MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. DAY

TL MARTIN LUTHER KING JR DAYPUTTING HOLES IN THE DARKNESSRegardless of the divisiveness in our country, we are to shine with the kindness, joy, hope, love and caring nature of our Lord, Savior and Master, Christ Jesus.  MLK QUOTE (3)

Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin, and desire nothing but God, and I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen; such alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of heaven on Earth.  – John Wesley

At the risk of repeating myself…  GOD LOVES YOU!  It doesn’t end there…  He wants us to love one another as well.  That’s where, sadly, it gets tricky – and I’m not even sure why.  If we profess to have the Holy Spirit of God living inside us, it should be a piece of cake to love our brother, right?  :-/

We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

We can show love to others – but it takes a lot of prayer beforehand.  Let’s get on our knees and pray today for the necessary tools so that we can show mutual respect for one another!  Once we’ve asked God to help us, let’s rise and be bigger!  I want to rise about petty behavior, don’t you?

LET'S RISE AND BE BIGGER

FORGIVENESSLove, forgiveness, showing interest in others in a genuine manner – that’s the blessing I want from God today!  I will ask Him to give me the gift of real compassion for all people.

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.  – Mahatma Gandhi

I want to exercise honest sympathy and true empathy in life.  Think of the sacrifice Christ made for all of us – then think of the way He wants us to live.  Let’s be the best representatives for Christ we can possibly be in 2016.LOVEThere is such darkness in our country – and in our world.  Let’s humbly ask God through Jesus for LIGHT and LOVE which pokes holes in the darkness.

Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.  –  Paul Boese

There is hope for America!  If we each commit to a life of forgiveness and peace, wrapped up in God’s love and grace, He will guide us to a brighter place and help us to share this country in unity.  It’s my prayer that the words of Dr. King will resonate throughout the United States, especially at this crucial time in history.  May God Bless America!  🙂

GENESIS 8:11 ON 8/11

TL GENESIS 8 11 ON 8 11

And the dove came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf pluckt off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth.  – Genesis 8:11

WE ARE CHRISTIANS

It’s common knowledge that we hold out an olive branch these days by doing or saying something in order to show that we want to end a season of disagreement with someone.

When Noah’s ark had floated around on the flood waters for such a long time, he sent a dove out to see if the waters had subsided enough for them to leave the ark.  As we know, the dove came back with an olive branch, so Noah knew it was safe to open the doors of the ark and let everyone out.

We’ve been holding out olive branches to each other since then.  As we apologize, make concessions and sometimes even bend over backwards, we hold the olive branch out to others.

Immagine 151
The olive branch is as delicate as the forgiveness it represents.

As you can imagine, the olive branch is lightweight (after all, it was carried by a dove).  How ironic that this humble branch should represent peace and forgiveness.  The next time you feel the need to hold out an olive branch, think of the word fragile.  The olive branch is as delicate as the forgiveness it represents.

Peace and forgiveness are worth the effort.  Along with prayer and the use of magic words like please and thank you, hold out the olive branch with a humble heart.  Even if the other person does not take the branch from your hand immediately, just make it known that you have brought it, then lay it down on the ground, turn and walk away.  When they’re ready, they will pick it up.  Keep praying for them.  God will make all things new in His time.  🙂

 

 

 

 

ROMANS 8:1 ON 8/1

TL ROMANS 8 1 ON 8 1

Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.  – Romans 8:1-2

There is not a promise in God’s Word that encourages my heart more than this one.  There is no longer any condemnation!  Forgiveness of sins and the ability to finally let go of shame and regret means one thing – I am free!!!

FREEDOM

But why is this verse here?  It begins with the word therefore, so we need to back up and see what this verse is there for…  let’s look at the last part of Romans 7.

 So I find this law at work:  when I want to do good, evil is right there with me.  For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members.  What a wretched man I am!  Who will rescue me from this body of death?  Thanks be to God – through Jesus Christ our Lord!  So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.  – Romans 7:21-25

If we’re honest, we admit facing the same struggle – some days more than others.  Remember the cartoons with the angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other?  :-/

Here’s the deal…  if you continue living in sin, you are a slave to it.  No matter what type of sin it is – you’re bound to it.  The only real freedom you will ever experience in your life is through Jesus Christ.  He loves you and wants to set you free from the chains of sin.

Sin demands so much of you – it is not possible to get straightened out on your own.  It takes supernatural help.  I pray that you will find a quiet place and bow your head to talk with God, in Jesus’ name.  Let Him have everything that binds you today.  He can give you a whole new attitude and outlook about your life from this moment forward.

