rehearsed it for them over and over in my mind.  So there I sat in the theater, completely tied into the characters and the message, and I wanted Peter to be as well.  However, Peter is not a person moved by emotionally charged pleas, in fact, at times, they can be a complete turn off to him.  He hates to be manipulated...actually, don't we all?  But he does like to think things through.  Take his time to ponder before he acts or speaks (a admirable trait I am trying to have in my own character).  This is were the exhausting part came in.  My beautifully rehearsed words and scenes were playing in my mind as the Lord kept saying, "No, don't say it."  "Don't you do it."  Eventually, my final thought as credits rolled was to simply ask how he liked the movie...innocent enough.  "Nope, not even that, Cherri."  So I said nothing. 

Instead I WATCHED him to see if the movie had any kind of impact on him.  I silently graded what he said and did for the next 24 hours based on "the movie."  So at any given moment I might be encouraged because he took Anna to see her car (the importance of spending time with your children...theme #1 of the movie) or discouraged because he was watching the History Channel when he could have been doing something "fatherly."   About this time is when you are thinking "Cherri is completely crazy" and you have complete and utter compassion for my husband.  That's ok because I think the very same thing.

But then something happened...I sat down with that precious LIVING WORD in my lap one morning.  I have been reading in the Psalms but this particular morning I flipped to the concordance and looked up "Mother."  The thought came to me to look up all the verses on mothering even though I have read countless books on the subject, gone to seminars and done Bible studies on practically every aspect and to top it all off...I teach parenting classes, so I am immersed in motherhood.  And I got to exactly three before I realized how much I needed to work on my own self.  The next morning I got to a whole entire one.  All my focus on Peter and his role as father faded as God zeroed His light on my heart and my life, and I was humbled.  I had PLENTY to work on.  Too much to be concerned with "helping" Peter.  Besides, the thought occurred to me that there is a reason why all my children hold their father with high esteem...he deserves it.  He has been an honorable man their entire lives.

So, my advise on the movie Courageous...see it with a heart open to pray for the man or men who hold this position in your life.  I began to pray not only for Peter, but for my sons and sons-in-laws who are fathers themselves.  Pray for your young sons and your daughters' future husbands, pray for your own father, if you are blessed to have him still with you. The truth is they have a profound responsibility and position in the family.   And most of them, including the one I am blessed with, work hard to be and become the father and husband they are called to be.  I wouldn't want to be a man.  The truth is they are growing just like we are.

Have a wonderfully blessed New Year, my friends!!!!!

Love to you...


Monday, November 28, 2011

Hey, Sweetie, could you run to Lowe's and pick me up a...?

Hello, my friends!

My dear husband, Peter, from the day I married him, always had a project going.  Weekends and even vacations have been spent building, remodeling, or repairing something.  I could not possibly count the number of times he has been in the middle of one of these projects and has asked me if I could run to Lowe's or Home Depot or Harbor Freight for some tool, bit, piece or part.  I used to HATE doing this because I NEVER got it right the first time. Until now.  Whoever invented the cell phone with a camera...I love you!  My iPhone is my best friend when I have been sent on Lowe's-Home Depot run. Now all I have to do is snap a picture, send it to Peter via text message:  "Is this the ONE?"  And then wait for the reply.  It is a beautiful thing.  However, it wasn't so easy in my younger years...not by a long shot.  In fact, sometimes it could be down right traumatic...

 I will never forget the very first time Peter sent me to Builder's Emporium for a part needed in a plumbing repair he was in the middle of and neither will the gentleman I ran into. I was probably all of eighteen or nineteen years old at the time and thrilled with prospect of helping my handsome, young husband. So off I went completely oblivious to the shocking discovery that was soon to be coming my way.  Peter told me the part I was to get for him (although I can't remember what it was now) gave me a name and a detailed description...though obviously, as you will see, not quite detailed enough.  I thought it would be a snap.  The problem was when I got to the store, there were about 100 of these plumbing "thingamabobs" in little clear plastic bags hanging on the aisle.  I had no idea which one to choose.  So I stood there pondering until an older gentlemen  finally had mercy on me and asked if he could help.  I told him what I was looking for and He said, "male or female?"  I was not expecting this at all.  Obviously this guy did not hear me correctly, so I repeated the name of the part I needed.  And he looked at me and said, "Right, male or female?"  There was a moment of awkward silence................  I hadn't the foggiest idea what he was talking about, so I asked, "What sex are they usually?"  As I look back on the scene, this guy was trying to keep his composure the best the could but finally all he could say was:  "Honey, you need to go back to your husband, ask him if he needs a male or a female and have him explain it to you."

