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

My folks never purchased a security system for their house.  I grew up in a different time…  dare I say, it was a simpler time.  Yes, in the 1970’s we had BTK running around killing people, but I was taught to check the phone just as soon as I walked in the door after school.  My parents drilled it into my mind – they said if I pick up the receiver and the line was dead – I was to run like the wind to the neighbor’s house and call the police!
When I was growing up, a security system meant that you had an attack dog.  Well, maybe not an attack dog, but at least a dog who would bark loudly when strangers came into the yard.
Now I live in an area where we are required to have security.  It’s a good thing, and it lessens our insurance rates too.  Security in our day and age is so important.  Thieves are all around us.  They’ve always been around, but it seems they are closer these days than ever before.  Most of us not only fear the loss of our material possessions, but the loss of something as intimate as our identity.  If ever we needed services like Lifelock, it’s now!
This portion of Scripture reminds us that we need security, protection and hope!  The Lord Jesus Christ is our source of spiritual security.  He is a reliable source of strength and our hope in times of trouble.  We know that His commands to us are not only for His glory, but for our own good.  He wants nothing more than to protect us because He loves us so much.
May we seek His will for our lives as we rely completely on His protection and thank Him for the security He provides for us spiritually.  When we have the courage to do that, we will have the ability to ignore all the false voices that try to talk us out of God’s best in our lives.  The enemy of our soul would like nothing better than to lure us away from our Father and His plan for us.  As long as we delight in our Father’s ways, we will not only survive, but we will thrive because that is God’s desire for us!

I want to live life there!  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

PROVERBS 10-8 BANNER

PROVERBS 10-8

I confess:  I am an ID (Investigation Discovery) addict – a closet addict – well, former closet addict.  Now the world knows!  Seriously, I see people make the worst decisions of their lives on this network – and end in ruin.  You don’t have to look very far to see examples of chattering fools who are living in the fast lane and crashing into brick walls at a young age!  When you live in the fast lane with no compass, it never ends well.  People who take the lives of other people always think they’ll get away with it – and they never do.

No fast lane for me, thank you!  It’s not because I think I’m better than anyone else, but because I have chosen to listen to God through His Word.  He knows what I need and exactly when I need it.  We have choices to make in life – and I choose a slow, steady, joy-filled life – with God in the center of it.  I love His Word and His ways.  I’ve been teased about my beliefs by others, but so what?

When this verse says ACCEPT COMMANDS, does that mean we listen to anyone who gives a command?  I don’t believe it means that.  God gave us an ability to discern good from bad, and you can bet that there will come a time when you are commanded to do something that goes against God’s Word and His ways…  when that happens, choose God’s way.  I’m not going to jump off a cliff to my death if I’m commanded to do so.  Um…  nope.

Of course, the commands in God’s Word are there for us to obey.  If we are wise, we won’t balk at them, but work throughout our walk with God to embrace His ways.  We learn that His ways will keep us filled with His joy and we know that Jesus loves us and wants His best for us.  If we are wise, we want His best too.

In the end, remember that God’s going to prevail.  Why would we not love Him and His ways?  He wants to help us with every aspect of our lives – the big things and the small things.  God is love and He loves you so much.  His Son, Jesus, died on a cruel cross just for you.  His commands (not just the ten) are there to protect us.  I hear so many say that the Ten Commandments are there to keep us from having fun.  Not true – they’re there to help us stay out of trouble.  I need all the help I can get.  Just sayin’…  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

It’s been a rough week…  physically and mentally exhausting!  We recently changed internet providers and have been unable to have the secondary account (that would be my account) added.  The account with our previous carrier has been suspended since the Friday before Labor Day.  I’ve been without access for a few weeks.  I think I’m experiencing a form of internet withdrawal.  Is there a support group for that?  I don’t think so, but I may start one!

Last Thursday a tech from our new provider came to set up our security system.  I asked if he thought he may be able to help me get that secondary account set up so I can get on the internet train once again.  He proceeded to tell me that he recently graduated from college with a degree in computer – and my countenance brightened immediately!  Hope renewed, I pointed out my sad little laptop and told him to have at it.

