A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me.  – Psalm 101:3

Have you taken a look at the shows that are to première tonight?  The only one that piqued my interest was one called “Quantico”, which I’m thinking is a spin-off the popular show “Criminal Minds”.  Then I thought of how often that program upset me and got me scared just before bedtime – which – hello – that’s helpful.  I’m sure “Quantico” is going to be cranked up a notch – it surely will be.  Do I really need to set that before my eyes?  I may be watching DVD’s tonight.  Yes, they’re old and I’ve watched them a gazillion times – but they don’t give me nightmares!

Most of the new titles are either sexually suggestive or look uninteresting to me.  Yes, I’m getting old – I admit it.  Give me “Murder, She Wrote” DVD’s and a bowl of veggie dip and fresh veggies to snack on!

The shows of today and the techno-babble music…  it’s lost me.  I’m out.  I was working out the other day to a song where the girl kept singing YOU DON’T MAKE ME HIGH ANYMORE.  I try not to listen closely…  but seriously – it was impossible to tune that out – it was repeated over and over and…  OVER!  You can put down the repeating of the choruses in church all you want – but in my humble opinion…  they got that brilliant idea from the world.

When I’d finally heard the last annoying complaint that YOU DON’T MAKE ME HIGH ANYMORE…  I said to myself…  “Then let me tell ya, girlfriend…  you are NOT ready to get married to one man for the rest of your life!”  Just sayin’…

What an immature statement to make in a song – so-called song.  A very long…  redundant, repetitive song.  Ugh. 

A wicked plan or purpose is thus represented as having a tendency to fasten itself on a man, or to “stick to him”—as pitch, or wax, or a burr does.  – Albert Barnes.

We have to be so careful about not only what we say and do, but what we take in.  How many women listen to that song, that statement – and then decide that they should probably move on?  You don’t know what action may be triggered in another person.

As you look for new TV shows to watch and new music to listen to, keep in mind this simple Bible verse.  Don’t waste your time with anything worthless.  Don’t let anything stick to you that does not feed your soul.  Find something that makes your brain work a little bit.  There’s something about helping a detective (or a mystery book writer) solve crimes…  I get wrapped up in it and help Jessica Fletcher – even after all these years!  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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I’ve kept 20 pounds off for several months – and that’s a RECORD for me!  In the past I was the quintessential yo-yo dieter, making bargains with myself that I will get back on the horse, but when I start to climb the ladder to mount the horse, I slip and land on the proverbial ground instead.  Keto is different – it’s less of a traditional diet and more of a lifestyle change that uses common horse sense instead of rules, regulations and restrictions.  It’s a smart way of eating.  Yes, there’s portion control – there has to be – but I have not felt deprived like I have before.  I’m never hungry.  If I feel hungry, I can have all the fresh vegetables I want.  I get keto friendly veggie dip – and have a virtual feast at snack time!

But…  what about ice cream – for breakfast???  Hmm…  Lucinda thinks it’s perfect!  😉

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Thanks first to my Heavenly Father, of course, for without HIM – well – I’d not get anything done!  I’m thankful to my friend Dana for adding me to a great group on facebook called Keto 2nd Breakfast – and all the other meals!  I’ve gotten such help and support there – and then I turn around and share what I learn in my group (which is more or less health-related – well, we try)…  A Second Helping of Wellness…  with a Dash of Humor & a Pinch of Faith. 

Then, I’d like to thank the academy, and all the little people, for without the little people, I would not have had the stick-to-it-tive-ness to achieve success!  Okay, now I’m being silly.  Too much coffee maybe?  Oh…  surely not!  There’s no such thing!!! 

Of all the foods that are on the high carb side – I miss ice cream the most.  I pass the Braum’s store and nearly have a fit – I want ice cream – well, a twist frozen yogurt, to be exact…  so bad!!!  But I think there’s a wonderful solution – and I found a post from Amanda Balster in the group – about Halo Top.  I’ve decided that’s a great name for it, because it feels as though Halo Top is Heaven sent!

A 1/2 cup serving is 80 calories, 2.5g fat, 7g net carbs, and 6g of protein.  I call that a WIN!

