A SUMMER OF PSALMS

In nearly every church I’ve attended, there was a SINGSPIRATION service on the 5th Sunday night of the month.  So, today we’re going to have one too.  If we were all together in a room, I’d have you prepare to give your testimony in a POPCORN TESTIMONY time.  Since we can’t do that, you can just think about the time when you gave your heart, soul, and mind to the King of kings and Lord of lords, Jesus Christ.  OH, HAPPY DAY!

I know – it’s a really old song – but hey – it’s good!  This passage of Scripture does tell us to sing a NEW song – although I highly suspect that has nothing to do with the age of the song – lol.

As Christians, we don’t always live on the mountaintop.  This song has helped me in times of trial so many times.

God didn’t want Heaven without us.  Ponder that for a minute or two…

Sometimes the praise just overflows in the strangest places…  I GO TO THE ROCK.  Dottie Rambo’s timeless lyrics resonate even though the great lady is no longer with us.  I know she’s already heard WELL DONE from the Father – but now I want to tell her THANK YOU!

I’m more than convinced that some of the children in my Sunday School class had never heard Christian music in their home.  Every song they learned in our class was the only exposure to Gospel music they’d ever have.  I was so careful to teach the kids just a few songs that I knew they would remember when they needed it.  It’s amazing what God will bring to your mind when you need praise on your lips!

Giving kids a happy beat and the Gospel truth is a good thing, eh?

Even though we call the 5th Sunday service “Singspiration”, not everyone sings.  Some of the people read aloud a short story or poem they’ve written.  It’s that way in our Singspiration blog post.  Lucinda has written something perfect for us about this Psalm.

So, go INTO the world…  praising the LORD all the way!  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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“For David says of Him, ‘I SAW THE LORD ALWAYS IN MY PRESENCE;
FOR HE IS AT MY RIGHT HAND, SO THAT I WILL NOT BE SHAKEN.  ‘THEREFORE MY HEART WAS GLAD AND MY TONGUE EXULTED; MOREOVER MY FLESH ALSO WILL LIVE IN HOPE;  BECAUSE YOU WILL NOT ABANDON MY SOUL TO HADES, NOR ALLOW YOUR HOLY ONE TO UNDERGO DECAY.  ‘YOU HAVE MADE KNOWN TO ME THE WAYS OF LIFE; YOU WILL MAKE ME FULL OF GLADNESS WITH YOUR PRESENCE.’  – Acts 2:25-28

Our focus today is on verse 26:

“Therefore my heart was glad and my tongue exulted; moreover my flesh also will live in hope;  – Acts 2:26

Is your heart glad and your tongue exulted???  Are you living in HOPE today?  If your answer is YES, let God know why.  So many times we know we have joy and hope from the Lord, but we forget to be grateful and thankful to God for it.

Praise God today for the blessings in your life.  The book of Acts is called that because it’s about the acts of the Apostles.  Part of putting feet to your faith is being honest with God in good times, bad times and everything in-between.

Are you living in the land of HOPE?  This sermon was preached in 2014 – but the meaning is still the same.  I HOPE it will be a blessing to you as it was to me.

Have you taken your life, and the fact that you have had the opportunity to live it a good long while – for granted?  Today’s post is a reminder to let God know you appreciate His blessings and that you acknowledge that it is HIS grace and mercy that has brought you this far.  He has a wonderful plan for your life – so live your life with renewed strength and courage.  God has good things in your future and mine.  Live in the land of HOPE because that is God’s will for you.  🙂

 

PRAYERS & WISHES FOR THANKSGIVING

tl-thanksgiving-2016-11-12-thru-11-24No matter in what language you speak, thanksgiving prayers are often written in the form of poems or songs.  I’m not just saying that because I’m a poet and musician.  Every day from now until thanksgiving, I want to share a prayer and some wishes for you and your family.

 

Will you pray with me?

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I wish for you and your family more unity.  I wish you wisdom and discernment as you gather together to count blessings.  I wish you a truly heart-warming thanksgiving with the Spirit of God right in the center!  🙂

 

RESPECT FOR THE AGED DAY

TL 9-19 RESPECT FOR THE AGED DAYRespect For The Aged Day is a Japanese designated public holiday celebrated annually to honor elderly citizens.  The holiday recognizes the contributions that elderly citizens have made to Japanese society.

