Father May I?

Prayer is a conversation with our Heavenly Father.  It’s not as complicated as some folks want to make it.  We speak, God listens, He speaks, we hopefully listen.  Prayer is a way we reinforce truth in our hearts and souls.  It’s how we practice our faith…  we put feet – actionreinforcement, to our faith.  What if we had parents, but we were never allowed to interact with them?  Never allowed to talk, laugh, even argue with them?  That would not be much of a relationship, would it?

The best way to give Satan a black eye is to start praying to God in Jesus’ name!  Satan cannot read your mind – remember that when you pray.  If you can possibly think your prayers, it’s best.  Satan can’t get a foothold on a prayer that is from your mind to God’s heart.  He could possibly get a foothold on one said aloud.  If the devil doesn’t know what you’re thinking – he can’t possibly come up with a counter measure!  Spiritual warfare is a real thing – and it starts with humility before the Lord, with sincere heartfelt prayers.

This portion of Scripture tells us to pray in Jesus’ name.  That’s why we always tag our prayers with that phrase.  I remember being asked to pray aloud once in teen group – and I forgot to say “In Jesus’ name” at the end of my prayer.  I was given a tongue lashing by the teen leader afterward.  I still get scared when someone asks me to pray aloud – and if it happens to be a pastor asking me to pray – it’s worse yet and I probably won’t do it.  We really must be careful when dealing with young people as we teach them.  They are so vulnerable and the smallest thing can affect them for the rest of their lives.  Encourage young people…  they’re doing their best and we should love them for that.  Correct them in private – not in front of the rest of the class.

If we ask anything in Jesus’ name He will do it so it will glorify the Father.  So, asking God to give me a dozen donuts in Jesus’ name is probably a bad idea.  I can’t imagine that it would glorify the Father for that prayer to be answered.  God already knows what we want, but more importantly, He knows what we need!  He knows best, but He still wants us to ask.  He wants to hear from us because He loves us so much!  Remember that prayer isn’t about getting what we want.  Prayer is about getting to know God.

When I started writing the Heart Hunger Blog, I weighed a whopping 220 pounds and had a horrible food addiction.  A friend in my group, “A Second Helping of Wellness… with a Dash of Humor & a Pinch of Faith”, told me about how her husband lost 100 pounds when he embraced a low-carb lifestyle.  So many people ask me why I called this blog HEART HUNGER and the answer is really pretty simple.  There’s a God-shaped place in every heart, and nothing but GOD fits there.  We try to put all sorts of things in that place, but they don’t fit!  God is the piece that fits in the God-shaped place.

During the month of May, as we ask “Father, May I?”, I want to imagine we are baking a batch of spiritual cookies.  We already know that cookies are little carb bombs, so eating real ones would not be a good idea if we want to watch our weight, right?  So – these spiritual cookies we bake need not only special ingredients, but they need to be made with special utensils from God.

I want to use a good brand of flour for my spiritual cookies because it’s the flour that holds everything together.  I also want to use a Holy Ghost sifter to discern the words I hear and know truth from lies in this life.

Dear Lord, We’re asking “Father, May I?” this month.  We want to bake the best batch of spiritual cookies we can.  Please bless our hearts and minds with Your flour of strength so everything will hold together when it seems to be crumbling.  When we experience doubt or confusion, help us to send everything we hear through Your special sifter of discernment and read the ultimate cook book, Your Holy Word, The Bible, to make sure what we are hearing in the world is in line with what You want for us.  When we ask for anything in Your name, we know if it’s within Your will, You want us to have good things.  As we sift the flour, may we please hear from You?  We need to hear from You!  It’s in Jesus’ precious and Holy name we pray, Amen.

I love spiritual cookies.  There are no calories, no carbs, no weight gain and no guilt.  There is happiness, joy, love, freedom and peace.  🙂

 

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Big Decisions

When women are describing their dream mate, what is it they say – ???  Tall, dark, handsome, and non-communicative – right???  The sad truth is, most women don’t think much about how well a man can communicate, either verbally or non-verbally.  We find out after we marry just how important that quality is!  Frankly, in my humble opinion…  communication IS everything!