Thanks Amanda for these photos!  🙂

16195856_10102165268262236_4125207851832379837_n16298581_10102165261994796_4571245357092043781_nEveryone says that all the flavors are good – except lemon.  I don’t know because I’ve not tried it yet.  I’m blogging without trying the product first hand, which I rarely do, but I trust my friends to steer me in the right direction – they always have.  Shoot, I’m just happy to hear about a legal ice cream alternative!  😀

 

 

 

 

 

 

PLEASE PRAY FOR BELLA

bellaBella’s going back to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital to begin a new chemo treatment – and we’re all praying for healing – thank you for joining us in prayer for this sweet brave soldier.  ❤

Precious Lord,

We know You love us.  Jesus is our Good Shepherd and encourages the children to come to Him.  He carries these little lambs in His loving arms and gently cares for ones who are afraid and weak.  It’s so difficult to watch Bella go through this and not be able to do anything to help – but Lord, we can and will pray for this sweet baby as she goes back to St. Jude to begin a new kind of treatment.  We pray that You will intervene and give her a complete healing – as only You can.  We will be careful to give YOU the glory for this good news.  Please carry Bella through the chemo with minimal discomfort, Lord.  Please tend to her as only YOU can.

We lift Bella up to You and ask for Your healing power to permeate her frail body and return her to complete health and strength.  Please surround her with Your angels and protect her from further danger.

Lord, You love the little children and You hear and answer our prayers on her behalf.  Keep this sweet lamb wrapped in Your arms and resting on Your bosom.  Restore Bella back to full health, we pray.  We thank You in advance for what You will do and praise You for You alone are worthy of our praise!

In Jesus’ name,

Amen.

Aren’t we thankful we can talk to Dr. Jesus on behalf of our friends and family?

My God is going to heal me.  – Bella

Thank you, Amber, for sharing this too cute pic of Bella on facebook!  I’m going to print her photo and put it in my purse so I’ll be reminded to pray often for her.  🙂

GENESIS 1:28 ON 1/28

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God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”  – Genesis 1:28

Babies are a sign that God has not given up on us.  There’s not a more happy occasion than expecting a child into your family.  God gives His blessing for us to procreate and He gives us a blessing to rule over every living creature that moves on the ground.

As we are to be responsible and good parents, we are also held accountable for the way we rule over animals.  Just because God’s given us dominion, it’s not a license for us to abuse God’s precious creation in any way.angels-for-jack

Is Jack a lucky donkey, or what?  The poem talks about a wet summer day…  but I feel such compassion for the poor fur babies who are kept outdoors in the cold and snow.  Yes, I know they have fur, but…

You’ve seen the ads for the ASPCA I’m sure.  Why are those so much more difficult to watch in the dead of winter?  I literally have to flip the channel, they break my heart so badly.  I guess you could say the ads are a success if they have that effect on me.  I just believe it’s so very sad that the ads have to exist at all.  What’s wrong with people that they would abuse helpless animals?  That kind of rule and dominion was not our Maker’s intention.  Not even close.

Is there a special reservation in a hot place for one who abuses animals?  Well, that’s not for me to say, but I’d say the odds are good there probably is.

In today’s verse, we see that God thinks babies are good in families, and animals are good in families too.  Dominion however, most assuredly does not mean ruling with cruelty.  If your fur babies are cold, please take them in the house.  Be kind to babies – the human variety and fur variety.  🙂

 

MARK 1:27 ON 1/27

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The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching—and with authority! He even gives orders to impure spirits and they obey him.”- Mark 1:27

Every Bible verse brings a gospel song to my mind.  What can I say…  I’m a Southern Gospel  musician – so is it really a big surprise?  This portion of Scripture reminds me of a song from 1977 by The Rambos called, “He was the Talk of the Town”.

There’s a line in that song…  skeptics called Him a devil…  interesting to call one Who gives orders to impure spirits a devil.  Hmm…  it’s been a tactic of the enemy since the dawn of time to put a spin on the truth.  Sadder still is the fact that so many folks bought the spin!  Some folks are still buying the spin.  Sigh.  We need to be so careful to have ears to hear the real truth – God’s truth.

Jesus taught with authority!  He knew Who He was and where He came from – He knew He was sent on a mission to seek and to save the lost.  Not everyone believed His teaching, but some did.

So it is when we teach today.  Not everyone will listen to the teaching of Christ.  Is that a reason to stop sharing His good news?  No, it isn’t – and we are commanded to go and preach – go and teach – go and share – go and love.  We’re given what we need to minister – and there are many ways to minister to others.  Not everyone writes a daily blog, but it seems to be the way God has opened for me.  There are creative ways to tell others about the Lord and what He has done.  Ask Him and He will open a door for you.

