Season of New Beginnings

Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone.  – Romans 5:18

If all we look at is the original sin, life looks so hopeless, doesn’t it?  But as we see what Christ did on Calvary, we see that there is hope for renewal and real change in behavior and lifestyle – for everyone who accepts Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior!  I like the sound of HOPE, don’t you?

This portion of Scripture celebrates freedom for every Christian.  There is finally good news that we can have eternal life because of what Christ endured to pay the price for our sins – past, present, and future.

If we put blinders on and see just the one original sin, we’re likely to lack vision regarding our own life.  Salvation does not guarantee that we will never sin, and the truth is, that ol’ devil will mess with a Christian more than a non-Christian!  When we do get tangled up in the weeds, we do have hope for better days ahead.

Sin is only fun for a season, and be sure it will find you out one way or the other.  When it does, turn back to God, seek His forgiveness and the forgiveness of those you wronged here if possible.  Move out of the ruins and walk in God’s beautiful light.  Nobody knows your heart better than He does.  He can and will help you get your act together again.

It’s almost May and the April showers are nearly a thing of the past.  As the May flowers start growing around you, don’t you want your life to be heading in the right direction?  Discover a new life that will not only make you happier, but be pleasing to God as well.  That’s what matters – pleasing our Heavenly Father.  Let Him pick you up, dust you off, and set you on His straight path.

Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life.  – 1 Corinthians 15:22

New life.  That sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?  Why live under the death curse, among the weeds and the waste, when with Christ, you can have a new life?  He loves you so much and wants to give you His peace, joy, love, hope and eternal life.  Walk out of the ruins and into His loving arms.  He will make you a beautiful flower!  🙂

 

 

 

 

Flowers are Coming Back

“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to each person according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”  – Revelation 22:12-13

Maybe it’s just me, but winter seems to linger and last forever!  My friend Kelly is a gardener.  She has had her seed packets since February and posted one cold winter day that she is going to have to wait two more months to plant her seeds.  It’s excruciating, this time between winter and spring.  Here in Kansas, even when spring is officially here, we still have rain and chilly temperatures.  We don’t trust anything we plant to be protected before May.  Winter is the longest season – and we have no choice but to be patient and wait for warmer weather.  But the watchword is…  ANTICIPATION!  We prepare, then we wait!  

Sometimes I’m tempted to feel the same way about the second coming of Christ.  I want the Lord to hurry up – but He reminds me that not everyone is ready for His return.  It makes me feel selfish, to be honest, but once that feeling passes, I realize that it’s just a reminder that I need to get to work!  The Gospel is something to be shared, not hoarded.  Our Lord wants everyone to be ready to make Heaven their eternal home!

Remember the Great Commission?

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  – Matthew 28:18-20

I like the last part of this portion of Scripture:  I am with you always, to the very end o the age.  Do we know when that will be?  Nope.  Nobody knows except God Himself.  Even Jesus won’t be privy to that information until it is time!  So, while we’re waiting for the end of the age, we need to be busy in whatever way we can, sharing and caring for the lost souls around us.

Revelation says that Jesus is coming quickly.  I’m sure you think as I do…  “You call this QUICKLY” – ???  We’re not questioning God – we really aren’t.  We’re just saying that the time between Christ’s resurrection and His second coming to earth has been a very long winter…  but we wait with anticipation, knowing that one day the proverbial spring will arrive and we will be enjoying the most beautiful garden we’ve ever seen.  The best news of all is that, we’ll never have to endure another winter again!  🙂

 

 

Blessings and Miracles

Of course it’s March, and we will be hearing all about LUCK.  When you give luck the credit for something wonderful that happens in your life, you are not giving God the glory and honor for it.  I’m sure we don’t intend to slight our dear Lord at all – ever, but we should be more mindful of how we express joy for our blessings (and in some cases, miracles).  

It’s really a matter of where you place your trust, isn’t it?  Luck is such an elusive and vague thing, so why would you place your trust in it?  Luck is not higher than we are, and I’m not convinced that it even exists.  Some people think that way about God, and I think that is very sad.  I will bless the Lord God Almighty!

