COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.  – 2 Timothy 2:15

KEEP THE GOVERNMENT OUT OF MY RELIGION!!!  Amen???  Well, how about KNOW WHAT YOUR BIBLE SAYS – for real.  It astonishes me to hear what folks think they’re quoting as Scripture…  when no, it’s really not.

 God helps those who help themselves.  – 1 Americanians 17:76

We’ve all heard this!  Shoot, my parents said that about as often as they said The Lord’s Prayer – well, maybe not as often, but I heard it a lot growing up.  It’s probably the most quoted saying that is attributed to God’s Holy Word – but guess what?  It’s not in there!

Spare the rod, spoil the child.  – 2 Abuse 19:50

I was spanked maybe once or twice in my life, but they were not beatings with a rod by any stretch of the imagination.  I used to tell my parents they “talked me to death” as a punishment.  It was effective, because I towed the line just to avoid that.  And, I was one of those kids who did NOT want to disappoint my parents.  I’d rather eat chalk than to disappoint my folks.  Nobody in the Bible ever told a parent to hit their kids!

Cleanliness is next to godliness.  – Obsessive Compulsive 20:14

OK, I’m sure God wants us to live above the fray and the dust bunnies; however, to obsess over it – ???  I’m guessing He just wants us to obsess over Him!  Praise Him, keep your mind on His precepts – His real precepts, not the ones made up by well-meaning folks with a fetish for housework.  Ugh…  that sounds like a problem for a therapist.  It’s a problem that I, thankfully, have never had.  Ask my husband.  No, wait – don’t ask him.  Bad idea.

Yea, verily, God wants you to be happy.  – Oprah 1:1

Sigh…  life as a Christian does not mean you are given lollipops and roses every day!  In fact, if we are to be followers of Christ, we are to take up our cross and follow Him.  God is not like SPA DAY…  and happiness is not our goal as a Christian.  God will most assuredly give us a deep settled PEACE and JOY if we give Him full control.  For control freaks, that’s very difficult – it’s not easy and should not be taken lightly.  It’s a battle of wills sometimes – and I’m speaking from personal experience.  There are days when I want to be in control, but I know that giving God the steering wheel is ultimately going to mean the outcome will be best for me.  He loves me and will not let anything overtake me.  I’ll cross over the waters and not drown because He loves me and won’t let me perish.  Happy?  No – it’s so much more than just happy.  Happiness is temporal and conditional.  Peace and joy regardless of circumstances of life…  now that’s what God wants for His children.  Don’t ever settle for happy when you can have so much more from God.

We’re all God’s children.  – Unity 13:13

Well…  we were all created by God.  I agree with that; however, we are only His child when we have come to a saving knowledge of His Son, Jesus Christ.  Once we have accepted the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, and know that He did all of this because we have transgressed and need to be forgiven and restored unto God – then and only then do we belong to God.  He doesn’t want anyone to perish, but He wants us to come to Him – of our own free will.  God gave us a free will because He did not want a relationship with robots, but with people.  He wants us to want to love Him.  He didn’t make us to have to love Him.  See the difference?

God will not give you more than you can handle.  – Optimist 10:10

This one sets my teeth on edge!  When I hear it, I want to scream, YES, YES sometimes He does give us more than we can handle!  I know they are thinking of 1 Corinthians 10:13 when they say it, but that is talking about TEMPTATION, not BURDENS!  Newsflash…  in this life I will have burdens, and there will be more burdens than I can handle by myself.  But here’s the good news…  I do not have to bear those burdens because I have a friend who carries all of them and gives me assurance that no matter what happens, He will be there with me and He is working all things for my good.  He’s making me stronger and increasing my faith every day.  It’s a good thing!  Life is not easy, but God is good!

Who started the rumor that there was an apple on that tree of life?  The Bible doesn’t say what the forbidden fruit was, but we sure found out what the consequences were for picking it, didn’t we?

