A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

We have inexpressible JOY…  you know what the world is asking right now???  They’re asking, “How???  Why???”.  Those who do not accept Christ Jesus and His precious Holy Spirit into their hearts and lives, do not understand inexpressible joy.  It’s only by accepting Christ Jesus by faith into your heart and life that you can experience a joy that can not be explained.  It’s better felt than telt…  because I can’t explain it with words.  Words are not adequate – but true faith in the Lord and Savior Christ Jesus is how we experience His amazing joy, love, grace, and mercy.  And He rewards us with these things because He longs to have a relationship with His creation.  He wants to love us and for our love and faithfulness in return.  Sometimes our faith gets tested…  major big time!

You know about the fires in California, right?  Take a look at this photograph – everything around it is in ashes, but this cross still stands!  What a wonderful reminder that no matter what is being destroyed in our lives, Christ and His cross can never be destroyed if they are in your heart and life!  When I saw this picture, my eyes filled with tears and once again I prayed for the folks there whose homes are being destroyed.  May they have the joy of the Lord along with His strength and wisdom through this situation.  I pray God will bless them with everything they need – and I pray that God will bless with some wants as well.

We don’t follow a list of rules and get zapped by lightning if we step out-of-bounds.  We are obedient to God because we love Him and are so thankful for the horrific sacrifice that Christ made for us on the cross at Calvary.  He took the sins of the world – past, present, future – on His shoulders!  We are saved from an eternity in hell.  There is a reason we should love the Lord our God with all our hearts, souls and minds.  As the years go by and we see His marvelous works in our lives, we just love and trust Him more and more!  This is how we get the inexpressible, undeniable, precious JOY of the Lord.  What does the joy of the Lord do for us?  Why do we cherish it so much?  Well, a verse comes to mind:

The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.  – Psalm 28:7

He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.  It sounds like a GOOD thing to me – doesn’t it sound like a GOOD thing to you?  No matter what is going on in your life, the Savior of your soul can be trusted to make a way and provide answers.  The way and the answers may not be in your time, but believe me when I say, there will come a time when you look back and say, “Oh, now I understand God’s timing in that situation!”  That’s why the longer you trust God, the stronger your faith gets.  You’ve seen so many ways God has helped you in the past – so you know without a doubt that He has all the problems in the present and the ones coming in the future under control.

I’m assured that whatever comes along in my life, God and His precious Holy Spirit will pour out His love, peace and joy on me.  When we are fully trusting in the Lord, it’s not a superficial happiness that we’re given, but it’s joy that lasts in our lives regardless of the circumstances we find ourselves in.  That’s why it’s called inexpressible – and to the world, I would go further and say they think it doesn’t exist.  Ah…  but if you know the Lord, you know better!

I want to show you a photo of JOY!!!  This is Madi, and I hope her middle name is Joy, but I’m pretty sure it isn’t..  If I ever get to meet her, she will be JOY to me!  She’s such a bright, shiny star and lights up any room!

I’VE GOT THE JOY, JOY, JOY, JOY DOWN IN MY HEART! DOWN IN MY HEART TO STAY!

Have faith, children of God.  Keep praying and keep showing the world the joy that God gives you to share.  🙂

Advertisements

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

This ol’ world doesn’t feel peaceful right now, does it?  What is your idea of peace?  If I was to ask you what you think of when I say the word PEACE, what would you say?  Is peace the absence of conflict?  We hear so much talk about inner peace these days.  I guess the question I have about that is…  where is the source of your inner peace?  Do you gain inner peace by sitting cross-legged in the center of a tranquil atmosphere with your hands up with thumb and fingers held in a certain position, as you chant and empty your mind of everything?  Is that the way to obtain peace?  You do know that at some point, you have to stand up and get back to your real life, right?  Yeah – that’s the problem.

