COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (30)

BLACK FRIDAY

Well, it’s that wonderful time of year again.  Oh, I don’t mean Thanksgiving (or as I like to call it, Thanksliving), but the day after…  the one day of the year when all the crazy people gather in malls and shopping outlets across the country for one express purpose… to get the bargain!  Black Friday has arrived!!!  Woot!!!

It just seems strange to me that we take a day to be thankful for all of our many blessings – then the next day (for some people, that very evening), the thankfulness gets replaced with a feeling of discontentment again.  I’m so confused!  If we’re so thankful, then why do we think we have to jump into that madness?  Ah… to get the perfect Christmas gift, right?  Well, give it up – there is no such thing as the perfect Christmas gift!  Perfection is highly over-rated, and quite frankly, a tad boring!

Some people will burn calories working out at the mall. They reason that surely the pounds will melt away as they scurry around frantically, raising their blood pressure and stressing themselves out in the process. It also gives the budget a workout. I know there are sales, but you’ll still spend money.

So, kudos to all the shoppers out there…  may the bargain fairy be with you!  But I think I’ll just keep my body busy a different way today – and maybe I’ll burn just as many calories and still have some money left over! Yay!

It takes a special brand of stupid. And I think if I hear one more OMG I will scream. Really not diggin’ on that phrase and it is everywhere. Please expand your vocabulary horizon beyond the OMG’s, people. I think this is what they call mob mentality. It’s a bit disturbing to say the least. Where are people’s priorities? We act like this with each other just to get the perfect Christmas gift for someone at a bargain price? Okay – let’s think about that thing. First of all, I don’t think the prices are all that great. Secondly, you push and shove and yell and curse at your brother in the name of Christmas (using Christ’s name in vain) and then at Christmas we speak peace to one another? Yeah, right – I got that. 😦

Before you walk out the door, make sure to do a few warm up stretches. Practice smiling and saying, “Excuse me, pardon me, oh, I’m so sorry, was that your shopping cart?”

Please shop friendly!  🙂

THANKS LIVING DAY 39

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PRAYER ABOUT TREASURES

So if you reached into the treasure chest of God’s blessings, (which, by the way, never empties) how many blessings would you pull out? How many could you hold? Would you be shy and not want to take too many because you don’t want to appear selfish? Or, would you get a firm grip on every blessing you possibly could?

Well it’s Thanksgiving Day, and I pray for you every possible blessing from God’s endless bounty of blessings! Don’t be shy, step up and claim them from your Lord and humbly thank Him for His goodness to you! He wants only the best for His children. He loves us so much – we can’t even imagine.

The Psalmist, David, wrote this observation in God’s Holy Word, The Bible:

I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. – Psalm 37:25

Have faith today that God will meet all your needs. This Thanksgiving you have so much to be grateful for. I know you already know that, but I’m reminding you of the obvious.

Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His love endures forever. – 1 Chronicles 16:34

HAPPY THANKSGIVUKAH!!! Now… pass me that punkin’ pie!!!

I wrote this little Thanksgiving poem/prayer for my friend Meri. I want to give she and her wonderful family a special shout out this year! ❤

A THANKSGIVING PRAYER

THANKS LIVING DAY 38

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PRAYER ABOUT PETS

On this Thanksgiving Eve I am spending time with my family. Casey has over 100 toys in his toy box, but one is special. About five years ago, we took a trip to Minneapolis, MN to visit the Mall of America, the largest mall in the country. Of course both our jaws dropped when we walked in and took in the size of the place – it’s simply astounding!

There is a store at the mall that sells novelty items for pets. We found a unique toy for Casey – it’s a duck. When you squeeze it or drop it on the floor, it quacks – not just once but about three times in a row! Do you think we were crazy for buying it? Oh – probably, but it was for our Casey, so we had to get it!

I’ve kept scrapbooks for Casey like other moms keep scrapbooks for their children. Sometimes I joke around that this is actually Casey’s house and he’s just letting us hang around as part of his pack. He calls the shots and yes, I do believe he is just a little spoiled.

Every dog has their own unique personality and Casey is no exception. He knows how to push our buttons, that’s for sure. I hope we are blessed to have him around for a long time. We’ve had a couple of scares with cancer and some arthritis, but in people years he is over 80. I hope I’m doing as well as he is when I am 80+.

Thank You, Lord, for our Casey. He brings happiness into our lives. ❤

THANKS LIVING DAY 37

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PRAYER OF THANKS FOR SAFETY

How important is safety these days? When I was a kid we didn’t have to wear a helmet to ride a bike and we had bench seats in our car with a lap seatbelt. That was “safety” back then. I remember when mom or dad had to slam on the brakes, their right arm would automatically smack across me, bracing me! Some of you remember that too, don’t you?

We are so safety conscious these days. I can’t imagine using those car seats for kids! They look so complicated! No wonder I have to wait about ten minutes for that mom in the Wal-Mart parking lot to get her child strapped in before I can get to my car door to leave.