And that little drummer boy at the stable where Jesus lay – who drove him to Bethlehem?  He wasn’t there.  There is no mention of a little boy with a drum standing beside Mary and Joseph and Jesus.  He wasn’t playing his best for Him…  per rum pa pum pum…  nope.  Sweet little Christmas song and nice thought, but totally fabricated story.

I was listening to Bill O’Reilly the other day.  He was talking about how sloppy journalism has gotten since technology came on the scene.  He said there is not thorough fact checking like there used to be.  They just get on the internet and assume everything they read is true.  It struck a chord with me.  How sloppy have we gotten as Christians in our study of God’s Word?  When was the last time you actually took your Bible (the actual Book, not your computer) out, dusted it off, and read from it?

We have so many voices talking in our heads these days – celebs claiming to be Christians with less than sage advice to give us.  When did we trade the words of King Solomon, the wisest man to ever live, for the words of Oprah?

False prophets are everywhere these days.  I don’t know about you, but I want the real deal, and I’m not willing to settle for fake quotes that may or may not tickle my ears and make me happy happy… when I can have the meat of God’s Word – His sovereignty and His majesty and His TRUTH.  Have a great day in the Lord!  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

TL ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY (3)On this day in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed this:

http://www.abrahamlincolnonline.org/lincoln/speeches/fast.htm

Could you imagine a President of such moral fiber in the White House today?  How refreshing would it be to have a Commander and Chief with values and backbone instead of one who seems to want as much party as possible with no regard whatsoever for the country he represents and supposedly protects?

Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.  – 2 Chronicles 7:14

Hmm…  a day of fasting and humility.  You know – that’s not such a bad idea, fellow believers.  Have you seen the GOP race lately?  Have you seen the horses in that race?  I rest my case.  We need God to help us now more than ever!  This is not a political blog and never will be – but as a Christian who happens to live in America, I naturally have some interest in this election season.

When I saw 19 people running for President, I thought, “no way – this isn’t good!”  We’re still not in a good way with a two-man race and one spoiler.  I’ll let you determine which one is the spoiler – I have my own opinions on that.

If the race doesn’t narrow more, the convention could be dicey to say the least.  We’re gonna mess around and lose the general altogether – let’s pray in unity that God will smack some wisdom into the GOP candidates, and fast!  OK, maybe smack isn’t the right term.  No, wait…  it may be the perfect term.

But back to Abraham Lincoln and legislation.  A day of prayer and fasting.  The actual day is April 30th, but he signed it into law on March 30th.  It was a time when the morals and values of Christianity were not that far away from the morals and values of Americans.  What happened?  Well, people were given the gift of free will, and chose to separate themselves from Christian values and beliefs.  They began picking up their philosophies and lifestyles from other religions – or no religion at all.

Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, had something to say about little foxes and vineyards filled with tender grapes:

Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.  Song of Solomon 2:15

The King James version says “Our grapes are tender”.  It means that little things that seem almost harmless can be the things that trip us up along the way – like the little foxes that get in the vineyard and eat all the tender young grapes.  The little things that seem so minor can lead to the worst mess.

It seemed so innocent when people started doing yoga, didn’t it?  You do a few poses and clear your mind of everything – but if you clear your mind – of everything, even God – that makes room for the enemy to come in.  It’s true.  But what’s the harm in adopting just that one thing – can I do yoga and still be a Christian?  Some say of course – it’s just a little thing.  It’s just one little fox.  And besides, isn’t it God’s will that we have a healthy body?  I don’t argue that, but it’s not His will that you sit still with an empty mind.  He wants your thoughts to be on Him.  He’s a jealous God – He wants to have first place, or no place at all.

Colorado has legalized pot – but it’s not big deal.  Can I be high as a kite and then get behind the wheel to drive?  Sure, why not?  If you hit someone and kill them, you’ll probably just walk away with minor injuries.  You’ll be so out of it you won’t know what hit you.  Chill out – it’s just a little thing. It’s just one little fox.  And besides, there are people suffering who need pot for their pain.  I don’t argue that, but not everyone is in pain.  Those who are should not be allowed to be on the road driving so that other innocent people get hurt or killed.

