A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

My mother used to tell me not to be such a worry wart.  I don’t hear that phrase used much these days.  Now people say “chill” or “no problem” to indicate they are not overly concerned about things.  Apparently, I am a worry wart.  Have you seen a wart?  They are not pretty, and we want to hide them.  Does it make a person ugly when they worry?  Does worry manifest itself in our appearance?  Does worry manifest itself in our health or lack thereof?

Maybe that’s why God wants us to have less fear and more faith.  He wants us to plan, but He wants us to include Him in the plan and rely on Him to guide us in the right direction.  We pray as we plan, trusting that He will help us in all ways.  Faith takes the pressure off of our shoulders – and lessens our fears.  When you pray instead of worry – what a difference it makes! 

In all matters – big and small – we seek God and trust His wisdom and His way to make things work out.  He’s so faithful to us every time.  Regardless of the problem, we know He will be there with us.  It’s been my experience that God’s way of working things out is so much more creative than anything I could think of.  So many times He has worked things out for me and I just smile and look up and say – “Lord…  I KNOW that was YOU!”  Don’t forget to thank Him and praise Him for all the great answers He comes up with!  ❤

God wants us to have JOY in HIM…  and if we spend our days worrying about things, it steals that joy!  Don’t worry about anything – pray instead because God is listening and He can be trusted to handle the issues in your life.  Trade your worries for His blessed peace.  🙂

Why worry?  If you’ve done the very best you can, worrying won’t make it any better.  – Walt Disney

Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.  – Leo Buscaglia

I made this facebook cover.  If you want less fear and more faith, please feel free to snag it and put it on your facebook page!  Have a wonderful week!  🙂

 

 

 

FATHER’S DAY

You know, it’s funny – I hear people say there’s so much DRAMA on facebook.  I guess I have the right friends, because we all post prayer requests and we pray for each other.  When it comes to prayer, I believe there is strength in numbers – and it’s great to know I have some 200 plus people praying for me!

This portion of Scripture appears right after the list of armor we are to wear every day:

Pinterest

I’d love to have this to look at every day.  Do you have all of this memorized?  Sad to say, I don’t.  I can’t remember what I had for lunch today!  If we are wearing every piece of armor, we are in a great place to pray for others!  Some days there are so many prayer requests in my news feed – and I don’t say long, eloquent prayers – but I believe God hears the brief but sincere prayer for a brother or sister in Christ.

It’s a choice to drop the drama on facebook and pick up the armor and support someone in prayer.  God wants us to pray for one another.  Did you know when you begin to pray for a person, it’s impossible to be angry at them?  Pray for those who persecute you – it’ll really confuse them too – I like that part.  If you want to have even more fun – let them KNOW you’re praying for them.  LOL – mind blown!

I know some folks think of prayer as a last resort, but let me tell you – in my opinion, it’s the best thing to do, and should be the first option we think of.  We don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, but our God knows, and He wants us to keep Him in the loop.  I might ask friends for advice, and I may or may not take it…  but when I ask God for help, I have my eyes and ears open, eagerly waiting for His answers!  It’s a privilege to pray for a brother or sister, and I’m so thankful when they let me know they are praying for me too!

Happy Father’s Day!

My Daddy’s Bible

If you are able to hug your daddy – hug him twice!  Have a wonderful day!  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

Have you heard a Christian say they regret inviting Christ Jesus into their heart and life?  Neither have I – and I don’t imagine I ever will.  We make hundreds of decisions daily, but that is the only decision that will matter beyond this life – what will you do with Christ Jesus?

Sin is fun…  for a season.  It makes your heart beat a little faster and there’s a bit of danger involved and so much risk.  Get caught and you could lose everything.  How much do you want to gamble away?  Even Christians sometimes listen to the enemy when he says it’s not going to really hurt anyone and there’s no risk involved.  It’s a lie.  Be on guard against his lies and ready to tell him to get away in the name of Christ Jesus.

There’s a time when every Christian has to stop playing church, walking the fence, dabbling in the things of God – and get real.  That’s what it means to count yourself DEAD to sin.  Don’t even go there.  Put on the full armor of God (Eph. 6) and make your faith real.  Until you do that, you may be fooling many people – but you know you’re not fooling God and you’re actually breaking His heart.

