A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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A CALL TO ACTION

All my life I’ve heard about the race we are to be running as Christians. The Apostle Paul outlined it clearly in the New Testament:

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace. – Acts 20:23-25

The good news of God’s grace. And by what means do we perform this task? Do we have to be part of a body of believers to do this? Can a Lone Ranger Christian impact in the world, or is it only through organized religion we can impact the world for Christ?

Well it’s easier to be in church and minister through channels that are already set up and ready to go. You’re given your materials every quarter, study the lesson you are to teach and show up to teach it. That’s a piece of cake compared to being unchurched and attempting to minister!

The good news is, if you are determined to teach and encourage others in Christ, God is so faithful to help you do that. In the past year, God has blessed my ministry greatly on facebook! He’s helped me maintain two pages and be an encourager in two health groups! God’s Word will not return void! If you are mission-minded and want to reach the lost, there are ways to do that via facebook for sure!

Here are the links if you’d like to visit. I hope you will “LIKE” the pages! The groups are closed but not difficult to join. If you leave a request I’ll make sure you get in.

The two pages are:

AMERICA, BLESS GOD
https://www.facebook.com/bless.God.today.America

POEMS AND PRAYERS FOR MY SAVIOR
https://www.facebook.com/poetryformysavior

The two health groups are:

WELLNESS… WITH A DASH OF HUMOR & A PINCH OF FAITH
https://www.facebook.com/groups/asecondhelpingofwellness/

I also have a website, but its main purpose is to share these links. It is:

http://www.americablessgodtoday.webs.com/

May God richly bless you as you go into the world to SHARE THE GOOD NEWS of Jesus Christ! Peace to you.  🙂

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IRON SHARPENS IRON… FRIENDSHIP

IRON SHARPENS IRON (2)

ADVICE
You don’t have to be a part of social media very long to realize that everyone has opinions about everything from hamburger to toilet paper! I’m not knocking the court of public opinion or free speech because I am so thankful we live in a country where we are free to speak our minds. Opinions are what distinguish us from each other and sometimes it’s a good idea to listen to another person’s point of view. You never know what you might learn. But, once in a while, it’s a good idea to toss an unsolicited opinion overboard and go to your prayer closet and get some real guidance from the One who always has the right answers. God.

A friend shared some sad news with me yesterday. There’s a possibility she has a horrible disease process going on. She won’t know for a few more weeks, but I let her know I will be praying for her. She let me know that if I insist, I may pray, but prayer never “worked” for her. I never thought of prayer that way before – as something that either “worked” or didn’t “work”. I am praying for her and hope you will join me. God knows who she is and her situation.

This morning I was bombarded with advice I didn’t ask for. It wasn’t a big deal, but it did bring to mind the fact that when people feel strongly about a subject, they will usually voice an opinion about it. Most of what I mention in social media is neither personal nor important. It’s just chit-chat and I try to keep things light and funny there. Let’s face it, the folks on facebook are nice, but I would probably not recognize any of them if I walked by them on the street. Why on earth would I get terribly personal with them?

Listen to advice… GOD’S advice, that is! 🙂

When I need true guidance or need to pray for a sick friend, I will go straight to the top. God is my refuge and strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble. 🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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THE SOUND OF SIRENS
Remember in school when we had tornado drills or fire drills? We learned what the response was to be when we heard certain sounds. Well, I suppose you could say that I learned a programmed response when I was little that has to do with the sound of a siren. I learned to pray.

If we were enjoying a nice afternoon and suddenly heard a siren, my mom would say, “I wonder if their family knows they are in danger? I’ll bet they don’t, so we’d better pray for them.” Of course, this was before cell phones were around. But if I hear a siren to this day, whether it is an ambulance, fire truck or police car, I pray for whoever needs help. Hey, even if someone is getting a ticket – I think they need to be prayed for. I would want someone praying if the roles were reversed.

It’s all part of the Golden Rule. We all remember that little rule, don’t we? Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I think some of us have forgotten it, or we think it is “Do TO others before they do TO you.” I’m pretty sure that is out of context big time.