Unplanned pregnancy?  Bummer – just get rid of it.  Easy come, easy go – no big deal.  Life is cheap – you can always have another baby when you’re ready, right?  Don’t let anybody take away your rights because you’ve got that power to choose – pro-choice – because that fetus…  well it’s just a little thing.  It’s just one little fox.  And besides, it’s not really a human being yet, right?  It’s not really a life yet.  I do argue that – America condones the killing of innocent life and will not receive the blessing of God until that is changed.  I don’t give a flying flip about the mother’s RIGHTS…  if you’re irresponsible enough to have unprotected sex, then guess what?  If you conceive a life – there are other options – and they are less selfish ones.  Adoption is perfect because there are people who would love to raise that child.  Be smarter about how you deal with unplanned pregnancy – sheesh!!!  Put an end to the murder of innocents – it’s barbaric and so beneath us!

Don’t be such a stick in the mud – don’t be such a square – and really, those Bible verses you quote are giving me one ginormous migraine.  And don’t judge me until you’re sure you’re perfect.

Yeah – well hold the phone…  let’s just get that straight here and now.  Nobody’s perfect.  That’s why we all need a Savior.  WHOSOEVER…  it’s you and me and everyone.  Jesus died for every one of us.  Accept it or deny it…  that’s on you.

God wants better for all of us – He can help us overcome the things we’ve tagged as little things – our little foxes – the things that can appear to be chinks in the armor.  We all get chinks once in a while – and through Christ, God can and will forgive those if we ask with a sincere heart.  There’s not one sin that God will not forgive!

But America…  seriously – we need to have a day of fasting and humility.  We need to hit our knees and pray like we’ve never prayed before for our beautiful America.  We are at a crossroads and we need God’s help!  I know we are a proud people – but we need to humble ourselves before the Almighty and turn from our sin and ask Him to heal our land.  ❤

 

 

 

 

COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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https://youtu.be/hNDI0QolYm0

John sent me a great video!  He said this is a hidden creek 10 miles Southeast of Augusta, Kansas.  His appreciation for God’s creation makes me want to go out and plant a garden.  Okay, at the very least, it makes me want to go outside and make mud pies!  🙂

Under the giving snow blossoms a daring spring.  – Terri Guillemets

FLOWERS IN THE SNOW

It was quite a sight to see snow on Easter morning, but isn’t that just like God?  You know, when I taught Sunday School, my favorite lessons were object lessons.  Maybe it’s because I’ve always been a visual learner.  You can talk me to death, but until I see something and have it click in my own mind, talking just doesn’t do much good.  Don’t make me read boring statistics either, or you’ll lose me completely.  I believe God sent that snow to remind us that on Easter, the plan of Salvation was completed and He is more than able and willing to wash our sins as white as snow.

 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.  – Romans 10:9-10

Spring is a time of renewal – a time to begin anew.  What a great time to ask God into your heart and life.  He wants to be the Lord of your life.  Let’s pray this simple prayer together.  If you already know Jesus as Lord and Savior, what a great prayer of rededication and recommitment to Him:

Lord Jesus Christ,

I know that I have sinned
and done things that have hurt you.

I am willing to turn away
from what is wrong in my life.

I want to go where you lead in the future.

Thank you for dying on the cross
so that I might be forgiven.


Come into my life this day;
Come in as my Saviour and Lord:
Come in to be with me for ever.


Thank you Lord Jesus.
Amen.

You know – sometimes God’s children just need to laugh.  Before it gets too far away from Easter, I want to share a poem with you.  My friend Deanna posted a photo and said it was a naked peep taking a bath in her cup of hot tea.  I thought I’d split a stitch, I laughed so hard!  How could that not become a poem?  Laughter is one of many…  gifts from Heaven.  🙂

GIFTS FROM HEAVEN

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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Some folks go on diets to get a summer-ready body for the beach.  Others want to lose weight to get into a dress for a special occasion.  My reasons for dieting?  I either have to lose weight or spend hundreds of dollars every month on insulin.

