HAPPY NEW YEAR

TL 1-1 HAPPY NEW YEARI’m the only one in my family that eats black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day.  It’s a tradition that began when I was just a little girl.  Today I’ll eat a bowl all by myself, but I’ll be thinking of my parents, who put enough butter and black pepper on their peas to drown out the natural flavor.

Whether you eat black-eyed peas or not, this day represents the dawn of a free slate – a fresh start – a new beginning!  There are no mistakes in this day yet.  Well, unless you count that I forgot to put the cap on the toothpaste this morning – okay that was a goof.

But the point is, we have the choice to begin from here and LET GO of all our past transgressions and missteps.  Honestly, to hang on to that stuff – especially the things you will never EVER have the power to change – well, that can just make you bitter and angry and very cranky toward others.  Is that what you really want?  It’s not what I want! 

So today I want to encourage you to literally let the past go…  release it into the vastness of space where it can rise up so far that it eventually breaks into millions of tiny pieces and evaporates completely.  Life is too short to huddle up with past hurts and tons of regret that serve absolutely NO purpose in your life today.

Focus on this day – this present moment – this is what you have, and tomorrow it will be part of the past as well.  The older I get, the less I hang on to.  I just closely filter the things I choose to get my knickers in a knot over – and it’s never over anything that I cannot change.  I cannot waste my time and my energy trying to re-write history.  What’s done is done and it can’t be replayed with a different outcome – so why leave the tape in your head?  Get it out of there – and refocus your mind on the things of today – the new challenges and the new adventures that lie ahead in this new, fresh exciting year!

We have important choices to make in the future – we have to choose a president for our country!  We have new jobs to learn, new skills to hone, new paths to tread – and right beside us is our constant companion, God!  He will see us through anything He brings us to in life.  HAPPY NEW YEAR!  God’s got this!  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (2)It’s New Year’s Eve.  What is Positive Plan with Prayer #5?  I need to seek more of God’s wisdom and know His will for my life.  Is that a big order?  Well, yes, it is…  but I serve a great big God, so…

Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.  – Ephesians 5:17

Tonight I won’t be partying, but I will be praying.  I want just as much of what God has for me as I can get.  We spend time on those things that really matter to us.  This is important in my life and is totally worth the time I take seeking and praying.  God is never a disappointment.  ❤

I’ve only had to throw a fleece once in my life – the day of my father’s funeral.  God is faithful to answer our earnest pleas.  He knows where we are coming from – more than friends or family do.  He sees the obstacles and challenges we face – and he sees the frightened child inside us when on the outside we try to look brave and sure of ourselves.

I want to be the best friend and family member I can possibly be.  I want more of God – more of His strength, courage and grace.  I need it more than anything else I can think of.  I need to know what to speak of and when to speak of it.  I need to know when to zip my lip and stay silent as well.  I need more of God’s Holy Spirit – His wisdom.

Dear God,

It is my prayer on this New Year’s Eve that Your will be abundantly clear in my life.  You are not the author of confusion, but You make everything perfectly clear.  My heart, mind and spirit are receptive to Your still, small voice.  I’m listening and I’m waiting here alone in my prayer closet.  Please bless me with more of You – Your love, strength, courage, grace, mercy and especially wisdom.  Show me now what You want me to do in this new year.  You tell us to be strong and courageous, but that all comes from You.  Welcome to this new year, Lord.  Please continue to walk with me and give me everything I need to be successful in this wonderful life You have given me.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

It’s Linda again, Lord!  Everything from You is available for me – and I am ready to receive it!  Let’s DO this!  🙂

DITCH NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS DAY

TL 1-17 DITCH NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS DAY

Did you make a New Year’s Resolution this year?  Well, now all the hoop-la that surrounded the fiery determination you felt when you made that promise to yourself has died down, and you have been sorely tempted to settle back into some old, familiar and let’s face it – comfortable habits and patterns that you know are not too good for you!

I’m not scolding you, I’m talking to myself too!  I told myself I would do a little exercise every day this year.  Frankly, with the colder temperatures and feeling a little under the weather, it’s been a lot easier to sit in my recliner watching DVD’s of “Touched By an Angel”.  I’m getting plenty of spiritual exercise, but that’s not taking my weight off.

To add further incentive, there is a new study that suggests it is not the weight we carry that necessarily harms us, but it is the fact that we do not do some form of physical activity every day!   They say 20 minutes of walking every day will do the trick.  It’s not the crazy one hour workout you do once in a blue moon that counts, but the consistent activity on a daily basis that will be the most beneficial.

January 17th is the most common date to give up on resolutions.  Today we acknowledge (notice I did not say celebrate) DITCH NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS DAY.

I don’t have a gym membership.  I exercise with a recumbent bike, treadmill, free weights and bands here in my house.  I have a lovely area where I can walk when the weather is good.  I just have to make it a priority.

The message I want to pass along to you today is that God did not make robots.  There is not a button we can push to make us be perfect (I know because I’ve looked everywhere for it).  Now, it may sound like I just offered you a perfect excuse to give up, but I’m not finished.  Since we are not perfect, as we try to keep our resolutions we will not be perfect.  I have not exercised every day this year.  I missed yesterday, the 16th.  Does that mean I will give up completely – throw my hands up and say, “Well that’s it then – I’m never going to exercise again because I didn’t keep my New Year’s Resolution”  – ???

