A SUMMER OF PSALMS

Both the north and south poles can be reached by beginning travel in the opposite direction.  Talk about meeting yourself coming and going!  If you continue straight travel north long enough, you pass the pole and begin to go south.  So why, then, cannot one travel eastward and have it eventually become westward?  The answer has to do with the position of the earth on its axis.  It’s tilted 23 degrees, but the poles are still at the top and bottom – the north pole and south pole.  Our planet is spinning on the north/south axis.

This is another example of what I call MIRACLE SCRIPTURE PASSAGES because there’s no way folks in Bible times knew all the cool stuff we know about earth and its axis and all that – didn’t they think the earth was flat?  The Bible truly is the inspired Word of God – creator of everything and the One who knows how it’s all put together.

Which brings us to east and west.  These two never meet!  I’m so very happy to say that my God throws my sins into the sea of forgetfulness and they are remembered no more!  He throws them as far as the east is from the west, and that’s a long, LONG way!

Sin is what separates us from our kind and loving Heavenly Father.  When Christ came to earth to live as a human, and subsequently bleed and die on a cross for the sins of every man, woman, and child past, present, and future, God knew we were not going to tow the line, hit the mark, be perfect – because we are human beings – we are not little gods.  We needed and need a Savior.  We were and are in big trouble without One.  God doesn’t send anyone to hell – we were and are sending ourselves – but it doesn’t have to end that way.  If we place our faith and trust in God’s only begotten Son, Jesus – we can have eternal life with Him forever in Heaven when this life is over.

Being saved does not make you perfect.  Being saved does give you a blessed hope in a world that sure could use hope.  Jesus is the only hope for mankind.  We’re just flesh and blood and we need a Savior who is more than that.  Jesus is more and He sits at the right hand of the Father right now.  You know, He doesn’t even know when He’s going to get the nod from Father God to come back for His own.  God’s the only one who knows the appointed time.  Yes, we see the signs of end times – all around us every day!  We know it’s going to be soon.  I don’t want you to miss it.

Ask the Lord to forgive you of sins you’ve committed, and things you may have omitted as well.  Ask Him to live in your heart and mind today.  Make Heaven your eternal home.  Ease your heart and mind of burdens and the horrible guilt associated with them that you don’t have to carry for the rest of your life.  Believe in the only man who ever died for you.  Salvation is yours right now.  What are you waiting for?  When you are forgiven by God through the shed blood of Christ, it is the most freeing feeling!  God wants to take your sins away and throw them as far as the east is from the west.  🙂

 

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LUKE 6:27-28 ON 6/27 & 6/28

TL 6-27 & 6-28 LUKE 6-27&28

 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.  – Luke 6:27-28

Do you have enemies?  Do some people hate you?  Does anyone curse you?  Have you ever been despitefully used?  What is the natural response to any of these situations?  Fighting, backbiting, back stabbing, blackballing, revenge – wrapped up in a lot of emotional baggage including anger, sadness, feelings of rejection and hurt – big time hurt.

Doesn’t the natural response to this sound…  well – draining?  It sounds like it would take a huge toll on you not only physically, but emotionally and mentally as well.  God wants us to love enemies, do good to the ones who hate us, bless the ones who curse us and pray for the ones who despitefully use us.  God’s way is the best way.  He wants us to give it all to HIM and let it go.  Put it in His capable hands because He is able to deal with a person’s heart and soul.  He can discern motives and speak to them without interjecting emotions into the mix.  The sooner we turn those individuals over to God and pour all sorts of good out on them (which, trust me, will confuse them – it’s funny to watch), the sooner we will be free on all levels – physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally.  Freedom is what our faith is all about – and forgiveness.  You can’t experience God’s freedom without forgiveness.  Once we make a practice of handing all of that stuff over to God, we’ll find true happiness in our journey! 

THE BAGGAGE CARRIERGod is so smart – He wants to help us through life by carrying our burdens for us.  I’d definitely call a person who hates me a burden, wouldn’t you?  God knows that not everyone in life is going to be a fan of ours – or His.  Sometimes we make enemies because of our faith in God through Christ.  Sometimes we are hated because of our way of life, morals and values.  Our beliefs are not popular, to say the least…  some people don’t understand where we’re coming from.  We really don’t want to make that misunderstanding even worse by reacting to them in a way that doesn’t please our Lord, do we?  It’s not easy, but we need to remember that through Christ, we can do anything!  We won’t get it right every time, but God really wants us to do our very best.  🙂

 

COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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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

KEEP THE GOVERNMENT OUT OF MY RELIGION!!!  Amen???  Well, how about KNOW WHAT YOUR BIBLE SAYS – for real.  It astonishes me to hear what folks think they’re quoting as Scripture…  when no, it’s really not.

 God helps those who help themselves.  – 1 Americanians 17:76

We’ve all heard this!  Shoot, my parents said that about as often as they said The Lord’s Prayer – well, maybe not as often, but I heard it a lot growing up.  It’s probably the most quoted saying that is attributed to God’s Holy Word – but guess what?  It’s not in there!