I wonder how much America could learn from this tradition?  In this country it seems that our elderly are not honored, but tossed aside or institutionalized where they become someone else’s problem.  It’s so sad because our senior citizens have so much wisdom to offer.  They’d be more than happy to share with us if we’d just ask.

WEAK MEMORY, STRONG HEART

Choosing to love an elderly person, whether they are family or not, is a choice.  We can choose to be impatient and irritable with them, or kind and helpful.  You could think of it this way…  if you live long enough, you’ll eventually be elderly.  How do you want to be treated?  It goes back to the Golden Rule:  Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.  – Ephesians 4:32

If there’s an elderly person in your life, take some time today to show respect for them.  Here are just a few ideas:

  • A phone call shows that you care.  Let them know you’re thinking of them.
  • Send a card that says you’re concerned about their welfare.
  • Ask questions about how things were back when they were younger.  They’ll be happy to share stories.
  • Show appreciation for any special gifts and talents they have.  Compliment the most recent project.
  • Give a little present to show love and appreciation.  It doesn’t have to cost a bundle, but it’ll do so much good.
  • Plan a special outing if possible.  There’s nothing quite like an occasion to look forward to – and dress up for.  It doesn’t have to be expensive – just a nice lunch at a favorite restaurant would be nice.
  • Offer a ride to an appointment or to the grocery store.
  • Share your precious time with someone who is more than likely lonely and may need some human contact and conversation.i-must-take-time

We all just want to be respected, don’t we?  We would like to have our efforts and our contributions appreciated once in a while.  How much more would we like all that if we were older and possibly all alone?  As we age, we need even more help, but we also need common courtesy from others and wouldn’t it be great to get some respect?

Remember the old Rodney Dangerfield routine… I DON’T GET NO RESPECT – ???  Well, it’s funny as a bit, but it’s really not very funny when you don’t get respect in real life.  :-/

 

NATIONAL FROG MONTH

TL APRIL IS NATIONAL FROG MONTHAccording to fairy tales, these rather slimy creatures turn into a prince when you kiss them…  um…  I don’t know that to be a fact, but I do know that they sing out loud and strong after it rains here in Wichita!  Sometimes we refer to a heavy rain here in Kansas as a toad strangler…  but it doesn’t really hurt the frogs.  They still croak in sweet harmony when the rain is over.YOU MATTERIt’s so easy to take the sounds of nature for granted.  We hear the frogs croak, the birds chirp and the wind rustling the leaves on the trees – but do we stop to thank God for any of it?  I admit I don’t always…  but once in a while I sit outside and just take it all in, and I have to close my eyes and say a little prayer of thanks to God – I thank Him for my sense of hearing and for the familiar sounds that let me know that everything is okay in my world.Linda - Quote - Frog Jumping Day-screenshot

I’m so thankful that I grew up in the country…  we didn’t have a pond close by, but we had very deep ditches, and every year I got to watch the little tadpoles swimming around.  It seems like a simple childhood activity, but those are some of the happiest memories I hold dear today.children-767034_1920tadpoles-338627_1920It was really great to visit my grandparents on the farm in the spring…  the frogs and tiny tadpoles in their pond were fun to watch – and there were more of them.  sunbeam-292987_1920

I love to watch the little baby animals in the springtime, don’t you?  New life…  new experiences…  new hope!

Of course, we know the acronym for F.R.O.G. – it is FULLY RELY ON GOD!    Let’s keep that in mind today as we appreciate His creation – frogs! FULLY RELY ON GODBABIES IN THE SPRINGTIME

If you have children, make sure they get to see something other than the screen of their new phone.  Show them the babies of springtime…  show them the tadpoles swimming around in the pond.  The wonders of nature and the way God set things up – are amazing for kids of all ages!  I hope that today you will slow down and sit down outside…  close your eyes and take it all in.  🙂

 

NATIONAL CRAFT MONTH

TL MARCH IS NATIONAL CRAFT MONTHI’ll begin this post with a disclaimer:  I am not crafty in any way, shape or form.  I do a little scrapbooking, but it would not win any prizes.  Mama taught me how to embroider, satin stitch and make French knots – and as a young girl I cross-stitched every Precious Moments pattern I could find on to my mama’s sweatshirts with waste cloth.  I embroidered tea towels with my mom.  She had one for every day of the week.  Scratch that…  I had one for every day of the week.  I am the one who dried the dishes.  😉

Those were the days when my eyes worked better.  It’s been years since I’ve done any of that stuff.  My arthritis won’t let me hold a needle anymore either, so it’s too much of a chore to try to cross-stitch or embroider.