What if I told you that when God raised Christ from the dead, He left us a fantastic gift?  Of course, when Christ, the Son of God walked on the earth – He was there and available to the people, which was wonderful.  God is so good to us, because after He raised Christ from the dead, He left us His precious Holy Spirit!  The Holy Spirit of God is our source of peace!  He is our source of hope and joy, love and He is our conscience!  We pray to God, through Christ – for help from His sweet Holy Spirit.  Peace really IS an inside job!  That’s why Christians can say we are IN the world – but not OF the world.  Yes, we have to stand up and get back to our lives too – but we know without a doubt, our source of peace will always be with us.

On this second Sunday of Advent, may we be reminded of the peace within us – and be thankful to God for it!  God’s Holy Spirit, given to us by God Himself so we would not be left alone once Christ ascended to Heaven, will help us be more like our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  We will have the fruits of the Holy Spirit as we lean more on Him in prayer and by reading Scripture from His Holy Bible.

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.  – John 14:27

I have a question – and maybe someone reading this blog can get an answer for me.  Do you remember when Sean Hannity ended his show by saying LET NOT YOUR HEART BE TROUBLED – ???  Why did he stop doing that?  I mean, I don’t care if he quits throwing the football around – but I really was bummed when he stopped saying LET NOT YOUR HEART BE TROUBLED.  Sean, if you’re reading this (yeah, right – he reads my simple little blog.  LOL!) – we need to hear your words of comfort once again.  Please start saying that to us again.  I don’t know if it helps anyone else who watches your show – but it helps me.

Sean Hannity has a facebook page – go to it and ask him to start ending his show with those words again.  Let him know we miss hearing it.  When you enter your comment, there will be a message that says that basically the folks who “filter” through his mail will read it – so I don’t know if it will help to give him several messages – but hey – it’s better than doing nothing – at least I think so.  😉

My facebook friend, Brenda Sue Adams, took this sweet photo of her granddaughter, Aylen. Doesn’t this just say it all? Let’s all strive for PEACE ON EARTH and GOODWILL TOWARD MEN. Peace to you and yours always! ❤

Have a Merry Christmas!

LET NOT YOUR HEART BE TROUBLED.  PEACE ON EARTH, GOODWILL TO MEN.  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

I love Christmas so much, especially as a Christian!  As far as I’m concerned, Christmas lasts all month-long and rightly so since we have so much to celebrate!  We need a whole month to celebrate the reason for the season, Christ Jesus, our Lord and Savior!  God’s plan was for His Son to be born in a lowly manger, to be the path to salvation and everlasting life for every one of us.  If that isn’t the greatest HOPE of Christmas, I don’t know what is!

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.  – 1 Peter 1:3-5

There are so many situations that have happened in our world that can attempt to steal our hope.  We need to keep a firm grasp on Jesus’ hand and remember that He is the source of all the hope in our lives!  Let’s start encouraging one another with words of hope from God’s Word.  Let’s begin praying for one another, asking that God send bundles of hope into daily situations.  We don’t know what’s going on in a Christian friend’s life.  Most of us like to keep all the negative things happening in our lives to ourselves – we don’t want to be a “downer” to everyone else.  We should never assume that everything in our Christian friend’s lives is going well just because we’re not told differently.  Let’s ask God to heap blessings on one another!  The blessings from our Lord are the hope we count on every day!

I refer to Christian friends, but you know what?  I have some non-Christian friends as well – and whether they like it or not, I pray for them too!  God hears and answers our prayers.  He knows the intentions of our hearts and He knows the thoughts in our minds as we pray to Him for all people.  His desire for us is to love Him and to love each other.

 

I want to share this truth with you:  In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.  I offer these words of encouragement to you so you can find hope on this first Sunday of Advent.  Because of Christmas, there was an Easter.  Because of Easter, there is eternal HOPE – and He holds us and cherishes us so much!

