A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (26)

MY BIBLE
The Bible is the inspired Word of Almighty God. I believe every single word in it and you can think I’m a fool if you like. I don’t care.

I turn to God’s Word for encouragement, inspiration and instruction. The road is narrow, but the journey is so sweet. Oh, no, I’m not perfect. Anyone who tries to tell you that reading the Bible will magically transform you into a perfect person does not know what they’re talking about. I’m still very (very) human. Trust me.

Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins. – Ecclesiastes 7:20

So, if I’m not going to be perfect… what’s the point? Well, the point is that my Savior, Jesus, died for me. He died so all who believe in Him might be saved. Jesus is the bridge between us and His Father, God. The Bible serves as a map of sorts as we go through life. It reminds us that we should be like Jesus. The word “Christian” means “Little Christ”.

I have read in Plato and Cicero sayings that are very wise and very beautiful; but I never read in either of them: “Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden.” – St Augustine

There is no self-righteousness, but there is God’s righteousness. We seek His righteousness through His Son, Jesus. When we fail (and we will), we seek His forgiveness through His Son, Jesus. That’s how it works. It’s not about me, it’s about God. I can’t do anything without His help and guidance.

Peace be to you, fear not. – Genesis 43:23

I don’t know if anyone on this earth prays for me. I know without a doubt that Jesus prays for me. He is on my side and will bring His love and His peace to my life. ❤

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (24)

FROM MY KITCHEN WINDOW
If I could dismantle any misconception, it would be the one that says folks who do not have children do not LIKE children. I have heard that time and again. It is not the truth! Please don’t buy into that lie. Sometimes it’s just not God’s will that children be in some of our lives. But I love children – they crack me up!

I was standing at my kitchen window and saw the cutest thing – our neighbors had one of their grandsons over. It was such a warm day – a perfect day to have the little plastic wading pool in the front yard. When I was a kid I had one of those too. Of course as I watched him splashing around, I thought about how much fun I had when I was his age in my little plastic pool.

Choosing moments of bliss is something I’ve tried to do more often. That was definitely a great moment. I enjoy watching kids playing because it makes me feel younger.

In childhood, we press our nose to the pane, looking out. In memories of childhood, we press our nose to the pane, looking in. – Robert Brault

As I watched him splashing around, I couldn’t help but smile.

You know, back in the early 1980’s I had a hamster named Heather. Heather didn’t like to be cooped up in her cage, so I put her in a plastic ball so she could follow me around the house during the day. These big inflatable ball things for the kids made me think of Heather’s little plastic ball! No, I never put her in a pool – her little ball had air holes – that would have been bad… very bad.

Children just have a way about them that make adults smile. They don’t pay much attention to the impression they make and I wish I felt that comfortable. I wish I could just run through the sprinkler. I have a feeling someone would think I had lost my mind if I did that. I wish I didn’t care. Kids don’t care what you think of them – they’re kids. I miss that.

Maybe we should develop a Crayola bomb as our next secret weapon. A happiness weapon. A beauty bomb. And every time a crisis developed, we would launch one. It would explode high in the air – explode softly – and send thousands, millions, of little parachutes into the air. Floating down to earth – boxes of Crayolas. And we wouldn’t go cheap, either – not little boxes of eight. Boxes of sixty-four, with the sharpener built right in. With silver and gold and copper, magenta and peach and lime, amber and umber and all the rest. And people would smile and get a little funny look on their faces and cover the world with imagination. – Robert Fulghum

Watch some children play today… and smile. 😀

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (18)

BEFORE I COMPLAIN
Mariam Yahya Ibrahim is in my thoughts and prayers. When I first heard about her imprisonment and sentence of death because she would not renounce her Christian faith, my heart broke. The so-called “government” in Sudan is nothing like what we’re used to here in America. If you are not a Muslim, you are in grave danger.

Sharia law considers her a Muslim and does not recognize her marriage to a Christian.

She is unlikely to change her mind despite giving birth in prison

– Daniel Sani, Mariam’s husband

I’m tempted to say I wish there was more I could do than pray, then I realize that prayer is powerful and probably the best thing I can do for her. I hope you are praying too.

Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, an American Marine, took a wrong turn and ended up in a Mexican prison. He has been beaten and treated very badly. He had all of his possessions in his vehicle, including a few guns. He has a court date of June 4th according to CNN.

Again, my thoughts and prayers are with that situation. I pray he gets back to America SOON.

When I am tempted to complain about my country, I look around at the strict and sometimes ridiculous intolerance of other countries and decide that living here is not so bad. Sometimes I think we as Americans are perhaps too tolerant, but I think it’s better to be more forgiving of another who may not share my opinions and beliefs than to threaten their life if they don’t believe exactly the same way I do.