If you’re a prayer warrior…  send up a few for this humble blogger, okay?  I appreciate every one of them!  ❤

I’m so thankful that Christ came to earth and lived among us.  He was completely God while becoming completely human.  Don’t ask me to explain that – but that’s the truth.  He preached with authority from His Father, God.  He loved as no one before Him or after Him ever did.  Every battle he fought was spiritual in nature – and praise God – He won them all and He will win every one in the future.

There’s nothing of a spiritual nature in your life that God through Christ can and will not overcome for you.  That’s the truth – the real truth – no spin.  🙂

 

 

 

 

JAMES 1:26 ON 1/26

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Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.  – James 1:26

I’ve heard it preached from the pulpit my whole life – the tongue is the strongest muscle in the body – and the most deadly.  Is it just me, or are people using that little muscle more today than ever?  It seems to me that everyone wants to be heard, but nobody wants to listen!

Everyone has a RIGHT – but nobody has a RESPONSIBILITY.

A Christian is to hold their tongue – bite it to the point it bleeds at times.  I admit that it’s difficult for me to keep opinions about political views to myself, but I try to stay quiet about them.  Why?  Because God loves everyone and I don’t want something I say about matters that are not eternal or lasting that could act as a stumbling block to a person for whom Christ died.  No matter how wrong I may think they are, I have to look beyond the temporal to the spiritual.  If I start mouthing off with name-calling and so forth, who does that benefit really?  Admittedly, that may make me feel better at the moment, but God’s not pleased with that behavior.

We must learn to rein our tongue in…  it’s a spiritual discipline.  Is it easy?  Oh shoot no – but if you want people to see Christ in your life, you’d better ask yourself, what would Jesus Do (WWJD)?  I can’t imagine that my Savior would include a political endorsement in the Sermon on the Mount.  Um…  no, no not really.  Is it worth losing an opportunity to minister to a precious soul?  If you argue and get ugly, you have lost the opportunity to show Christ to them.  We belong to the Lord and we represent Him at all times.  We don’t get to wear a sign that says, “Out to lunch – be back at 1:00” so we can be more human and opinionated for a while.  And – this is true whether it’s face to face or online.  Just because you’re on facebook – that does not mean your tongue can be any less bridled.  Keep a rein on it.

If you really want to make a difference, show quiet strength.  When Rosa Parks refused to sit in the back of the bus – that was quiet strength and courage.  It was not destructive or violent…  but look at the difference that one act of defiance made – for everyone! 

America demonstrated this quiet strength in the voting booth recently.  A lot of people have held their tongues – but showed up to vote.  It shocked the country – some in a good way – some in a bad way.  Regardless of what side of the political fence you sit on, we need to show respect for the office and for the man in the office…  no ands, ifs or buts.

I’m a city girl, so I’m not sure what a horse bridle actually does.  I assume, of course, that it is to control the animal, but I wanted to know exactly what it’s for.  Keep in mind that we’re to put one of these on our tongues – much like one is put on a horse to maintain control.

I’ll never have a horse or need to know this stuff…  but when applied to my tongue, it should definitely do the job.  Just kidding…  it won’t.  But – if I send thoughts through the Holy Ghost filter, as my mother referred to God’s Holy Spirit – the words that come from my mouth should be better than they would be if they came out unfiltered.

Nobody’s perfect and we all slip from time to time.  God’s forgiveness through Christ is there for those times.  I’m concerned when I hear some folks brag as they claim they have no “filter.”  They think that makes them so cool or something – when really, to my way of thinking, it makes them sad.  I’m sorry they don’t have regard for others in their comments, and I wish they knew God’s Holy Spirit and all that He could do in their life.

I hope you know God through Christ Jesus, and God’s precious Holy Spirit.  With His help, you can have a bridled tongue and His wisdom as you journey through this life.  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FRUGALOSITY 101

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When they were filled, He said to His disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments so that nothing will be lost.”   – John 6:12

My parents lived through the depression era, so I was the kid with a happy plate every day.  Of course, my mom was a good cook and fixed meals that I had no problem eating, and usually wanted seconds.  :-/

I was raised with the old adage, “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without!”  Have you ever washed out a baggy and used it again?  Yep, me too.  When I get a present, I save the gift bag (but not the tissue), and write the gift giver’s name on a post-it note and put it inside the gift bag – that way I won’t accidentally use the same bag for their gift.  Little acts of frugality can save you money, honey!

