A SUMMER OF PSALMS

This portion of Scripture came to mind a few years ago when my husband and I were catching a very early flight out of Wichita.  We aren’t frequent flyers, so we’re not acquainted with all the new rules and procedures that are in place since 9/11.  I understand the need for it, but it doesn’t make me want to fly on a regular basis by any means.

For people who know the Lord, this portion of Scripture brings comfort and assurance.  I could see where some could be a little freaked out by it – but regardless of which group you’re in, you must admit…  God knows where you are – all the time.  You can’t run from Him and you certainly can’t hide from Him.

I’m thankful for God’s guidance and His strength and support, particularly as I’m getting older and my strength is not what it used to be.  I love the Lord because His way of doing things is so much more creative than any ideas I come up with…  every time!   His way is always best and He never disappoints me!  

Have you ever been trying to figure out how to resolve an issue and as you pray about it, God just reveals the perfect answer to you?  I have!  It’s a moment when you want to sing praises to Him while doing a little happy dance!  I’m so glad His hand guides me – I welcome that guidance throughout my life.  I need His wisdom, strength, and support on a daily basis!

This is so beautiful – I have to share it with you!  Speaking of doing a little happy dance:

I wish there was a way for me to move this from YouTube up to my big screen TV so I could join them and do this praise workout!  I used to find Christian workout videos here in America – but I haven’t seen any for a long time.  😦

His strength will support us!  I think there are times we doubt that, particularly when we have weak days.  So many conditions can sap us of energy, can’t they?  Regardless of how we feel, we need to know by faith that our weakness is not the end of the story.  With humility, we cry out to God, and His strength takes over…  and aren’t we thankful for it?

Lucinda Berry Hill has written a perfect poem for this Psalm:

I’m reminded of an old song by Steven Curtis Chapman.  His Strength is Perfect.  🙂

What can Christ do through you?  I don’t know, but don’t doubt that His strength is perfect when your strength is gone.  He’s amazing in our lives!  🙂

A SUMMER OF PSALMS

God’s secret agents, His angels…  I’m interested in knowing more about them, although the Bible really doesn’t mention them often.  It seems that when they are mentioned, their appearance is almost frightening, which makes me wonder why the image of angels that man makes is always either a beautiful woman or a cute little cherub.  No way am I complaining.  I have collected angels for years – from Jim Shore to Precious Moments.  I have quite a collection of angel figurines, etc…  I think the more angels I have around me, the better protected I’ll be.  No, I don’t really believe that – but it sounds good, doesn’t it?  I think I need to get a new angel now!

It comforts my spirit to know that the Lord sends His angels to protect me.  Sometimes I can tell without a doubt that I was spared from something awful, like a near miss when I’m driving.  I always pray before I drive my car – anyone else do that?  I know God hears those prayers and sends me help!

One day I was late getting to work.  It seemed I was hitting every red light along the way, and then I had to stop for a train!  Well, that’s just all I needed!  There was no way I was going to clock in on time.  I couldn’t understand why everything was working against me when I was in such a hurry and racing against the clock.  The answer was soon revealed to me.

As I was finally able to get past the railroad track, I saw a horrible accident at the next intersection that involved at least four cars and a large truck.  I believe that being delayed by that train kept me safe.  Now, why those others were in the accident, I don’t know.  I wouldn’t hazard a guess about that.  I did send some prayers for everyone involved, that’s for sure!

God loves and cares for us so much!  In this life we will face trials and temptations, but through everything, isn’t it wonderful that our Lord hears our prayers and inhabits our praise?  Then we get Heavenly helpers in the bargain!  I talk to my angels – do you ever do that?  No, I’m not weird – but I do believe they are surrounding me, so…  sometimes I talk to them!  

I like this video – be patient because it takes him a while to get started – but it’s really good!

My Father’s angels all protect me…  everywhere!  They’re all around me, above me, beneath me, beside me!  Have you read Billy Graham’s book about angels?  I highly recommend it!

We can trust our Heavenly Father to take good care of us every day of our lives!  Have you thanked God for sending you angels lately?  I’m so glad they are with me.  🙂

Father May I?

In this portion of Scripture, we’re told to do three things:  ASK, SEEK, and KNOCK!  Isn’t it interesting that ASK comes before the other two?  I wonder why?  Let’s find out.

Some of you are parents, right?  Who am I kidding – all of you are parents – I’m the weirdo with no kids.  Sigh.  Anyway, let’s say your child wanted something from the ice cream truck.  The music sounds as if it’s getting closer and closer…  the pressure’s on to grab a dime – or, probably a dollar these days!  But – you’d like for your child to actually ASK PERMISSION for the ice cream before going out to see how close the truck is to the house – wouldn’t you?  It’s at the very least common courtesy and respectful to parents.