And so I did.  When Peter explained to me that it was terminology to describe how something was threaded: on the inside "female" or the outside "male," believe me I was APPALLED at his explanation!  Obviously a guy came up with that great idea.  It took me years to be able to use the terms without being just a bit embarrassed.  Why couldn't the terms be something different but just as accurately descriptive as, oh, maybe "innie" and "outie"? In later years, as I went to different marriage seminars, retreats or even read books on marriage, I heard over and over how often men think of sex...and I all I could say to myself was "No kidding!"  It seems they reference it whenever they get a chance:)

For those of you who were looking for some spiritual value in this post...I am so sorry...there isn't a lick of it.  Just a silly story that I hope brought a smile to your face:)  Next week I'll do better, I promise!

Love to you all...


Monday, November 7, 2011

Like a Mighty Wind

Hello dear friends!

   It has been pure sweetness to spend the last five days with my sisters, Joni and Della, just at the base of the High Sierras in Nevada.  Nearly each day we put on our hiking boots and "head for the hills."  All three of us love to hike and enjoy discovering together the beauty we find in all God has created here in the mountains.  Each corner on the trail brings new delights and adventure, and this week I, along with my sisters, experienced something we have never seen or heard before. 

On Friday night a snowstorm hit, so Saturday morning everything was covered with a pristine blanket of white.  We decided to go ahead with the hike planned for the day, and I am so glad we did.  Two hours into our hike, we found ourselves in a snow covered winter wonderland that looked as if it had come from the pages of some fanciful children's storybook.  We stopped in awe of the scene...the beauty and the stillness of the moment mesmerized us.  And then we heard it before we ever saw it.  The sound seemed to come from the heavens.  The wind hit the mountain high above us, racing down the mountainside whipping the treetops near us into a whirling frenzy.   We had never seen or heard anything like it.    And then, it struck US!  At first, we turned away in fear but just as quickly, turned to face the take such power in for that short moment. Honestly, it was exhilarating to stand before such a force as it  filled the air with sparkling ice crystals reflecting the sun like millions of tiny diamonds suspended...floating all around us! 

In that moment, the verse from Acts 2:2 came to mind: "And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a mighty rushing wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting."  Can you even imagine what it must have been like the very first time the Holy Spirit was released on this earth to do this new great work?  He sounds like He could hardly wait!  I wonder if  when the Holy Spirit hit that house it was a scary few moments for all within...probably...until they realized what the Spirit brought, and then they were overjoyed, in fact, so overjoyed that the people near them thought they were drunk!

The Holy Spirit!  In them!  In us!  The law no longer reminding us over and over of our sin; but, instead, the Spirit reminding us we are a new creation created for good works and empowered to do them.  The Holy Spirit!  A pledge given to remind us that our inheritance is's waiting for us and until then we have this Wonderful Counselor!  That is power and that is something worth getting excited about!

However, during all my years as a young Christian, I very rarely heard of the Holy Spirit except a mention of Him at the end of prayers or maybe in a song or two.  I never learned of the truth that He lived in me and that I had the power to live righteously.  Why would many in the church not want to mention this great gift of the Spirit into our lives?  Could it be that maybe there is a smidgen of fear.  C. S. Lewis said that Aslan (the lion who was used as an analogy for Jesus in his Chronicles of Narnia Series) "was not a tame lion."  Well, the Holy Spirit is not tame either.  He makes me uncomfortable sometimes.  He does not do things the way I would do them.  He does not answer my prayers the way I picture them being answered.  And my life...well, sometimes He takes it places I was not planning on going.   No, He does not fit neatly into my plans.  Instead, if I allow Him, He will put me right into the middle of His wonderful, beyond my imagination plan!  And I get to participate as much or as little as I choose. 

