A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

We don’t want to think that there are modern-day Pharisees in this world, do we?  Sadly, there are some that think they will get to God’s wonderful and glorious Heaven in some way that has nothing to do with a personal relationship with Christ Jesus, God’s only begotten Son.  Some think that a family member in Heaven can put in a good word for you with God…  well – that won’t work.  The ONLY way to Heaven is to place your faith and trust in Christ Jesus.  He willingly sacrificed His life on a cruel cross – for you and me.  If you were the only one on this earth, He still would have died so you could be saved.  Believe in Him and you will be saved.

God refers to His children as sheep in the Bible sometimes.  I don’t know much about sheep, but I know they need a shepherd to guide and direct them.  The shepherd keeps the sheep safe from harm.  Some people don’t want anyone, including the Lord, to tell them what to do – they resent it.  Those who walk with the Lord are comforted by His loving care.  He doesn’t want to hold us back from success.  He opens doors along the way – on the path to success and real joy in Him.

I want to go into the pasture through the open gate, don’t you?  Besides, have you ever seen a sheep jump – I mean, other than when you’re counting them in bed as you try to get to sleep – ???  They are really not jumping creatures.  I don’t think they can hop over that fence.  Sometimes when I encounter a person who thinks they can get to Heaven some other way, I think – “How dare you spit in the face of my Savior!”  Honestly – think about what He went through to save mankind.  For anyone to think they can get to Heaven while completely ignoring the plan that GOD set forth for us…  that’s just dumb and a bit unsettling to me.  Our Savior, Christ Jesus, is great!

Nobody will ever love you like the GOOD SHEPHERD!  His love is true and it lasts.  Praise HIM for all His amazing blessings!  🙂

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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

BANNER 9-17

PSALM 9-17

I had reservations about sharing this verse today.  Most of the Psalms are uplifting and encouraging – but this one is just sobering, to say the least.  I wrestled and prayed about it, and the Lord seemed to impress upon me that, while it is a good thing to be uplifting and encouraging, it is a necessity to bear in mind that there are consequences for disobedience as well.

There is good news even though this Psalm is definitely NOT it.  For those nations that turn to the one and only GOD of the universe…  there are blessings in store!  If our nation will be humble before Him – bow before Him and seek His face – He is faithful and just to answer our petitions and heal our land!  If you are reading this right now, I invite you to say a simple prayer in humility, that God will heal the things in your life that are broken, and then that He will heal our very sick and broken land.  We need Him now more than ever!

When I see all the different ways that America is divided, it frightens me and makes me so sad.  There have always been political differences, but it’s gone beyond that now.  We’re split on even the smallest of issues these days.  We need to turn all of it over to our Creator because He’s the only One who can fix it.  Are we too proud to hand it over, or do we think we’re so smart that we can make everything okay again?  I’m not sure if it’s a matter of pride or sheer stupidity, but until we decide we’re gonna hand the whole ball of wax to Father God, it won’t get fixed.

That’s the challenge I give you.  I hope you will join me and pray for a wonderful glorious healing in America.  Once we are well again, we can give all the glory to God.  He alone deserves all our praise!

Bless you for praying for me!  Several of you have contacted me while I’ve been absent from the blog.  My back is still out of whack – and I hope to have surgery sometime before the end of the year.  Pray that it will be and that it will be successful.  The pain is more than I can bear some days.

As if that were not enough…  our internet provider decided to increase our rate, so we are in the process of changing providers.  There seems to be some problem getting my laptop on the internet – so please pray that they can get that taken care of soon.  Our desktop computer is not as user-friendly as my laptop is, so it’s a source of frustration for me.  LOL!  I’m practicing patience…  oh my!  You know I’m not that patient!

Have a wonderful week and don’t forget to pray.  This verse serves as a sad reminder to the nation that does not make GOD the LORD of all.

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Let’s live for Jesus!  That’s what matters!  Have a wonderful week in the Lord!  🙂

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

If you’re a child of God, this verse offers a warm fuzzy feeling and you feel loved and protected.  If you’re not His child, it could possibly scare the hooey out of you – and for good reason.  It’s one more reminder that sitting on the proverbial fence is not an option.  You’re either God’s kid – or you’re not.  There’s no in-between.

Jesus loves you!  He does… and there’s not a thing you can do about it.

God is love, but don’t be deceived.  Our God is all-powerful and is in control of everything.  He is not a senile old man who puts up with sin and laughs it off.  He’s not going to give anyone a pass when it comes to transgression of His law!  Your earthly grandfather may do that, but the God of the universe will not.

