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

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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.  🙂

 

NATIONAL AWKWARD MOMENTS DAY

TL 3-18 NATIONAL AWKWARD MOMENTS DAY

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.  Romans 8:28

I’ve lived on this planet for nearly five and a half decades…  and believe me when I say I’ve had my share of AWKWARD moments!  With every one of them, I’ve learned to shake it off and move on as I laugh (and pee a little…)  sorry – TMI.

There’s a reason that Taylor Swift’s song, Shake It Off resonates with the masses.  We’re all too human and that means we are not perfect, which means that at times we are all awkward and experience awkward moments.  The good news is – our awkward moments in life are not life-altering.  We know that God works ALL things for our good – and by all, I mean – ya know… ALL! 

That’s why we must not give up – on anything!  We have to remember that every day will not be filled with roses and violin music!  If it was, we’d have precious little to share in the way of life experience – let alone, things to look back on and have a hearty laugh!  Some things make us more human, and the humanity is the part that we all have in common.  It makes us more relatable to one another.

So, with a humble heart and blushing cheeks, I share my most awkward moment in ministry.  I wouldn’t trade this day for anything, yet I definitely would not like to relive it either.  :-/

I GUESS IT'S TRUE

Being part of ministry in any capacity is never a waste of time.  Remember the words to the old hymn…

Only one life, so soon ’twill be past.  Only what’s done for Christ will last.

There can be – shall I say, “awkward moments” along the way.  We know that God leads the way and He gave us many safe trips for sure!  Awkward moments happen though – with people and situations.  :-/

From the mid 1980’s through the mid 1990’s, my husband and I were part of a gospel quartet.  We spent time traveling around and ended up in a small town in Kansas for a Sunday evening service.  I decided to wear blue jeans and a tee-shirt for traveling, certain that there would be a place to change my clothes.

When we got to the church, we got all set up and was ready to practice to adjust the sound and so forth…  I casually looked around the small church, but did not see a restroom.  I began to panic a little and pray a lot.  I needed to put my dress on for the concert.

About that time, the pastor walked in – all smiles.  I was nearly in tears.  I was embarrassed to ask, so had my husband ask if there was a restroom.  When my husband came back to tell me – I could tell by the look on his face – this was not going to be good.  The restroom was an outhouse.  Yep – and that’s where I changed clothes.

I got ‘er done, folks!  Dignity intact, I’m happy to report.  Then we played a few more songs in the sanctuary – and noticed a scraggly old dog had walked into the church.  He decided to lay down in the aisle and listen.  We played one song – then the dog got up, turned around and walked right back out the door.  LOL!!!

My husband said…  Now THAT’S a critic!  🙂

 

JOHN 3:16 ON 3/16

3-16 HAPPY 3-16This one verse in God’s Word, the Bible, speaks volumes.  If this was the only verse a person committed to memory and held close to their heart, it would be enough.  It tells the whole story – encompasses every key component necessary to obtain Salvation.  Whoever believe in Christ…  bow, let Christ know that you believe that He died on the cross for your sins and that you need Him every day of your life…  and He will not let you perish but He will give you eternal life.  It’s not what we deserve, but it’s how good our God is.

We think we know what love is.  A little over a month ago, we celebrated love on Valentine’s Day.  Have you offered to die for your loved ones?  Me neither.  Have you willingly sacrificed your life for them?  No – me neither.  Christ died so that we could be saved from hell.  He’s the only One worthy of all our praise.GIVE IT TO GOD AND GO PLANT PANSIES

It’s an amazing miracle when two people meet and have this belief in common.  They know what Christ did for them as individuals – but when the two combine their beliefs and allow Christ to be in the center of their love…  that is really something special and it’s such a blessed union.  The most wonderful gift a union like that can give is a faithful prayer life – Christian husbands and wives praying for one another.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Help us to remember that verse in Ecclesiastes 4:12 – Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.  When we’re tempted to worry or fret, we need Your strength and power in our midst.  We are so human and You are so supernatural and give us such grace and mercy.  Marriage is challenging at times, but we know that You are ready to direct our paths and put us on the right track.  Thank You for Your goodness and for teaching us daily how to love through forgiveness and faith.  Remind us that our cares should be cast on You.  We find our joy in You, and always will.

In Jesus’ Matchless Name, Amen.