My faith and trust will be placed in God and His Son, Jesus Christ.  He’s all I need to navigate this life and make Heaven my eternal home!

The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD.  – Proverbs 16:33

 

Chance encounter… random happening… plain ol’ luck?  No.  There’s more to it than that.  Do you catch yourself saying things like…

What a lucky shot!

Wish me luck on that test tomorrow!

Only luck had kept her from getting sick too!

Good luck getting the secret ingredient from mom!

I’ll try my luck fishing on the other side.

I’m gonna take a chance and change my luck.

I’m sure we’ve all slipped and said these things at one time or the other.  If we can just think a little bit about what we’re saying, and more to the point, the implications of what we’re saying, we’d be giving all the credit for the good to God by saying:

Thank You, Lord, for helping me with that shot!

Whisper a prayer or two for me as I take that test tomorrow!

Thank the Lord she didn’t get sick too!

I’ll pray that you can get that secret ingredient from mom with no problem!

Lord willing I will catch some fish over on the other side!

I’m gonna dump the luck and say a prayer instead!

What just happened here???  The randomness and chance in the first sentences were turned into gratitude, praise to God, and prayers!  When we acknowledge God in these ways, we are letting Him know that we recognize His sovereignty and His control over everything – big and small.

Those blessings are sweetest that are won with prayer and worn with thanks.  – Thomas Goodwin

Don’t leave your life in the hands of randomness and chance.  Luck belongs at the local casino, because let’s face it, gambling is probably the most random activity human beings engage in!  Your life deserves more order and planning by God, who loves and cares for you more than you can imagine!  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

What is stone heart syndrome?  Well, a stone heart can come from many sources, and certainly in this world filled with mean people, it’s easy to see how a person can have stone heart syndrome.  How many times can a person be hurt before their heart turns to stone?  Well, as a wise person once said…  that is up to the individual.  You can choose to take the hurt and save it and let future hurts add to that one until they stack up and the heart turns to stone.  But the better choice is to let go of the hurt.  How?  Pray and cry out to God.  Tell Him everything, holding nothing back (He knows it all anyway).  Ask Him to take your hurt… every bit of it.  

They answered, “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you and your family will be saved.”   Acts 16:31

Once you’ve rid yourself of all the pain and the hurt, ask God to give you something much better.  He will because He loves you so much!  He wants to give you a longing for the things He longs for…  the fruits of HIS precious Holy Spirit.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.  – Galatians 5:22-23  

Regardless of education or experience, it’s true that only God can change your heart – from a heart of stone that keeps others at arm’s length, to a heart of flesh that has genuine compassion and a sense of empathy for other people.  God loves people more than anything.  We should too.  It’s not a quality that comes easily for some of us.  I’ve found that there are ministries for we introverts too.  When I asked the Lord what He wanted me to do, just one word came to me.  Encourage.    

Do I have to encourage others in person?  Well…  no I don’t.  I can encourage through social media – in my groups and on my pages.  I can encourage with a card or a phone call.  I don’t skype, but that’s certainly another way to encourage someone.  We all need encouragement once in a while.  I’m just so thankful that God can use me in that way for His glory!

Let His truth transform you.  Let His words conform you.  Let His Spirit indwell you.  Let His love restore you.  Kick the hurt to the curb and allow the Lord to give you His joy, peace and love.  Find Him and hold Him close because He will never fail you.   🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

In the 50+ years I’ve been alive and kicking, I must admit that there is very little I can explain – except to say…  “It must be God’s will.”  People are big on asking WHY about everything.  If I allowed myself to dwell on the whys in life, it would drive me crazy.  I have to believe that I’m not a mom because God intended for me to do other things.  I was not successful and very unhappy at the workplace, sitting in a chair in a cubicle – but I have to believe there were lessons God wanted me to learn.  I hope I learned those lessons and would be a better person going forward.

We’re not meant to understand things – and I’m not a person who says they will ask God questions when I get to Heaven.  I can’t imagine that any of the small stuff will matter once I get through the pearly gates!  Nothing I face in this life is going to make a bit of difference once I’m in my eternal home!  It’s a place of sweet peace and contentment.  There are no more tears – and I will smile so big my cheeks will hurt!

