A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (20)

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.  – Psalm 51:10-11

There’s more to renewal than eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day and promising yourself you will go to the gym more often.  At the risk of sounding a bit introspective, may I suggest you spend some time in your prayer closet getting real with the Father?

He’s the only One who can make changes last.  He made you, so doesn’t it make sense that He knows how to make all the trash in your life get out for the rest of your life?  I don’t know about you, but that’s exciting to me!  I can be free of worry, anger, disappointment, jealousy, resentment and regret!

Give it all to God through His Son, Christ Jesus.  Don’t wait – do it now.

Make today garbage day for your life.. Round up all your worries, angers, disappointments, jealousies, resentments, and regrets. Throw them in your mental garbage can, roll it out to the street and be done with them once and for all.. Smile as the sanitation department roars away with all that junk you no longer need.. Make that change!!  – Stanley Taylor

I want God’s Holy Spirit in and with me from this moment on.

It’s fine to have other resolutions.  I’ve resolved to throw away my lonely little sock that hasn’t had a mate for about 3 months.  You KNOW what will happen when I toss it, don’t you?  The other one will show up!  It’s some sort of unwritten cruel law or something.  Those were my favorite socks!  I will mourn the loss.1

For changes that are life-altering, consult the maker of you.  Go to your prayer closet and ask Him to do a great work in you.  He’s faithful to answer your prayer and you will know when all the trash has been taken out.  You’ll know immediately – trust me.  🙂

 

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. DAY

TL MARTIN LUTHER KING JR DAYPUTTING HOLES IN THE DARKNESSRegardless of the divisiveness in our country, we are to shine with the kindness, joy, hope, love and caring nature of our Lord, Savior and Master, Christ Jesus.  MLK QUOTE (3)

Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin, and desire nothing but God, and I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen; such alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of heaven on Earth.  – John Wesley

At the risk of repeating myself…  GOD LOVES YOU!  It doesn’t end there…  He wants us to love one another as well.  That’s where, sadly, it gets tricky – and I’m not even sure why.  If we profess to have the Holy Spirit of God living inside us, it should be a piece of cake to love our brother, right?  :-/

We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

We can show love to others – but it takes a lot of prayer beforehand.  Let’s get on our knees and pray today for the necessary tools so that we can show mutual respect for one another!  Once we’ve asked God to help us, let’s rise and be bigger!  I want to rise about petty behavior, don’t you?

LET'S RISE AND BE BIGGER

FORGIVENESSLove, forgiveness, showing interest in others in a genuine manner – that’s the blessing I want from God today!  I will ask Him to give me the gift of real compassion for all people.

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.  – Mahatma Gandhi

I want to exercise honest sympathy and true empathy in life.  Think of the sacrifice Christ made for all of us – then think of the way He wants us to live.  Let’s be the best representatives for Christ we can possibly be in 2016.LOVEThere is such darkness in our country – and in our world.  Let’s humbly ask God through Jesus for LIGHT and LOVE which pokes holes in the darkness.

Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.  –  Paul Boese

There is hope for America!  If we each commit to a life of forgiveness and peace, wrapped up in God’s love and grace, He will guide us to a brighter place and help us to share this country in unity.  It’s my prayer that the words of Dr. King will resonate throughout the United States, especially at this crucial time in history.  May God Bless America!  🙂

I STILL BELIEVE AS I GRIEVE

I STILL BELIEVE AS I GRIEVE

In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, And His children will have a place of refuge.  –  Proverbs 14:26

We all know there are five stages of grief:

  1. DENIAL
  2. ANGER
  3. BARGAINING
  4. DEPRESSION
  5. ACCEPTANCE

WAITING WHILE I WAIT

I can’t forget the loss.  Am I supposed to forget???  I keep asking, “What’s next, Lord?”

Here’s the deal…  about the time I’ve reached acceptance and think, “I’m gonna be okay”, something happens and I’m suffering a setback of sorts.  Maybe this is God’s way of keeping me humble.

It may not help that I’m still living in the city I grew up in, but  I really can’t imagine living anywhere else.  If I were to leave Wichita, I think I’d feel like a fish out of water for a very long while.

Yesterday I was driving to the Walmart and had a little time to kill.  I decided to drive by my childhood home.

As I slowly crept down Charles Street, so many memories came to mind, starting with the street itself.  I remembered a dirt road.  For the first three or four years of my life, our street was dirt.  Then I noticed that the barbed wire fence around our neighbor’s field was gone.  John had 3 horses in there for years.  We had an apple tree in the back yard, so the horses got to eat apples once in a while.  I enjoyed feeding them!

Mom and dad had a non-fruit bearing, flowering crab apple tree in the front yard – only it DID bear fruit – and boy was it a mess; however, along with the messy crab apples were the most beautiful dark pink flowers!  I remember my mom in the yard with a rake picking up the crab apples every year.  The raking would begin around late August or early September.  I guess that struck a chord inside.

Then I lost it – I just lost it – again!  When does that stop happening???  The floodgates opened over a memory about crab apples???  Seriously???