Once you know that you know you’ve made a decision for God and God alone – get baptized – get washed clean and live for Him.

To be truly ALIVE in Christ is the best!  Once you’ve put all your past sins on the altar and asked God to forgive them, He will – and He remembers them no more (it’d be nice if people would forget, wouldn’t it?)  Sometimes it’s difficult to forgive yourself for your past sins, but think of it this way…  if Almighty God says He’s going to forgive and not bring it up ever again, who do you think you are to hang on to those sins of the past?  You have to forgive yourself and it’s not easy – but if you ask God to help you, He’s faithful to help you forgive yourself.

Once forgiveness takes hold, you can be ALIVE IN CHRIST!  That’s the best life because it’s honest and simple.  Sin keeps us in chains, but life in Christ sets us free!  No lies to have to remember, no sneaking around doing something you shouldn’t be doing, no more drama… just freedom and joy in Christ forever!  🙂

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

Just as the Bible instructs children to honor their parents and be obedient, it also has an outline for parents – particularly fathers in this case.  Think of the attributes of our Heavenly Father…  He is slow to anger, as earthly fathers should be.  He does not use severities in dealing with us – again, earthly fathers would be wise to take note of that.

Earthly fathers should do their best to work upon their child’s reason.  The old adage “because I said so” is an example of what not to say.  Children need answers to the fundamental question – why?   It’s always best to use reason so they understand where you’re coming from.

While there’s nothing wrong with setting limits and making it clear where the line is, anything less that proper and compassionate correction is wrong.  Make sure they learn about God and His love as well as His ways.  Pray for your children – and pray with them.  Show them that you practice what you preach.  Prayer in the household should be as natural as breathing.  God can change the heart, yet He gives His blessing to the good lessons and examples of parents, and answers their prayers.

Fathers who want their children to be rich and accomplished, whatever becomes of their souls, must not look for the blessing of God.  That’s not to say a child can not be successful in life – but it is to say the main interest in training up a child should be their spiritual condition.  God will lead for all those other things.  Seek Him first…  then all other things will be added.

God entrusts fathers with precious little ones.  When dads introduce their kids to the Heavenly Father, it makes God smile!  Remember – when we get to Heaven, God’s not going to ask you about how much money you made or how much cool stuff you had while on earth.  He does care about how you raise your children.  It’s important to show them Jesus.  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

It’s not the law of religion nor the principles of morality that define our highways and pathways to God; only by the Grace of God are we led and drawn, to God. It is His grace that conquers a multitude of flaws and in that grace, there is only favor. Favor is not achieved; favor is received. ― C. Joy Bell

The grace of God – THE UNMERITED FAVOR of God – is bestowed upon us like manna from Heaven.  As we pray and seek God’s will for our lives, He keeps blessing us with His matchless grace.  We don’t earn God’s grace – and couldn’t if we tried.  Praise God for His gifts in your life today!

And as grace is free, so is it sure. Nothing can change, or alter, or turn away sovereign grace.  – Alexander Whyte

In 1997, Philip Yancey, an American journalist and editor-at-large for Christianity Today, wrote a wonderful book called What’s So Amazing About Grace? which contends that people crave grace and that it’s central to the gospel of Christ.

As the book examines the role of grace in Christianity, it also states that many local churches have ignored grace, instead seeking to exterminate immorality.  It includes stories from the Bible as well as anecdotes from Yancey’s life.

If God’s people choose to ignore God’s grace and take on a more worldly view of sin, declaring that there is no sin – it’s a sad state of affairs indeed – and sinful in itself.  The fact is, we do sin, and we need God’s forgiveness and we’re dependent on the amazing, wonderful, miraculous GRACE of our Lord.

The most popular hymn of all time is AMAZING GRACE.  Why?  Well, I imagine that it’s because the grace of God – the unmerited favor from our Lord – brings a tear to the eye of every child of God.  We know what we deserve, yet God has chosen to bless us because He loves us so much.  As God gives His wonderful grace to us, we must be careful to give Him praise in return.

