FALL IN LOVE WITH JESUS

Today I have roast beef, carrots, and potatoes cooking in the crock-pot.  There’s nothing like anticipating a wonderful, warm home-cooked meal.  It takes several hours to cook on low, but it’s so worth the wait.  The meat is always so tender, and the vegetables are done just right!  I know it’s going to taste so good!  It will be done in its own time and I can’t rush it – and wouldn’t even if I could.

Vegetables are interesting but lack a sense of purpose when unaccompanied by a good cut of meat. ~Fran Lebowitz

We are to taste and see that the Lord is good!  I love the Lord because He keeps His promises!  If we will put our trust in Him, He will fill our life with blessings!  My cup of blessings overflows!  He gives me so much more than I deserve; but He blesses as He sees fit, not when I read off my laundry list of needs and wants.  God is not a vending machine.

God is not a cosmic bell boy for whom we can press a button to get things done. ~Harry Emerson Fosdick

I have so much to be thankful for.  If I started a list, I doubt it would be completed the same day.  I’d be typing on that list this time tomorrow!  As long as I keep trusting God with my life, He will pour out blessings on my life.  To be blessed is to find favor with God.  Some people think that a blessing is something you wish on someone else, like when a person sneezes and you say, “God Bless You!”  I suppose it is that, but how sad if a person thinks that’s all a blessing is!

According to good ol’ Webster, a blessing is a favor or gift bestowed by God, thereby bringing happiness.  When we place our faith and trust in God, we can expect blessings in our lives!  This is a promise of God – and God cannot lie – and He will not break His promises.

As we place our trust in God, He blesses us and we are happy!  In the bargain, we receive the Father’s joy, love, peace, and wisdom!  Call me crazy, but that doesn’t sound like a bad thing to me!  As a matter of fact, it sounds better than the roast beef, carrots, and potatoes cooking in the crock-pot!  Only two more hours to go!  🙂

 

 

 

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Spring Into God’s Word

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.  – 2 Timothy 2:15

I’m not one to voice righteous indignation very often.  I do my best to be a peace-loving, joyful child of God.  But sometimes I think silence is not golden, but plain yellow with cowardice.  I must speak to something that has bothered me for some months now.  This is a taping of The View from last February:

I’m livid.  Absolutely livid.  I know the Vice President does not read my humble little blog (yeah, right) – but I want him to know that there are MILLIONS of Christian folk in America and probably around the world praying for him.  Believers support fellow believers and lift them up in prayer, Joy!  Let’s call it a PERK!  It’s actually proved to be a great blessing in my life.

It’s often through the Words of Scripture that God speaks to His children (yes, Joy – God SPEAKS to us and we’re perfectly sane, thank you very much).  I pray that one day Joy, like the Apostle Paul, will see the light!  Literally.  Paul, I’m sure you recall, experienced a very, shall we say – dramatic conversion that left him blinded by the light (Acts 9:1-31).  You’ll also recall that he killed Christians before his conversion.  What a conversion that was, eh?  If God was to convert Joy, can you imagine how great that would be for Christianity?  She could do so much good in this world with God on her side.  Now she’s just making money.  Will she take it with her to eternity?  Um…  I don’t think so.

So, Christians, it’s not a far stretch to conclude that if we do not carve out the time to read the Bible, we will not hear from our Father.  If He’s not speaking to us, how will we hear?  The answer is…  we won’t.  Of course, prayer is the other way the Lord speaks to our hearts, but the combination of Scripture reading and prayer is the winning way to know exactly what God wants you to know.

It’s a faith thing, Joy…  I really pray that one day you’ll “get” it.  It’s very sad that you get paid well to make a mockery of my faith.  If you don’t understand it, the least you can do is RESPECT it and stop putting it down.  Mental illness is a serious accusation – not to be mocked and certainly not to be used in the same sentence with Christianity.  Stop it!  Shame on ABC for letting this continue!  I refuse to watch that network – I’m done with them until they pull “The View”.  

So let’s spring into God’s Word, the Holy Bible.  We rely on our Heavenly Father to direct our paths, and there are so many verses to help us!

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.  – Proverbs 3:5-6   

Our own understanding of things is often more of a misunderstanding.  If we will trust God, lean on Him and submit to Him, then He will make a way for us to walk that is straight and He will keep us in His peace and protection.  God can be trusted and His promises never fail.  He will never let you down.  If you want to reap a bounty of beauty – this is where to begin!  Our Lord wants us to be discerning and wise in everything.  He wants us to search His Word for ourselves and discover truths, then apply them to our life.

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.  – James 1:5

Ask God – that means we PRAY to God.  But see, it’s not a one-way conversation.  HE GIVES GENEROUSLY to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you!  Now, that’s not to say that God is a bubblegum machine.  We don’t insert a quarter and get a gumball.  Sometimes the gumball is not the color we may have wanted.  Sometimes it’s not the flavor we hoped for.  Sometimes it feels as though the gumball got stuck in the machine somewhere – but when God doesn’t answer a prayer just the way we think He should, it doesn’t mean that His ways are not the best ways.  It means that I need to trust that His way is better than my way.  Is it easy?  No.  Is it imperative that I learn to do that?  Yes.  He knows which gumball I need and when I need it.  

So, you see, the insane thing to do is talk to God and not stop talking long enough to let Him speak in return!  Who asks a question and just keeps talking, not waiting for the answer?  In faith, we receive answers from God’s precious Holy Spirit.  Faith… it’s better felt than telt.