The answer from God seems to be, “Bloom where you’re planted”.  So, here I am!

Am I stuck, or is the enemy trying to make me feel that way?  Is it bad to bounce from one stage to the other?  Some days I do just fine, but I guess I set myself up for a relapse.  How can I ignore the house where I grew up?  I was just a few blocks from it and decided to go visit some memories.  Maybe I need to visit so I don’t forget.  Yeah, like I could ever forget…  not gonna happen.  🙂

PROVERBS 8:13 ON 8/13

TL PROVERBS 8 13 ON 8 13

To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.  – Proverbs 8:13

The book of Proverbs is filled with wisdom, isn’t it?  If ever there was a time in history when America and the world could use some wisdom…  well – I believe it’s now!

Have I mentioned that I am not perfect lately?  Well, I’m not.  I’m just a human being who leans heavily on my heavenly Father.  Fearing the Lord is to hate evil.  By fear, it’s not saying we should quake in our boots and hide behind tree trunks.  Fear means to have a reverence, respect, honor and awe of God.  Think about where your power comes from…  it really is awesome and awe-worthy!  This kind of fear is always tied to our obedience of Him.

https://youtu.be/bj2Lj4CIzoY

God doesn’t dig pride and arrogance.  Well, if you are too dependent on yourself, why would you depend on God?  Think about it.

God cannot look on sin – He just can’t.  Evil behavior often leads to something worse than the behavior that started it.  Evil behavior takes you down a one-way street with nowhere to turn around.  Eventually you may hit bottom, but it’s usually a short trip to the bottom.  Know this, however, that anywhere on the trip you can call out to Jesus Christ and He will be there for you.  He can and will help you out of the pit of self-destruction.  You’ll have to make changes, but the rewards will be so worth it.

A sweet pastor’s wife once told me that when people use profanity, they lack the intelligence to make a better choice of words.  That has stuck with me through the years.  God’s last name is not dang it…  or worse.  God is to be honored, respected above all and reverenced.  Anything less is a disgrace and sin.  Ask Him to forgive you for using His Holy name in vain because you will be held accountable for it if you don’t.

I want to be free of pride, anger, arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.  And if I may make the following statement:  I want my next president to be free of these things too.  I want a president who seeks guidance from God.  I want a president who is wise in decision-making.  Some diplomatic decisions need to be made not out of anger or arrogance – but with the wisdom that only comes from his or her higher power…  God.

Self-sufficiency does not impress this voter.  Self-made people are not what America needs right now.  Haven’t we been under the leadership of one who is self-made already?  Do we want more of that?  Let’s keep praying about this.  Who does God want in the White House?  Let’s consult Him about it.  🙂

 

 

1 JOHN 4:16 ON 4/16

1 JOHN 4 16 ON 4 16

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.  God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.  – 1 John 4:16

Aren’t you so thankful for the love of God?  We can’t always depend on friends or loved ones to have unconditional love – but God understands us when no one else does.

Hurt people hurt people.  That’s how pain patterns get passed on, generation after generation.  Break the chain today.  Meet anger with sympathy, contempt with compassion, cruelty with kindness.  Greet grimaces with smiles.  Forgive and forget about finding fault.  Love is the weapon of the future.  – Yehada Berg

Yesterday a “friend” on facebook disapproved of an opinion I had.  It’s no secret that I’m a conservative Republican and there are certain hot topics that push my buttons.  I’m not a fan of socialism at all.  My parents lived through WWII and I’m well versed on the benefits of living in a free nation.

My “friend” told me she thought I was hard-hearted and didn’t think my opinion was very Christian like.  Sometimes “friends” can be downright judgmental and cruel.  It’s funny that a person who does not know the real me (we’ve never met) has the nerve to say those things.  Well – I think she completely misunderstood what I was saying – but we know misunderstandings happen between friends – sadly, even between Christian friends.

Those comments really hurt me and I asked God to help me be kinder and softer – and I asked Him to help me forgive and forget.  The faster I can do that – the happier I will be.  God knew what I was trying to say on my timeline – and I guess that’s all that matters.  Should I not voice an opinion on facebook?  Sometimes when I bite my tongue, I almost bite it in half!  Believe it or not, I’ve shown great restraint!

I don’t think it’s wrong for me to have an opinion about the direction our country is going in.  If we just stay quiet, does that help?  Has it helped so far?  We all need God’s strength and His comfort.  His light and His guidance.  The future frightens me and I love liberty and freedom.  I see it slipping away bit by bit and oh yes – that scares me.  And yes, I know God is in control.

At times like this I’m reminded of this familiar verse:

God didn’t promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, or sun without rain, but He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way. If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.  – Unknown

Unknown sure does write some good stuff!  It’s a shame we can’t give someone credit for those wise words.  They are so true!  Because God loves us so much, He will help us do better and be better.  I still don’t think it’s right for Christian brothers and sisters to browbeat each other into “submission” – that’s not our job.  Instead, we need to pray for one another – even when we don’t agree with each other.  God can deal with each of us so much better than anyone else.