He asked if I had a Gmail account and I said I did (thinking that I definitely did NOT remember my password!)  He got my computer to use google chrome instead of internet explorer – and left the google logo where you search – displayed.  So…  I have a google logo where there once was Cafe Mahjong!  Is this progress?  Well…  maybe.

I was disappointed and a little angry.  They guy left and I’m still up a creek without a password.  I was actually shaking and I cried a little bit.  Does that help?  NO!  I calmed down some and went back upstairs, believing I’d play Bejeweled 2 for the rest of the evening.  Once I had calmed down, I looked at this passage of Scripture.  The words WISE, WISDOM, BOAST and KINDNESS, JUSTICE and RIGHTEOUSNESS jumped out at me.

Have you ever just got real with God?  I mean – at the end of yourself – at the end of whatever boasts you hear from others who claim to have the ability to help – at the end of it all?  I prayed that God would just calm my anxious thoughts, dry my tears and bring alternatives to my mind.  If God is ready and willing to do anything for us, it is to impress us with alternatives!   We serve a God with so many ways of solving problems – any problem!  

God told me to talk to Lucinda.  He often tells me to talk with her!  Did I do that right away?  No – because Linda pride gets in the way…  I sat and argued and asked God to just tell me what I should do – He said NOPE – you need to talk to Lucinda.  So…  I got on facebook and shared my frustration.  She made it all better when she said – CAN YOU SET UP ANOTHER ACCOUNT?

Well – suddenly it was ALL BETTER!  I didn’t have to remember the password – or click on “forgot password” knowing that I didn’t have a working email address for them to send a code to!  I’ll just start all over again!  The weight of the world was lifted and I thanked God for such a good friend (even though right now I’m pretty sure she’s laughing through tears!)  It pays to trust God’s way of problem solving instead of trusting your own wisdom – or your college degree.

When we know God, we will not be stranded without the tools we need to solve problems.  Sometimes, the tools He uses is a friend – so don’t be too proud to be obedient when God tells you to seek assistance from a friend.  We need to remember – friends who are true friends will understand!  Friends are KIND.  Lucinda has always gone above and beyond for me.  I’m so thankful that God let our paths cross.  I’m cryin’ again, girl.  ❤

We really are here to help each other – the body of Christ.  Don’t let pride keep you from being obedient to God – and get the help you need in the bargain.  I hope and pray I’m as good a friend to Lucinda as she’s been to me.  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

Not all preachers stand behind a pulpit on Sunday morning at 10:45 am and again at 6 pm.  Anyone who claims the name of Christ is to be sharing the good news of His gospel with others in any way possible.  Sometimes it means writing a blog post every day, feeling humbled in your heart and a bit jumbled in your brain because of dyslexia.  God can use what I write though – not because it’s so riveting and exciting…  but because it’s what God wants me to write.  A wise writer once told me that I need to share what I write whether I think it’s good or not because God knows somebody who needs to read it.  He’ll make sure what I write gets seen by the right people.

Have you ever seen someone get reproved or rebuked by someone with patience?  It’s rare that a person can actually do that because there’s usually some degree of emotion involved and sadly, it’s generally anger.  But I got to witness a pastor reprove and rebuke someone on his staff once and by the time he was finished, I felt as if I’d been in the most wonderful class ever on diplomacy and tact.  I knew that God’s Holy Spirit was guiding every gesture he made and every word he said.  He got the point across and there were absolutely no hurt feelings and he didn’t have a bit of damage control to worry about.  Thank God! 

To exhort means to urge, advise, or caution earnestly; admonish urgently.  It can be dicey to do this, but there are times when it’s necessary.  Again, if we will take time before rushing in to seek God’s Holy Spirit and let Him guide our words and actions, it’s amazing how much better things will go.  Nobody wants to hurt feelings, but when there are differences of opinion, rather than knock heads together as you’d do in your own wisdom – ask God to help you as you negotiate a compromise in the situation.  Blessed are the peacemakers.  There’s a blessing waiting for you if you’ll do things God’s way.  Have you read the story of Jonah?  I rest my case. 