There’s a choice I had to make in college that I think may have altered the course of my life.  No, it’s true.  I had to choose between debate and interpersonal communication.  Well, no way was I going to get up in front of a bunch of talented speakers and try my hand at debate as a freshman!  It was a no-brainer…  interpersonal communication, here I come!  I don’t think I did myself a favor by going that way.  I should have thrown my shoulders back and charged ahead.  Now, I wish I would have; however, it does absolutely no good to second guess a decision that I made so long ago.

When one introvert meets and marries another introvert…  communication can be a bit sketchy for a while.  I’ve coined a phrase and use it often:

I am not a mind reader.  I’ve never been a mind reader.  I’ll never BE a mind reader.  Use your words so I will know what is going on.

Every decision as a couple needs to be discussed — not just the big ones.  It’s a matter of respect for one another.  With every year that passes, communication gets easier – you find your own way, and every couple communicates differently.  As long as it works – hey – that’s what matters!

Dear God, we know that marriage can be tricky sometimes because there are two people to consider.  Two sets of values, emotions, and baggage carried around from the past.  Help us to be considerate of one another and respectful in our decision-making.  Help us to make all moves together as a unit instead of as an individual.  You have declared that married couples are ONE.  Remind us, as only You can, that what You have joined together, no one can tear apart.  Thank You for being so good to us.  We love you, Lord.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Sometimes it helps to think about a couple that you really admire – and try to mirror some of their actions in your own marriage.  I loved being around my parents.  Those two could just give one another a look and they’d know and understand each other.  I want that in my marriage – and I think that’s the goal of most couples.  It’s those unspoken moments that we cherish the most, I think.  The smiles, grins, silly faces…  I love to remember all that!

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.  – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

I’ll bet I could have been a great in debate class…  I hold my own fairly well on facebook!  Ha!  Does that count??? 

Today is Superbowl Sunday, of course.  I have one thought to share about it. 

One more example of a big decision…  to get excited about Jesus, or get excited about football.  Is there room for both?  Well, yes, of course there’s room for both in our lives.  I’m still angered by the behavior of the players, so will not be watching the Superbowl this year.  I’d rather get excited about Jesus.  He never lets me down!  🙂

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

When Jesus walked this earth in human form, what was the last act of good will and fellowship?  It was THE LAST SUPPER.  Jesus ate with His disciples and attempted to explain the drama to follow, though they understandably did not comprehend what they were hearing.  I’m not quick to judge them – I’m not sure I’d “get it” either.

What have Christian churches considered tradition since the beginning of Christianity?  It’s a POT-LUCK DINNER.  Everybody brings a covered dish (preferably with food inside).  We stand in line after the church service, tummies growling and eyes enlarged as we carefully examine the good stuff we have to choose from.  We communicate and laugh and if somebody says they forgot or they think they should not stay – we talk ’em into stayin’ anyhow, right?  We tell them there’s plenty of food.

Nobody knows how to make good relationships into better relationships like the followers of Christ.  I believe that most people here in Wichita still believe that America is a Christian nation, founded on the values and principles of Christianity.  We love, we mentor, we pray for everybody (except maybe ourselves) and yep – we EAT TOGETHER.  We break bread and with true concern for our fellow person – we communicate and laugh and with a sincere heart, we try to listen to the views of everyone and come up with solutions when there is any conflict.  THAT is what we do.

I could not be any more proud of Wichita right now.  While race relations are escalating across the country, in Wichita, our officers are taking a cue from the Christian community around them.  They are meeting with the group Black Lives Matter at a cookout.  Food – the breaking of bread (and hopefully some hamburgers inside – and hot dogs) along with meaningful dialogue, communication on both sides which includes some listening – real listening, and I hope and pray some moments of levity – laugher perhaps.  We need to initiate some conversation that leads to some answers – not for one side or the other – but answers we can all LIVE with.