Life is a mystery.  Everything about life is mysterious, and God wants to keep it that way.  How strong would our faith have to be if things were understood completely?  It’s faith in God’s way and His plan that keeps us afloat in this life.  We know that God loves us and wants His best for us.  It occurs to me that He may have protected me somehow by not blessing me with children.  Who knows what the issue may have been – of course, God knows.  He knows – and that is enough for me.  That’s my faith talking.  I don’t know why, but I know Who does know why – and He’s not going to share that with me.  It’s fine.  I trust that God knows what is best for me.  I pray for His comfort, joy, peace, patience and love.

I love mysteries, as you know.  Whether it’s a book or a movie, or a program on Investigation Discovery channel, I get wrapped up in a good “who done it” – and even though I may figure it out in the first portion of the story, I still like to hear the particulars about the case.  Those mysteries get solved, and we generally learn many crucial details along the way.  God’s mysteries are not solved, except to Him, of course.  The point is, they are His to divulge or keep to Himself.  We have to accept that and place our faith and trust in Him, praising Him for Who He is.

The God who made the Heavens has made for us a way.  🙂

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

I doubt that we need to review examples of living according to the flesh.  It’s sad to see people get caught up in fast living, only to crash and burn in the end – sometimes literally.  Why does God want us to kill fleshly desires when they seem so attractive sometimes?  The answer is simple:  HE LOVES US!  He loves you and me so much – and He knows that those temptations are dangerous to our bodies and souls.  God wants to protect us – body, mind and soul.  We can’t overcome these things alone.  It’s only through God’s precious Holy Spirit that we can turn tail and run away from harm’s way.  He’s not trying to keep us from having fun!  He’s trying to show us a better way to live – and if we belong to Christ, we need to run into His arms and ask Him to show us His way of life.  Only with the Spirit’s help can we make wise choices.A relationship with God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit means that we have everything we need to avoid sin and win.  Of course, we have a free will to choose either way – right or wrong.  Nobody has always chosen the right – nobody that I know, anyway.  We’re not perfect all the time, but we know that if we choose badly, we can turn from that bad choice and ask our loving Heavenly Father, through Christ, to forgive us and forget our transgression.

One day I was driving home from work in a terrible rain storm.  I took an unfamiliar route because I was sure the regular route was flooded.  As I drove, I prayed aloud in the car, asking the Lord to protect me.  I was frightened, but confident that God would get me home safely.

There were not many cars on the road I took, which I thought was strange, but I forged ahead.  When there is water on the road, it’s difficult to gage how deep it is – or the condition of the street below.

The next intersection was full of water – the flash flooding was catching up with me… I felt led to make a left hand turn and go to the street just south of the one I was on.  I made the turn and ended up on a street that was a bit elevated and the water was running off.  I had a straight shot home.  I sang praise & worship songs and thanked the Lord for helping me get home.

I was curious about the flooded intersection where I made the turn.  I went back to look at it, and found there was a very large pot hole – and had I kept going straight, I would have gone in the hole and would probably have water in the car.

When we live life waiting for the next big thrill with no regard for the God who just wants to protect us, we end up being a slave to the very thing we thought was such fun at first.  I don’t understand why some folks think that Christians don’t have fun.  We have such fun – it’s just a different kind of fun.   God protects us and His Spirit helps us stay away from sin because all sin does is cause harm.  God doesn’t want us to be harmed – He wants us to be free!  And so we are.

Free from the law…  oh happy condition.  Jesus is mine, oh precious redemption.

A LIFE OF FREEDOM IN CHRIST…  it can be yours!  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

Of all the people in the world, God chose to personally care for Noah and his family.  If that doesn’t warm your heart, the wood in your heart’s stove is wet.

Noah was a good man who placed all his faith and trust in God.  He raised his family to believe in God and His law.  It is worth it to follow the Lord, and the story of Noah supports that truth.  God led Noah and his family and saved them from the flood.  He also got male and female animals on board the ark to save them and see that they reproduced so life would go on after the flood.   I don’t know of a person who would have done things so creatively!  God works out all our problems in similar ways, doesn’t He?  I love my LORD’S CREATIVITY!