Have you ever been out-of-town and lost? My daddy used to tell me I could get lost in my own back yard because I am so directionally impaired – but I digress. Being lost is the most helpless feeling in the world, especially in unfamiliar territory. No one likes to be lost.

I’m not perfect – there, I said it. I won’t say it again – I didn’t stutter. Perfection is not something that will be everyone’s lasting memory of me. I’m bold and I jump in and sometimes I make a great big mess of things! I can’t tell you how many times I have “rushed” God’s timing. I do rush in – but I’m a work in progress. God is working on me and teaching me that it is always best to seek His advice before just moving on with something.

When you rush God there are consequences. God forgives the root sin when you ask Him to – but there are still consequences for the actions – and sometimes those consequences are long-term. Trust me when I tell you sin will take you further than you ever wanted to go – in the wrong direction. An old hymn comes to mind:

But I have good news. God is patient and He is waiting to help you. He knows you are not perfect but He wants to help you learn how to trust His timing instead of acting and then saying, “Okay God – now bless what I’ve already done.” It doesn’t work out so good that way. Wait on Him. Wait on His timing.

Today – I’m thankful that God always allows U-turns on His road. If you are traveling the wrong direction, just make a U-turn and start relying on God and His perfect timing. ❤

THANKS LIVING DAY 36

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PRAYER TO GOD WHO OWNS ALL THINGS

There is something very freeing about knowing that the stuff you have is temporary. I know we all “know” that, but to really come to the end conclusion that it’s only stuff and will one day turn to rust – well, that gives you a brand new attitude toward life!

God is letting us borrow the things we have. He knows we have need of certain things while we live here on earth. He’s more than willing to supply all our needs (and our wants). He blesses beyond measure.

I was driving my car last Friday and heard on the radio that there are already people living out of tents in front of stores! It seems to get more crazy every year, doesn’t it? Pretty soon the “Black Friday” sales will begin in June or something! I was alone in my car – and actually laughed out loud when the D.J. said that! I thought, “How very ironic that is! Can you imagine having Thanksgiving dinner in a tent – giving thanks to God for all your bounty and adding on a little tag to your prayer – something like ‘And Lord, please let us be the first ones in the door on Black Friday.’ It’s crazy – simply insane!!!”

http://youtu.be/7mA0ozPIrTE
Maybe I’ll watch this DVD today! I think it’s what they used to call “screwball comedy” – anyway, it makes me laugh!

Our household will have a very quiet Thanksgiving. We will be thankful and will continue to be thankful on Friday as well. No shopping and no pushing and shoving at the mall. No thank you! 🙂

Thanks Living Day 35

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SIFT
Today I am thankful for God’s Holy Spirit.  He helps me choose wise words and checks me when I make questionable choices along life’s way.

What happens when flour gets sifted?  Why do we do that?  It makes it lighter and fluffy.  When our thoughts and motives are sifted through the Holy Spirit sifter, it’s the same outcome.  We become lighter and less burdened!

God’s Holy Spirit is essential for sifting in my life – it’s what makes what I do and say much better than it would be otherwise!

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Today the old hymn BE THOU MY VISION is running through my mind.  If you have a hymnal handy or want to look it up online, take a moment to read the words slowly and deliberately.  Take some time today to thank God for His wonderful helper, comforter, guide – His Holy Spirit!  ❤

THANKS LIVING DAY 34

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PRAYER ABOUT ANIMALS

If you have 5 good friends in the course of your life, that’s a good thing! People will come and go and not all of them will stay – and not all of them are keepers. When I am a friend, I try to be a good one. I pray for my friends and help as much as I can. I take friendship very seriously and expect nothing less from my friend.

Friends are the family we would choose for ourselves if we could. They are the people who are honest with us when no one else is. They are the ones who tell us when we have a price tag hanging from that new Christmas sweater at church (yes, that really happened – sigh).

I feel free to share nearly anything with my best friends. I ask questions of them that I would not ask anyone else. When I’m crying, they cry with me. When I’m laughing, they laugh too! We don’t hide emotions. There are no masks between me and my best friends. If I hurt them – they forgive quickly. If they hurt me, I forgive quickly. We work it out; then we move on.

Sometimes friends get called away for mission service or God has another place for them to serve. It’s painful to lose friends but with Skype and other technology, it’s easier to let them go, and of course we know that God has a great work for them to do.

The reality check I need comes from my best friends. They keep me grounded when I think too much of myself or my abilities. They encourage my spirit when I feel lower than a snake’s belly. Sometimes it cuts like a knife to hear the truth from them, but I know they tell the truth and I love them for it.

Iron sharpens iron… I believe in my friends and they believe in me. We all believe in GOD and that makes all the difference! ❤

THANKS LIVING DAY 33

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PRAYER ABOUT CHURCH
There is a distinct difference between joy and happiness. To break it down even more, there is a huge difference between the kind of joy the world knows and the awesome joy that a Christian has the privilege to enjoy. Did you hear the word I just used – ENJOY. When a Christian speaks of something they ENJOY – it is with a joy that the world does not know and cannot know apart from the love of Christ.