God’s our Parent…  He’s our Heavenly Father.  Apply the same scenario to Him.  Well of course we’re not going to ask for ice cream.  At least I don’t think we will.  But before we seek anything in this life, we should pray about it.  We may seek a job, a spouse, a house, a mouse or a new car.  God cares about where you are and what you want in life.  He wants to be included in your decision-making.  Actually, He wants to be instrumental in your decision-making!  He can straighten paths…  I mean – He is so creative that way!  He’s the Creator of the universe and everything – so yeah – He is creative!

Once we have ASKED, we SEEK.  That is when God does such cool stuff.  I don’t want to make it sound like a name and claim because I don’t believe that way.  I just mean that circumstances can turn on a dime and you know without a doubt it’s because you ASKED before you SOUGHT.  God is God and if the desire of your heart is within His sovereign will – He wants it for you.  He works on my behalf.  He works on your behalf.  If God is for us, who can be against us!  Amen!!!

So we have SOUGHT.  Now it’s time to KNOCK!!!  Don’t knock like a timid little door-to-door sales rep his first day on the job.  Knock like a BOSS and radiate with confidence!  Why are you confident?  Because you have ASKED and SOUGHT.  You know in your heart that God is already where you are and preparing everything to work for your good!  You serve a God who not only knows the past and the present – He knows your FUTURE as well.  What calm assurance and confidence that gives me!  I’ve gotten through many job interviews by reviewing all these facts in my mind.

When we knock…  the door will be opened!  Now, sometimes things don’t go exactly the way we imagine.  But keep in mind that just because I didn’t get that particular job…  God is already in my future – so He knows which job I should have!  HE knows!  That’s good enough for me!

 

Last week we started making spiritual cookies.  I’m not going to explain it all again – if you want to refresh your memory, take a look at last week’s post.  We used God’s special sifter to sift the special flour of strength into the dough.  Today we’re going to add a few chocolate chips to make our cookies sweet!

Dear Lord, We know that Martin Luther advises us to use fewer words for a better prayer, so today we simply ask “Father, may I?”  May I please have sincerity that comes from You?  May I please have some chocolate chips in my spiritual cookies to make me sweeter?  We ASK for this most important of ingredients in Jesus’ precious and matchless name, Amen.

We’ve ASKED.  Now we SEEK then KNOCK.  Don’t be scared.  God’s already there!

I have a special treat for you today.  My friend and Christian brother, John Minton, just made a new You Tube video!  Yay!  Just in time for Mother’s Day!  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fyoutu.be%2FyYVARhoGQqY&h=ATPel3zJVEL-dffn-NOCtd1IA3eUy-xNImhvJIf4-HN4rmdCcZpVzm1pPDAtDjsFeQ_C1iyDHtFu2jRCKAFTD5m9SFRoMWaBH54fmVPZL17pObDK5Gw2n72tNdh5gyFC3oWs

Have a BLESSED week!   🙂

 

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.  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

Throughout the Bible we are told what we need to do in order to get good stuff from our Heavenly Father.  These verses in Philippians are a perfect example of it – we’re told if we lay aside the temptation to worry and fret and pray instead, being completely honest with our Heavenly Father, through His Son, Christ Jesus – being careful to be THANKFUL for our lives and our blessings as we present our requests to God – then, and only THEN will God respond with what???  He will in turn give to us HIS sweet peace, which the world does not understand – a peace that will guard our hearts and minds in Christ. 

Is this bargaining?  No – it’s not.  This is obedience as we exercise faith and trust in our Father in Heaven.  When we delve into God’s Word and realize we have a choice to stress out, freak out, go nuts – OR hand our situations over to God (being careful not to take them back)…  it’s so freeing and I’m convinced it improves physical health in the process!  When God’s peace is added to our lives – what a difference it makes!

Our problems and struggles do not have to consume our mind.  Even though God knows what we’re facing even before we talk with Him about it, He still wants us to bring them to Him in prayer.  If you’re a parent and you know your child is hurting, it’s not enough to just know your child is hurting, is it?  You want your child to come and talk with you.  God’s our Heavenly Father and it’s the same principle.  Remember, He made human beings so He’d have companionship – friendship – relationship.  It’s only right that we let Him know what’s up in our lives.

Give Him your issues and in return He will give you His peace and He’ll work things out for you.  I’m always amazed at HOW He works things out.  No matter how many times I try to guess how He will work – I’m never right.  God is so much more creative than I am!  He’s so good to me – much gooder than I deserve, to be sure!  God is not a disappointment.  That’s not just an old hymn…  it’s the truth!  🙂

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (16)

 And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life.  – 1 John 2:25

God is not a man – so He never goes back on any promises He makes.  If you have not heard anything positive yet today…  you just did!  If nothing has given you reason to smile yet today…  this should.  God will keep every single promise He makes to His children!  You can take His Word to the bank – you can bet that His promises can be trusted.