Maybe it's scary to give Someone with such power complete control?  Maybe the lie that Satan feeds a good portion of the church is that the Holy Spirit is scary and you can live life much more comfortably without Him.  If you think about it, that is the perfect lie for Satan to spread.  How sad that some Christians do not realize the power of the Holy Spirit at their disposal simply by asking, listening and choosing to obey. 

As I walked back down the trail that afternoon I couldn't help but notice some of the pine trees that lined our path.  A couple in particular caught my attention.  One giant redwood obviously encountered some trouble.  About a third of the way up its trunk, it jutted abruptly out and then continued straight on into the bluest of skies.  Another had been denuded of his branches on one side of its trunk and still it grew on.  These great beauties were not perfect, but, I'll tell you what, they kept on growing anyway. 

As Kay says on our last day with her this week"...the flesh is still very much alive.  But, free woman, you are not a slave; you have a choice.  You can choose to walk in the Spirit."   Life stuff might happen to us...our flesh might creep in and ding us a bit, but, girl, we are going to keep walking...keep growing, because like a mighty wind, He has entered our hearts and given fresh, new life, sparkling with the promise of all we can be! 

Love to you, my ever growing sisters!


Monday, October 31, 2011

Once and For All!!!!

My sweet friends,

A dear, old friend called me this week.  I asked her if I could share her story, and she graciously told me that I could.  I want you to hear "Mary's" story, because I don't think she is alone in her feelings, and we have got to put an end to the lies of the enemy..."once and for all."  

Mary called this week because she was dealing with guilt and grief over the sins in her past.  She was even questioning her salvation because of her feelings.  Now, I know this woman...for decades...and I KNOW she loves and serves Jesus.  I also know the sins she is constantly allowing to have power of her:  abortion and adultery.  Mary said something that hit me...she said that her sins were "ugly" sins.  These "ugly" sins have caused untold devastation in her life through depression, feelings of inadequacy and unworthiness that have sucked the joy, purpose and nearly the life right out of her.  She has tried to "make up for them" at times.  Over the years she has sought healing through counseling (which is a good thing), asked forgiveness of the little one she aborted, worked in a Pro-Life clinic,  been a supportive and loving wife to her husband and wonderful mom to her children.  Still these sins haunt her.  Why?  Why?  Why?

I am praising God right now because when she called this time, I was smack in the middle of working through this week's study in Hebrews...and just like was perfect timing.  I was able to share with her what I was learning about the power of the Christ's blood.  I read to her the verses from Hebrews 10 and reading them aloud, I realized the emphasis put on the word "all":  "By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Christ once for all.  And "... but He having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right  hand of God..." AND "For by offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified." (you, me and Mary:)  I don't think you can misunderstand the all that "all"'s pretty straight forward.  Jesus sacrificed Himself one time for ALL people and ALL sin.

We got to talking about what it means when you don't believe  these "ugly sins" are forgiven...that they are not included in the "all."    Coming your way are some "ugly" thoughts, but they are accurately ugly.  When we have this attitude in us we are saying basically:  

1.  Satan's power over me in the past is more powerful than Jesus' power over my present and future.

2.  The death of Jesus is enough to cover the "prettier sins" (no such thing by the way) but my sins are beyond the power of His redeeming blood.  
3.  I have to add something to the sacrifice of Christ and keep adding it until my guilt is gone (impossible by the way),  then I will be forgiven.

The ugly truth is this: we are saying loud and clear, "Your death is not enough for me.  There has to be more sacrifice for my "special"sins."    Believing this lie is why some sins continue to haunt us.

So what does Satan gain by telling us these lies?  Mary could tell you all he has stolen from her over the years.  Every time an opportunity came for her to be of service in the body of Christ, she agonized over whether or not she was "good enough" or "ready."  Many times she "shrunk away."  She made poor decisions out of her feelings of guilt and unworthiness.  Satan steals from Mary and from us all what is written toward the end of chapter 10 in Hebrews verses 19-25...confidence, assurance, hope, love, good deeds,  friendship, encouragement.  Satan gains a paralyzed servant of God, and we lose what we could be.

She called me back a day later to tell me she had picked up a devotional and flipped it open to read these words:  "If you do not believe your sins are forgiven, than you are in a self-focused place believing that you and your sin have more power than God and His  forgiveness."   Only God can chastise us in such a way that the chastisement brings joy instead of shame and pain  I could hear that Mary was filled to overflowing with pure delight.  

