MATTHEW 11:28 ON 11/28

 

TL 11-28 MATTHEW 11-28 ON 11-28

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.   – Matthew 11:28

If there was ever a time when we need to be seeking opportunities to REST, it is this time of year!  Thanksgiving in our rearview mirror, and Christmas around the corner.  Some folks are now officially in STRESS MODE.  What descriptive terms do we see in this verse…?  Weary, burdened.  Does that sound familiar to you?  Do you want rest?  Have you gone to Jesus seeking rest?  Maybe now is the time to let go of everything and hand it to Jesus.

How much luggage do you haul around with you?  Doesn’t it get heavy to carry?  I know a man who will gladly take it and lighten your load.  There’s not a time when you will ever have to take it back either.  Once you give excess stuff to Jesus, you’re done with it.

THE BAGGAGE CARRIER

I love this poem, The Baggage Carrier, by Lucinda Berry Hill.  I don’t understand why it takes us so long to get to the point where we will let Christ take the excess baggage of life – and trade it for the light yoke that He happily gives us.

As we face the busy Christmas rush, may we take a deep breath, keep a good attitude and continue to be grateful to God for His blessings in spite of all that happens.  Christmas will come regardless of whether the family gets everything they wrote on their Christmas list or not.

Let’s be quick to ask God to help us this season.  It’s easy to stress out in a crowd or yell at people who cut in front of you in traffic.  Let’s not lose sight of what this lovely Christmas season is all about, the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

How wonderful would it be if we began our Christmas shopping by letting Christ have our old bags that weigh us down every day?  When we give them to Him, we are lighter and more free to be the sort of person He wants us to be.  I’d say that’s the goal, wouldn’t you?  To God be all the glory – now, go tell someone else this good news!  🙂

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A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (18)

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.  ❤

 

 

 

 

 

GALATIANS 6:2 ON 6/2

GALATIANS 6 2 ON 6 2

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.  – Galatians 6:2

There seem to be two extremes…  folks who don’t want to share burdens because they don’t want to be a “downer” – and folks who tend to “over share”.  Regardless of how much or how little folks decide to reveal about themselves, we are obliged to bear one another’s burdens – but what does that mean?  Two words come to mind:  sympathy and empathy.

Sympathy is when you can imagine what someone is feeling or going through.  Empathy is when you have been through the same circumstance and have a personal understanding of what a person is facing.

Whether you sympathize or empathize, in all weaknesses, grievances and trials we are to be a friend – listen and pray with and for them.  It’s not a matter of one prayer and send them on their way.  Trust that God’s Holy Spirit will bring them to your mind so you can pray for them on a regular basis.

This portion of Scripture refers to the custom of travelers, who, when too heavily laden with their baggage, relieve one another by bearing the burdens of the weak or fatigued.  In that manner they show their good disposition toward each other; and so fulfil the law of Christ.

The law of love is His new commandment and the distinguishing mark of His disciples.

THE BAGGAGE CARRIER

Christians know that the real baggage carrier is Christ.  He’s the One who picks up the pain we feel and the suffering that follows.  It’s the truth we share with each other and hope we share with the folks who do not have a relationship with Him yet.  When lost folks ask me to pray for them, I’m more than happy to do that, but fast to let them know that they can know Christ too – and pray for their situation along with me.

Yes, we bear one another’s burdens – but we also understand that Christ is the One who holds us all up!  I gain such comfort from that fact and hope you do too.  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (13)

LOOK AHEAD

The Apostle Paul… I look forward to meeting him one day in heaven! He is the one who wrote the great word pictures in the Bible. The life of a Christian is like a race, and there is a prize at the finish line. It almost makes me want to go out and try to run. Hey, I said almost!

It’s my guess that Paul was a fit person. I imagine he must have been a runner. He certainly knew how to get people excited and enthused about Christianity. He knew how to be a leader with diplomacy and tact. Even when he had to clamp down on some of the churches, he did so with the love of Christ in his heart. Every letter included Christian compassion and brotherly watch care.

We are encouraged to look ahead and leave our sorted past where it belongs – in the past. If we try to drag the past around with us it can only do one thing – weigh us down. We need to give the past to God. He knows what to do with it. He will throw it into the sea of forgetfulness and never remember it again. I wish I could forget my past as completely, don’t you?

If I could forgive and forget as well as God does, wouldn’t that be wonderful? How much faster would I run without the extra weight? How much further could I run if I didn’t get winded as easily? Would I be a better witness for Christ if I was free of the weight?

I’m encouraged by what Paul says and I will try to leave the past in the past and run with a renewed strength and purpose from my heavenly Father. Then one day, I can say along with Paul:

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
– 2 Timothy 4:7

That’s really what it’s all about.  🙂