Since our monthly bills are going up and our income is staying the same, that belt has to tighten a little more.  I took a trip to the Dollar Tree to see what I could use in place of higher priced items I’ve used.  Let me tell you about my latest find…

They have the most amazing 2 in 1 laundry detergent / fabric softener!  It may not be the best for anyone who is allergic to scents, because it has a pretty strong lavender scent.  It’s in a lavender color bottle and costs just $1.  It cleans well for less money.  I’m all about the clean, the lavender scent and saving money!  I actually like the lavender scent in my sheets – it helps me get to sleep better (that could be in my imagination…  lol).  I also like the dryer sheets from Dollar Tree.  They are, of course, $1 and seem to work just as well as the brand I used before.  The savings will add up and my clothes will be just as clean and free of static.  I call that a win/win!  🙂BUDGET CUTS

As Lucinda reminds us… we may have to use less expensive products in our everyday lives.  We may even have to give up on a few extras – but we won’t lose our place with the Son.  I love that!

I also found a perfectly good sensitivity / whitening toothpaste at the Dollar Tree.  For $1 I can get my teeth cleaned and whitened for much less money.  The one thing I had to adjust to was the taste of the toothpaste.  I was so used to the mint flavor of my old toothpaste – but after a couple of uses, I’m fine with the less “minty” flavor.  I also think this new toothpaste whitens my teeth better and provides good sensitivity protection.

Little changes that cost less can make a big difference.  You may have to adjust in some ways, but your wallet will leave the Dollar Tree smiling!  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven.  Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven.  – Matthew 18:3-4

Do you remember being a child?  Remember learning to tie your shoes?  Remember the first time you rode your bike with your dad helping you stay balanced, even though there were still training wheels on the bike?  We are so dependent on our parents to help us every day when we’re growing up.  We’re not only innocent, but we are in need of their love and guidance every single day.

The point here is that a little child ‘knows he can’t do it’ … he needs God to do it and he actually believes He will.  – Dan Johnson, Pastor at Grace Church of Ebensburg, PA

I had the utmost confidence in my parents when I was little, so it’s easy for me to translate that security and confidence to my relationship with God through Christ Jesus.  How difficult it must be for those who did not have that loving and trusting relationship with their parents, though.  They would surely have a more challenging time as they put their trust in the Lord, not knowing that in the human realm.

I pray for those folks – that the Lord will show them how to lean on Him as they couldn’t lean on earthly parents.  God bless them as they make strides to be that child.be-that-child

Humility and dependence on God along with a real belief that God will come through with His best for us is key in developing true child-like faith.

When we trust that our God has all the answers to all the nagging questions that pop up in life, we’re well on our way to a happier and more contented Christian walk.  He really does have your back…  you just have to believe it!  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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Fearless is not the absence of fear.  Fearless is living in spite of those things that scare you.  – Taylor Swift

You know, if I looked like Taylor Swift and had her talent, I can’t imagine being afraid of anything, can you?  I’m encouraged to know that she feels afraid once in a while like the rest of us – just sayin’…

There are certain real dangers and situations in life that we need to fear.  I don’t roller skate down the sidewalk after dark because it may not be safe.  We know that bad things sadly can happen in the daytime, but chances are, if you’re going to be outside, being out during the day is probably a better plan.

Rational fear is one thing, but when irrational fear gets ahold of us, it’s something we need to ask God to help us overcome.  For some reason, God wanted me to hear a few things about fear today.  Here are a few examples:

I counted 15 separate advertisements for pharmaceuticals.  The drug companies have nearly taken over ad time on every cable network on television.  They want us to ask our doctor about a certain drug because…  oooooh – we may not be our very best without it.

They work the fear factor… sometimes to the point of exploitation in my opinion.  They’re so good at it!  If you’re a baby boomer, you really should be tested for Hep C because oh my…  you may need this vaccination.  Well, for years it’s not been prevalent and I don’t suspect it is now – but the drug ads put that doubt in our minds – that fear – that maybe, just maybe…  and speaking as a baby boomer, we’re not the most secure about health issues to begin with.  Seems a lot of things are falling apart…  so – these ads just want to make that a little worse for us so we’ll pay out $$$ for meds that we may or may not need.

And many pills would make all our lives better – better shapes with diet pills and better sex lives with other pills.  Make sure you don’t get them confused.  If you have a double chin, you’d probably better get that treatment done that will give you a better profile – even though there’s a laundry list of possible side-effects that would be way worse than having a double chin.