To quote the Apostle Paul…  HEAVEN FORBID!!!

I’ll simply pick it up today and look ahead.  Looking behind is not only a waste of time, it is totally pointless in every way.  Look back for what?  To beat myself up?  To heap a pile of shame on myself?  Shoot NO!  I had a good day yesterday and maybe my body needed a rest – but yesterday is over and today I need an attitude that is positive and says, “YES I CAN!”

1-17 CANS

Join me and be a part of God’s “I CAN CLAN”.  There is NOTHING we cannot accomplish with the Lord by our side, right?  Good talk!  Now – I gotta go exercise!  😉

 

NEW YEAR’S DAY

TL 1-1 NEW YEAR'S DAY

The past should be a springboard, not a hammock.  – Ivern Ball

PEAS WITH BLACK EYES

My daddy was the most superstitious person ever, so of course I will eat some black-eyed peas for luck in the new year!

02_H

No no no…  not THESE black-eyed peas – the kind you eat!!!  LOL!!!

I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions – but I do set goals.  You may think it’s the same thing, but it’s not.  When I resolve to change, it just will not happen.  There’s something about calling it a goal.  It feels like I’m being more kind to myself – not so restrictive and demanding.

My goal this year is to finally get organized.  If you know me personally you are laughing – quit it.  I’m seriously going to get it together this year.  I’ve already put a pegboard and some hooks in my clothes closet to hang my jewelry on – that’s a good start!  I have put a bag in my closet for any articles of clothing that don’t fit – no more saying I’m going to keep them because one of these days I’ll lose all kinds of weight – I’m only going to keep the clothes that fit – anything else is just taking up space for no good reason.

I need professional help – calling the Christian Professional Organizer!

http://youtu.be/D82RNmAHJ_I

I’ve kept my scarves folded neatly in a drawer, but I will get a small ladder to hang them on in my closet.  If they’re hanging up they won’t get caught in the drawer or develop permanent folds in awkward places.  I’ll move my sweaters to the drawers.  They won’t get caught up if I only put a couple in each drawer.

I’m going to buy larger jars for things like Q-tips and cotton balls.  The ones I have are alright, but I don’t like having so many left in the bag to store.  It’s a small change, but it matters.

I save the little bottles of lotion from hotels.  We travel so much and I have so many!  I’ve designated some cute Longaberger baskets to hold them.  Another basket holds the little bottles of shampoo and conditioner.  That keeps the drawers in my bathroom from being such a mess.

There is some personalized stationery and a pen in my key basket on my vanity.  Well, I’m beginning to make some progress – like I said, it’s just a goal!

Hopefully this has given you some ideas on how things can be organized.  Maybe I’ll have a place for everything by the end of the year.   HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!   🙂

It’s not too late to order your copy of Lucinda Berry Hill’s new devotional book!  Everybody needs a new devotional book to begin this new year, right?

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Click on the link below to get your copy!

http://bookstore.westbowpress.com/Products/SKU-000952694/A-Second-Cup-with-Jesus.aspx 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART 35

 

12-29 LET THE BRUISE HEAL COMPLETELY

In December 2014, I’ve seen images of perceived injustice and true injustice.  I’ve heard speeches that are a transparent attempt to pull the races further apart.  I’ve always been a Caucasian woman so I see the world through my gray eyes, but I do not wear rose-colored glasses.  I do not pretend that everything is perfect in this world, in this country or in my community.  I know as well as anyone that there is work to be done by everyone.  As a Caucasian woman I refuse to shoulder all of the responsibility but I am more than willing to meet anyone halfway.  I am prepared to do as much as I can to get along with anyone with the understanding that they will make that same effort with me.

I am not a hater.  I am not a divider.  I am not any label that anyone wants to stick on me.

I’ve prayed throughout the month of December, and I have been led by the Lord to write this post.  I know it’s not giddy and fun, but when I began writing this blog I promised God that I would do so with my ears open to HIS leading.  This is HIS blog and always has been (it always will be). 

Hear me people – my civil rights END at the tip of my nose and so do yours.  Once I begin making demands that make my rights seem more important than yours, I am treading on your rights and diminishing them.  True equality will not come to pass with violence of any kind or with harsh speeches that make others feel less protected and more threatened.

I want nothing between my Lord and I in 2015.  I want to be just as close to Him as I can get.  There is no room for judgment, hate or evil when God is with me and His Holy Spirit is guiding me.

That’s the bottom line – if it is peace we want in our country – an INDIVISIBLE country, as we say in the Pledge of Allegiance – then it comes down to each person deciding to chase after it with a sense of real purpose.  I want that and vow to pray for America and be the person I know God wants me to be in the upcoming year.

Remember the GOLDEN RULE???  It seems to be a bit tarnished nowadays.  Let’s shine it up with the cloth of God’s love and let HIS LOVE shine through us to everyone in 2015!

