A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (18)

Do you know the song called “Every Praise”???  I can’t post it here because of copyright infringement, but it is over on You Tube if you want to hear it.

Did you hear about the little boy in Georgia who was abducted? Sadly, that’s not news, but this part will make you think… he reportedly sang this song of praise to his GOD and to the kidnappers until they could not take it anymore and let the boy go! So, if you don’t think God works in the lives of His own – even the little ones with great faith, think again! Teach your children hymns and gospel songs that they may have it committed to memory and stuck in their heart. It will be there when they need it!

There’s an old saying for people who tend to mess up quite often… like me. My family used to say, “Buy ya books, and buy ya books…” In other words, even though I know better than to do something, I do it anyway. Does that strike a chord with you?

You know, the sin is not in failing, but in not getting back up and trying again. If the Christian life was perfect from the day we accept Christ into our hearts and lives, wouldn’t that be great? The fact is, we are works in progress until the day we cross over into heaven. We need to keep learning from life experiences. Learn from them, but don’t give up because of them.

Our faith gets tested by our Lord once in a while and it’s usually not fun and there is sometimes pain involved. God will test but He will never tempt us. The enemy of our soul will tempt us – and often.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. – 2 Corinthians 4:16

But wait – when a verse begins with the word THEREFORE, we need to back up and see what the verse is THERE FOR.

Paul is talking about eternal benefits here. We know our physical bodies are getting older and slower, but our spirits (the inward man) is being renewed by reading God’s Word and praying every day. We keep learning, trusting, believing and exercising our faith . Wisdom comes as a result of life lessons. The longer you live, the more you put your faith and trust in God, the stronger you get in Him.

I love looking back on past situations and knowing without a doubt that GOD brought me through. That is what strengthens my faith most!

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A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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IT'S ME AGAIN LORD

I have to remind and reassure myself that the Bible tells us it’s okay to pray without ceasing. Sometimes it’s as if I’m really getting on God’s last nerve with my constant praying. I try not to make it a list of complaints or a list of stuff I need or outcomes I need to have happen in my life. Sometimes I just want to be silent and know that He is God.

Those are the really powerful prayer times! Those times when you just sit still and KNOW. You just know that He is. He is what? He IS – and that’s enough. He is everything and everything is Him. Once you understand that your stuff is not yours, your very life is His, your attitude and outlook will become more clear and focused. There will suddenly be so much small stuff where it seemed so important before!

In Matthew chapter 6 verse 9 we are taught how we should pray:

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. – Matthew 6:9-13

So, is it possible to pray without ceasing???

According to Mary it is! She explained it to her minister like this:

“Well, sir”, she said, “when I first open my eyes in the morning, I pray ‘Lord, open the eyes of my understanding’; and while I am dressing, I pray that I may be clothed with the robes of righteousness; when I wash, I ask for the washing of regeneration; as I work, I pray that I may have the strength equal to my day; as I sweep out the house, I pray the my heart may be cleansed from all impurities; while preparing and eating of breakfast, I pray to be fed with the hidden manna and the sincere milk of the Word; as I am busy with the little children, I ask God to make me become as a child; and so on, all day. Everything I do furnishes me with a thought for prayer.”

So…  carry on and pray without ceasing!  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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A DIFFICULT PRAYER
Some prayers come so easily. The prayers of thanksgiving just sort of flow in an effortless fashion. Thanking God for the bounty He provides is so easy! Praying on the behalf of those who are ill is not even that hard. The prayer of repentance is a bit more difficult because that is hitting mighty close to home. There’s one even more difficult prayer to pray and that is the one that says, “Lord, change ME.”

Everyone has an ego. I don’t care who you are, there is some degree of ego. We don’t like to think that we are the problem. We like to think that we live our lives in such a way that we are the contributors, the do-gooders and the peacemakers. The fact is, sometimes it is not the other person who needs the adjustment, but sometimes… it’s me. I need to change an attitude or a behavior or something.

It’s true, and it’s painful. No matter what relationship it is, work, church, school, even more personal relationships like marriage or a sibling or a parent – sometimes we need to pray “Lord, change ME.”

Without going into detail, I know for a fact that little three-word prayer works. God takes that heart-felt prayer and performs what I consider to be a real miracle with it! And, the funny thing is, the more often you pray it, the easier it gets to pray it! That ego just begins to shrink and there’s a sort of attitude “shift” that takes place. The other person gets viewed not as a problem, but as someone who you need to understand better. In order to understand where they are coming from, you need God to tweak your sense of understanding toward them. LORD, CHANGE ME.

I love how God works and the prayers He uses. It’s our willingness to let our ego shrink and accept the fact that we need an attitude adjustment from God that allows God to do the work. Once that concept becomes clear, it’s not a difficult prayer to pray. At first, it’s probably the most difficult prayer you’ll ever pray. Don’t give up, just try it and see if God doesn’t perform a real miracle for you too. ❤

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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CIRCLES OF LOVE

Doesn’t that look like FUN? It’s a good thing I’m not Jewish though… I can’t dance worth a lick and I’m a wallflower. So, there ya go.

Oy Vey! I’ll be honest, what I know about Jewish traditions and customs could fill a very small thimble. The fact remains that I find these time-honored customs fascinating and wish we as Christians had more deeply rooted traditions (other than what flavor the groom’s cake will be).

The inspiration for this poem came from an article I read about the Jewish custom of the bride circling the groom seven times. The circling of the groom is an Ashkenazi practice and is not generally part of Sephardic tradition, however, it is rich with symbolism:

1. When Joshua led the Children of Israel in the battle for Jericho, he was instructed to circle the city seven times, resulting in the walls of the city crumbling. As two people enter into marriage, they face the challenge of breaking down the “walls” that may exist between them.