We all need to LIVE to our greatest potential – because LIFE is a precious gift and not to be carelessly taken by anyone.

Let’s all have conversations at a cookout.  Christ knew how to talk with His crew about serious stuff.  Christians know all about making good fellowship into great fellowship.  Please America…  stop the violence.  Instead, let’s have a real conversation at a cookout.  Talking, listening – and FOOD.  🙂

MATTHEW 6:15 ON 6/15

TL 6-15 MATTHEW 6-15 ON 6-15

But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.  – Matthew 6:15

It would be good for all of us to remember that our Father will judge us with the same mercy, or lack thereof, that we judge others.  Ouch!  The greatest commandment we’re given is to love God and love each other.  We’re to be quick to forgive and that’s not always easy to do.  I believe God wants us to learn forgiveness not for the other person, but for ourselves – to maintain our peace of mind.

As we get older it becomes easier to forgive because we realize that it’s just not worth it to carry the burden around.  We quickly give it to God because we know He can surely handle it better than we can.  Once we forgive, we move on and we don’t turn around.  Just keep walking…

If we harbor a spirit of unforgiveness, it complicates and compromises our daily walk with God.  We need to be released from inner anguish and anger in order to receive the healing we need from God – and the only way that can happen is through forgiveness.  God doesn’t want anything to stand between us and Him.  Inner anguish and anger certainly qualifies as something that would get in the way of our relationship, don’t you think?FORGIVENESS

God loves us more than we can begin to comprehend, and He has a wonderful plan for us, but if we continue to let unforgiveness get in the way, He can’t work in our lives like He wants to.  I want to be forgiving so God can work in my life.

In our world, forgiveness is seen as weakness.  To forgive another person for wronging you is probably the most difficult thing to do and is, in my mind, a sign of great strength.  Some people think that you have to let the person back into your life after forgiving them – and again…  no, you don’t.  You forgive, but you’re not a fool – just keep walking.  Actually, there are some situations where you do need to allow people back in your life – but in those cases you need to set some ground rules with them so they don’t mess with you again.  An example would be family members.  You really can’t walk away from them, but they can hurt you badly.  Make it clear that you won’t tolerate it again.  Of course, we know that we are to forgive as often as necessary, but making sure they know the rules will hopefully be enough to take care of the problem.FORGIVING AND MOVING ON

God didn’t create doormats.  We’re not on planet earth to be walked on by others.  Being taken advantage of for our kind nature is not what God had in mind for any of us.  By the same token, God didn’t create us to walk around with a chip on our shoulder either – just waiting for the next person to come along and knock it off and start a fight.

There is an in-between there, and it’s found in a solid relationship with God.  If we understand our purpose for living – to share Christ with others – then we understand that no matter what happens in life, our Lord will provide a way of escape from it, and we have to be ready to face it, work through it, walk away from it and let it go.  Some of us don’t get much practice, and some of us get a great deal of practice.  Regardless, we need to know how to forgive and by God’s grace – forget it.  If we don’t, God can’t forgive us.  If you needed to find motivation to forgive, there it is.

Today and every day this is my prayer:

Father, please help me to forgive completely so that You can forgive me completely.  Help me to embrace all the good stuff and the good people You have placed in my life, and completely release the ones who have caused pain in my life.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JUST PRAY NO! WORLDWIDE WEEKEND OF PRAYER