Do you suppose some of the animals who boarded the ark at first got bored and said, “God, shut the door!” – ???  How funny!  I have so many questions, like – why did flies and skeeters have to survive?  Why did rats and spiders have to survive?  Sigh…  I don’t think we’ll ever get an answer to those questions.

It’s a lesson about trusting God no matter what.  Every family should build and ark for themselves, secure in God’s Word and His way.

I like to think that God is protecting me and my family just as He protected Noah and His family.  As we follow Him, He blesses us in such marvelous ways!

And finally, here’s something that I’ll bet you never thought about – LOL!

Have a wonderful day!  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

ELECTION DAY IN THE USA – AND JESUS IS STILL LORD

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The LORD was moved by prayer for the land.  – 2 Samuel 24:25

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Most of my friends say they will be glad when this election is finally OVER.  I took advantage of early voting and voted by mail.  I was done with the campaign after I voted – after all, I’d done everything I could possibly do, right?

Was there another person I could persuade to see things my way?  Well, I didn’t think there was, but God apparently wanted me to meet up with some folks who were still wavering on the fence.  One was ready to forfeit her right to vote this time around.  We had a good conversation – she told me how she felt about both candidates and I asked a few simple questions.  I think I helped her see how not voting is not helping matters.america-needs-you-lord

Voting is probably the most personal of all things we do in life.  Just as some people choose to keep their faith to themselves and practice in private – some people are that way about their political views.  I tend to clam up if I’m in mixed company and the subject of politics comes up – but I can be the big mouth in a group if I’m with like-minded people.

Women should remember that it’s important to exercise their RIGHT to vote because that right was not always there!

If you’re a woman making the decision NOT to vote, regardless of your party or candidate, remember that just a short 96 years ago some very brave and incredibly strong women won a long hard-fought battle to grant you the ability to do so.  To sit at home, complaining about your country and the path it’s going down and NOT exercising your right to vote, is a slap in the face to those women and women everywhere.  – Bridget Montgomery

11-7-god-understands-donkeys-and-elephantsFor me it’s like this:  there will be no politics in Heaven.  Political rallies and campaigns will not take place beyond the pearly gates.  If you ever needed an incentive for going to Heaven…  there it is.  I’m joking – there are better incentives than that!

I have one observation to inject here – for what it’s worth.  It’s well-known that blue is the democratic color and red is the republican color.  What do you get when you mix those two colors?  PURPLE!!!  What does purple represent?  It represents ROYALTY.  Christ Jesus is KING and how wonderful if America was not red or blue, but PURPLE!!!  Let’s bow down to King Jesus regardless of whether blue or red is at the helm of this country.

God loves everyone regardless of political affiliation.  He loves liberals, conservatives, and everyone in-between.  That’s the truth that will help our country to heal after this election.  Somebody is going to lose this thing.  It’s important that we don’t let the hurt destroy our souls in the process.  The differences between liberals and conservatives are clear, but we must remember that God doesn’t see our political affiliation and beliefs…  God sees a soul that will either turn to Him for help or will not.god-holds-the-worldWhen the election is over…  will you trust GOD to hold your world together?  The ultra rich people running for President of the United States are not able to save us, you know.  They may have programs and plans that you feel will benefit our country, but they can’t save you.  Only God, through His only Son, Christ Jesus can save you now and for eternity.

At this point, we don’t know who our President will be…  but we know without a doubt that God knows who it will be…  and that is comforting!  He knows how this will go down and what lies ahead…  because He’s already there – in the future!

 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.  – Hebrews 11:8

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Here’s a prayer from http://www.hopeforthebrokenhearted.com/15027956_10154749935764939_5908825399816599926_n

Jesus Christ is King of kings and Lord of lords!  You know the truth.  What will you do about it?  You have a choice to accept God’s love and the sacrifice of Christ, or reject it.  The proverbial ball is in your court.  Have a blessed day.  🙂

HEBREWS 11:1 ON 11/1

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Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  – Hebrews 11:1

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I think sometimes we memorize verses and can spout them off without pausing…  but do we stop and think about what they mean?  We should.  Just because you have memorized 1,000 Bible verses and can say them by heart – well, that doesn’t mean that they are necessarily imbedded in your heart – see what I’m saying?