Let’s celebrate hope on this first Sunday of Advent.  Ask Jesus to hold to you tightly and show you HIS HOPE!  He loves you and wants to do that for you.  ❤

 

 

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

No matter how little you’re able to do, you can pray.  Pray for what, you ask.  I’m glad you asked.  Suppose an ambulance zoomed by your house.  Would you pray for the person or persons who are in crisis?  It’s important that we are tuned in to the activity around us because God wants us to care for others, even if we don’t know their names.  He knows their names and that’s all that matters.

Kindness is no virtue, but a common duty.   – Frederick Greenwood

Have you ever felt God prompting you to make a phone call to a friend?  Do you tell Him you’ll do it later?  Chances are your friend needs to hear your voice right then… so don’t put it off.  Pick up the phone and call.

Sometimes things happen in the world – and we feel so helpless, wondering what we can do to make things better.  When God gives me words to write – words of encouragement – I try to get them jotted down immediately.  Our words have meaning, and they have the power to make a change.  Inject the super power of God, and they will surely make a difference!

Be an obedient and observant child of God in your corner of the world.  There are so many people going through life wearing blinders.  They see the road in front of them, knowing only where they are headed – not concerned about anyone else along the way.  How sad! 

I often think of Shirley Temple, the bubbly, curly-headed blonde who took audiences to happy places, away from their bleak reality.  Christians should do for a hopeless world what Shirley Temple did for a generation of people living through the depression era.  If you are a Christian and you sit on the Gospel of Christ like it’s a special little secret just for you and a select few, then shame on you!  Shirley’s mom used a special word to turn on her little girl’s charm – that word was SPARKLE.  When Shirley heard her mom say that – she knew it was time to give it her all.  Does God need to come down here and whisper in your ear?  Do we need to hear the Almighty say SPARKLE to us today?

Let’s say He’s done that…  now do good, be kind, and SPARKLE for the Lord!  🙂

 

 

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!  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH

tl-10-1-breast-cancer-awareness-month

pink_pumpkins_logo-300x289

Here are some facts about breast cancer sprinkled in with the uplifting and encouraging poetry of Lucinda Berry Hill.

If you are diagnosed with breast cancer, get a second opinion.  NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers, such as City of Hope, have higher rates of survival for breast cancer.

While non-Hispanic white women have higher rates of breast cancer incidence, African-American women have a higher incidence rate before age 40 and are more likely to die from breast cancer at every age.

a-gift-from-the-pasta-light-in-the-darknessExercise is beneficial to breast cancer survivors. A study found only a third of survivors meet recommended activity levels.

Women of Ashkenazi Jewish heritage are at higher risk of having BRCA mutation. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends testing for BRCA mutations for Ashkenazi Jewish women if they have a first-degree relative with breast or ovarian cancer or two second-degree relatives on the same side of the family with breast or ovarian cancer.

beautiful-rebekah

because-i-know-jesusAbout 5-10% of breast cancers can be traced to specific, inherited gene mutations, such as the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations.

Most breast cancer – about 85 % – occurs in women who have no family history of breast cancer.

choose-hope

claimed-and-lovedMen can also get breast cancer. About 2,150 are diagnosed annually – or about 1 in 1,000 men.

Quit smoking to control risk of many diseases, including breast cancer. Younger women who smoke have a higher risk of breast cancer than their nonsmoking peers.

continue

courage-by-graceA woman born today has about a 1 in 8 chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime, according to the National Cancer Institute.