2. This has been interpreted to parallel the seven days of creation, and symbolizes the fact that the bride and groom are about to create their own “new world” together.

3. Seven circles correspond to the seven times in the Torah where it is written, “… and when a man takes a wife.”

As a Christian, the symbolism that pops into my mind has to do with the wedding rings. The gold is solid and sturdy and withstands any sort of punishment, like a good marriage does. The rings are of course circles which have no beginning and no end. It goes on forever. The Christian circle represents eternity. Marriage should not be entered into lightly, for if you go into it with the wrong one, eternity can be a very long time.

It’s outlined in the New Testament of God’s Holy Word, The Bible, that a husband is to lay down his life in sacrificial love and protection. As her loving husband is obedient, a wife naturally responds with honor and respect.

The promises made between husband and wife is a picture of the relationship between Jesus Christ and his bride, the church. Just as a husband and wife’s vow to love, honor and cherish each other will last for eternity, so will the Christian’s relationship with Christ endure for all eternity. ❤

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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JUST A THUMBNAIL MOON

Until it’s time for us to travel ON… we just travel. There is one simple joy in being a childless couple. We are free to take flight at a moment’s notice if we want to! My husband and I have been known to suddenly take off for parts unknown and drive all night to get there.

One such night I noticed the sky was darker than usual. We were parked at a local convenience store and I decided to get out and stretch my legs one last time before we did some serious traveling. I grabbed the camera and got a shot of this beautiful thumbnail moon. As I pointed the camera to take my shot, I said a little prayer for traveling mercies – again. Hey, you can’t over-pray these things!

I took the photo around 3am, which lets you know that we travel at strange times to be sure. I just kept thinking about how dark it was with that bit of light glowing in the sky. Other than being dark, it was beautiful weather. There was not a lot of wind (which is unusual for Kansas) and as I recall we wore long sleeves, but did not need coats.

The darkness was a little spooky. I’m not afraid of the dark, but it was just a different sort of night. It’s actually better to travel when there is not a full moon because that’s when strange things happen. So with that thought in mind, I embraced the little thumbnail moon and decided that God would see us safely to our destination.

The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe. – Proverbs 29:25

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God, I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. – Isaiah 41:10

The giant known as FEAR disappeared through prayer and reminders from God’s Word. It was a lovely trip. ❤

LIFE ON THE FARM

TL LIFE ON THE FARM

FARM COMFORT
2014 is the year of the family farm. There are still a few of them around, but as generations die off, fewer people are interested in carrying on the traditions on the family farm. I’m thankful for the small family farms. They are the backbone of our country!

Although my family members are happy in heaven, my mind goes back to a time when they were all very much alive and well on planet earth.

I suppose it’s because Spring has arrived. The jonquils are blooming and so are my allergies! These subtle signs trigger memories of the past and I have no choice but to re-live them! They are happy memories and I treasure them so very much.

Every year around my birthday, we made a special trip to grandpa Frank & granny LaVella’s farm in Oklahoma. I looked forward to it because I always got to ride my horse, Ol’ Blue, a Palomino with the prettiest blue eyes! Granny LaVella made my favorite meals and you can be sure we ate three squares! We went back home to Wichita with some extra pounds, but preparing meals was granny’s way of showing love for her family.

There were chores to be done and conversations to be engaged in. We talked about everything in my family from the weather (farmers are great at talking about the weather) to the newest feed available for the stock, to the latest project that granny LaVella had going on. She was always doing something for somebody. She knitted little caps and crocheted booties for every baby in their community, I think!

It’s funny how the senses can take you back in time. The bed I slept in on the farm was an old metal spring bed that was probably an antique back then! Every time I moved that thing made the most unusual noise. I especially enjoyed being wrapped up in one of granny’s quilts. I always felt so safe and secure all snuggled up.

The only real problem was if I had to visit the outhouse. I made sure I didn’t drink anything before bedtime because even though I felt safe indoors, venturing out at night to an outhouse is a real experience – one I tried to avoid as much as possible.

I’m thankful to God for precious memories of childhood. I pray that I never lose them. I’m thankful that spring has finally arrived. Peace to you today! ❤

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

ALL YOUR NEEDI have faults and I fail sometimes. This comes as no surprise to God. It’s not an excuse to get lazy in my faith, but it is a fact. I’m so thankful that God knows me – He knows my name!

So, if I have this expectation of others, why can’t I cut them the same slack I expect them to cut me? Why is my bubble burst when I hear that someone has faltered or failed when it could just as easily have been me?

Let’s take the question a step further. That precious spouse you live with is just human too. Is he or she going to meet every single need you have? I’m sure they will give it their best shot, but as we’ve determined, they are going to fall short because they’re just… human.

And am I perfect in my performance as a helpmate? Well… NO! I’m not and I never will be. Again I emphasize this is not a statement that should lend itself to excuses, but a fact.

Where can we mere mortals go to get every need met (and most of our wants to boot)??? Consider some alone time with your heavenly Father. Don’t just jump in with the laundry list of stuff you need, or think you need. Just as you want your children to approach you with love and honor and respect, you should approach your heavenly Father the same way.

Just before we learn The Lord’s Prayer, we are told:

And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. – Matthew 1:7-8

If God already knows what we need, why do we have to ask for things?

When I ask my husband if he loves me and he replies, “I told you 28 years ago I loved you and nothing has changed…” how does that make me feel???

Even though God already knows, He wants us to ask. He’s not a Santa Claus though – or some vending machine you put a couple of quarters in to get something out. He is your heavenly Father. Do you know why He created man? He created us for FELLOWSHIP. He wants to be in your life! He wants to be the center of your life! He deserves to be in the middle of your life.

He is the ONE who can meet EVERY NEED you have. Praise His Name!!!