What has He promised us in this portion of Scripture?  He’s promised us eternal life!  We have hope if we are a child of God – that even when this life is over, the best is yet to come!  I’m looking forward to it – not that I’m in a hurry to die – it’s not like that.  I’ll get to Heaven when God says it’s time, for He has stuff for me to do here.  But it’s a comfort to know that I don’t have to agonize about what lies beyond this life.  There’s a peace and an assurance that I’ll be alright because I’ll be with my Lord.  There’s no better place to be.

This promise of eternal life in Heaven is for all who have repented of their sins and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ with all their heart, soul and mind.  Those who lead a holy life will one day live with God in Paradise.  We can’t base the promise on intellect or strength or any other sort of measure – believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.

This is good news!  This is hope for anyone who is feeling as if there is no hope.  God has made provision for us and today He is telling us that we may rest in the assurance that we will live beyond this limited time on planet earth – in Heaven – with Him.

I’m reminded of an old hymn – Blessed Assurance.  I know – I’m old – but I still love the old hymns of the church.

So…  today if you are needing a reminder as you continue your Christian walk…  if you need to be uplifted, empowered and injected with some positivity…  here ya go!  Be strong and keep the faith.  The best is yet to come – God says so!  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (2)It’s New Year’s Eve.  What is Positive Plan with Prayer #5?  I need to seek more of God’s wisdom and know His will for my life.  Is that a big order?  Well, yes, it is…  but I serve a great big God, so…

Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.  – Ephesians 5:17

Tonight I won’t be partying, but I will be praying.  I want just as much of what God has for me as I can get.  We spend time on those things that really matter to us.  This is important in my life and is totally worth the time I take seeking and praying.  God is never a disappointment.  ❤

I’ve only had to throw a fleece once in my life – the day of my father’s funeral.  God is faithful to answer our earnest pleas.  He knows where we are coming from – more than friends or family do.  He sees the obstacles and challenges we face – and he sees the frightened child inside us when on the outside we try to look brave and sure of ourselves.

I want to be the best friend and family member I can possibly be.  I want more of God – more of His strength, courage and grace.  I need it more than anything else I can think of.  I need to know what to speak of and when to speak of it.  I need to know when to zip my lip and stay silent as well.  I need more of God’s Holy Spirit – His wisdom.

Dear God,

It is my prayer on this New Year’s Eve that Your will be abundantly clear in my life.  You are not the author of confusion, but You make everything perfectly clear.  My heart, mind and spirit are receptive to Your still, small voice.  I’m listening and I’m waiting here alone in my prayer closet.  Please bless me with more of You – Your love, strength, courage, grace, mercy and especially wisdom.  Show me now what You want me to do in this new year.  You tell us to be strong and courageous, but that all comes from You.  Welcome to this new year, Lord.  Please continue to walk with me and give me everything I need to be successful in this wonderful life You have given me.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

It’s Linda again, Lord!  Everything from You is available for me – and I am ready to receive it!  Let’s DO this!  🙂

IRON SHARPENS IRON… FRIENDSHIP

IRON SHARPENS IRON

It began when my jeans didn’t fit anymore.  I’ve been good – I really have!  Okay, I had 2 slices of pizza this week, but that should not have done that much damage.  Then I found a zit.  What am I, a teenager???  Is this how it works – you hit 50 and start reverting back to all the things you hated the first time around???

Then I tried to upload two slide shows on my You Tube account and neither one of them would upload.  I was unable to publish them because You Tube failed to process them.  Technology is so great until it isn’t.

I was trying to make iced tea (yes, I know it’s crazy to do that in the wintertime) and accidentally squirted lemon juice in my eye.  Now, that’ll wake you up fast!  So I spent a great deal of time flushing my eye out with water.  I’m pretty sure I smell lemon fresh from the neck up though.  Note to self:  Wear goggles when juicing lemons for iced tea.

WHAT JESUS SAID

Some days just run like silk.  They are seamless moments of perpetual joy and bliss.  Today ran like a Brill-O pad.  I remember saying out loud at one point, “I’m just gonna call it a day and go back to bed!”

Once I could see out of both eyes clearly, I got on facebook and did a little venting to my group.  You know, those folks are great!  They not only read but they responded with funny stuff and the support that all facebook groups should show.  We have a wonderful group and I cherish every one of them.  We are able to lift one another up and lift ourselves up in the bargain.  I feel so much better after I’ve chatted with them.