Know God = Know Love

No God = No Love

It’s true.  Try loving God’s way…  He wrote THE BOOK on it.  🙂

 

WORLD DIABETES AWARENESS DAY

TL 11-14 WORLD DIABETES AWARENESS DAY (2)

https://youtu.be/LGCjKPmegdU

No matter what type of diabetes we have, none of us want to be part of this “club”.  This is a frightening disease because it’s so unpredictable.  What will it attack next?  According to a recent study published online in JAMA, nearly 50% of adults living in the U.S. have diabetes or pre-diabetes, a condition where a person already has elevated blood sugar and is at risk to develop diabetes.

I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 1994 and have so far managed alright.  My hemoglobin A1c is not at goal yet, but I’m working on it.  Diabetics can only manage symptoms now.  There is no cure for diabetes type 1, and if people like me with type 2 can lose weight, it’s possible to maintain a healthy blood sugar – but a type 2 diabetic will always be a type 2 diabetic regardless.

I asked the folks in my group, A Second Helping of Wellness… with a Dash of Humor & a Pinch of Faith, if they had anything in particular to add to my post today.  Here’s the one response I received:

I think every day should be Diabetes Awareness Day. It is a work in progress for many of us. You have it on your mind all the time, and if you ignore it, it can cause so many complications.  – John Manganiello

Some of us express our thoughts and feelings through the designs we make.  I guess I’m in that category.  Here are a few I’ve come up with that say what I need to say:

AS WE MANAGE

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It hurts to be judged – especially when it is something as intensely personal as your body and your weight where your health is concerned.  I had a chiropractor ask me in a very flip and off-hand manner, “Why don’t you just lose the weight and get rid of the diabetes?”  I never went back to him.  I wonder why???

Judging doesn’t help!  People think they can shame a type 2 into compliance and obedience.  It works the opposite way for me.  I’ll speak for myself – but if someone belittles me all the time – nags me about my eating habits and crushes my spirit – I’m going to eat more.  No, I can’t explain it – but it’s true.  I suppose I just think “Well, I can’t do anything right, so why try?” 

Now…  encourage me and I’ll go the distance and I will reach a goal.  It doesn’t have to be much of a compliment – just a little one will set me in motion heading in a positive direction!  It’s how I’m wired – how God made me!  If I do good and I’m told it’s good – I’ll keep it up! 

I’m thankful for the support I get online and on facebook in the diabetic community.  They seem to understand and that really helps when I feel like I’m the only one struggling.  🙂

AUGUST IS READ A ROMANCE MONTH

AUGUST IS READ A ROMANCE MONTH

 

CONTENTED PEACE

There is not a better escape from reality than to read a good book with a good romantic thread running through it.  Books are an inexpensive way for us to take a vacation to far away places and live vicariously through the characters.

August is READ A ROMANCE MONTH!  I’m reading a good book right now called “Signs of Love” by Kimberly Rae Jordan.  It’s book two of the Christian romance series “Black Thorpe Security”, a spin-off from the Christian romance series, “The McKinley’s”.

If you have not read those yet, check out book one called “This Time with Love”.  Once you open these books, you will not want to put them down!

I haven’t enjoyed a story this much since I read the “Love Comes Softly” series written by Jannette Oke several years ago.  Of course, now those great books have been made into movies.

I enjoy romance novels, but when it’s a Christian romance, I am often reminded of God’s ability to make even the most unlikely of marriages into something beautiful.  In these books there are many moments when you just know the hand of God was in the midst of challenging situations.

According to Amazon, book three in the “Black Thorpe Security” series will come out in October of this year.  I can hardly wait!

I also enjoy the Amish romance novels that have hit the bookshelves in the past few years.  There are three very popular authors of Amish romance—Beverly Lewis, Wanda Brunstetter and Cindy Woodsmall.

Once in a while I like a good romance with some suspense mixed in, don’t you?  Check out some of these titles when you’re in the mood to mix it up:

No matter which series you choose, kick back and take a trip to another country or another time.  Maybe you can be a part of a totally different culture!

There have been many criticisms regarding Christian romance novels, but I believe they are so well written, and they emphasize the fact that God can make all things good.  I’m reminded of His goodness in our lives and our relationships.  🙂

 

1 THESSALONIANS 5:18 ON 5/18

TL 1 THESSALONIANS 5 18 ON 5 18

It’s Monday again and I’m still in pain.  Does it help to be grumpy and complain?  Um…  no.

 …give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  – 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Is today Thanksgiving?  Well, shouldn’t we give thanks to the LORD every day?  It’s what God wants us to do.  It’s His will for our lives!  So yes, today is Thanksgiving!

