A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (13)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:  The old has gone, the new is here!  – 2 Corinthians 5:17

In 2017, let’s be NEW!!!  Let’s be renewed creations in Christ.  Much like the yearly closet cleaning we do in our homes, let’s do some cleaning of our attitudes and actions.  Have you slipped on doing daily devotions?  there’s no time like NOW to start up again?

If there is one thing I’ve learned on my weight loss journey, it is…  if you mess up, don’t beat yourself up about it – just do better tomorrow!  Eat what you should, move when you should and do the right things.  It’ll be okay – it really will.

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Feeling guilty or shameful is counter productive.  Move forward and do better.  Yesterday is gone.  There’s not a thing you can do about yesterday.  Move toward tomorrow.  The future is waiting – and your Bible sets on the coffee table.  Just go pick it up and read a passage today.  Keep a journal if you want to.  You know, there are now journaling Bibles available.  I keep a notebook journal, but I think journaling is a helpful tool.5

If there are things you need to throw away, throw them away.  Attitudes, actions, chocolate.  Whatever it is – God knows and that’s good enough.  It’s sure none of my business.  Toss what you need to toss to get right with the Lord again.  Ask Him to forgive the sin and ask Him to help you stay away from it in the future.  We all mess up, but God is faithful to help us when we humbly ask for it.7

Once you’ve handed all of the old to God…  turn and walk away.  Put your hope and trust in God’s ability to clean up your act.  You’ll assuredly be tempted again because the enemy is still busy, but God is stronger and with His help you can resist temptation.6

A new year…  that’s great, but how much greater it is when we pair it with a renewed relationship with the LORD!  I pray God’s richest blessings on your life this year!  🙂

 

 

 

 

LUKE 10:27 ON 10/27

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He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  – Luke 10:27

All means all – not just whatever part of your heart, soul and strength happens to be leftover after you’ve loved everything else that competes for your affection.  It’s so easy to love the things down here, isn’t it?  They are things we can see with our eyes and feel with our hands and sometimes smell a pleasant aroma.  We all have the struggle – at some time or another.  It’s a struggle to love God more than the people, places or things that surround us.  God is a jealous God and He wants all our heart, soul and strength.

share-a-smile-and-the-wayWe love God wholeheartedly by loving each other.  It’s so cool how that works, isn’t it?  We treat each other with mutual respect and with true love – an agape’ love that shows the love of Christ.

I met a sales person today at JC Penney that helped me above and beyond the call of duty.  She was not only doing her job, but I knew that she had a genuine concern for me as a person.  Maybe she could detect my frustration with the process of purchasing drapes – I don’t know.  It really can be frustrating when you need an economical solution for odd-sized windows.  I didn’t want to have to buy custom-made curtains.  Rich, I ain’t.

Between a couple of phone calls, she gave me her undivided attention.  She was patient and soft-spoken, which gave me hope that a low-cost solution could be found.  She was doing her job, yes – but she chose to do it with an extra dose of Christian love.  We all need to love God with everything in us and love people with the love that God gives us in return.

By the time my shopping excursion was over, we were laughing and chatting about all sorts of things!  The best news of all…  she helped me solve my drapery need for an odd sized window for under $20 including tax.  I was so very pleased.  I think I even jumped up and down – but I definitely gave her a big hug and thanked her.  I said, “God bless you” and that’s when I knew without a doubt that she and I serve the same Master.  How cool is that?

I wanted to invite her to my house for tea.  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART1

Sometimes the choices we make are irreversible.  Once we begin walking forward, we just have to keep going and never turn around.  Those decisions are made slowly and methodically.  Make sure you give it much thought, because you know there’s no going back.  Nothing in your life will ever be the same again.  You have to ask yourself if there may be a time in the future when you’d like for things to be the way they are.  If the answer is no, then there’s no reason to stay where you are.  That’s the only time it’s okay to take action and keep walking forward.

I’ve only done that once.  I don’t care to ever do anything that painful again for the rest of my life.

I’ve learned that there are things that go wrong that don’t always get fixed or get put back together the way they were before. I’ve learned that some broken things stay broken, and I’ve learned that you can get through bad times and keep looking for better ones, as long as you have people who love you.  – Bobby Fulks

Sometimes decisions are made for us.  Things happen in life that are completely out of our control.  Life-altering experiences occur and that’s when we are left with our faith in God.  We hopefully have people in our lives who love us, but we know without a doubt that we have God…  and yes – He loves us.  He cares and He wants to hear what our hearts are feeling.  Even if what has happened leaves us frightened and angry and alone – He still wants to hear from us.