TL 4-23 & 24 JUST PRAY NO! WORLDWIDE WEEKEND OF PRAYERPrayer:  A constant conversation between God and His people through God’s Son, Jesus Christ.  We humbly bow with particular needs on our hearts and minds concerning the United States of America.  We ask God to protect the unborn.  According to Hillary Clinton, the unborn have no RIGHTS under the constitution.  Aside from speaking to her moral fiber, or lack thereof, it begs the question, CAN the constitution ever be amended so that the unborn could have RIGHTS in America?  I don’t have the answer to that question.  I’m not a scholar or a constitutional expert by any means – I’m just a simple child of God who knows that murder is sin, and abortion is murder.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You for giving me life.  I know that nothing destroys life more than abortion, yet I continue to rejoice in the fact that You have conquered death by the resurrection of Your Son, Christ Jesus.  I promise to do everything I can to end abortion and commit myself to speak up, write, and never be silent or passive on behalf of the unborn.  I will be active in the pro-life movement and never stop defending life.  Please lead America back to the values it once had, with You in the center of every decision made from the Whitehouse to the local courthouse.  We need to be a country that embraces liberty and justice – especially for our most innocent – the unborn!  May we speak up for them in good conscience because it pleases You.  Lord, through You may America make provision in the constitution that will protect the unborn so they will not be murdered anymore.  We thank You in advance for what You will do.  Help us to hang on to our faith because You perform all sorts of miracles every single day.

We pray this in the matchless name of Christ our Lord, Amen.

We pray for NO MORE HATE.  We pray for peace in our land, in our time.  We pray that God gives us everything we need to STAND UP TO THE WORLD.  While there is so much hate growing all around us, we keep praying and trusting that God will help us.STANDING UP TO THE WORLD

We know as the time gets closer for our Lord to return to earth for His own, things will get worse.  I know I sound very doom and gloom, and I don’t mean to be a downer.  Here’s the good news…  God’s children have a powerful ally in the Lord.  We have a tool called prayer, and it’s the best thing we can do for ourselves and for each other as we lean on Him to guide us down life’s winding narrow pathway.  🙂

 

 

NATIONAL POETRY MONTH

TL - APRIL IS NATIONAL POETRY MONTHGentlemen, if you really want to do something special for your lady, take her to the park, sit on a bench together and start reciting poetry to her.  Okay, I see you rolling your eyes at me – hey, I tried!

April is National Poetry Month, so of course this blog has to celebrate!

I love a poem that says what my heart feels.  It puts into words all the thoughts and feelings I have.  This poem fills the bill:

When I say, “I am a Christian”

by Carol Wimmer

When I say, “I am a Christian”

I’m not shouting, “I’ve been saved!”
I’m whispering, “I get lost!
That’s why I chose this way”.

When I say, “I am a Christian”

I don’t speak with human pride
I’m confessing that I stumble –
Needing God to be my guide

When I say, “I am a Christian”

I’m not trying to be strong
I’m professing that I’m weak
And pray for strength to carry on.

When I say, “I am a Christian”

I’m not bragging of success
I’m admitting that I’ve failed
And cannot ever pay the debt.

When I say, “I am a Christian”

I don’t think I know it all
I submit to my confusion
Asking humbly to be taught.

When I say, “I am a Christian”

I’m not claiming to be perfect
My flaws are all too visible
But God believes I’m worth it.

When I say, “I am a Christian”

I still feel the sting of pain
I have my share of heartache,
Which is why I seek His name.

When I say, “I am a Christian”

I do not wish to judge
I have no authority…
I only know I’m loved

Lucinda Berry Hill has written poetry that connects with people.  She writes from the heart and is so open and honest.  Have you ever wondered what her first poem was???  It so happens I have it – right here….  yep – you saw it HERE first!  😉  She wrote this in the summer of 1976 after making a traumatic move from her home state of New York, leaving family  and friends at 12 years old – to Pennsylvania.  APRIL IS POETRY MONTH - THIS IS LBH'S FIRST POEM. I HOPE WE MEET AGAIN

BLESSINGS FROM PAIN

MY PEN-PALGLORY TO MY PARTNERShe also wrote 2 poems that were created using titles from both her books, “Coffee with Jesus” and “A Second Cup with Jesus”.BE BEAUTIFUL YOU ARE GOD'S CHOICE

FINDING HOME WITH A GOD OF ALWAYS

Poetry describes a situation you find yourself in and will hopefully spark something in others that makes them say, “Oh, I’ve been there too” or “That was surely a GOD thing!”  I wrote a poem that did just that a few years ago.  Hope you relate to this:

