A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (15)

As we say good-bye to June, I want to send a big SHOUT OUT to the lavender farms in Kansas!  Let’s take a tour of a lavender farm together!  One last look before the season ends…

Whether your goal is to create your own craft project or just take in the massive scent and muted hue of lavender, if you want to relax and have a good time, a visit to Lavender Farm is what the doctor ordered.

https://discoverlavender.wordpress.com/2011/06/17/lavender-on-the-high-plains-of-kansas/

Prairie Lavender Farm is in Bennington, KS.  Though they are a small farm, they are dedicated to growing and developing the highest quality lavender and lavender products from the High Plains Prairie.  They offer over 80 bath and beauty products, culinary items along with their wonderful lavender.  They have over 4,000 plants of 9 different varieties!  They welcome visitors, but request that you call first.

http://www.prairielavenderfarm.com/photos.html

There’s another nice lavender farm close to Topeka, KS.  Ingwerson Lavender Farm was once a traditional farm with cattle and hay, but Jim and Mary gave up a couple of acres and began growing lavender.

Washington Creek Lavender is in Lawrence, KS.  They have a great website with handmade products at reasonable prices.  I like the lavender pottery they make!

http://www.washingtoncreeklavender.com/

Do you know someone who is hyperactive and has a difficult time shutting down at night?  Why is everyone saying MY name?  No, no…  I mean someone in your family or a friend – LOL!!!  Wouldn’t it be nice to get them an eye pillow infused with lavender scent?  Lavender has a calming quality and may help them drift off into dreamland.

You know I love baskets, but a basket with lavender inside is especially gorgeous!  I happened to find a photo that spoke to me.  I asked Lucinda Berry Hill if she would write a poem for the photo and she graciously agreed to do so.  It’s so purty…  I knew it would be!  LAVENDER IN A BASKET

God’s gifts are all fantastic…  that’s true.  One of the best gifts He gave Kansas was its lavender farms!  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

905bb6eff125ed45baec0cf0ac4e97bc_six_columnOn this day in 2007, the 8th PIXAR film, RATATOUILLE was released by Walt Disney Pictures.  As I think back, it’s the last movie I went to see in a theatre.  I thoroughly enjoyed it because it was completely void of social or political “agenda”.  Few films, including Disney / Pixar releases of late, can say that.  I’m tired of movies, even the ones for kids, pushing a particular leftist agenda off on the youth.  I just want to be entertained – that is ALL.  That’s my agenda…  and it’s the agenda of many others, including Lucinda Berry Hill.  ❤MY AGENDA

Ratatouille was directed by Brad Bird, who took over from Jan Pinkava in 2005.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t know that ratatouille was a French dish – or that the main character in the film would be…  a rat.  It was so cute and cleaver!  RATatouille – and Remy is a RAT.  Who thinks of this stuff?

I’ll do my best not to spoil the ending for you – but basically, Remy the rat has a goal to become a chef.  He goes about achieving this dream by making friends with a Parisian restaurant’s garbage boy.  I can’t remember his name – hey, it was 2007, give me a break.  Anyway…  Ratatouille was released on June 29, 2007 in the United States and enjoyed box office success!  It also won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, among other honors.

Will Remy realize his lifelong dream of becoming a renowned French chef???  Why would I spoil the ending for you?  I know – most of you have probably seen it.  If you have small children you may have seen it more than once and less than a hundred times.  I don’t like everything Disney does (okay, don’t smack me) – but this is one movie that gets two thumbs up – really high – from me.

Have you made ratatouille?  There are a bunch of ingredients, but it’s so worth the expense and the time because it tastes so good and is so healthy.  I found the link for Disney’s recipe – did not know there was a recipe from the movie – but here it is!