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Life is a little like on the job training.  We are born into this world – expected to perform at a certain level through school and receive a diploma which magically leads us to the pursuit of happiness.  Right?  Hang on, Sloopy…  let’s back this truck up.

Stuff happens in life because not only are we just human, but the people around us are… you guessed it…  human.  We all have dreams and expectations once we graduate.  We’re going to meet the right person to spend a lifetime with – we’re going to have this wonderful family together and we’ll fly off into fluffy white clouds in a classic car – like Danny and Sandy did at the end of the movie GREASE.

Have you ever seen a classic car fly???  I rest my case.  Just as a classic car most definitely will not fly, no woman could possibly fit into that leather outfit that Sandy wears toward the end of the movie.  I’m convinced that’s why most men want to watch that movie so many times.  Sigh.  I dunno – maybe it is to see the classic cars… 

Yes, life is like on the job training; however, most jobs are dull compared to the twists and turns that life takes.  When it seems your life is a rollercoaster ride, just keep in mind that Jesus sits at your side.  He doesn’t need a barf bag…  but there are times when you might need one.  Jus’ sayin’…

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The common thread throughout this topsy turvy ride of life is LOVE.  Find LOVE – a connection that makes it all worthwhile.  Love here on earth, of course…  but know that you are loved completely by your LORD.  He knows you better than anyone, and He loves you more than anyone here ever will.  We need human love to hang in there.  We need God’s love to make us whole and give us purpose.

Finding love on this earth is so difficult.  Finding love from Heaven is so simple.  🙂

 

 

 

 

BRING YOUR BIBLE TO SCHOOL DAY

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http://www.bringyourbible.org/

http://www.bringyourbible.org/know-your-rights/

Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.  – 1 Timothy 4:12

rotating_banner_number5It’s not easy for any of us to voice our faith to someone unfamiliar with it.  It helps to say a prayer and ask God’s Holy Spirit to help you.  He’s there and will make it better – you’ll be surprised.  Then be sure to thank Him for His help.  🙂

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More than 300,000 students are planning to take their copies of the Good Book with them to school on Thursday in an observance known as “Bring Your Bible to School Day.”
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I believe the time is short to share our faith with others.  Are there classmates who are struggling and need to be introduced to the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ?  Maybe on this day, you will be the one to help them.
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In so many public schools, prayer’s been banned and religious freedom is under attack, but the folks at Focus on the Family with Dr. James Dobson have hosted the national event, Bring Your Bible to School for the past several years.  I hope you will participate and show others that you are not ashamed of the gospel – the good news!tumblr_mepvo05n0e1qk4nc3o1_500

rotating_banner_number4As believers, we can’t be impatient and hit others in the face with our faith, so to speak.  When Jesus was speaking to people, He was compassionate and patient.  Let’s face it, most of us are not big on patience (yes, I’m raising my hand high).  To be loving and patient with lost people is the nicest gift we can give them.  Notice I didn’t say we give them a “pass” from making a decision for Christ – I just said we are to be longsuffering, as our Lord is.  Is it easy sometimes?  Uh, no.  Is it worth it?  You bet.

You know the best friend of all time…  why would you not want to introduce your friend to others?  When we get to Heaven, remember – God will not ask us how many cool toys we had.  He will ask us how many people we introduced to His Son, Jesus. 😀

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It can be scary to share faith with others, but take a deep breath, say a prayer and be amazed at how God will open doors for you.image-2Isn’t this a cute little Bible?  I like those owls – they represent wisdom!  😉bringyourbiblevideoscreenshot

Plan to put your Bible in your backpack today!  Let your friends see that you are God’s kid.  🙂

 

 

JOHN 3:16 ON 3/16

3-16 HAPPY 3-16This one verse in God’s Word, the Bible, speaks volumes.  If this was the only verse a person committed to memory and held close to their heart, it would be enough.  It tells the whole story – encompasses every key component necessary to obtain Salvation.  Whoever believe in Christ…  bow, let Christ know that you believe that He died on the cross for your sins and that you need Him every day of your life…  and He will not let you perish but He will give you eternal life.  It’s not what we deserve, but it’s how good our God is.