This is one of those verses that most church-going young children are taught to memorize – one of the first verses we are required to commit to memory.  Hopefully, as it’s committed to memory, it’s also imbedded in the heart.

I’ve observed that frequently where we see the word FAITH – the word HOPE is not far away!  Coincidence???  I think not.

The book of Hebrews is meant to show us how Christians should live.  We should be radical in our belief, willing to take risks and love in a sacrificial manner.  As we read on, our confidence in God’s promises should deepen and our hope remain steadfast in God alone.

There are two key words in this passage – (1) SUBSTANCE and (2) EVIDENCE.  Only by faith are we able to see the invisible fingerprints of God on the things He has made…  by that, I mean the beauty, order and awesome greatness in creation and in our daily life.  These are the evidence that God is in control.  Through faith we can clearly see God’s fingerprints everywhere!

Non-believers see but are blind to what they’re seeing – and they don’t see fingerprints – God’s or anyone else’s.  Without FAITH, we can’t recognize the significance in a given situation.  If true faith is on board and we are open to the leading of God’s precious Holy Spirit, we see and trust God for answers instead of calling the psychic hotline on TV.

We read God’s promises and have faith that God will walk with us today, of course.  The comforting news; however, is that He will be there at the end of this life and the beginning of eternity.  I love this poem by Lucinda:

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We walk by faith – not by sight.  When we cannot see physically, we understand by faith.  It’s a spiritual act that sees the fingerprints of God.  It’s not a matter of BELIEVING HARDER…  that’s worldly thinking and known as wishful thinking – it goes in the file along with the tooth fairy, cupid, little green men and Santa Claus.

OK – I didn’t really want to go there…  but I will.  FAITH DOES NOT CREATE WHAT WE HOPE FOR!  That’s stinkin’ thinkin’ and false teaching and preaching.  That name it and claim it, God is a vending machine theology is so far off base.  That is not to say we cannot CLAIM the promises of God – that is perfectly fine.

Faith is a SPIRITUAL PERCEPTION of God’s promises.  What promises, you ask?  I’m so glad you asked!

Here ya go!  http://www.bibleinfo.com/en/questions/how-many-bible-promises-are-there

There are SO many promises from our loving Heavenly Father are just waiting for you.  Read through these verses and pray.  Prepare to be amazed at how God will work in your life.  He’s faithful when we exercise our faith.  It’s true!  🙂

 

COLOSSIANS 3:17 ON 3/17

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And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.  – Colossians 3:17

How do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?  I’m not a big party animal (I know…  surprise, surprise), but I do like to find some good corned beef and cabbage!  We used to drive to Kansas City to a bar called O’Doud’s  for authentic Irish food, but this year I read on my facebook newsfeed that Cracker Barrel will be serving corned beef and cabbage through today.  So…  we will probably go to our local restaurant here to celebrate the day!

Everyone is Irish Today
Everyone is Irish Today

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ll wear green and beautiful Celtic jewelry that gets plenty of wear the whole month of March.

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Wearing green means I won’t get pinched – that’s got to be a good thing, right?

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When the beautiful and talented actress Maureen O’Hara passed away, I wrote a poem about a movie she starred in, “The Quiet Man” along with John Wayne.  If you’ve seen it, you’ll notice at the end of the movie, she whispers in John Wayne’s ear – and whatever she whispered has remained a secret – but you can see by the look on the Duke’s face…  it must have been pretty shocking!

I want to know what Kate whispered to her Sean.  🙂

Nobody is alive to break the silence.  Director John Ford is the one who told Maureen what to whisper to John – and now…  well – there’s no way we’ll ever find out what it was she said.  I, for one, am so curious to know.  WHAT DID KATE WHISPER

Every year TCM runs The Quiet Man throughout the month of March.  If you have never seen it, I hope you’ll watch it this year – and pay particular attention to the end of the movie – and the part where Kate whispers in Sean’s ear – and look at that priceless expression on his face!   🙂