He worked a miracle in me – and I know He can work one in you too.  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (23)

If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.  If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. If Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but he is finished!  – Mark 3:24-26

Join me in prayer for our country.  My spirit is heavy and I’m so weary of the widening chasm which is leading to hate and division in America!  I just want to scream – STOP IT!!!  Enough already.  Am I the only one?

These tragedies are happening much too often.  What fuels the fire of hate that leads to this end?  What is the answer for the United States?  What will it take to keep the United States…  well – united?

I believe with my whole heart that Carman sang about the only hope to solve America’s problems nearly 20 years ago.

 If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.  Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayer offered in this place.  – 2 Chronicles 7:13-15

When will we listen?  When will America humble itself as a nation before God?

The fact that this shooting happened makes me so sad, but that it happened in a church – a place that should have been safe…  well, I can hardly wrap my mind around it!

PRAYER (4)

Do I have the answers?  No, but it’s my hope that America will seek God with a humble heart and ask Him to please heal our sick, immoral, divided, irreverent land.  The Bible is not just a book – it’s the Word of God.

B.I.B.L.E. = BASIC INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE LEAVING EARTH.

Let’s continue to read the instruction Book, pray and seek God together…  🙂

 

 

WORLD KINDNESS DAY

TL 11-13 WORLD KINDNESS DAY

11-13 DON'T GET BEHIND ON KIND

Kindness Kounts (obviously spelling doesn’t, however).  The Bible makes it clear from cover to cover that kindness matters to God.  My favorite verse is:

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.  – Ephesians 4:32

Today is WORLD KINDNESS DAY!  How many ways are there to be kind?  We express kindness to others in response to the kindness Christ extended to us.  When God’s Holy Spirit speaks to our hearts and impresses on us to extend kindness to someone, it’s imperative we take action.  Somebody in your realm of influence needs a blessing from God, and maybe God is using you to deliver it.

It’s so terribly sad that the whole world cannot (or rather will not) adopt the policy of politeness to others.  Such hate is so wicked and evil.  It’s beyond my realm of understanding why people who want to kill for any reason.  We just have to be the people God wants us to be no matter what – to everyone.  It’s not a suggestion, it’s a command.  We must be kind – to everyone.

Last week I ate at my local restaurant and saw a Muslim mother with her two small children.  I looked into the eyes of those children – their big, round, brown eyes looked so sweet and innocent.  I told their mother how beautiful I thought her children were and she seemed very pleased and a little proud by my comment.

We see images on television and become frightened of certain races based on others who happen to be radical in their actions.  This woman and her children were not radicals.  It was only a few seconds out of my day, but I wanted to show kindness.  It doesn’t take long to lift another person’s spirit.  We are on this earth to help each other.  Sometimes it means helping someone move from one state to another.  That may take days.  But sometimes it means telling two little children who look very different from you just how beautiful they are.  Be ye kind one to another.  It isn’t that difficult.  ❤

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE

TL 9-21 INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE

9-21 DEAR GOD GRANT US PEACE

Today’s special day strikes a very dark, minor, sad chord in my soul. Today is INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE.

We look forward to the time when the Power of Love will replace the Love of Power. Then will our world know the blessings of peace. – William Ewart Gladstone

My first instinct was to turn away from it. I could write something fluffy and light – and maybe that is what you would rather read, I don’t know. But something made me come back to it, I suppose because I have prayed that God would intervene and grant us peace on this ol’ earth. In the meantime, we just have to ask that God keep the flame of God’s Holy Spirit burning in our souls no matter what.

I know you’ve prayed for the same thing. You’ve let me know you are praying. We’ve agreed together in prayer for peace on planet earth. We always ask and end our prayers with “Thy will be done” though. So be it. We keep being the people God wants us to be and we keep praying for His will.

It would have been easier to write about the many times my husband and I have played mini-golf. How he keeps score – and always wins (I find that very suspicious in nature – hmm) but the International Day of Peace is pulling at my mind. I want peace so badly and feel so sad because there are those who just want to kill because everyone is not like them.

I don’t understand people who can not live and let live. Of course I want to share my faith, but I do not condemn any who don’t choose to accept it. I’m sad, but I do not say you have to perish by my hand if you refuse it. That’s God’s call to make – not mine.

There are 12 presidents in Africa who credit a Peace Corps volunteer with starting them on the path to the presidency.  – Carrie Hessler-Radelet

He’s your judge, not me. There’s just one answer. We need to PRAY FOR PEACE. 🙂

PARDON DAY

TL 9-8 PARDON DAY

On this day in 1974, President Gerald Ford pardoned Richard M. Nixon of all wrongdoing in the famous Watergate scandal. While a Presidential pardon is quite a big deal, an even more important and eternal pardon was made a very long time ago on a hill called Calvary by Christ Jesus.