CONVERSATION ABOUT HEAVENApparently, I’m not the only one who has experienced this!  The first time I posted this on facebook, it got close to 100 LIKES and several shares – it blew me away!  🙂

FREELANCE WRITERS APPRECIATION WEEK

TL 2-7 FREELANCE WRITERS APPRECIATION WEEK

In addition to writing this blog, I write an occasional article for Ezine Articles to gain more exposure, because let’s face it – if I write and nobody reads it, is inspired by it and ultimately takes action because of it – then the time I spend writing has been wasted.  I mean, it’s time I could have spent doing laundry – LOL!  NOT!

Please LIKE them on facebook!  https://www.facebook.com/EZINEARTICLES/

Their blog has been so helpful to me.  http://blog.ezinearticles.com/

The folks at Ezine Articles made it simple to express my thoughts about many subjects through the years, all winding right back here and increasing the number of followers on this blog.  It’s my hope that the articles I’ve written have been helpful and thought-provoking to the readers.

Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. Good writer sees five or six of them. Most people don’t see any.   – Orson Scott

They allow you to include all of the links where you share your writing, so I not only share the main article, but at the same time they can see my pages on facebook, twitter, pinterest, linkedin and google +, as well as the link to my website.

Have you connected with me yet?  Here’s where you can find me:

facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/linda.palmer.399041

twitter:  https://twitter.com/makemelaughnow1

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/dyslexiclinda/christianity-in-america/

linkedin:  https://www.linkedin.com/

google +:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/115872569071554741671/posts

website:  http://americablessgodtoday.webs.com/

If you’re interested in reading my articles on Ezine Articles, my pen name is (take a deep breath)…  Linda Lou Turner Palmer.  I’m not sure how my middle name got in there, but it did.  I think if you google Ezine Articles with my pen name, the articles should come up.  Frankly, I’ve not tried to look them up – I don’t tend to go backwards and review – I am a move ahead kind of writer – on to the next challenge.  🙂

I hope all of my writer friends will take advantage of this free tool.  It’s one of many ways to sharpen iron for others by offering insight and hopefully some helpful advice, as you let them know about your product, or in my case – my blog. 

blackboard-620314_1920The folks in charge of the Ezine Articles facebook page are so friendly and willing to message back and forth with you if you have any questions.  They also offer some awesome incentives once you begin writing, such as badges for every accomplishment.  I’m very proud to say that I am a Diamond Expert Author, which means that I can now submit an unlimited number of articles.  Now, that’s not to say that they will automatically be accepted – they still have to go through the process and if I’m not careful, they can deny the submission.

I have written 27 articles on subjects ranging from Around the House to Health and Fitness.  We’ve all heard the age-old saying – write about what you know.  Well, brothers and sisters – I know about being around the house and I sure do know about more than a few health challenges.EZINE ARTICLES

My single wish is that my parents could read my work.  I remember a nightly battle as I sat at the kitchen table – most nights I went to bed crying myself to sleep and feeling so stupid because I just could not grasp the concept – what concept?  ANY concept…  you name it.  The dyslexia got in the way with spelling, sentence structure, mathematics, science – even music!  Everything got jumbled up.  It still does to this day.  Now I notice that I skip lines when I’m reading, so it’s best if I can follow along with a cursor on the computer or my finger when reading a book.  And yes, I still have to read things twice – sometimes three times before it sinks in.

God knows the desires of our hearts – He GETS us when nobody else does.  People can’t understand why I chose to write when it’s such a struggle.  God knows my motives and reasons.  He understands and helps me to write every day.  I praise Him for guidance and direction.

God makes a way where we don’t see one – He gives us what we need when we need it – never ahead of time – but always right on time.  If I didn’t need His help, would I appreciate Him as much?  Probably not.  There’s a reason for everything – even dyslexia.  I really believe that to be true.

I’ll be sure to let you know when I finish my novel about rocket science – LOL.  Yeah – don’t hold your breath!   Wink!  😉