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/222006/disneys-ratatouille/

I’m thankful for the odd movie that is just cute and fun for everyone without political correctness injected or obvious agenda pushing parts.  Are those days over?  I hope not.  I’m looking forward to the next really good movie from Disney and Pixar.  🙂

 

 

 

LUKE 6:27-28 ON 6/27 & 6/28

TL 6-27 & 6-28 LUKE 6-27&28

 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.  – Luke 6:27-28

Do you have enemies?  Do some people hate you?  Does anyone curse you?  Have you ever been despitefully used?  What is the natural response to any of these situations?  Fighting, backbiting, back stabbing, blackballing, revenge – wrapped up in a lot of emotional baggage including anger, sadness, feelings of rejection and hurt – big time hurt.

Doesn’t the natural response to this sound…  well – draining?  It sounds like it would take a huge toll on you not only physically, but emotionally and mentally as well.  God wants us to love enemies, do good to the ones who hate us, bless the ones who curse us and pray for the ones who despitefully use us.  God’s way is the best way.  He wants us to give it all to HIM and let it go.  Put it in His capable hands because He is able to deal with a person’s heart and soul.  He can discern motives and speak to them without interjecting emotions into the mix.  The sooner we turn those individuals over to God and pour all sorts of good out on them (which, trust me, will confuse them – it’s funny to watch), the sooner we will be free on all levels – physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally.  Freedom is what our faith is all about – and forgiveness.  You can’t experience God’s freedom without forgiveness.  Once we make a practice of handing all of that stuff over to God, we’ll find true happiness in our journey! 

THE BAGGAGE CARRIERGod is so smart – He wants to help us through life by carrying our burdens for us.  I’d definitely call a person who hates me a burden, wouldn’t you?  God knows that not everyone in life is going to be a fan of ours – or His.  Sometimes we make enemies because of our faith in God through Christ.  Sometimes we are hated because of our way of life, morals and values.  Our beliefs are not popular, to say the least…  some people don’t understand where we’re coming from.  We really don’t want to make that misunderstanding even worse by reacting to them in a way that doesn’t please our Lord, do we?  It’s not easy, but we need to remember that through Christ, we can do anything!  We won’t get it right every time, but God really wants us to do our very best.  🙂

 

MATTHEW 6:26 ON 6/26

TL MATTHEW 6-26 ON 6-26

Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?  – Matthew 6:26

If you are feeling alone and forgotten today, this verse is just what you need!  We all need to be reminded that our God loves us more than anything!  In a world that seems to put less value and importance of the sanctity of human life – it does our hearts good to know that God values each and every one of us individually.

How can a great big God show such intimate and special concern for us?  I don’t have the answer to that question – but I know He does!

Our neighbors to the east have a bird feeder hanging on a metal shepherd’s hook.  They keep that feeder filled with bird food year around.  Sometimes I just stand at my kitchen window and watch the birds, especially in the wintertime.  I think of this verse and the old hymn, “His Eye is On the Sparrow”.  God provides for even the little sparrow – sometimes through folks like our neighbors.

My mom-in-love used to tear a slice of bread up almost every day to feed the birds.  She didn’t have much money, and I don’t think she ate very much herself, but she was bound and determined that the birds would not starve.  We used to remind her that God would take care of the birds, and she needed to take care of herself.  I don’t think she listened.  LOL!

It’s God’s desire to have an ongoing relationship with each of us throughout our life’s journey.  He loves us so much and cares about every little thing that’s happening in our lives.

HIS FAITHFULNESS RENEWS MEJust knowing that God takes such good care of the sparrows and cares even more about us…  makes me think that He will also cause us to soar like eagles!  With His help, we really do fly above the chaos that is life and run like an antelope without growing faint.

What’s stopping you today?  You are armed with the knowledge that the God of the universe favors you and wants to help you live life in a whole and happy way.  That leaves me feeling hopeful for the future.  🙂

MATTHEW 6:25 ON 6/25

TL 6-25 MATTHEW 6-25 ON 6-25

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  – Matthew 6:25

I’m just going to say it and get it out of my system now…  OUCH!!!  I’m a self-proclaimed worry wart.  If I don’t have something to worry about, then I start worrying because I have nothing to worry about.  I’m human and yes, I know that faith is bigger than fear, and God is working with me on this.  I have FAITH that He will show me that I don’t have to FEAR and FRET about things.  It’s a work in progress.GOD THE BANKER

What is life, anyway?  I used to live to eat.  I’m not proud of it, but I did.  I used to wake up and wonder what was in the refrigerator to eat.  Food was my first thought in the morning and my last thought at night.  The result of that thought process and subsequent behavior pattern was a 70 pound weight gain, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.  Emotional eating is a horrible addiction.