May God’s wonderful and amazing grace be with you today.  Aren’t we thankful for it?  Pass the Kleenex.    🙂

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

In the whole Bible there is hardly another chapter which can equal this triumphant text.  – Martin Luther

It’s only because of Christ and all He’s done for us that we have eternal life.  His grace is the key to our salvation.

Adam’s sin resulted in death for all who are in him, but Jesus Christ’s obedience in going to the cross resulted in justification of life for all who are in Him. Adam’s sin was credited to all his descendants, but Christ’s righteousness is credited to all who are His descendants through faith in Him.  – Stephen J. Cole

We don’t earn eternal life – but we humble ourselves with grateful hearts before the cross of Christ.  We rely upon His grace and mercy in our lives and for our afterlives.  We can make Heaven our home forever if we believe and claim His sacrifice on Calvary’s cross.

Yes, Adam sank our spiritual ship, but God has thrown a life preserver to us. His name is Jesus! What Adam did was the worst thing that ever happened, but what Christ did was the best thing that ever happened.  – Keith Krell

Grace is free to us but very costly to God. – Keith Krell

Even at our worst God loves us.  – Jerry Cosper

God’s the only One who could possibly provide the perfect sacrifice for the horrific sin of man.  As much as we want to think that being a “good person” is enough to earn life in Heaven one day, it’s just not true.  Without the cleansing blood of Christ, we cannot be saved.

We’re not keen on being represented by Adam, but the truth is, if any of us had been the first man, we would not have done anything differently.  The fact is, sin is in this fallen world – but the good news is the gospel of Christ!  He died on Calvary’s cross and that is the only hope for fallen man.  Believe today on Him and you will be saved.  🙂

MOTHER’S DAY

When this photo was taken in June, 1979, I remember how I felt.  I was on top of the world because I had graduated high school (which was an answer to prayer – trust me).  I was working my first job on campus at WSU and had so many big dreams.  Now, looking back at this photo, I don’t feel the same way.  The things that seemed so very important to me in 1979 no longer mean much.

Today I’m thankful for these memories.  I’m so thankful to have this photo and that the Kansas wind wasn’t making a mess of my hair.  LOL!  How precious little things become when we can no longer make new memories.  This picture reminds me of where I came from and what really matters in life.  This was a Sunday mornin’ in June…  and where were we headin’???  Surprise surprise…  we were headin’ for church.

I was raised a hard-nosed Southern Baptist – if the church doors were unlocked, we were there.  We had Sunday School, Church, dinner on the grounds, choir practice and Training Union.  My mama was in WMU (Women’s Missionary Union) and my daddy did a lot of carpentry around the church.  One time he made a whole set of little people furniture for the Primary classroom.  He didn’t talk much, but actions speak louder than words.

What do mothers do for us?  Well, when we’re very small – they do everything for us.  I was thankful for a few things my mom taught me – there were many things, of course, but some just come to mind quicker than others.

I am ever so grateful to my mother for showing me which utensil to use at a formal dinner – and the whole napkin in the lap thing.  Why?  As it happens, I was invited to a very fancy formal dinner given by the President of WSU.  There were courses…  so many courses.  I felt as though we were being timed as we ate – because guess what?  If we were not quite finished…  our plates were taken from us!  The purpose of a dinner like that is not to eat but to socialize.

When we’re learning things from mom, it’s a natural reaction to roll eyes or wonder why we will ever need to know certain rules of society.  I’ll tell you a secret…  moms know why they are showing you this stuff.  I wish now I had not rolled my eyes so much or had teenage attitude with my mom.

My mother was a beacon – a light.  She gave me everything I needed to do what I had to do in life.  God of course guided her to teach me, and she was obedient and was the mom she needed to be.  I’m so thankful.

I want to share a Scripture with you that means so much to me.

Mothers are teachers and examples for their children.  This Scripture reminds us that we are all to be a light.  Whether we are parents or brothers or sisters – or just friends…  we have influence on others wherever we go.

Let God’s light shine through you today.  Happy Mother’s Day – to mothers everywhere.  🙂