You do know it’s all about the bottom line, right?  But they play on our low self-esteem…  our fear of rejection from others.  It’s true!

The big pharma is making big bucks because we let them work on our fears (some rational but many irrational) – fear of not only sickness, but a less than perfect profile or imperfect skin.  Some diseases have to be treated with medication, but most of the advertisements for drugs and treatments are an attempt to make us feel as though we need whatever it is they are peddling in order to look or feel better.

Would Sero-Vital make me look and feel 20 years old?  I imagine at over $100 a pop, it would more than likely land me in the poor house – but hey, I’d look and feel better, eh?just-stop-and-believe

I like to watch Joseph Prince and enjoy his sermons.  I already had this thought about the drug ads running around in my mind – and what do you think he’s talking about?  Yep – he was talking about FEAR.

Babies are born with only two fears.  1) A fear of falling down and 2) A fear of loud noises.  Every other fear is learned.  – Joseph Prince

He emphasized the fact that medical and psychological experts have said this.  Then He shared the text:

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.  – 2 Timothy 1:7

Ah ha!  Fear is a spirit – a wicked, evil, paralyzing spirit that we can either choose to give attention to – or not.  The spirit God gave us is one of power, love and a sound mind.  He wants us to have a mind free of irrational fears.  How cool if we’d face our fears with bigger faith given to us from God’s Holy Spirit.  Yes…  we WILL overcome!  🙂

JAMES 1:22 ON 1/22

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Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. – James 1:22

This portion of Scripture leaves little room for doubt.  Little or no explanation is necessary, as it is self-explanatory.  It’s a bit like the old Nike ad…  JUST DO IT!

Do It

If Jesus asks you To serve water at a wedding, Get the cups.

If He invites you to Meet Him on the lake, Step out.

If Jesus tells you To feed 5,000, Start breaking bread.

When He tells you to Go and preach the gospel, Open your mouth.

When Jesus tells you To let your light shine, Shine it for all.

When He tells you to Pray for your enemies, Drop to your knees.

When Jesus tells you To worship the Father, Lift up your voice.

When He tells you to Give to the poor, Dig deep.

Lucinda Berry Hill, from week 23 of Coffee with Jesus

We can study, listen to sermons and memorize Scripture until the cows come home, but if there aren’t attitudes and actions backing all of that up…  it’s just wasted time and effort.  Faith without works – is dead, so we see later in the book of James.

James was the half-brother of Jesus.  He witnessed the Lord’s resurrected body, then became one of the leaders of the church at Jerusalem.  After Peter’s miraculous release from prison, he singled James out (Acts 12:17).  James made the deciding speech at the Jerusalem Council (15:13-22), and Paul called James one of the pillars of the church (Galatians 2:9).

Some writers are gentle in their attempt to help the reader along in their Christian walk.  We see their human side and find hope because we know if God through Christ Jesus forgave them, He will surely forgive us.  The Psalmist David comes to mind and the Apostle Peter comes to mind.

James is a writer who most definitely does not mince words.  I’d call him a no-nonsense writer.  He’s the one who just tells it like it is – no ands, ifs or buts.  No excuses allowed.  He’s like the spiritual personal trainer who says – “I know you’re tempted…  but so what?  resist the devil and keep going in the right way!”   He supplies the spiritual kick in the backside that makes us say – “Yep!  He’s right about that!”  He says if we’re going to talk the talk, we’d better be walking the walk.

I’ve said in the past that the book of James is a tough one for me.  It’s just the simple, brash, harsh, undiluted truth.  It’s not sugar-coated and there is no room for misinterpretation at all.  He says what he means and means what he says.  And sometimes…  ouch – that smarts.

But really…  can you imagine being the half-brother of the Savior?  I think that relationship has a lot to do with his bold and direct writing.  It’s no holds barred, blunt and to the point.  There’s no wiggle room whatsoever.  And really where outright sin is concerned, there is no wiggle room.  Sin is sin and you can’t giggle and wink your way out of it.  It’s not cute…  it’s wrong and restoration from God is the only cure.  God will forgive any sin, but you have to sincerely ask Him to forgive you.

I wonder if James ever heard, “Why can’t you be more like Jesus?” – ???  I always tell people I’m going to ask questions when I get to Heaven – I want to ask James if he ever heard that – but you know what?  By the time I get to Heaven, it’s not really going to be that important.  🙂