We think we know what love is.  A little over a month ago, we celebrated love on Valentine’s Day.  Have you offered to die for your loved ones?  Me neither.  Have you willingly sacrificed your life for them?  No – me neither.  Christ died so that we could be saved from hell.  He’s the only One worthy of all our praise.GIVE IT TO GOD AND GO PLANT PANSIES

It’s an amazing miracle when two people meet and have this belief in common.  They know what Christ did for them as individuals – but when the two combine their beliefs and allow Christ to be in the center of their love…  that is really something special and it’s such a blessed union.  The most wonderful gift a union like that can give is a faithful prayer life – Christian husbands and wives praying for one another.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Help us to remember that verse in Ecclesiastes 4:12 – Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.  When we’re tempted to worry or fret, we need Your strength and power in our midst.  We are so human and You are so supernatural and give us such grace and mercy.  Marriage is challenging at times, but we know that You are ready to direct our paths and put us on the right track.  Thank You for Your goodness and for teaching us daily how to love through forgiveness and faith.  Remind us that our cares should be cast on You.  We find our joy in You, and always will.

In Jesus’ Matchless Name, Amen.

Know God = Know Love

No God = No Love

It’s true.  Try loving God’s way…  He wrote THE BOOK on it.  🙂

 

1 JOHN 3:14 ON 3/14

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 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death.  – 1 John 3:14

https://youtu.be/zcMseb3XNPo

True love comes from God.  It’s a love that transcends all understanding.  Once you’ve experienced love from God, along with His grace and His mercy, along with His forgiveness – you must love above all – to love is to live.  To live in Christ is to see light and feel warmth from God’s Holy Spirit – then let that same light and warmth radiate from you to others.

The name of Jesus is the one lever that lifts the world.   – Author Unknown

We’re not bullet proof by any stretch of the imagination.  We are protected if we belong to Christ because He loves us so much.  When we get hurt, we have the wonderful privilege of prayer.  We can talk one on one with our Heavenly Father through Jesus.  We are told in God’s Word, the Bible, that if we will just be still and KNOW that He is God – He will fight our battles for us.  I know this is true because He’s taken on so many of my battles – physical, emotional and spiritual.

He changed sunset into sunrise.   – Clement of Alexandria

We only live if we love.  If we do not love we remain in death.  We must not hold on to the bad days we experience in life.  We need to quickly let go of bitterness and hateful feelings.  All these things do is weigh us down in life – and we aren’t really living as long as they are on board.  If we want to fly like eagles, we need to get rid of all the ugliness we are still carrying around.  How much weight do you need to lose?  Will that show up on the scale?  Well – maybe not the scales you weigh on every morning – but your heart will feel so much better and your attitude will improve immediately.  Hand all the bad stuff over to God.  He’s big enough to take it and cast it into the sea of forgetfulness.  Once it’s gone – don’t pick it back up.

The dying Jesus is the evidence of God’s anger toward sin; but the living Jesus is the proof of God’s love and forgiveness.   – Lorenz Eifert

Choose to love God – and each other – and you will learn the secret to living a joyful life.  🙂

SPIRITUAL WELLNESS MONTH

TL MARCH IS SPIRITUAL WELLNESS MONTH

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.  Ephesians 4:32

Is it well with your soul?  March is Spiritual Wellness Month, and today’s post is a reminder that the God of the universe is still in control.  It’s easy to watch political programs, debates, and end up feeling – shall I say, less than optimistic – about how “things” are in America?  Christians, we have to turn our backs to the rhetoric (from the left and the right), and lift our heads toward heaven, lift our hands and pray… a prayer of acknowledgement to our GOD in heaven!

Dear Heavenly Father,

When things go wrong around us, it’s so easy to point the finger at our government and be harsh and critical.  There are proper times to reprove, but please teach us how to love and act based on Your Word rather than reacting with bad attitudes and anger.  Teach us how to walk a higher road as Christians in America and truly love as You love and forgive us.  Help us not to say or do anything that would drive a wedge in our relationship with You.  It’s so difficult to keep our political opinions in check.  We need Your grace in this area so much.  Thank You for hearing and answering our prayer.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

TRUST FOR STRAIGHT PATHSMy minister friend, Harold McKay, used to say, READ YOUR BIBLE AND PRAY.  Harold has been in Heaven for several years, but those words resonate with me still.  So many folks try to make it more complicated than it is.  Imagine if you were told you need to lose 50 pounds and you took everything out of your house and replaced it with a full gym.  Of course, that’s exactly what Kirstie Alley did…  but I digress.  To most of us in the real world, that seems extreme.  Most of us would get a gym membership and workout there, or we would get one or two pieces of equipment and cut down on food consumption.  That seems more reasonable and easier to do.

It’s not difficult to achieve spiritual wellness.  As Lucinda’s beautiful poem says, “Lay all things out before Him.”  It’s really that simple.  Learn as much as you can from God’s Word, the Bible.  Apply the principles and pray for God’s Holy Spirit to help you along.  He will do it.  He will definitely do it.  🙂