Freedom in America will always trump tyranny in another country! May others show tolerance of my Christian faith. May I show tolerance too, and meet others where they are. God commands us to LOVE. Nowhere in scripture does He ask us to judge. It’s my job to love and to pray and gently uplift others. ❤

I WILL MISS YOU…

TL A TRIBUTE

THE WORDS OF MAYA

Photo credit:  William J. Clinton Presidential Library.

Photo credit: William J. Clinton Presidential Library.

Where to begin? Maya Angelou was a great inspiration for the meek and the mighty! Entire nations listened to her words of wisdom and were moved to action by them. Her impressive list of accolades includes her popular book entitled, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”, which brought about some controversy and was banned from some school libraries across America. Maya contended that the ones banning the book had not even taken the time to read it.

Her fabulous career began when she cut her first album in 1957, “Calypso Lady”. It’s reported that Billie Holiday told her that she would be famous, but not for singing. How right she was!

Between the fiction, non-fiction and published verse, she had more than 30 best-selling titles!

I will miss reading her writings, always thought-provoking, they encouraged me to grow. I believe that’s what good writing does, it makes a person think, take it to their own heart and life, and act on it. It makes us grow as a person and in the way we interact with those around us.

Rest in Peace, Maya Angelou. ❤

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART 35

WHEN I FINALLY GET TO HEAVEN

I was recently reminded that there will come a day when I will never have to say goodbye to my loved ones again. Of course I know this in my mind, but on occasion my heart needs to be reminded.

I will either meet my family at the rapture:

And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died.
We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. – 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17

Or I will meet them when I die:

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. – Revelation 21:4

No, I do not know what that “new order” of things will be, but I will be with the Lord and with my family, so it will be good. There will be no more misunderstandings or heartache. I’ll never have to diet again. The priorities involved in maintaining this physical body will no longer exist. It’s beyond my imagination, but I look forward to that reunion day. ❤

MEMORIAL DAY

TL MEMORIAL DAY

MEMORIAL DAY IN MAIZE
I was not able to get any video of the parade in Maize, but here is a little clip from the celebration in our neighboring city, Hutchinson, Kansas:

Wichita is the largest city in Kansas. We are so large that I’m not sure we have the budget to decorate properly for Memorial Day. Our downtown looks pretty at Christmas, but we lack some when it comes to the more patriotic holidays.

I am blessed to live only a few miles from Maize, Kansas. Maize is a city that is definitely growing by leaps and bounds. Last year, eighty-six new single-family housing starts were issued! That is a record year! Five new businesses were started, and a new Industrial Park plan is now in place. It’s a booming little city!

As Maize grows, I hope it does not lose its cozy feel. On Memorial Day they line their main street with American flags, a subtle reminder of the day. There is a patriotism there that I really appreciate.

I know Maize is not the only city to put flags out for Memorial Day, and I salute all cities and towns that see fit to decorate properly for this day!

Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened. – Billy Graham

Maybe it’s just me, but when I see the American flags lining the main street in Maize on Memorial Day, or Decoration Day, it stiffens my resolve to be a better American citizen. I know this country is not perfect, but it is still the best country in the world!

I pray that God will continue to bless America. I also pray that Americans will bend the knee and bless God in return.

“If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land. “Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayer offered in this place.… 2 Chronicles 7:13-15

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (23)

THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

I love that… UNDER GOD!!!

What is allegiance?

allegiance: The fidelity owed by a subject or citizen to a sovereign or government.

I know I’m old, but back when I was in school, there were two things we did before we got down to the business of learning. First, there was a morning prayer. No one ever questioned it, we just knew that each morning we would bow our heads before our Creator and give thanks to Him for another day of life. That’s just what we did. Then we all stood, put our right hand over our heart and recited the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag.

These things don’t happen in classrooms anymore. Nothing is the way it used to be in school, so how do they teach children today about faith? How do they teach them about allegiance? Do they learn about the concept of fidelity? Who do they thank for another day of life, and another day to learn?

I don’t have children, so I don’t have first-hand knowledge of classroom activities. I did hear from my kids in Sunday School though. I asked them one day if they prayed in school. I didn’t ask them if they had corporate prayer, but if they ever prayed. They all looked at me as if I’d lost my mind. “No”, they said. “We’re not allowed to do that.”

Then I asked if they ever said the Pledge of Allegiance. They once again looked at me as if I’d just stepped off the crazy express. “Of course not. Kids haven’t done that in a LOOOONNNNGGGG time.” Aside from being made to feel very old, I took note of their lack of concern about it. I asked if any of them KNEW the Pledge of Allegiance. I got blank stares from them. I wanted to cry.

From that day on, I always had an American flag in my Sunday School class, along with a large Bible so we could do the Pledge to the Bible, followed by a prayer. My Sunday School class left me knowing about allegiance to their country, and most importantly, allegiance to their God.