You know, your conscience is more clear and you are happier if you know you’ve done all the good you can for another human being. Maybe you don’t think it’s a big deal, or maybe you just think it’s a dumb idea. Well, my mama didn’t think it was dumb and neither do I. We all need a few more prayers to help us along, whether we realize it or not.

Did you think to pray?  The next time you hear a siren, stop to whisper a prayer for that person because you may be the only one able to help in that way.

There’s very little we can do for someone in need, but we have a God with unlimited resources who can do far more than we can ask or think. He has the answers. It’s up to us to ask for them. Next time you hear a siren, pray for the people needing help and for the people responding. It only takes a few seconds to pray on their behalf but it could help someone you don’t even know.

I STILL BELIEVE AS I GRIEVE

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PLASTER OF PARIS
Plaster of Paris is a quick-setting gypsum plaster consisting of a fine white powder known as calcium sulfate hemihydrate. It hardens when moistened and allowed to dry. Plaster of Paris is prepared by heating calcium sulfate dehydrate or gypsum to 120 to 180 degrees.

It is called Plaster of Paris because gypsum was early on used near Paris to make plaster and cement. Common uses for Plaster of Paris are making casts to immobilize broken bones while they heal, and crafts. I have fond memories of the late 1960’s which happen to be built around Plaster of Paris. Good memories, thank goodness. No broken bones needed mending.

I was so small when I was introduced to my mother’s craft craze, so what I share is going to be in snippets, but there are sights, sounds and definite smells about Plaster of Paris. They are unique and distinct. Once you have experienced Plaster of Paris at any age, you don’t soon forget it.

Our neighbor, Mrs. Harris taught the housewives on Charles street how to make home décor with Plaster of Paris. I was not old enough to go to school yet, so I got to go along with mama for classes. I remember Mrs. Harris having a ton of white molds hanging all over her craft room. I think the area she used for crafting took up most of the square footage of their house! She used to make the best Toll House cookies and gave me as many as I wanted with a big tall glass of milk. But I digress… back to the craft day.

Mama started out making wall hangings. Plaster of Paris nowadays is odorless but trust me, back in the old days is was not odorless! It reminded me of the times we went to the beauty shop for mama’s perms. It’s a smell that is like no other. If I smelled it again I’d know immediately what it was. Once it was mixed, they poured the plaster into the mold and inserted a wire hook at the top so it could hang on the wall. Then they waited a while for the plaster to harden. That’s usually when a lot of the women would join me in the living room with coffee and cookies.

When the molds were removed they had a white plaster base on which to create. Mama did one set of vases in black with gold specks on them. They used spray paint to cover the entire piece and that was another unique smell, but at least they went outdoors to do that. I’m trying to remember how they put the specks on the pieces but I can’t quite remember that. I think she may have put gold paint on a paint brush and shook the brush toward the piece to make the specks.

I’m sure it was a reason to get out of the house and be creative. Don’t we all need to do that once in a while?

I don’t think my angels are worth a lot of money, although the chalkware made in the 1910-1940’s for use as prizes at carnivals is now quite collectible and worth a lot of money. It’s considered folk art and is unsophisticated but a popular collectible these days.

Plaster of Paris is popular in homes still today, although it is much more advanced than the tiny hangings the neighborhood women got together to make.

The angels my mama made for me hung over my bed from the time I was four years old. Now they hang in my house to remind me that I was loved dearly. No, they are not valuable on the market, but they are worth more than anything to me. ❤

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART 35

CONTENTED PEACE

It’s better to have peace in your home and eat hot dogs than to live with strife while dining on the finest swordfish? You bet!
Above all else we should pray for peace in our homes:

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. – Ephesians 4:6-7

There is no room for any anger in a peaceful home:

Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry. – Ephesians 4:26-27

The mood or tone you set in your home will determine a level of stress or a level of peace and harmony. It’s a matter of setting priorities. Simply put, if peace is what you want in your home first and foremost, then it will happen. You have to be mindful that every word you say begins as a thought, good or bad. If the thought is not a good one to express, ask the Holy Spirit to “check” you on it before it comes out of your mouth. I admit that is still something God is helping me with.