Spare the rod, spoil the child.  – 2 Abuse 19:50

I was spanked maybe once or twice in my life, but they were not beatings with a rod by any stretch of the imagination.  I used to tell my parents they “talked me to death” as a punishment.  It was effective, because I towed the line just to avoid that.  And, I was one of those kids who did NOT want to disappoint my parents.  I’d rather eat chalk than to disappoint my folks.  Nobody in the Bible ever told a parent to hit their kids!

Cleanliness is next to godliness.  – Obsessive Compulsive 20:14

OK, I’m sure God wants us to live above the fray and the dust bunnies; however, to obsess over it – ???  I’m guessing He just wants us to obsess over Him!  Praise Him, keep your mind on His precepts – His real precepts, not the ones made up by well-meaning folks with a fetish for housework.  Ugh…  that sounds like a problem for a therapist.  It’s a problem that I, thankfully, have never had.  Ask my husband.  No, wait – don’t ask him.  Bad idea.

Yea, verily, God wants you to be happy.  – Oprah 1:1

Sigh…  life as a Christian does not mean you are given lollipops and roses every day!  In fact, if we are to be followers of Christ, we are to take up our cross and follow Him.  God is not like SPA DAY…  and happiness is not our goal as a Christian.  God will most assuredly give us a deep settled PEACE and JOY if we give Him full control.  For control freaks, that’s very difficult – it’s not easy and should not be taken lightly.  It’s a battle of wills sometimes – and I’m speaking from personal experience.  There are days when I want to be in control, but I know that giving God the steering wheel is ultimately going to mean the outcome will be best for me.  He loves me and will not let anything overtake me.  I’ll cross over the waters and not drown because He loves me and won’t let me perish.  Happy?  No – it’s so much more than just happy.  Happiness is temporal and conditional.  Peace and joy regardless of circumstances of life…  now that’s what God wants for His children.  Don’t ever settle for happy when you can have so much more from God.

We’re all God’s children.  – Unity 13:13

Well…  we were all created by God.  I agree with that; however, we are only His child when we have come to a saving knowledge of His Son, Jesus Christ.  Once we have accepted the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, and know that He did all of this because we have transgressed and need to be forgiven and restored unto God – then and only then do we belong to God.  He doesn’t want anyone to perish, but He wants us to come to Him – of our own free will.  God gave us a free will because He did not want a relationship with robots, but with people.  He wants us to want to love Him.  He didn’t make us to have to love Him.  See the difference?

God will not give you more than you can handle.  – Optimist 10:10

This one sets my teeth on edge!  When I hear it, I want to scream, YES, YES sometimes He does give us more than we can handle!  I know they are thinking of 1 Corinthians 10:13 when they say it, but that is talking about TEMPTATION, not BURDENS!  Newsflash…  in this life I will have burdens, and there will be more burdens than I can handle by myself.  But here’s the good news…  I do not have to bear those burdens because I have a friend who carries all of them and gives me assurance that no matter what happens, He will be there with me and He is working all things for my good.  He’s making me stronger and increasing my faith every day.  It’s a good thing!  Life is not easy, but God is good!

Who started the rumor that there was an apple on that tree of life?  The Bible doesn’t say what the forbidden fruit was, but we sure found out what the consequences were for picking it, didn’t we?

And that little drummer boy at the stable where Jesus lay – who drove him to Bethlehem?  He wasn’t there.  There is no mention of a little boy with a drum standing beside Mary and Joseph and Jesus.  He wasn’t playing his best for Him…  per rum pa pum pum…  nope.  Sweet little Christmas song and nice thought, but totally fabricated story.

I was listening to Bill O’Reilly the other day.  He was talking about how sloppy journalism has gotten since technology came on the scene.  He said there is not thorough fact checking like there used to be.  They just get on the internet and assume everything they read is true.  It struck a chord with me.  How sloppy have we gotten as Christians in our study of God’s Word?  When was the last time you actually took your Bible (the actual Book, not your computer) out, dusted it off, and read from it?

We have so many voices talking in our heads these days – celebs claiming to be Christians with less than sage advice to give us.  When did we trade the words of King Solomon, the wisest man to ever live, for the words of Oprah?

False prophets are everywhere these days.  I don’t know about you, but I want the real deal, and I’m not willing to settle for fake quotes that may or may not tickle my ears and make me happy happy… when I can have the meat of God’s Word – His sovereignty and His majesty and His TRUTH.  Have a great day in the Lord!  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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https://youtu.be/mrapIttS9qg

What do you think of crows?  Yes, that’s what I said…  crows.  You know, those rather plain-looking black birds that appear in large numbers around this time of year in Kansas.  What is your impression of them?  What’s that you say?  You don’t think about them one way or the other?  Well…  I used to take them for granted, but that changed on September 30th.