Through prayer and study, God helped me find the underlying depression, He broke the bonds that held me captive, taught me how to treat my body instead of destroy it.  I no longer use food as a coping mechanism and it no longer has me in its grip.  Now, food is fuel instead of comfort.  God taught me that life is more than food.

The same depression was leading to a shopping addiction and substantial debt.  God is so patient with me.  He taught me that life is not about the clothes I wear.  The woman with the designer handbag is not the happiest.  There is a high when you first make the purchase, but that quickly turns into buyer’s remorse.  By the time you get your shoes, bags, clothes, jewelry and anything else you think will make you happy out to the car, you have a sinking, sick feeling in the pit of your stomach.  Debt causes stress and stress makes me worry.  What a vicious cycle.

Dear God, I am hungry for more of You. Today I am boldly coming into Your presence to receive the help I need.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

There’s no possession in this world that means as much as my relationship with God, through His Son, Christ Jesus.  All I want now is to hear Him say the words, WELL DONE when my life is finished.  Nothing else really matters.

You would not know I’m the same person who was so wrapped up in food and clothing not so long ago.  Today, I’m 30 pounds lighter, have cut up over 10 credit cards and my debt is manageable.  Funny thing, but I don’t worry as much as I used to either.  Hmm…

Now when I get mad money, I go into my local Goodwill store and I’m perfectly content to wear gently used vintage clothing.  Once in a while I even find a designer label – but shhh…  don’t tell.

Life is more…  so much more than food and clothing.  I’m here to tell you that God can break chains and He will if you ask Him to…  He will help you identify the underlying depression and speak His truth to your spirit until you see yourself the way He sees you.  He loves you so much and wants to help.  🙂

 

 

FAIRY DAY

FAIRY DAYFairy:  (in folklore) one of a class of supernatural beings, generally conceived as having a diminutive human form and possessing magical powers with which they intervene in human affairs.

Author Lucinda Berry Hill wrote this great poem for Tell a Fairy Tale Day last year.  A Fairy Tale

Magical powers…  wow, that would be a fantastic thing to possess, wouldn’t it?  Wave your arm and speak anything into being and…  boom! 

What would you speak into being if you were a fairy?  I thought today I’d just have a little fun and post some of my little fairies from my group, A SECOND HELPING OF WELLNESS… WITH A DASH OF HUMOR & A PINCH OF FAITH.

MIGRAINE HEADACHEWouldn’t it be GREAT if we could use fairy magic to get rid of migraine headaches?HATE

Who else is so tired of hateful attitudes and behavior?  If we were fairies, we could just speak it away!OBESITY BE GONE

Dieting is so difficult, isn’t it?  Wouldn’t it be wonderful to command the fat to fly away permanently?  That’s how fairies can stay so slim, you know.  They put on a few pounds – it starts to show – and they just wave their wand and tell it to take a hike – no sweat – literally!HOT FLASHES

Those lovely hot flashes…  ever feel like you could pop corn on your head?  Yeah – it’d be great to just speak those to the four winds forever, wouldn’t it?CANCER BE GONE

Cancer of any kind is so scary…  it would be so great if with the swish of a wand it could be spoken away forever!

DIABETESBefore 1994 I didn’t know much about diabetes.  Actually, I didn’t know anything about it.  I can honestly say I’ve read every book and article I can get my hands on about the disease.  Wow, it would be so great to be a fairy and magically demand it be GONE!