Not only are we to be thankful people, but we are to give thanks to the LORD in all circumstances!  Oh – now the stew gets thick, doesn’t it?  I don’t always feel like being thankful.

IT'S MONDAY

Don’t you think that God knows we’re going to have difficulties and trials along the way?  Of course He does!  I believe He wants us to lean on His power and wisdom even more when the going gets tough.

We can gain even more perspective into this portion of Scripture if we expand a bit on it:

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

While the seas are calm it’s easy to rely on our own thoughts and reason to get by.  I submit that as the seas are stormy, we need to hang on to Christ and His perfect timing even more!  My boat is rocking in a storm right now – and it’s a challenge to be joyful and pray continually, but I know that’s exactly what I need to do – and give thanks – no matter what.

Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.  – Thích Nhất Hạnh

God’s Holy Spirit is the source of joy, and joy makes me smile!  I know God has everything in His very capable hands.  Again it’s Monday, but it’s okay!  🙂

A COMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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There are times in life when everything seems to be going wrong.  We don’t lose our faith to be sure, but it just seems as though nothing is going in the right direction.  When we go through the rough patches in life, it’s a good idea to try to find some humor along the way – I know it won’t make things better – but it helps!

THROUGH LIFE

Today’s post is dedicated to the humor we need.  I found some pretty cute jokes that I hope help you over the speed bumps of life.  I’m driving over a few of them myself right now – so I need a little funny bone therapy too!  😉

A minister had a horse for sale. A man came to see about buying him . The horse seemed perfect and the price was right. But the minister said “There are two things to remember. He only goes to PRAISE THE LORD and only stops to AMEN. ” The man starts trotting and then cantering the horse but he realized they were headed to the cliffs. WHOA, STOP, STOP NOW but the horse sped up directly to the edge of the cliff. The man suddenly remembers and yells AMEN. The horse stops at the very edge and the man was thrilled and yelled PRAISE THE LORD.

How about the stubborn determination of a little girl in kindergarten?

A Sunday School teacher was walking around observing her kindergarten classroom of children while they were drawing pictures.  As she got to one girl who was working diligently, she asked what the drawing was.

The girl replied, “I’m drawing God.”  The teacher paused and said, “But no one knows what God looks like.”

Without looking up from her drawing, the girl replied, “They will in a minute.”

I love this joke about the atheist showing God how he can create.

An atheist scientist came to God and said, “We’ve figured out how to make a man without you.”

God said, “OK, let me see you do it.”

So the atheist bent down to the ground and scooped up a handful. But God stopped him and said, “Oh, no you don’t. Get your own dirt!”

I pray that God will use these jokes to make you smile and lift your spirits.  We all face challenges of all sorts in life but if we can find some humor along the way and believe that God will help us through, we know that it’s gonna be okay!  Wink!  😉

 

SENIOR CITIZEN’S DAY

TL 8-21 SENIOR CITIZEN'S DAY

A SHINY DISPOSITIONhttp://youtu.be/GLzRAHWAqA8

Today is SENIOR CITIZEN’S DAY!!!  I’m not one yet, but I’m fast approaching the starting gate.  Of all the attributes needed to be successful in life, I believe two are most important:  a good attitude and disposition.  I’m sure we all recognize a good attitude, but we don’t hear much about disposition anymore.

What is a disposition?

dis·po·si·tion noun \ˌdis-pə-ˈzi-shən\ : the usual attitude or mood of a person or animal : a tendency to act or think in a particular way.

The other day I was in the grocery store and saw a T-shirt that said “I love my attitude”. Of course we all know it’s a statement about a BAD attitude, a sort of declaration that although the attitude is not good, there are no plans to do anything about it – except brag about it.

If a person has ugly thoughts, it begins to show on the face. And when that person has ugly thoughts every day, every week, every year, the face gets uglier and uglier until it gets so ugly you can hardly bear to look at it. A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.
– Roald Dahl

How times have changed. When I was a kid, we did not brag about a bad attitude, or disposition. I was encouraged to have the best disposition I could have, and told that with God’s help it was possible. When did we give up and begin bragging about the bad in us? It makes me sad that we choose to give up, give in and surrender to negativity. Life can be so much better. God wants to help us make it the best life with love and peace from Him.

Some days there won’t be a song in your heart. Sing anyway. – Emory Austin

It’s possible to have a shiny disposition with God’s help. God, our loving heavenly Father. We need to ask for His help. He knows where you are, the pain you feel (physically and emotionally), and He calls you by your name. Take a moment to call on God at the beginning of each day. Ask Him to guide and direct your path, give you strength and courage to face the day ahead.