When Jesus told the sea to be still…  it obeyed!  As I write this, I’m reminded of a song we sang in our youth group called “SEA WALKER”.  Some of you younger folk are gonna laugh, but hey…  I’m old.  LOL!

Who is Jesus?  He’s the only begotten Son of God.  He was sent by God to earth as a baby and was raised in a Jewish family.  Is there more to it?  Of course – so much more!  Without His teachings about His Father and our Heavenly Father, we would be clueless.  Without His ultimate sacrifice on Calvary…  wow – we’d be in such big trouble in eternity!  Many people have the idea that Christ HAD to die for our sins.  Um…  nope!  He could have changed His mind any time – He could have said we’re not worth His sacrifice.  Did He say that?  NO, He didn’t – and we should make it part of our daily prayer to thank Him for going through with it.

Lucinda wrote an amazing poem for today.  It’s enlightening and uplifting to my spirit!  I’m so happy to share it with you!

Jesus is our link to God, therefore, we are careful to end our prayers with “In Jesus’ name”.  If we take the time to study the Bible and get to know our Savior, Christ Jesus, we will get a glimpse at our Father God.  If we know Jesus, we basically know God.  That’s why it’s so important to study the Bible.  Study, trust and obey.  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

Jesus’ loyalty lies not with His earthly family – but His Heavenly one.  He makes it clear that He considers Himself related to those who hear the Word of God and obey it.  When he was at the Temple as a kid – only twelve years old – He was fast to ask His earthly family…  did you not know that I’d be about my Father’s business???  That would be His Heavenly Father…  God.

This portion of Scripture is another example of how much more the Heavenly realm meant to Jesus.  He let us know in verse 21 that true family is the family of God – not the people in the unit He was raised with.  Is that to say that the earthly family was not dedicated to God?  No – I’m not implying that at all.  Jesus just wants to be more inclusive in His description of kin…  He loves those who love His Father in Heaven!  He knows that this is the love that will really matter when it’s all said and done.

Jesus knows just how much His Father loves us and wants us to one day be in Heaven with Him.  Lucinda wrote a beautiful poem about the love of God – it made me think…  how many ways do I see God smile every day?  Do I even notice those smiles?  I’ll spend more time looking for them from now on, I can tell you that.

I wondered if there were other ways we could see our Heavenly Father smile, so I posed the question to my group – A SECOND HELPING OF WELLNESS…  WITH A DASH OF HUMOR AND A PINCH OF FAITH.  Here are some of the responses I got:

THE BEAUTY OF A FRIEND – Valerie

THE SOUND OF A FLOWING STREAM – Susan

A CHILD’S LAUGH – Mary

BEING ALIVE – John

I’d add to this list – ANSWERS TO PRAYER.  I not only saw God smile, but felt a hug!  I recently underwent a procedure to lessen my sciatic nerve pain.  As you can imagine, I’ve heard stories from others about it – everything from “It doesn’t work”, to “It’s the most wonderful treatment ever!”  For me, it was a success and I’m enjoying being pain-free so far!  My prayer was answered and I hope I can have quality of life for a long time!  🙂

 

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

This is a verse that is familiar to Sunday School teachers because at some point we work with kids to memorize it.  Some say this verse disproves the concept of the Trinity, but I don’t think it does.  I still believe in the three in one – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Paul is addressing the question whether there’s more than one God because a pagan said there was.  On behalf of Christians everywhere, he’s affirming that there is only one God, creator and ruler over the wide universe!  The fact that he didn’t go on to say anything about the Trinity does not mean it doesn’t exist.

Doth not all nature around me praise God? If I were silent, I should be an exception to the universe. Doth not the thunder praise Him as it rolls like drums in the march of the God of armies? Do not the mountains praise Him when the woods upon their summits wave in adoration? Doth not the lightning write His name in letters of fire? Hath not the whole earth a voice? And shall I, can I, silent be?  – Charles Spurgeon

When we praise the Lord, it’s the Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.  – John Piper

As we trust more in the faithfulness of God, we are better able to open our hearts to others.  It’s amazing how much joy fills our lives as we put all our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  It’s my hope and prayer that we all will believe in the blessed Trinity and lean fully on the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in our everyday lives.  Remember – the more we praise the LORD in His presence, the more of His power we will see in our circumstances.  He inhabits our praise and answers all our prayers.  🙂