Fairies are imaginary and magic is illusion, but it doesn’t hurt to have a little fun with it, right?  🙂

 

 

 

 

ROMANS 6:23 ON 6/23

TL 6-23 ROMANS 6-23 ON 6-23

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  – Romans 6:23

When we are hired to do a job, we are paid wages (hopefully).  Wages is a monetary payment for work done.  Mankind has a sin debt because we are born sinful.  The only way we can cancel that debt is…  well we can’t cancel the debt – it’s only the sacrifice of Christ Jesus on the cross at Calvary that makes that debt go away.  The verse is not speaking of physical death, but is contrasting spiritual death with eternal life.  If we believe with everything in us that He paid the debt for our sins – then and only then will be receive eternal life and live forever in heaven with God the Father.A WAGE OR A GIFT

All men are the slaves of sin or of righteousness.  God gives us a choice to be a slave of one or the other – no fence walking.  The person who does not place his or her faith in Jesus Christ will receive the wages of sin.  That’s why I write every day, along with prayers that someone will read this blog and receive Christ as their Savior.  I don’t want anyone to miss heaven – God doesn’t want anyone to miss heaven either.  He gives good gifts – very good gifts – and this is the best gift of all.  He sent His only Son to die – to cover our sin debt.  All who receive Him and His sacrifice will also receive eternal life with Him.  Pretty cool, huh?

MUCH TO GAIN

If you choose to be a slave of sin, there is still a wage and it is spiritual death.  It’s sad and void of hope.  It is not God’s will or His plan, but if you reject His will and plan, then you have made your decision and you’ve made your choice.  If you choose to be a slave of righteousness, then you have given your whole self over to the Lord, admitting that you need Him in your heart and life.  It’s at that moment your life changes forever.  Faith is a wonderful gift, along with God’s supernatural and constant presence in your life, and the promise of eternal life.  Life without end – with Him – yeah!  What a blessing!  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART 35

WE DON'T BOW BEFORE A FLAG

https://youtu.be/HQJPEQwpK0E

On June 22, 1942, Congress passed a joint resolution, later amended on December 22, 1942, that encompassed what has come to be known as the U.S. Flag Code.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Flag_Code

They call Chicago the windy city, but we have our share of high wind in Wichita.  Awhile back, I was sitting in the truck waiting for my husband at a McDonald’s.  You know how it is, you don’t have much to look at and you notice things that you probably would not pay attention to if you were not bored and waiting.  I took a good look at the American flag and the McDonald’s flag.

Maybe this bothered me so much because we just celebrated FLAG DAY.  The flags looked absolutely horrendous!  They were tattered and torn.  There were strips of fabric hanging off the edges of both flags.  The American flag looked as though it was time to burn it and replace it.  I don’t think the McDonald’s flag has to be burned – does it?  Maybe just toss that flag with no ceremony.  Eat a Big Mac in its honor, or something.  😉

But as I said…  it’s probably not something that anyone else (including the employees) would even take notice of.

I went beyond mumbling under my breath about it.  I decided to go back to the McDonald’s and speak with the manager.  Amazingly, I was greeted with a great deal of respect.  I’m sure he thought I was there to complain about the last happy meal I ordered – but no, this complaint is of a more serious nature.

He remained engaged and interested even after learning of my concern.  He appreciated me pointing out the condition of both flags and agreed that the employees get so busy they rarely look up at them.  I told him I totally understand that everyone gets busy and focused on the task at hand.  We forget to look up, don’t we?

Now I’ll wait and see if anything changes.  I will see if the flags get replaced or if they continue to disintegrate on the pole.  I did what I thought was right.  What more could I do?  🙂

MATTHEW 6:21 ON 6/21

TL 6-21 MATTHEW 6-21 ON 6-21

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  – Matthew 6:21

Some portions of Scripture require a bit of explanation, but others are fairly straightforward.  Today’s Scripture reminder is self-explanatory and wow…  so TRUE! 

A wise pastor once made a statement from the pulpit that has stayed in the back of my mind.  This was his reference Scripture.  After reading it, he looked up as though he was trying to decide whether to go ahead and say what he was thinking – and finally said, “If you want to know what is the most important to a person, take a look at their finances.”  You could have heard a pin drop in that sanctuary.  I know we were all thinking about where we had written checks that last week.