I’ve been happy, but it doesn’t last and it’s certainly not an emotion that I would want to hang my hopes on. Happiness is fickle and largely dependent on mood and is quite emotional. Joy, particularly the Joy of the Lord, brings something more. It’s difficult to put into words because I feel it in my spirit – my soul. The joy of the Lord is my strength. It lifts me higher and gives me courage to do the difficult tasks in life. It lets me know that no matter how much I mess things up, God will never give up on me and He will keep me in His strong, loving hand. I’m in good hands – and it’s not Allstate insurance. It’s better. 😉

THANKS LIVING DAY 32

 

TL THANKSGIVINGPRAYER ABOUT FRIENDS

My Lord is near me all the time.  What sweet assurance that is – and more so as time goes on.

There’s an old saying among Christians – to get to heaven, you gotta be paid up and prayed up. That’s always bothered me a little because God loves a cheerful giver and that doesn’t sound like a cheery attitude to me. It sounds less like love and more like duty. If we love the Lord we will do as we should because we love Him, not because it is mandatory. Some people think if they do more paying and more praying, it counts for extra credit in the after life. Um… nope – don’t think so, however, if you do extra credit work, it is not in vain because it ultimately helps you in your life here on earth.

Today I am thankful for God’s patience with me. He has forgiven me so many times, and He forgives quickly and completely. I need to be as good at forgiveness as God is! I want to be. I fall down and He picks me up and dusts me off and sets me back on the path. Thank You, Lord for being so good to me. You teach by example how we should treat others. Help me to do better.

In God’s Holy Word, The Bible, Jesus used a familiar phrase when speaking to people. He said, “He who has ears, let him hear.” He also used similar phrases that mean the same thing. All told, He tells His sheep to listen to Him 15 times in Scripture! I think He wants us to listen!

So today Lord – I thank You for being patient with me and I pray You would help me use those ears You gave me to hear You.

I’m so thankful for friends who really pray for me.  Please pray that God won’t give up on me. I pray that God will keep picking me up and setting me back on the path You want me to be on.

THANKS LIVING DAY 31

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PRAYER FOR HELP WITH DIET

It’s too late for vanity.  If I was 30, maybe, I’d say, “Hey, that’s not a good angle.”  But there is no good angle now.  – Clint Eastwood

I don’t have many enemies in life, but my one mortal enemy is my weight! In 1998 I was at my highest weight – 250 pounds!!! That is not good on a 5’2″ frame. The year we had a photo taken with our dog was my Waterloo. I hit the proverbial brick wall – and something had to give. I did not want that something to be my health and well-being.

Emotional eaters are very sneaky. We are unhappy and find our solace in food. Not just any food, mind you – but junk food. The more junkie, the better! Candy bars and regular soda and ice cream and chips and… well, you get the idea.

My self-esteem was non-existent. I wore my hair very short and very styled in an unattractive way.  Who does that on purpose?  I don’t know, but I did.  Back then I definitely had an eating disorder – I ate everything in sight.  If it stood still long enough, it was mine!

I don’t know why I lacked the ability to control my eating back then.  All I know is that I was working a job I absolutely hated, I was not in a good place particularly with my health (I had a very bad case of deniabetes at that time). I’d love to tell you that it was my diabetes that drove me to lose the weight, but it wasn’t. It was vanity. There’s no way I was going to look like that for one more day! OK, now I try to stay healthy for health’s sake, but the first driving force was looks.

It has been a long and difficult road to travel, but those are the trips that teach us the most.  If there is an easy fix, we don’t seem to appreciate the victory as much, do we?  I assure you, I relish this victory and do not take it for granted.  Today we celebrate BEAUTIFUL DAY!!!!!!!!!!! Today I celebrate beauty – in myself and in others. Here are the lessons I learned:

  1. God does not make junk.  Not you, not me, not anybody.  If God sees me as a special person, then who am I to take that person and try to destroy her – stuff her with food?
  2. I’ll never be a super model.  I will never be six-foot tall.  I will never have legs that extend into another zip code.  My thighs will always be very close friends – they will continue to meet often when I walk.
  3. I have to save my health above all else.  Let the rest of this stuff care for itself.  Be positive about the weight loss from a health standpoint.
  4. The words “comfort” and “food” are no longer used in the same sentence by me.  If I begin to think of food as something that brings comfort – then I have given food more power than it deserves to have in my life.  Food no longer has any power over me.  Comfort comes from someone I love, not a Twinkie.
  5. I am worth saving.  I’m special to my Creator.  I know this because He says so.  He made me on purpose – and I choose this day to live the life He wants me to live and be happy in this body and put a smile on my face and embrace each new day as it happens!
  6. I will not wallow in my past and I will not fret about my uncertain future.  I will live in this present moment.  This moment is a “present”.  Drink it in!
  7. There are better ways to cope with boredom than eating.  I finally know when I’m truly hungry – Eureka!  When I’m upset by something or bored with something, I find a more constructive way to manage it, such as exercise or music.  This one lesson has made my health very happy!

One last thing: It sure feels good to wear blue jeans again! Today is BEAUTIFUL DAY!!! I’m getting there… I’m getting there. ❤