I was sitting in my recliner watching TV and saw Marie Osmond talking about Nutrisystem.  No, I’m not going to do that – although that’s where my train of thought started.  I said to myself, half jokingly – “Well, I suppose I could pay those hundreds of dollars to Nutrisystem instead of the pharmacy – and eventually not have to take insulin anymore – when I get to my goal weight.”

The seed was planted in my brain – and something just snapped inside.  From that moment, I felt a determination to get healthy like I’ve never felt before.  I don’t want to have to take those shots anymore – I really don’t.

When I was in high school – in the late 1970’s – I kept my weight in check with the Weight Watcher’s points.  Nobody wants to be the big girl in high school, and thanks to this program, I was able to stay at 125-130 pounds.  I counted and wrote down every morsel of food I put in my mouth.  I never ate more than 20 points a day.

I was much more active back then, obviously.  Today I ride my recumbent bike for 30 minutes every day.  According to the chart online, it will take 35 weeks to get to my goal weight of 125 pounds.  I’m ready and very excited to embark on this adventure.  I’m ready to get more healthy and be a controlled type 2 diabetic, but controlled with diet & exercise instead of pills and shots.

What’s your favorite Weight Watchers recipe?  Please leave it in the comments section.  I’m very interested in collecting them but I’m too cheap to buy a cookbook.  Here’s one we made last night for supper – and it was pretty good!

Weight Watchers Beef Stroganoff

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces wide egg noodles
  • 10 ounces lean boneless beef loin, cut into 1/2″ strips
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups small whole white mushrooms, woody ends removed
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon reduced-calorie tub margarine
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup light sour cream
  • 4 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs, to garnish

Directions

In large pot of boiling water, cook noodles 5-6 minutes, until tender; drain, discarding liquid. Set aside; keep warm.

In medium nonstick skillet, cook beef over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, 3 minutes, until no longer pink. Remove beef from skillet. Wipe skillet clean; set beef aside.

Spray same skillet with nonstick cooking spray; heat. Add onions; cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, 7 minutes, until golden brown. Add mushrooms; cook, stirring frequently, 6 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove vegetables from skillet. Wipe skillet clean; set vegetables aside.

In same skillet, melt margarine; sprinkle with flour. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until bubbling. Continuing to stir, gradually add broth, mustard, paprika, salt and pepper; cook, stirring constantly, 4 minutes, until mixture is thickened. Stir in sour cream.

Return cooked beef, onions and mushrooms to skillet; stir to coat. Cook, stirring frequently, until mixture is heated through.

Divide warm noodles evenly among 4 plates; top each portion of noodles with one-fourth of the beef mixture. Serve garnished with parsley.

I’d appreciate your good vibes and prayers as I begin week #2 of this journey!  If you’d like to talk more about healthy eating (and sometimes eat some virtual chocolate) – come on over and join my group on facebook – A Second Helping of Wellness… with a dash of humor & a pinch of faith.

See ya there!  🙂

EASTER

TL 3-27 EASTER

Tomb, thou shalt not hold Him longer;
Death is strong, but Life is stronger;
Stronger than the dark, the light;
Stronger than the wrong, the right…
– Phillips Brooks, “An Easter Carol”

JOY

HALLELUJAH!!!  Herein lies the HOPE of every Christian on earth!  Jesus was raised from the dead by God and now sits at His right hand.  When He ascended into Heaven, He left His precious Holy Spirit to help us navigate this tricky life.  That’s the GOOD NEWS of Christianity – but guess what?  The news gets better…  that same Jesus that died for our sins, was buried and raised by God the Father will one day soon be told to come back to earth to snatch His own so we can live eternally in Heaven with Him!

What a surprise we got today when we found EASTER SNOW on the ground.  I had to write a new poem!