I keep thinking about that last phrase…  with COMPLETE patience and teaching.  That’s impossible to do in our own strength!  The natural man has nearly zero patience.  If you don’t believe me, drive around downtown Wichita at 5 pm on any weeknight.  Horns honk and fingers flip…  um, exercise.  Yep – road rage…  the struggle is real, folks.

God gave His all for me – He just keeps on loving me.  He hasn’t given up on me, so I need to hang in there with others.  Only through God’s Holy Spirit can we develop COMPLETE patience and teaching.  It’s a preacher’s job to lead by example and while yes they’re human (we do get that) – but like every Christian who has been a Christian for a number of years, there should be that desire to be patient with the congregation.  Is it easy?  Nope.  Is it possible with God’s help?  Yep.

Today is the first day of CONSIDER CHRISTIANITY WEEK!!!  I hope you will accept Jesus into your heart and life today.   If you are a Christian, don’t forget to share your faith with someone this week.   

Well, 2 Timothy 4:2 is my birthday verse.  I’m 56 years old today – woo-hoo!  I wrote a silly little poem from my silly little heart.

I really do love the rain.  I loved it more before I wore glasses because the rain messes my lenses up – but I still love the rain.  I can remember having snow a couple of times on my birthday, which I’m not a big fan of – one time I had to cancel a birthday party because we had so much snow.  That was a major bummer all the way around.

You know I love donkeys, right?  Well – if you didn’t know before, now you do.  Look what I found…

Keep sharing your faith wherever you go, and ask God’s Holy Spirit to help you have COMPLETE patience and teaching with everyone.  Just plant the gospel seeds.  The world won’t be forced with an iron fist and we can’t yell anyone to the altar.  We just have to love folks and pray for them.  🙂

 

 

1 CORINTHIANS 10:13 ON 10/13

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No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.  – 1 Corinthians 10:13

Have you ever been tempted?  Well, yeah…  me too!  Have you ever been in the midst of temptation and prayed for God, who we know is faithful, to provide the way of escape from that temptation?  That is the prayer that keeps us from crossing the line from temptation to sin.

PRAYER IS A SHIELD FOR THE SOUL

It’s so important to keep this portion of Scripture tucked safely in your heart and keep it committed to memory.  We are going to be tempted…  no matter who we are or how close we think we are to God.  Maybe the temptation is to think you are beyond being tempted…  see what I’m saying?  It is a slippery slope when you start thinking you are above being tempted.  The enemy of your soul is on the prowl.  You may not be as easy to tempt…  but that sneaky snake devil is really good at what he does…  which brings me back to God’s way of escape.imagese5vkycvf

If you ask God to show you how to get away from temptation, He is faithful and will do it.  Keep in mind that we do have free will and have freedom to cross the line into sin.  If we decide to cross the line, it’s important to remember that sinning against God comes with a whole slew of consequences – and some of those consequences last for the rest of your life.  Sin really will take you further than you ever wanted to go – not in a good way.images-199

If you sin and if you find yourself dealing with the circumstances of your sin – don’t even think of blaming God for your situation.  He would have shown you the EXIT…  the way of escape… but you didn’t ask!  Sin is fun and exciting for a season – but nothing built on sin will ever thrive in the long run.  It will never be the best that God wanted you to have.  You settled for less than God’s best…  and you ended up unhappy and miserable.  You’re stuck – but you can’t blame God for it – you can only blame yourself.

leaning-on-the-rockOkay – that was the bad news – but there is good news.  If we do pray that God will show us His way of escape from temptation – before we cross the line and sin – He will!  We can walk out the door and pray that God will give us what He wants for us – which is undoubtedly much better because it’s His best – not what we think we need at the moment.imagesaag4a5m9As long as we’re in these human bodies, there will be temptations from the enemy of our souls…  and there will be trials now and again from God.  Just remember that the temptations are there to bring out the worst in us – to show how low we can go.  When God sends a trial it is meant to strengthen us and bring out the best in us – to show how high we can rise – or more to the point, how God can work in us, causing us to rise higher.  🙂