I bought a Precious Moments wall hanging the other day for the laundry room.86a7504048b0dfb9495033f8d7c9c406

IMG_0002Pretend that photo is not so blurry!  Yikes – I didn’t think I was that nervous.  :-/

I do appreciate crafts so much.  I have a few hand-made quilts around the house.  The most precious quilt I have is, of course, the one my grandma and mama made.  It’s draped over Grandpa Frank’s rocking chair.  ❤IMG_0004Excuse my blurry photo – I’m not sure if it’s the camera or operator error – maybe a little of both – lol.  The quilt on the right is my very special quilt – the one on the left is one I bought at an antique store.  As you know, I really like bargains – and hold on to your hat – that quilt was $50.00.  It was in a booth that was selling everything not marked FIRM for 1/2 price!  I looked very closely – and the quilt was not marked FIRM.  It was a happy dance moment. 

I love all sorts of crafts – stained glass is so beautiful, especially when the light shines through it.  I enjoyed making my own Longaberger basket at the Homestead in Ohio.  A sweet sister in Christ crocheted me a beautiful throw for cold winter evenings.  I especially like it because I got to choose my yarn for it.

Have you been to Silver Dollar City in Missouri?  When we go there, I try to pick up a hand-made treasure.  One thing that means so much to me is my hand-made vanity from SDC.  For our 20th wedding anniversary, my husband surprised me with it!  What a sweet thing for him to do.  I appreciate craftsmanship, I suppose because my daddy was a master carpenter.  I understand the work involved from start to finish.HAND MADE WITH LOVE

Is it just me, or do you think of the person who made your gift when you see the gift?  I think of them and whisper a prayer.  There’s something so special about people sharing their talents with others.

How will you show appreciation for a crafts person this month?  🙂

WORLD HUMAN SPIRIT DAY

TL 2-17 SORLD HUMAN SPIRIT DAY

Today is WORLD HUMAN SPIRIT DAY.  This holiday was started by Michael Levy of Point of Life in 2003 to promote a human spirit that lives the creative, peaceful, loving life that it was meant to live.  People all over the world are encouraged to take 2 minutes at 3pm ET to meditate and find the true spirit of freedom and peace that lives within each of us.

Of course, I’d say it would be a good idea to pray for those 2 minutes.  Be thankful to God for all the blessings He’s given you.  Thankfulness is not just for the month of November, you know!  It’s good to give thanks to the Lord year-around with a humble and contrite spirit.  That’s the way to find peace, love and compassion within.

PRAYER TO SEEK GODI PRAY BEFORE I PLAYThe most difficult part of being a pianist in church is playing the invitation hymn at the end of the service.  That is when God’s Holy Spirit speaks to everyone – it’s a solemn time and I was always afraid that I would do something to distract from that precious work – for I am so very, very human at times.

It’s good to celebrate the strength and courage of our human spirit – but how much better to acknowledge the source from which we glean those characteristics!  How much better our own spirits become when mulled with the precious gift from God – His own Holy Spirit, which Jesus promised us when He ascended into Heaven!

May we take 2 minutes today to bask in the warmth of His amazing love.  May we stay silent and listen to what He is saying to us.  May we willingly have our spiritual batteries recharged by Him and lift our hearts and hands in reply, letting Him know we love Him.

Join me today to celebrate the human spirit, yes – but more importantly, to celebrate the power source – God’s precious Holy Spirit.A BIG CUP OF A BIG GODIf God (and His Holy Ghost) came in a coffee cup…  hmm – interesting!  🙂

 

PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD

TL 12-1 PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORDHow are your preparations going?  We’re not finished yet!  Today, let’s do something to serve the ones in our home.  I hear you saying you do that every day – lol!  You may feel as though you serve those in your own household every day, but I want to invite you to take a look at the chores assigned to each member of your family.

Who usually feeds the pets?  Who usually gathers the garbage to go out to the curb every week?  Who is the one that cleans the toilets?  Ugh…  lovely chore there! 