We ask for wisdom, then trust that God hears our prayer and is working on our behalf the second we get finished praying!  Actually – He already knows what we need help with, and I think He starts the work before we even ask for help, but He still wants us to ask.  No parent wants their child to just assume things will be done for them.  They want to be asked and kept in the loop.  We are God’s children and it’s the same concept.  He wants to be kept in the loop.

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  – John 10:27

We need The Bible – not just to keep on the coffee table gathering dust.  Open it every day and see what God has to say through it, to your heart.  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

I love Christmas so much, especially as a Christian!  As far as I’m concerned, Christmas lasts all month-long and rightly so since we have so much to celebrate!  We need a whole month to celebrate the reason for the season, Christ Jesus, our Lord and Savior!  God’s plan was for His Son to be born in a lowly manger, to be the path to salvation and everlasting life for every one of us.  If that isn’t the greatest HOPE of Christmas, I don’t know what is!

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.  – 1 Peter 1:3-5

There are so many situations that have happened in our world that can attempt to steal our hope.  We need to keep a firm grasp on Jesus’ hand and remember that He is the source of all the hope in our lives!  Let’s start encouraging one another with words of hope from God’s Word.  Let’s begin praying for one another, asking that God send bundles of hope into daily situations.  We don’t know what’s going on in a Christian friend’s life.  Most of us like to keep all the negative things happening in our lives to ourselves – we don’t want to be a “downer” to everyone else.  We should never assume that everything in our Christian friend’s lives is going well just because we’re not told differently.  Let’s ask God to heap blessings on one another!  The blessings from our Lord are the hope we count on every day!

I refer to Christian friends, but you know what?  I have some non-Christian friends as well – and whether they like it or not, I pray for them too!  God hears and answers our prayers.  He knows the intentions of our hearts and He knows the thoughts in our minds as we pray to Him for all people.  His desire for us is to love Him and to love each other.

 

I want to share this truth with you:  In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.  I offer these words of encouragement to you so you can find hope on this first Sunday of Advent.  Because of Christmas, there was an Easter.  Because of Easter, there is eternal HOPE – and He holds us and cherishes us so much!

Let’s celebrate hope on this first Sunday of Advent.  Ask Jesus to hold to you tightly and show you HIS HOPE!  He loves you and wants to do that for you.  ❤

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

Great is HIS faithfulness!  Strength, hope and happiness are all from His loving hands.  Best of all…  He gave us pardon from all sin!

Most parents want the very best for their children.  As much as they want to do for them – and be for them, you can imagine how much more our Heavenly Father wants for His children!  If we understand God as a loving, kind, and protective Father, then we understand that He always has our best interest in mind.  That’s why sometimes we are forged in fire – it’s also why sometimes we feel a warm Heavenly embrace.  He knows whether we need to be kicked – or kissed.  Tribulation works patience, and patience will work experience, and experience a hope that leaves me unashamed.

God is merciful to us.  He’s patient when others would give up.  His mercies are new every single morning.  Each day begins a clean slate – and aren’t we thankful?  I can think of a lot of days I’d like to forget forever – days when I was less than stellar and more dense than I imagined I ever could be.  I’m just so human sometimes.  But God loves me and He helps me regain the courage I lose.  My best is what He requires – His best is what I’m so thankful for.

We can rest in God’s faithfulness.  We can rely on God’s guidance.  We can always know that tomorrow is a new day…  filled with brand new mercies from our Heavenly Father. 

It occurred to me that this passage says that God’s love is STEADFAST – it could have just said that God loves us – but it didn’t.  God’s love is described as steadfast.  Would you describe human love that way?  No, me neither.  God’s not going anywhere – His love is with you to stay – you can bet on it.

Tomorrow will be filled with brand new possibilities, new goals to meet and God’s blessings to boot!  Wake up, get up, make up and share God’s best with everyone you meet!  I know you can do it!  God’s got this!  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART1

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.  – Proverbs 3:5&6

proverbs-3-56

This is one of my favorite Proverbs because it reminds me that I serve a God who can be trusted completely.  When we lean on God and His wisdom when we need to make good choices, His power when we feel so powerless, and His goodness when we feel as though nobody in our lives is good to us, it teaches us how to fully rest in Him.

trust-for-straight-pathsGod’s promises never fail and His provision is complete.  If we need direction in life, we know God is faithful to guide us in the best direction.  He wants to help us in our daily life and keep us from harm.  We don’t know the future, but our Heavenly Father does, and wants to guide and bless our journey along the way.

While some may put confidence in physical strength, wealth, or friendships, children of God know that these things can disappear.  Acknowledge His sovereignty, His wisdom, power and goodness, being careful to praise and glorify His name.  In return, God will direct our steps.  That is how we stay safe and happy in life.

We read the phrase “my son” in the book of Proverbs.  It’s like the father offering wise advice to the son.  There are uncertainties in the young son’s future, and the father just wants to save the son from learning lessons the hard way.  Of course, the son is getting bad advice in his other ear from his worldly friends – so the dad is diligent about emphasizing the importance of making wise choices in life.

By yielding the decisions of life to God, the son is saved from heartache.  He’s encouraged to trust in God with all his heart – and give God all his heart, not withholding any area of his life from the Lord.

It’s not okay to just forsake a few things that are unwise – make good choices across the board and please your God.  He wants your whole heart.  Be humble enough to understand that you are not wise enough to be your own guide.  God cares about us and our welfare.  He knows that life is challenging sometimes, but He can be trusted to guide us in the right direction and face every challenge that comes along.  🙂

 

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.  🙂