Obviously, we all wrote checks to pay for our normal bills – mortgage, vehicle payment, groceries, trash, electricity, gas, etc.  but there are those other expenses that are not needs – but wants…  those are the entries in our check registers that really tell the story of what means the most to us – and there were some folks who just had to say…  OUCH!

It’s not my place to check you and it’s not your place to check me – but it is God’s Holy Spirit’s job to point out where all of us could do better.  Where do you spend most of your treasure?  That is where your heart is – it’s what matters the most to you.

MAN’S TREASURE

from week 16 of the popular book COFFEE WITH JESUS by Lucinda Berry Hill

A man was working in a field.

He came upon a treasure.

He admired it for a while,

The value, beyond measure.

He hid it in the field again,

Impossible to find.

Then left for home for the night,

The treasure on his mind.

He started selling all he had:

His house, his car, his clothes.

He sold his favorite pastime pleasures.

He sold everything he owned.

His family warned him not to go;

They said they’d turn from him.

His friends said he’d lost his mind.

He said good-bye to them.

He took the cash that he’d earned,

Back to the field he went.

To buy the field with treasure hidden.

For him, the gift was meant.

He went inside the treasure,

Came out clean and pure.

His dirty ways, his ugly past

Were gone from him for sure.

The treasure gave him wisdom,

Strength, and comfort too.

It gave him peace he never had,

A joy he never knew.

If he had to do it all again,

Give up all he had around,

He’d sell it all, joyfully,

For God, His treasure found.

To purchase Lucinda’s book, COFFEE WITH JESUS, please visit her website:  http://www.lucindaspoetry.webs.com/

I would just challenge you to figure out what your wants are – and pray about where the things of God are ranked.  What you discover may surprise you.  It may be that changes need to take place, or you might decide that your treasure and your heart are already focused on God’s work.

Let’s take a look at the entire context of this portion of Scripture:

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness! No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.  – Matthew 6:19-24

Who do you hate?  Who do you love?  What do you support with your treasure?  It matters to God.  🙂

 

IT’S FINALLY SUMMER

TL 6-20 FINALLY SUMMER

What does summer mean to you?  There are obvious changes – like we can turn the thermostat from heat to cool, all of our comfy comforters come off the recliners and go back into the cedar chest, the sun shines so much later than it did before, and hopefully here in Kansas we are finished with rain every day!

It’s beautiful weather for traveling, so everyone is saving their pennies for vacation.  I enjoy cruising around town in my little cobalt because it has a sunroof – and when that’s open and the windows are down, it’s an amazing feeling to just let the warm wind blow as I drive!

Some people live at the swimming pool or the lake, or maybe the beach.  I’ve still not been to a beach – but it’s definitely on the bucket list – I haven’t scratched it off – and won’t.

Yesterday we went to a fun craft show held in Wilson Park in Ark City, KS.  We didn’t buy anything, but it was such a pretty day, and after the rain it wasn’t too hot, although it was a bit humid.  There are some interesting craft ideas these days.  I really stopped buying craft stuff in the 1980’s when country crafts were popular.GOD ON A HARLEY

Will you ride your Harley this summer?  If you do, wear a helmet – stay safe.

Whatever you have planned for the summer months, above all else, stay cool and hydrated.  It’s important to not get overheated or dehydrated.  There are two common types of heat-related illnesses – heat exhaustion and heat stroke.  Heat exhaustion happens after sun exposure or not being properly hydrated while outdoors.  Symptoms include heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting, and fainting.  If not treated, it could result in heat stroke which is more serious because body temperatures can reach above 104 degrees resulting in red, hot, dry skin, rapid pulse, throbbing headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion, and unconsciousness.

Please take care of yourself – and be aware of others.  If you see someone experiencing these symptoms, call 911 immediately and attempt to cool the person off in a shady place while waiting for help to arrive.  Without medical attention, permanent disability or possibly death can occur.

Have a fun (and safe) summer!  🙂