Today I want you to do a chore that you don’t usually do – just take over and do it – no pomp or circumstance – and no announcement.  Just do it.  When you are asked WHY you did it – then you can let your family member know how much you appreciate them – and their faithfulness in doing that chore on a regular basis.  In my family, that would be followed by “Don’t expect it all the time, but…” 

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Do we tend to take our family members for granted?  Well of course we do!  When the trash gets taken out to the curb – it just magically takes itself out, right?  Stuff just happens – we each have our chores and that’s how life works smoothly.  This is just a little exercise to let your family members know they are appreciated.

As we take in the life and light of our Lord, may it shine forth in our attitudes and actions toward others, but especially in our own homes…  that’s where our mission should always begin – inside the walls of our own residence.

WRAPPED GIFTSGOD WITH US…  EMMANUEL.  He is our gift of hope in these uncertain and divisive days.  He loves every life – every soul is precious to Him – every one of us matter to Him.  We need to show appreciation for one another in our homes to begin with – then others around us – and finally to those who are a little further away – then we need to show the respect and honor to others that we want them to show to us.  Wrap a gift for other people and call it respect.  It sounds so very simple – why is it such a challenge?  :-/

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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My husband and I are celebrating 29 years of marriage today!

You would think that I’d be a wellspring of wisdom and filled with great advice for those younger than me.  The fact is, we are still learning as we go along.  There are a few things I have learned through the years.  I can say without hesitation:

  1. Listen more than you speak because that’s how you learn.
  2. Adopt an attitude of serendipity every day.  Every day will not be filled with excitement and fireworks!  Embrace the quiet, boring moments and appreciate what you have – on purpose.
  3. Don’t let the enemy talk you into the notion that living your life with someone else would have been better.  It probably would not.
  4. There’s not a problem in marriage that cannot be fixed.  Pray separately and together for solutions.  God wants to help.
  5. Don’t even say the word divorce.  We decided from the get-go that we would not say the “D” word to each other.
  6. Perfection is a myth in marriage.  He’s a human being and so am I.  Imperfection is our specialty and forgiveness is the key to dealing with it.
  7. You won’t change him.  Stop thinking you can change him.  Accept whatever it is that you think you can change, because it’s not going to change.
  8. We get older.  We gain new interests and grow intellectually.  We have each other for moral support through all the changes that inevitably happen in life.
  9. No matter how difficult or time-consuming your occupation is, I guarantee that the time you need to dedicate to keeping your marriage great will take much more effort and take even more time.
  10. I don’t have to be right all the time.  I’m not always wrong either.  I admit it when I’m wrong and don’t rub it in when I’m right.
  11. There are quirky behaviors that will make your mate crazy.  If it’s your goal to make him / her crazy, keep it up.  If it’s not your goal to make your significant other crazy, work on your quirky self.
  12. If you find that you are unhappy in your marriage, don’t automatically blame the marriage.  Maybe you don’t feel fulfilled within.  Take a class or join a book club.  Expand your own horizons and find your inner shine.
  13. Marriage does not come with instructions.  It is on the job training, so cut your spouse some slack and allow for learning curves.
  14. My husband and I survived having a house built.  It’s my opinion that if a couple can come through that, they can come through just about anything.
  15. Be willing to open and sort through each other’s baggage from time to time.  We all have baggage, and when you find a person who is willing to help you work on the stuff in your bag, you have really found a great treasure in that person.
  16. Take care of yourself for your spouse.  The greatest anniversary gift you can give him / her is the gift of your good health.
  17. When you are facing challenges, try to remember some happier memories.  I grab a scrapbook at times like that to jog my memory.  The photos make me smile.
  18. Infidelity is the only deal breaker!  Nobody deserves to be cheated on.  If you want out, walk out.  Everything else is negotiable and there are always concessions being made to make the other happy.  It’s not always about me.
  19. Frustration happens.  Don’t shut each other out when it does.  Talk it out.  Hug it out.
  20. Remember the vows you took.  Make them matter, no matter what.  You will work on the things that matter most.  How much does your marriage mean to you?
  21. I learned a long time ago that we have a choice to be bitter or better.  I find that better makes me and my spouse better.  Bitterness just puts a frown on my face and creates wrinkles.  Who needs that?
  22. Please and thank you are magic words and should be used liberally in a marriage and in a family.  If you request change instead of criticize or complain you will get more promising results.
  23. Silence in a marriage is not always a bad thing.  When a couple falls silent for a few miles along the way, that’s not a sign that the marriage is not good.  There are times when my husband and I will be thinking the same thing and one of us will speak – and the other will say, “How did you know what I was just thinking about?”  I love it when that happens!
  24. Find constructive ways to fight.  Bad language and yelling accomplish nothing.  Resolve conflict with logic and wisdom.  Being childish does not earn points from your spouse.
  25. Forgive…  forgive…  and keep forgiving.  Your marriage is worth it.
  26. Apply Christian love like a Band-Aid bandage!  See your spouse as Christ sees him / her.  He / she is a soul in need of a Savior.  Instead of expecting so much, give the gift of prayer.  God is in the business of healing marriages.
  27. Be comfortable with your own company.  There are times when you will be left alone.  If you are the type of person who is not comfortable being alone, work on that.  Marriage provides companionship, but it’s important to know how to be left alone as well.
  28. Routine can become a rut.  Change it up because you do not have to fix a roast every single Sunday of the year.
  29. Money matters can tear a marriage to pieces.  Keep it fair by putting both your names on everything.  Share the checkbook and limit the number of credit cards you use.  Make sure you discuss major purchases before buying.
  30. Don’t let the sun set on your anger.  That’s the best biblical advice ever!  Talk it out and stay up all night if you have to.  No slamming doors and no yelling.  Sit down and respectfully discuss it like adults.
  31. When your spouse begins to be critical, it’s never about that.  There’s usually something deeper causing the criticism.  Don’t take it personally because eventually the real issue will probably come to the surface.
  32. This house is just a house.  It’s up to the two of us to make it into a home.  The goal is not to be happily married, but to live happily ever after.  We’re not happy every single moment of every single day.  After all, this isn’t a fairytale!
  33. Sometimes there’s a split second during a disagreement when that little voice inside says, “I probably should not say that”, please, for Pete’s sake, listen to that little voice!  You can never take it back…  never.
  34. Anticipate screw ups!  It’s called life – and it happens!
  35. Keep God in the middle of your marriage.  GOD IS LOVE…  and what does any marriage need more than LOVE???
  36. Sickness, health, rich, poor…  are you in it for the long haul, no matter what?  It’s as simple as being determined to hold on and ride it out.
  37. Don’t expect your spouse to make you happy.  That’s not his / her job.
  38. Do something new.  We took some cooking classes together and it was so much fun.
  39. Share a joke with your spouse.  You may get a laugh or an eye roll – but you’ll probably get some response.
  40. Pray God’s blessings over your union.  Remember that He’s the One who brought you together.