I asked Mary if I could share her story because many of us struggle with these same thoughts.  Satan brings to mind our mistakes, our failures, our sin and tries to  take our minds off the truth:  Our sins are GONE!  Through the New Covenant cut with the precious blood of Christ we are forgiven, washed clean and have good work to do!!  Hallelujah!  That is why this truth is called "Good News" and not "nearly good news" or "almost totally good news" :)

We are redeemed completely but even more amazing is that our past is redeemed.  Mary's past is redeemed through the redeeming work God has done in her life.  Simply the telling of her story redeems her past.  Through her work in the clinic, her counseling of young women faced with a choice, God brings  redeeming work from her abortion.  Now Mary can work not to receive forgiveness, but because if it!

Don't you love the words:  "once and for all"?!!!  Aren't they precious all inclusive words?  

Love to you....




Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Hi girls!

I opened my e-mail up today and had to say out loud, "I knew it!"  There in my "Junk Mail" was a e-mail.  A few weeks back I wrote a post about the freedom we have here in the States and our responsibility with that freedom.  I told you that I would  be writing letters from that point on and doing what I could to support my brothers and sisters in Christ who were imprisoned for their faith and then...I forgot.  I got busy with my life and all that it means to be Cherri Thompson in her own free world.  But God is good...He is not going to let me stray off the path too far anymore (Thank You, Lord, for that).  Last night on our way home from spending time with our children and grandchildren, Peter and I got on the subject of the what is happening to the Christians in the Muslim countries.  Then it dawned on me I had never even taken Voice of the Martyrs or PrisonerAlert off of junk mail status.  I told Peter that I was going to do that right away and begin my letter writing but by this morning I had forgotten AGAIN.  

So early this morning I opened my Bible study and what does Kay have at the VERY BEGINNING SO CHERRI CANNOT POSSIBLY MISS IT????  You saw it:  Hebrews 10: 32-39 ...the very verses that struck my heart the first time I read them in this study.  I knew then that when I opened my e-mail this morning and went to my "junk mail" there would be an e-mail from and sure enough this is what greeted me this morning:
  • PrisonerAlert Update: Zhang Rongliang‏

Update on Zhang Rongliang

Zhang Rongliang, one of the most prominent house church leaders in China, was sentenced in 2006 to seven and a half years in prison for using an illegal passport. But even as Christians pressured communist leaders to release Rongliang, he was building a ministry inside the prison.

"I am happy that you and others tried to arrange for my release, but in one way, I am happy that you failed," Rongliang told a VOM contact. "You almost made a big mistake. If you had been successful, there would be no church in that prison today."

After his release on Aug. 31, Rongliang was immediately admitted to a hospital for 15 days. Doctors treated Rongliang's high blood pressure and diabetes.

More Info...

Zhang Rongliang

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Hello Friends.

Since our last communication with you, the PrisonerAlert for Zhang Rongliang has been viewed over 18200 times, and over 5500 letters of encouragement have been sent. What a blessing this must have been to Zhang Rongliang -- and what a message it will have sent to the officials, that this person is cared for internationally.

Now imagine what could happen if we could double, triple or increase by ten or one hundred-fold the number of people, around the World, that are praying and writing on behalf of those imprisoned and persecuted for their faith.

You can help. Please forward this email to those you know have a heart for God's people and encourage them to sign-up too. It's the work of friends telling friends that will bring the greatest response to those who need it most. As the email does its work, you can revisit the chart below to see the effect that you have had.

Thank you in advance for partnering with us on behalf of those who suffer for the Lord.

Circulation to Date for Zhang Rongliang

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and that is why I said out loud this morning, though no one was with me in the house except my dog, Ben:  "I knew it!"
So no longer are they relegated to my "junk mail," to be easily ignored.  He has given me another chance to  be obedient...and I am grateful.  He makes up for my humanness...and more than that...He makes up for my Cherriness.  

Oh, Lord, Thank You!!  Keep speaking!  You know I hear and obey eventually!  Just please, Lord, help me to more quickly hear and obey!   

Well, my friends, I have to go...I have letters to write:)

Love to you....