How many times have you agreed to do something with the best of intentions, but it ended up robbing you of times of joy and peace with your own family? I see heads nodding. I’ve done it too. We must make our homes a top priority. If we don’t, we run the risk of losing the close bond we have with our own family. The enemy of your soul would like nothing better than to see your family unit crumble to the ground. Even overloading yourself with church work can be an opportunity for the devil to work.

Be aware that when you’re doing good deeds for others it is taking time from your family:

Lay not wait, O wicked man, against the dwelling of the righteous, spoil not his resting place. – Proverbs 24:15

I’m not suggesting that ministry is a bad thing, but make sure you pay attention to your family too. After all, God gave you those precious people for a reason. Don’t ignore them.

Eat your hot dogs and enjoy your time together!

ST. PATRICK’S DAY

TL 3-17 ST. PATRICK'S DAY

https://youtu.be/evxGRwjklS4

Blessings to you today and happy St. Patrick’s day!

Before I get into the message God has laid on my heart, I’d like to share an old Irish song with you.  I wasn’t sure I’d find it on You Tube, but I did.  My daddy bought the music for me when I was very small, and the words have followed me all my life.

Although they have thorns, roses remain my favorite flower. How often are they used as lyrics in songs? I was not able to find an exact number, but suffice to say that roses are used often! I’d say they use the rose or lily more than any other flower.

There is a verse in Song of Solomon 2:11 that compares both the rose and the lily with the Church. Like these beautiful flowers, the church has beauty in color and a sweet fragrance when there is harmony and love inside. The church, like the rose, delights in the bright places and shuns the darkness.

Imagine how pleased Christ is when His church looks and acts like beautiful roses and lilies that are growing strong and tall in the sun. He is pleased with ministries that exist for His glory. He is pleased when there is not any backbiting or criticism of any kind. When the weeds get in the garden they not only detract from the beauty of the flowers, but they can eventually choke them out completely.

What does your church smell like? Is it a pleasant fragrance to God? Does forgiveness come quickly? Is there harmony in the church house?

When the children of God are clothed with the righteousness of Christ and adorned with the graces of His Spirit, how happy the Father is! His children, the roses and lilies of His garden, so beautiful to Him. Believers in God and Christ, filled with His Holy Spirit, we strive to be the people He wants us to be. We perform our best because there’s only One whose opinion counts – our Lord! We do what we do just for Him.

I don’t know about you, but when I reach heaven’s shore, I want my Lord Jesus Christ to give me a great big hug and say the words, “WELL DONE”it will be worth it all when we see Jesus!

JOHN 3:16 ON 3/16

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FIND

I was looking around in an antique store not long ago and spotted a cute little sign that said SIMPLIFY. I smiled and thought about the simple life I live. I help when I can, back off when I should and try to stay tuned in to what my Lord wants me to do. Nothing is more simple than the Christian life.

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TL 3-16 JOHN 3-16

When I see atheists groups and other Christ haters and obstructionists talk about their rights for this and they need to be recognized for that, I wonder if they have any peace of mind. If they do have peace of mind, from what source? It’s not from God because they do not recognize there is a God. If they depend on themselves for peace of mind then it will not be a lasting peace, rather a fake peace, or a peace look-alike. It will crumble at the first sign of trouble.

There’s a famous line in the movie “Forrest Gump” when Forrest is asked if he has found Jesus and he replies, “I did not know He was lost, sir.” The first time I heard that it resonated with me. Is God lost? Well of course He’s not lost, but we sure are! It seems to me that finding the Lord would be of great benefit to we mere humans here on planet earth. Why do some fight the process so much?

Some of it has to do with the way we are raised, I think. Maybe some of it is because people still think that believing in a just and Holy God means you have to clean up your act. That’s backward thinking. You don’t clean up your act to approach God. You approach God and He helps you clean up your act. But let’s be honest; a lot of people don’t want their act messed with. They like the mud hole they’re rolling around in. It’s warm and cozy and familiar. They don’t want the God of the universe telling them what to do. They don’t want to hear what His Word, The Holy Bible has to say. They don’t want to find Him…

Then one day something bad happens. It’s amazing how quickly they find a Christian and ask for prayers. Don’t wait until that time to find Him. Begin seeking Him now. You will find Him.