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART 35

THANK GOD FOR THE TROOPS

I’m so very thankful for the men and women who defend my freedom! Once in a while, usually around this time of year, I see a post on facebook about how the troops wearing helmets should earn more money for defending our country than a football player on a field wearing a helmet, defending a football. When I see that post I always “like” and “share” it.

This is not a political blog and I don’t want it to be political. I have to say that as an American citizen I am shocked and upset about the Veteran’s Administration scandal. Lately there have been so many scandals that I’ve gotten used to the term “scandal”. But this one is different. This one is personal.

How could they think something like this would not catch up to them? It’s obviously a last-ditch effort by an agency that is broken to begin with. In my humble opinion, they need to re-build the entire VA from the top down. Get rid of the ones running it now and start from scratch. Make it stronger and much more reliable than it has ever been. Our military personnel deserve nothing less than the best. We owe them that much.

Every day I pray for this nation. I pray for our country to turn back to God. Don’t we understand that there will be dire consequences if we don’t? Hello!

I am so blessed to be a citizen of America. I am doubly blessed to be a child of God. It is my prayer that we find a way to honor and care for our Veterans in a way that will show them how much they mean to us. It goes beyond politics to a more personal problem. Every Veteran, no matter what war they fought in, deserves the best this country can give them. That so many died waiting to be cared for is a tragedy and the VA should be ashamed of itself. 😦

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (31)

THE ANSWER IS GOD...  WHAT WAS THE QUESTION

I love to hear children sing. They are so innocent and they just believe without a lot of pretense.

Maybe I really do have a childlike faith, but I believe that any answer to any question in life can be found if I pray and ask God for it. Am I over-simplifying it? Well, I find that prayer is the only way to answer some questions in life.

Let your search be for the Lord and for his strength; let your hearts ever be turned to him. – I Chronicles 16:11

It seems like I have new questions for God every day! Some questions drift from day-to-day and God will answer those in His own good time. That’s the thing about God – He does answer, but it will be in His time, but that’s okay because His timing is perfect. My timing is anything but perfect.

I seek His strength because I am so weak. I seek His wisdom because I am unwise.

Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness ! You have relieved me in my distress; Be gracious to me and hear my prayer. – Psalm 4:1

God is faithful and will answer my prayers. He calms my fears and comforts me when I grieve. He hears my prayers and knows my thoughts, my attitudes and the intentions of my heart. Nothing about me can be hidden from Him.

Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven. – Psalm 107:28-30

For the most part my seas are calm these days. There were days when I was actually angry at God. I prayed for a baby and did not get one. I said prayers, but they were angry prayers filled with bitterness. I looked around at others who were given babies and I did not understand why I was denied. I still struggle with that some, but with age I have decided that my life will be different. I am not less of a person because I am childless. I am just different. God has His reasons for leaving me childless – grand-childless, etc. It’s my job to accept that. I’m left shrugging my shoulders and saying, “It is what it is – I’ll make the best of it.”

The answer is God. Prayer is powerful. You don’t have to sugar-coat prayer, and why would you want to? God knows your thoughts, your attitudes, and the innermost intentions of your heart. In this life you will hurt more than you ever thought you could. He knows you’re hurting. Be honest with God. He will see you through whatever it is you are facing. ❤

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (29)A

MY GIVE A HOOT

The closest I got to having a pet owl was buying a FURBY. :-/

We all have one… I’m talking about a GIVE A HOOT. Mine has been less than enthusiastic lately, but today it completely flat-lined. Why? Well, it could be the mild temperatures and almost no wind we have enjoyed the past couple of days. It could be something else. I don’t know and dare I say… I don’t care.

Even though I don’t give a hoot right now, I must admit that owls fascinate me! They are nocturnal creatures – like me!

When I was little sometimes I stayed with Granny & Grandpa on their farm. At night those ol’ barn owls would stir things up. I know some people would be frightened by it, but I wasn’t. I always felt very safe and secure at the farmhouse. Granny LaVella used to say that the barn owls are better to have around than a cat because they eat mice and other critters. She made a brush pile and scattered seed on the ground to attract the mice, which in turn attracted the owls. Owls don’t like bird baths, but they did like to go to the horse trough, I guess because it was deeper.

Of course the barn owls nested in the barn, but they also enjoy the dense mature trees with good limbs to roost on during the day. They don’t like direct heat either and will seek out a shady place to spend their daylight hours. There were plenty of hollow trees on the farm and the owls seemed to be attracted to them. There were also a couple of special places in the loft where the owls nested. Owls nest in January or February, earlier than other birds. Little owlets are so cute! Awe!!!

So even though my give a hoot seems to be a little disheveled at the moment, I think owls are very cool and I definitely give a hoot about them! 🙂