I’ve decided that the stuff falling through the cracks is confetti and I’m having a party! – Betsy Cañas Garmon

Celebrate a positive outlook, a good attitude, a shiny disposition! 😀

TELL AN OLD JOKE DAY

TL 7-24 TELL AN OLD JOKE DAY

7-24 THE FLIGHT OF THE HUMBLE BEE
Humor is a reminder that no matter how high the throne one sits on, one sits on one’s bottom.   – Taki

I am amazed at super moms, soccer moms, karate moms, piano lesson moms and all other categories of moms out there! God knew before the beginning of time that I was not the type of person who could do what these great women do. I’m the one who stands on the sidelines, cheering them on and offering them a shoulder to lean or sometimes cry on when they need it.

My mom had a favorite joke she told me when I was sick.

Q: How do you make a tissue dance?
A: Put a little boogie in it!

Today is TELL AN OLD JOKE DAY.  I know a joke isn’t going to make everything better – but it could bring a smile to your face.  So…  let’s see – hmm…  let’s listen in to this conversation.

ha ha…

I’m thankful for a mom that told old jokes all the time.  She was always trying to get some reaction from me, and it was usually a shaking head and rolling eyes.  Back then we didn’t say “whatever”, but I imagine I would have done that too.

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Remember THE FLIP WILSON SHOW???

 

(1972)

 Humor is perhaps a sense of intellectual perspective:  an awareness that some things are really important, others not; and that the two kinds are most oddly jumbled in everyday affairs.   – Christopher Morley

Here’s an old joke I used to tell my dad.

I never wanted to believe that my Dad was stealing from his job as a road worker.  But when I got home, all the signs were there.

Then I’d usually give him a big grin and an arr arr arr…

Life is tough, so take a moment to tell an old joke today.  You might just make somebody’s day a lot brighter.  Joking around with family members relieves stress and draws you closer.

Here’s an old joke for the road: A farmer woke up on a Sunday morning to a terrible snow storm. The road was not visible. He started his tracker and drove to church making the only tracks he saw. He pulled up to church to see the lights on and went in and greeted the preacher. The two of them stood there and talked for a while. When no one else came the preacher asked, “What do you want to do?” The old farmer said, “Well preacher, if I had only one cow show up, I would still feed it.” So the preacher went to the podium and preacher a full message, calling for repentance and good deeds. When he concluded he walked down and shook hands with the old farmer and asked, “What did you think?” The old farmer said, “Well, if I had only one cow showed up I would feed it. But I would not give it the whole load.”

The flight of the humble-bee. Moms (and dads, for that matter) who do what they gotta do for their families and walk humbly with their God. Love you guys and praying for you as always!

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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WHEN I HAVE A PROBLEM

Three times in the last three days I’ve heard the old saying, “Throw money at a problem and it will go away.” I just think that is pretty weird. It’s also not necessarily true in the long run.

The God I serve is so creative in His problem-solving. In the past I’ve had challenges that needed to be solved monetarily, but when I prayed, God solved it in His own perfect way with no money whatsoever. The Lord takes care of His own, that’s all there is to it.

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

My path doesn’t always look straight, but by the time The Lord gets done with the hair pin curves, it is straight once again. Trusting the Lord for a good outcome is not always automatic, but it’s always the best decision I can make. Some issues just exceed my problem-solving abilities, but they never exceed His abilities.

A bend in the road is not the end of the road… unless you fail to make the turn. – Author Unknown

All challenges in life are not created equal, obviously. For instance, my health problems hit the roof when I heard cancer. Every problem before that, including diabetes, was much further down the list.

But for every facet of life we have the same God to pray to. He loves us and cares so much for us. He is the source of my strength, courage and humor.

We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties.  – Oswald Chambers

I’m praying for you today:

Lord, I come before you today knowing that all power is in Your hand. I know that you are the Lord and that you care for your people. Right now, my friend is struggling with a difficult trial. I can see her strength is faltering, Lord, and know that you have all of the strength that she needs. I pray that you will reach down and touch her right now wherever she is at this moment. Let your presence fill the room where she is and let her feel an extra portion of your strength that can help her to get through this day. She needs you now, Lord, and I thank you in advance for meeting her where she is and shoring up her strength during this difficult time.

In Jesus’ Name,
Amen.