Marriage is not easy, and it’s not for wimps or those who are squeamish.  It takes two people who are willing to hang in there and work at it, keeping God in the center.  ❤

 

 

 

 

 

OLD MAID’S DAY

TL 6-4 OLD MAID'S DAY

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Have you ever played the card game OLD MAID???

 

When I was a kid, one of the first games I learned to play was OLD MAID.  Today, however, we celebrate OLD MAID’S DAY – and it’s about real women.

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nid=266&dat=19530523&id=nuUrAAAAIBAJ&sjid=xmUFAAAAIBAJ&pg=2969,1597130&hl=en

It takes a great deal of confidence to stay single.  There are a number of reasons women decide not to marry but most of the single women I’ve known throughout my life have been very successful in life.  Some of my teachers in elementary school were unmarried women.  A friend of mine worked with homeless children – talk about a calling!  Another friend decided to chase a very successful career with the U.S. Postal Service.

And if you think marriage is for you – adopt the attitude that IF IT IS MEANT TO BE, GOD HAS A PRINCE FOR ME.

A PRINCE FOR GOD'S PRINCESS

Not all women need a man and their own children to feel fulfilled or complete.  There was a time when it seemed odd or different for women not to be “settled down” and married.  Thankfully, those days are over.  There’s no longer a stigma attached to staying single.

Too many women jump into marriage with both feet without giving it much thought.  When you really stop to think about that vow you’re about to make – it’s a sobering thought – till death you do part.  That’s for the rest of your life – or his…

I tip my hat to the women who have forged their way through life without a man.  Leaning fully on the Lord and bravely facing each day with confidence, what special women you are!  I can’t even imagine because I’ve been married longer than I was single.  I’m not sure I would do well as a single woman, but God would help me, that much I know!

 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.  – Psalm 121:1-2

Today we celebrate the courage and savvy of the unmarried women.  Let’s face it – marriage is not for everyone.  As long as we have help from God – whether we’re married or not – that’s really all that matters, right?  🙂