Look, nobody is perfect – and I’m like at the very TOP of that imperfect list.  I do my best to be kind and loving, and if something I say doesn’t come across that way, I do apologize.  I hope you will forgive me.

YOUR VICTORY IS WON

On Easter we celebrated the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!  He is our example and He is the one who will help all of us be better human beings.  Criticism from other Christians really doesn’t do much to help anyone.  But God – and God’s patience, His guidance and His love – will stay with each of us – forever.  He will make me better.  I listen to His gentle prodding.  His Holy Spirit helps me, comforts me and sustains me.

It does my heart so much good to know I’m not the only conservative in the country.  I’m in good company!

We drove around in an old Pontiac…  towing a one-wheel trailer.  We weren’t itinerant:  It wasn’t The Grapes of Wrath, but it wasn’t uptown either.  It gives you a sort of conservative background, being raised in an era when everything was scarce.  – Clint Eastwood

Well – we had an old 1968 Chevy – when I got my driver’s license, mom and I shared the car.  I drove to school and when I got home, she drove to the grocery store.  We were not a wealthy family – and yes, when material possessions are scarce, you appreciate and take better care of what you have.  People make me feel like I have to apologize for that – and no, I won’t.  I’m so very grateful for all I have.  Today I don’t want for anything because I know what it’s like to have nearly nothing.

Shouldn’t we be adult enough to discuss political differences without name calling? If I have a political opinion that you don’t agree with, don’t poke at my standing with the Lord!  That’s not cool.  I’m praying for your enlightenment on the matter.

The day the Lord created hope was probably the same day He created Spring.  – Bern Williams

To the sister who wants me to grow a more tender heart:  you really don’t know me – but instead of criticizing and judging – try praying for this ultra-conservative Republican Christian.  I need it – I really do!  Wink!  😉

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (16)PLEASE DON'T TELL GOD

Have you ever felt the need to hide things from God? I have. It’s futile and useless to try because let’s face it – He is God and He does know! Sometimes I approach the throne of God in much the same way I enter a church building:

SMILES, EVERYONE… SMILES!!! – Mr. Rourke (Fantasy Island)

You know, the truth is, there is nobody we can be more “real” with than God. God knows us better than we know ourselves. He made us and is aware of our weaknesses and shortcomings. We are always to strive to be more like Jesus, but God knows we are human and will be until the day we die. He made us to commune with Him and fellowship with Him – to worship Him. Jesus died as a sacrifice so we could have a relationship with God, through Him.

Tell God what’s on your heart and mind.  Don’t keep sweeping the pain under the rug – or scooping more ice cream into your bowl.  I know it sounds silly to want to hide my feelings from God, but for years that’s exactly what I did.  If I just ate then the pain would leave – but that is a short-term fix. It also wrecked my health and I’m in a mess with type 2 diabetes as well.

Being angry at God is not cool – but I was. I was mad at God because I saw the most irresponsible couples have babies, yet I was not allowed to have one. Isolated and jealous of parents everywhere, I sat and ate all day. Eventually I decided to go back to work, but I kept food at my desk. I was still trying to make myself feel better. Did it work? No.

If you have feelings of anger toward God, tell Him. He can take it! God loves us so much and if we would just stop being scared of making God mad at us, we would save ourselves a lot of unnecessary heartache and health problems in life.

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (31)

NOTHING IS WORTH THE PRICE

“You don’t want to win the argument, you want to get your way.”  It was from the late Rae Wolf McKenna, my first mother-in-law.  I have found it popping into my head in many tense situations over the years, to great effect.  – Paul Steiger

In my 28 years of marriage (well, as of August 25th), my husband and I have had very few arguments. Is that a good thing? Well, every marriage needs a little spice, but it’s best to spice it up in a positive way, I believe.

The most miserable feeling in the world is to let an argument remain unresolved overnight. I’m not into crying on my pillow. Anger that lasts overnight just leaves me with a stopped up red nose and a huge headache the next morning. If the issue remains unresolved, in the morning my anger gets rekindled and I’m ready to begin the battle once again.

Instead of dragging the battle into the next morning, do your best to resolve it before your head hits the pillow. Your eyes will not be as puffy, your pillow will not get soaked and you won’t have that hung over feeling the next morning! Not that I know what that feels like… please don’t give me grief about that comparison!

Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath. – Ephesians 4:26

Such sage advice, yet at times I know it is so difficult to follow. If I feel passionately about something and my husband is stubborn, it could be a very long night – but we try to resolve things before we sleep. It may be 3am before we get it resolved, but we hash away at it until it’s resolved. Of course, if he were the one telling it – I’d be the stubborn one, right? Uh-huh.

The point is, life is too short and God is too good for us to be doing very much arguing to begin with. If you have someone who loves you and you are happy with your life – then what else matters?

LIVE LONG AND PROSPER. – Dr. Spock (Star Trek)

You’re totally trying to do the Vulcan salute now, aren’t you? Yeah, me too… I still can’t do it. :-/