According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer accounts for 29 percent of newly diagnosed cancers.

encouragementevery-day-stepsThe American Cancer Society estimates about 2.8 million women with a history of breast cancer live in the U.S.finding-joy god-has-you-in-these-changesWhile much progress has been made in breast cancer treatment and research, more work remains: Breast cancer remains the second-leading cause of cancer death after lung cancer. Overall, cancer deaths are the second most-common cause of death for U.S. women, after heart disease.

god-hears-every-day

he-is-faithful

Minimize alcohol intake to control risk. That means one glass of wine, one beer or one hard liquor drink per day. (Drinking seven drinks in one day and none the rest of the week is not OK.)hell-make-it-goodhis-love-is-extra-largeOnly about 42 percent of women who undergo mastectomy choose to have reconstructive surgery,  according to a recent JAMA Surgery study.i-prayed-for-youin-his-arms

In the 1970s, breast cancer lifetime risk was 1 in 11 – compared to today’s one in eight. The good news is part of the reason is due to longer life expectancy and more detection through screening. Other factors include menopausal hormone use, changes in reproductive patterns and the increased prevalence of obesity.in-his-carekeep-your-chin-up The movement away from one-size-fits all screening doesn’t mean you should skip your mammogram. Talk with your physician to evaluate your personal risk of breast cancer. The American Cancer Society continues to recommend yearly mammograms beginning at age 40.

leaning

lift-with-your-knees Herceptin, a breast cancer “smart drug,” can trace its roots to City of Hope: Scientists here developed engineered human proteins that led to monoclonal antibodies, the basis of multiple cancer drugs.like-a-flower-in-a-field

make-lemonade

The leading risk factor for breast cancer is simply being a woman. Though breast cancer does occur in men, the disease is 100 times more common in women than in men and women are at 200 times the risk of developing the disease compared to risk in men.master-of-my-thoughtspray-do-and-waitAccording to the National Institutes for Health, breast cancer survivors are at an increased risk of osteoporosis.  Estrogen has a protective effect on bones, and reduced estrogen levels can trigger bone loss.prayer-by-prayerpraying-for-your-peace If you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer, you’re up to four times more likely to develop a new cancer in the same breast or in the other breast.

Women who are diagnosed with cancer before age 40 have a nearly 4.5-fold increased risk of developing another breast cancer.

right-away-i-prayedvictory-with-my-jesusAnother top risk factor for breast cancer: Simply getting older – 79% of new cases and 88% of deaths occurred in women age 50 and older, according to the American Cancer Society. Just fewer than 11,000 invasive cases occurred in women younger than 40, and just under 49,000 in women under 50. In women ages 50 to 64, invasive breast cancer was even more prevalent with more than 84,000 cases. Women over age 65 accounted for more than 99,000 cases last year.when-no-means-yeswhere-your-beauty-liesWhile the American Cancer Society recommends 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week to manage risk, for some, even 30 minutes per week is beneficial, Bernstein’s research has found.

With eight out of 10 breast lumps discovered by women themselves, don’t underestimate the importance of a monthly breast self-exam. By becoming more familiar with your breast tissue and appearance, you will be more likely to notice changes should they occur. City of Hope recommends these tips for conducting a breast self-exam.fall-awareness

hope-never-leaves

Get yearly mammograms!  There is a new technology that provides 3D images available for the first time this year.  That’s good news to those who have had suspicious readings in the past or a history.  The only bad news is, most insurance will not cover the difference in cost, which I was told would be $80.

My friend Christy is a breast cancer survivor!  She, along with family and friends, will walk in the Making Strides event here in Wichita on Saturday, October 22nd.  With her permission, I’m posting the link here and hope you will consider supporting team Christy!  She’s just $25 away from her goal of $100 to support breast cancer research.  🙂

http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR?px=35802576&pg=personal&fr_id=77457&s_src=boundlessfundraising&s_subsrc=bfDskFbPfSched

Take a look at her cool shirts!

Here’s the link for the STORE.  That’s right – SHOPPING!!!  Retail therapy – oh yeah, baby!

https://thebreastcancersite.greatergood.com/store

14222341_10206454452113508_3381093465012458675_n-214344365_10206508892954495_1698143321914494818_n14459082_10202083033553813_1272049441_n

Thanks to Ardeth Stroh for this cool pink pumpkin!

Happy October – let’s celebrate life with pink pumpkins!  😉