The one thing that convinced me that tomorrow will be better and brighter was the reassuring words from my Savior.  He instructed me to rest in Him.  That’s what I’m doing.  I’ll leave this day, confident that the Lord will lead me to a better day tomorrow.  It’s just like His great love.  🙂

 

LOVE NOTE DAY

TL 9-26 LOVE NOTE DAY

It’s LOVE NOTE DAY, a great time to tuck a little note somewhere for your mate or significant other. There is one special love letter that I keep close to my heart. Your God loves you so much! Please take a moment to read this slowly and meticulously. Let the truth of God’s precious promises sink into your spirit. Apply His love to your life. In this day of fear – uncertain days – let the love of God make a home in your heart and mind.

My Child,

You may not know me,
but I know everything about you.
Psalm 139:1

I know when you sit down and when you rise up.
Psalm 139:2

I am familiar with all your ways.
Psalm 139:3

Even the very hairs on your head are numbered.
Matthew 10:29-31

For you were made in my image.
Genesis 1:27

In me you live and move and have your being.
Acts 17:28

For you are my offspring.
Acts 17:28

I knew you even before you were conceived.
Jeremiah 1:4-5

I chose you when I planned creation.
Ephesians 1:11-12

You were not a mistake,
for all your days are written in my book.
Psalm 139:15-16

I determined the exact time of your birth
and where you would live.
Acts 17:26

You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Psalm 139:14

I knit you together in your mother’s womb.
Psalm 139:13

And brought you forth on the day you were born.
Psalm 71:6

I have been misrepresented
by those who don’t know me.
John 8:41-44

I am not distant and angry,
but am the complete expression of love.
1 John 4:16

And it is my desire to lavish my love on you.
1 John 3:1

Simply because you are my child
and I am your Father.
1 John 3:1

I offer you more than your earthly father ever could.
Matthew 7:11

For I am the perfect father.
Matthew 5:48

Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand.
James 1:17

For I am your provider and I meet all your needs.
Matthew 6:31-33

My plan for your future has always been filled with hope.
Jeremiah 29:11

Because I love you with an everlasting love.
Jeremiah 31:3

My thoughts toward you are countless
as the sand on the seashore.
Psalms 139:17-18

And I rejoice over you with singing.
Zephaniah 3:17

I will never stop doing good to you.
Jeremiah 32:40

For you are my treasured possession.
Exodus 19:5

I desire to establish you
with all my heart and all my soul.
Jeremiah 32:41

And I want to show you great and marvelous things.
Jeremiah 33:3

If you seek me with all your heart,
you will find me.
Deuteronomy 4:29

Delight in me and I will give you
the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:4

For it is I who gave you those desires.
Philippians 2:13

I am able to do more for you
than you could possibly imagine.
Ephesians 3:20

For I am your greatest encourager.
2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

I am also the Father who comforts you
in all your troubles.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4

When you are brokenhearted,
I am close to you.
Psalm 34:18

As a shepherd carries a lamb,
I have carried you close to my heart.
Isaiah 40:11

One day I will wipe away
every tear from your eyes.
Revelation 21:3-4

And I’ll take away all the pain
you have suffered on this earth.
Revelation 21:3-4

I am your Father, and I love you
even as I love my son, Jesus.
John 17:23

For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed.
John 17:26

He is the exact representation of my being.
Hebrews 1:3

He came to demonstrate that I am for you,
not against you.
Romans 8:31

And to tell you that I am not counting your sins.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19

Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19

His death was the ultimate expression
of my love for you.
1 John 4:10

I gave up everything I loved
that I might gain your love.
Romans 8:31-32

If you receive the gift of my son Jesus,
you receive me.
1 John 2:23

And nothing will ever separate you
from my love again.
Romans 8:38-39

Come home and I’ll throw the biggest party
heaven has ever seen.
Luke 15:7

I have always been Father,
and will always be Father.
Ephesians 3:14-15

My question is…
Will you be my child?
John 1:12-13

I am waiting for you.
Luke 15:11-32

Love, Your Dad
Almighty God

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THANKS LIVING DAY 33

TL THANKSGIVING

PRAYER ABOUT CHURCH
There is a distinct difference between joy and happiness. To break it down even more, there is a huge difference between the kind of joy the world knows and the awesome joy that a Christian has the privilege to enjoy. Did you hear the word I just used – ENJOY. When a Christian speaks of something they ENJOY – it is with a joy that the world does not know and cannot know apart from the love of Christ.

I’ve been happy, but it doesn’t last and it’s certainly not an emotion that I would want to hang my hopes on. Happiness is fickle and largely dependent on mood and is quite emotional. Joy, particularly the Joy of the Lord, brings something more. It’s difficult to put into words because I feel it in my spirit – my soul. The joy of the Lord is my strength. It lifts me higher and gives me courage to do the difficult tasks in life. It lets me know that no matter how much I mess things up, God will never give up on me and He will keep me in His strong, loving hand. I’m in good hands – and it’s not Allstate insurance. It’s better. 😉