A LOVELY EASTER SNOWAnd here’s an old poem about the cutest little Easter bonnet ever!  EASTER BONNET

There is not one negative fact for me to report, therefore, I have no reason to be anything but positive!  God is love…  God sent Christ to be love incarnate…  Christ willingly gave His very life because He loves us… God raised Christ from the grave and He LIVES!!!  That same Jesus IS coming from the eastern sky one day soon to take us home forever.  So, make an Easter bonnet from a paper plate, a strand of ribbon and assorted baubles.  Apply a bit of lipstick and blush (coordinating colors with your Sunday best, of course) – and BE JOYOUS!  The outward appearance is not the most important part – but the JOY of the LORD flowing from within is essential.  😉EGGS OF LIFEI asked a pastor once what the difference is between happiness and joy.  He said that happiness is dependent on external conditions or situations and joy is not.  For example, if it’s payday and the sun is shining and I haven’t had problems with my co-workers, I could very well be happy, but not necessarily filled with joy.  A deeper, more meaningful and constant state of mind and spirit is joy – the JOY of the LORD from God’s Holy Spirit, to be precise.  Whether skies are sunny or stormy, this deep settled peace and joy from Him keep me floating on faith.  Sails of grace, mercy, love and hope on God’s vessel are enough.  Just enough.  That knowledge makes me joyful.

The joyful news that He is risen does not change the contemporary world.  Still before us lie work, discipline, sacrifice.  But the fact of Easter gives us the spiritual power to do the work, accept the discipline, and make the sacrifice.   – Henry Knox Sherrill

Spiritual power…  indeed.  Let’s take that power from God with us into the world.  HALLELUJAH!!!  🙂

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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THE DAY THAT CHRIST WAS GONE

Imagine how the death of Christ affected the people.  The confusion, feeling of despair and wondering why this had to happen and asking what was the point of it must have prevailed throughout the area where the Master once taught, healed, lived.  Jesus tried to explain, but they just didn’t understand – and I don’t judge them for that – would we have understood?  Nothing like that had happened before – or has happened since.

People in our world today still ask why Christ came to earth as a baby and was raised as a human – just to end up suffering the worst beating ever and ultimately dying on a cross.  It’s our favorite question to ask, isn’t it – WHY?

BY HIS WOUNDS

One word – SALVATION.  Christ was the only sacrifice that was worthy to bridge the gap between God and fallen man.  Did He want to go through this?  Have you read the prayer He prayed at Golgotha?  He asked if he could skip it…  but ultimately, for weak sinful people – ones that His Father, God, created and still loved – He went through with His Father’s plan.

So He died – and He’s buried.  Was that the end of the story?  I’m so tempted to say…  tune in tomorrow for the rest of the story…  (what can I say – I miss Paul Harvey!) 

Some churches do a lot of talking about where Jesus “went” (for lack of a better word) – after He died.  Of course we are speaking of His Spirit, not His actual physical body.  His Spirit went to the bosom of Abraham, I’ve been told.  His Spirit went to get the keys from the devil, I’ve also been told.  Frankly, the church I was raised in was not big on talking about that day in-between Good Friday and Easter Sunday.  I have wondered though – so I’m going to do what I always do.  I’m going to see what Scripture I can find about it.

There’s not much there…  but I’ll share with you what I’ve found.

David was looking into the future and speaking of the Messiah’s resurrection. He was saying that God would not leave him among the dead or allow his body to rot in the grave.  – Acts 2:31

God would not leave Him among the dead or allow His body to rot in the grave.  It’s just like our Father, isn’t it?  He will take care of us in the same way, you know.  As Christ is His child – so are we if we have accepted Him into our hearts and lives.

For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.   Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.  – Psalm 16:10-11

At Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.  Isn’t that a comfort?  Amen!

One song comes to mind – HE HOLDS THE KEYS!  And I’ve heard many people sing it, but there’s only one Steve Green.

https://youtu.be/YNrn_yuLIJo

Hang on to hope…  not to be a spoiler, but Christ did not stay in the tomb!  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

GOOD FRIDAY

10400184_10206775779127960_425936773081000745_nIt was for you…

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WHEN SIMON LIFTED THE CROSSHE IS SO WORTHYHE DIED FOR MEWITH TEARS FOR JESUSGood Friday…  good does not begin to describe it.  🙂