Click image to enlarge

There’s not a deep spiritual lesson in everything I see – not by a long shot!  I probably miss more lessons than I get, sadly.  I pray to gain wisdom at every turn.  As we know, the Christian life depends on two acts of obedience:

  1. Reading God’s Word, The Bible 
  2. Prayer

From there, God works with us as individuals.  With me, He leads me to living lessons, usually through nature.  I was out with my husband to pick up some prescriptions from the pharmacy and told him I’d wait in the truck while he ran in to get them.  Not an especially exciting story so far, but stay with me.

You know how it is when you’re waiting in a pharmacy parking lot.  I people watched for a bit – then that got boring and my eyes were trained on a bunch of crows.  They were huddled around something, which attracted my interest.  The longer I observed, the clearer it was to me – it was a very large slice of bread and they were fighting over it.

As two birds would start pecking at each other, a third one would try to fly away with the bread.  Barely able to hold it up, the crow was unable to fly because the bread weighed it down!  Forced to drop the slice of bread, the other birds would once again huddle around the prize and start fighting with each other over it.

Obviously the rule was ONE SLICE OF BREAD GOES TO ONE CROW.  There was no negotiation involved – it was all or nothing.  Win or lose.  I watched each of the birds try to sneak off with the bread, to no avail.  It was too heavy to fly with, but that didn’t stop each one of them from trying.  It made me think – “If you birds would just tear the bread into bite-size pieces, you could all have some!”  Of course, they are birds and do not think that way.

It made me think…  sometimes it feels like I have so much stuff that I’m burdened by it.  At one time I had things in a storage facility – which means that I was not open to getting rid of it, but not in a position to take care of it either.  It’s crazy to pay to store things that you can’t even see.  I’m not a hoarder.  It was a time in my life when I was leaving one home to live in a smaller space temporarily.  I hoped I could one day have my things around me – and I eventually did.

Have you ever put the slice of bread in your mouth and it weighed you down so much you couldn’t fly???

When I got home from the pharmacy, I packed two large bags for Goodwill.  I feel lighter already!  🙂

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

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SANDWICH
Let’s make a spiritual sandwich. The top slice of bread is God; specifically, WHO GOD IS. You think your bread is enriched? Well, this bread is the BREAD OF LIFE! Think about that – Who IS God?

God’s answer was I AM. So, He is everything – literally.

God doesn’t owe us anything yet in His grace, He still gives us good things. – Billy Graham

The bottom slice of bread is equally enriched with spiritual nutrition! This slice represents WHAT GOD WILL DO. This is where we need to exercise our faith in Him. The longer we have trusted God to take care of us, the easier it is to trust Him with all of our problems and burdens! So what is faith?

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. – Hebrews 11:1

We were saved by faith and our faith in God is what we come to rely on throughout our lives. This slice of bread is very important for our spiritual sandwich.

What goes between these two slices of bread? Every problem, care, doubt, sin, temptation to sin needs to be there. The prayers we pray are placed there – even when you are faced with troubles, trials and temptations, ask God to give you a hunger for Him.

Prayers of faith and repentance are part of the sandwich as well. Without repentance, we remain apart from God. Repent and get back on track with Him. God is a just and Holy God and cannot look upon sin. He does not adjust His standards to meet our lifestyle. Our lifestyle must adjust to meet His standards.

Any concern too small to be turned into a prayer is too small to be made into a burden. – Corrie Ten Boom

Place your burdens and the prayers you pray to God in-between WHO GOD IS and WHAT GOD WILL DO on your behalf. There’s no better place for them to be!

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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BURDENS BECOME BUTTERFLIES

We have butterfly bushes on the east side of our house. They were strategically planted close to our wrought iron bench. Since it was not as windy here in Kansas today, I sat outside for a while to watch the butterflies. I wondered how nice it would be to be practically weightless and able to fly. Then I realized that since God took my burdens, I feel much lighter.

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. – Psalm 103:2

His benefits. Who would not want His benefits? We as a society are focused so much on losing physical weight, but I’ll bet a lot of skinny people would love to lose some spiritual, emotional and mental weight. Being heavy on the inside can be more destructive than being heavy on the outside, I believe.

Nobody can hand over your baggage to God except you. Once you take that first step, you’ll be amazed how much lighter you will feel. I would use the words giddy… happy… hopeful… there is a sense of order and peace and love. Once all of the weight is gone, it’s simply amazing. There is power from God’s Holy Spirit that gives you energy like Red Bull!

Be energetic in your life of salvation, reverent and sensitive before God. That energy is God’s energy, an energy deep within you, God himself willing and working at what will give him the most pleasure. – Philippians 2:12-13

It’s my hope and prayer that your burdens will become butterflies today! Hand them over to Jesus and experience that weightless feeling for yourself.

When the dream of our heart is one that God has planted there, a strange happiness flows into us. At that moment all of the spiritual resources of the universe are released to help us. Our praying is then at one with the will of God and becomes a channel for the Creator’s purposes for us and our world. – Catherine Marshall

God has given us such beauty.  It’s up to us to tap into it and allow our burdens to turn into butterflies.  Have a blessed day.  🙂