The pardon offered to us by God’s own Son has eternal merit. It is not only offered to the rich and affluent, but it is offered to everyone regardless of race, background or social standing.

Christ paid the supreme sacrifice to forgive us of our sins. On this INTERNATIONAL PARDON DAY, won’t you accept the free gift given for you so long ago? As Christ forgave us, so we are to forgive each other.

If you are holding a grudge against those who have committed some offense against you, Pardon Day grants you a valid reason to check your feelings and the time that has passed, and to let that resentment and anger go.

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. – Mahatma Gandhi

If you refuse to forgive (even if not asked to) it will take a toll on your attitude, life and eventually your very health and well-being. Research has proven that people who make a choice to give up resentment toward others live longer and have better cardiovascular and nervous systems. To harbor a bitter feeling against someone is to allow them to take up residence in your mind rent-free. Forgiveness is an act that brings happiness to those who give it. To release the negative emotions held inside is a gift you give yourself. The one you harbor bad feelings toward has moved on – you need to do the same.

The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.
– Steve Maraboli

Today may be a good time to incorporate some “magic words” into your vocabulary. It’s great to hear someone say, “Excuse me” or “Pardon me” if they accidentally bump into you or run their shopping cart over your foot or something. Those simple words defuse anger and let you know the act was not done on purpose.

One misconception remains about extending a pardon. By no means do you have to fall back into the old trap you were in before with that person. Na na na na huh-uh! I’ve been guilty of it too. You forgive and then get back in the saddle, right? Then you end up having a similar problem. Sigh. I know. Sometimes you just have to cut the ties that strangle you.

Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names. – John F. Kennedy

Do everything in your power to pardon because Christ gave His all to pardon you. Trust me when I say it is not worth carrying a root of bitterness for one more day. Do what you have to do to rid yourself of it. You can write a letter, send an email, facebook message or call that person on the phone. Get it out and get over it so you can move on.

If the person you’re bitter towards is no longer living, you can write a letter to them with nothing held back – then take it to their grave, read it to them, light it on fire and burn it to set yourself free!

I want everything clear ‘tween me and thee so that all can be clear ‘tween my Lord and me.
– Linda Palmer

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (22)

ALOE VERA FOR MY SOUL
I’m one of the lucky ones. I was blessed with the kind of skin that will not tan in the summertime. Nope, I go straight from lily-white to lobster red! Do not pass “GO”, do not collect $200 – go directly to Lobster Jail! I have a truckload of Aloe Vera gel beside the gauze bandages – and I know how to use them. My poor burned skin needs immediate relief and nothing takes the sting out of a burn quite like Aloe Vera gel.

Have you ever done your best and been misunderstood? The best of intentions do not guarantee the best results. The sooner you can forgive wrongs done to you the better. Making allowances for others is part of Christian maturity. We all have off days and can come across as rude or insensitive at times.

For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. – Matthew 6:14-15

Whether you are angry or have hurt feelings, forgiveness is essential for true healing to take place. I think of these times as strength training. Much like a person trains physically, we as Christians need to make sure our relationships with others remain good so our relationship with God can be the way it should be.

Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. – Matthew 5:11-12

Sometimes we are insulted or more often “teased” because of our faith in God through Christ. It seems unfair and unjustified, but it’s at those times we need to rise above it and show God’s love in return. Many times we are jabbed with a stick just to see what we’re really made of. We get tested like that by non-Christians. Our witness needs to be at its best then because non-Christians don’t understand what we’re about, and we dare not blow our witness. Take it – then run to Jesus for His Aloe Vera gel. He will apply it to the burns you’ve suffered.

Man has two great spiritual needs. One is for forgiveness. The other is for goodness. – Billy Graham

We all need the Aloe Vera of God’s love. That’s why it’s so important to have daily quiet time with the Lord. God covers us with His love and forgiveness so we can share His love and forgiveness with others. ❤

ANSWER YOUR CAT’S QUESTIONS DAY

TL 1-22 ANSWER YOUR CAT'S QUESTIONS DAY

FORGIVE ME
http://youtu.be/r22iB0Jdjwk

My cat is so independent.  He does not jump up on my lap every time I invite him.  This morning for ANSWER YOUR CAT’S QUESTIONS DAY, he asked me why I can’t say no to people as easily as he says no to me.  Good question!

I have a problem saying NO.