I’m just one voice – one Caucasian woman, writing what God laid on my heart to write.  I was obedient.  I can’t change a heart or a mind.  THAT is up to God.  ❤

It’s not too late to order your copy of Lucinda Berry Hill’s new devotional book!  Everybody needs a new devotional book to begin this new year, right?

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Click the link below to get your copy!

http://bookstore.westbowpress.com/Products/SKU-000952694/A-Second-Cup-with-Jesus.aspx 

NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS WEEK

TL NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS WEEK

EMPTY OR FULL

The Bible does not speak either for or against the concept of New Year’s resolutions.  It seems the most common resolution has to do with breaking a bad habit or two, such as smoking or lack of exercise.  The Bible instructs us to keep exercise in perspective.

For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.  – 1 Timothy 4:8

Most New Year’s resolutions have to do with the physical realm, and not the spiritual realm.  As Christians we can do better.  Maybe we should resolve to read the Bible every day or to attend church more regularly.  The problem with these resolutions is that there is no real power behind them.  The way to make resolutions matter and stick to them is to pray for the power source to come into your heart and life to kick-start the change.  Ask God’s Holy Spirit to help you keep your resolutions – if you really want to keep them. 

I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.  – Philippians 4:13

If God’s Holy Spirit is the center of your New Year’s resolution, it has a better chance to succeed, depending on your commitment to it.  If it is God’s will for something to be fulfilled, He will give you everything you need to fulfill it.  If a resolution is not honoring God or does not agree with God’s Word, we won’t receive the Holy Spirit’s help in fulfilling the resolution.

I am the vine; you are the branches.  If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.  – John 15:5

It’s okay to make non-spiritual New Year’s resolutions, but it’s the spiritual ones that have the added power of God’s Holy Spirit behind them.  How about asking the Lord for more wisdom this year?

 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.  – James 1:5

Pray for wisdom about how to keep your resolutions.  Rely on God’s strength to help you and find an accountability partner to help you along.  There will be weak moments and discouragement, but those are the times you just have to get up, dust yourself off and begin again.  Learn from mistakes and move forward.  Don’t become proud or vain with success, but give God all the glory.

Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this:  He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.  – Psalm 37:5-6

We are faced with choices every day. Will we ask God’s Holy Spirit for wisdom in decisions or will we try to navigate these choppy waters on our own? Most Christians will tell you the reason they don’t get really worked up about anything is because they know where their strength comes from. It comes from God. There’s something about knowing that He has control of absolutely everything! That brings such comfort and joy to my soul. It helps me relax when things get a bit sticky in my life.

So what will your choice be today – empty and uptight, or full and contented?

The choice I make today is FULL – and I’m going to go on to say – FULL TO OVERFLOWING! I need the love of God in my heart and in my life. Bring it on, Lord! With Your help, I can do ANYTHING!

 A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other.  – Author Unknown

This year we will make spiritual New Year’s resolutions and pray for God to help us to keep and maintain them.

God bless you in 2014.

An Enriched New Year

TL 1-1 HAPPY NEW YEAR

I CHOOSE

The word HAPPY is so over-used and under-effective to my way of thinking. Happiness does not hold a candle to JOY, and real JOY comes from GOD! Some people share my opinion and will tell you to have a BLESSED New Year. Sadly, I think the word BLESSED is getting over-used as well.

Here is my greeting: Have an ENRICHED New Year and may God grant you wisdom in all situations and make crystal clear what all of your options are so that you can choose the best one.

For every bad decision we make in life, there is most certainly a consequence that goes along with it. But to put a positive truth out there, for every good decision we make in life, there is most certainly a reward that goes along with it. I choose the good, the right, the best. I want God’s very best in my life. I pray you do the same.

I look ahead with a calm assurance that God will work in my life this year! He knows my dreams and only He knows how the timing will come together. I know when I need to know, and I’m okay with that. I trust God to help me achieve my goals. He is never a disappointment to me and He never will be.

 Every man should be born again on the first day of January. Start with a fresh page. Take up one hole more in the buckle if necessary, or let down one, according to circumstances; but on the first of January let every man gird himself once more, with his face to the front, and take no interest in the things that were and are past.  – Henry Ward Beecher

The decision to let go of the reins and let God do the driving is not easy for some people. There are some Christian control freaks, believe me! Most of them do not like the saying, “Let go and let God…” in the least. When they don’t ask God ahead of time and make the wrong decision, they wonder why they are not receiving God’s best. But if you do not ask for God’s help, He will just let you wander around aimlessly, relying on your own compass. When you finally learn that you are not omnipotent or omnipresent, but God is – then you begin to understand the real reason it might be a better choice to seek His direction before you begin walking.

Have you prayed this New Year? Some people pray the new year in, and I believe that is the most powerful and positive way to assure that you have an enriched new year! Humbly bow before your God and seek His face. Seek His direction for your life. But don’t stop seeking at midnight New Year’s Eve. Seek Him in prayer every day of the year. What a difference you will notice in every aspect of your life.

Some people will have a happy new year, but happiness does not last. Some people will have a blessed new year, but if they do not want to relinquish control, it may not be as blessed as they hope it will be.

I choose to pray and seek God’s direction every day of this new year, how about you?