I say YES when I so desperately want to say NO. It has happened a few times in different churches. If it’s not something in the music department, it is a teaching position that needs to be filled. I get hooked in, and once you are there, you have to be dependable and reliable in your duties.

Joy is the holy fire that keeps our purpose warm and our intelligence aglow.  – Helen Keller

Without a true JOY and passion for the job you do, you will either do a half-hearted job or find excuses to not do it at all. No one deserves that kind of worker in a church. Whatever job you take on in the body, make sure you do it to the very best of your ability. Be dependable and reliable. Do what GOD has called you to do. It’s His approval that matters, after all.  JOY = JESUS FIRST, OTHERS SECOND AND YOURSELF LAST.

It’s not fair to tell someone you will do something when your heart is screaming NO with every fiber of its being! Be honest and sincere in your response. It’s really the right thing to do for all concerned. The right and honest response is, “Thank you for asking me. Would you please give me some time to pray about it?” That buys you time to think and pray instead of beat your head against a post because you said YES when you should have just taken some time to ponder and pray about the added responsibility. And yes, you do need to ask GOD what you should do. Don’t get caught up in the rationalization that you don’t have a career, a job, kids, grandkids or anything else that takes your time, so maybe you should do this. Huh-uh. If GOD says DO IT – then… yeah – DO IT!

I used to be a member of the club of Christians (a large club) who thought that God would strike us down with lightning if we said NO.  Maybe it’s because I’m getting older, but I’m no longer a member of that group of unhappy Christians.  I won’t be renewing my membership this year.  It has finally dawned on me that I serve God – not people.  My people-pleasing ways of the past are over.  For years I fell in this trap – do what others want me to do and be their very good friend.  Then when I show a little backbone and initiative – begin to let them know I no longer want to do what they want me to do – and suddenly, I am no longer their friend – hmm…  funny how that works!  Not ha ha funny – sad funny.

Know this… when you give an insincere answer without at least praying about it, you have basically lied. To lie is a sin, and sin needs to be forgiven. So before you get your nose out of joint with someone who has backed you into a corner, you’d better seek their forgiveness for agreeing to take on a job that your whole heart was not in to begin with. You should just say NO and let your No… be NO!

WORLD FORGIVENESS DAY

TL 8-27 WORLD FORGIVENESS DAY

WASHED

Click image to enlarge (yes, I know it was written in 2015 – I retro-plugged it because it is so fitting for this subject).  Wink!  😉

https://youtu.be/GIHMv7t8q18
On the farm, it seems that honesty is second nature and a big part of honesty is granting forgiveness. It’s a simple life that demands little more than the golden rule. Just treat everyone the way you’d like to be treated. So why is that so difficult in some circles?

Today is WORLD FORGIVENESS DAY, and how much true forgiveness needs to happen in our world?  In our country?  In our state?  In our city?  In our community?  In my heart?

Ah – now we get down to the nitty-gritty – my heart.  If I do not forgive others their trespasses against me, God can not forgive my trespasses against Him.  I know these things yet I hold on to grudges and hurt feelings.  Until this head knowledge reaches my heart, it’s just more information I have stored that is of no use until acted upon.
I have to let it go – and pray every day that God will help me not ever take it back again.  How much happier would I be without any grudges or hurt feelings?  What if I could look back on the past and not feel like a knife is twisting in my back?  How great would that be?
I need God’s forgiveness for some pretty awful transgressions.  In order to get His forgiveness and be clean and fit for eternity, I need to forgive some folks and ditch some sinful behavior.  No, I’ll never be perfect – no one will.  That’s not to be an excuse for sinful behavior.  We don’t compare our lives to others, we compare our lives to the standard set by God Himself.  When I look at my life in the light of God’s Word, I am lacking.
I need to forgive others so God can forgive me.  So on this special day, I’m letting it go and embracing the freedom that only comes from good clean living and a clear conscience.  Oh, and God forgives me – hope you do too.
What are my sins?  Well – that’s ‘tween me and my maker.
When sins are confessed, there needs to be a change.

8-27-13 (2)

Please join me on facebook! The AMERICA BLESS GOD page is up and running! https://www.facebook.com/bless.God.today.America

I hope you will visit my facebook page, POEMS & PRAYERS FOR MY SAVIOR. There are inspirational poems and prayers to give you courage and strength to face this crazy world we live in.
https://www.facebook.com/poetryformysavior

If you are in the mood for some funny posts about health and believe that laughter really IS the best medicine, join our group on facebook: A SECOND HELPING OF WELLNESS… WITH A DASH OF HUMOR AND A PINCH OF FAITH.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/513736392026588/

See ya around!   🙂