A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

If you’re a child of God, this verse offers a warm fuzzy feeling and you feel loved and protected.  If you’re not His child, it could possibly scare the hooey out of you – and for good reason.  It’s one more reminder that sitting on the proverbial fence is not an option.  You’re either God’s kid – or you’re not.  There’s no in-between.

Jesus loves you!  He does… and there’s not a thing you can do about it.

God is love, but don’t be deceived.  Our God is all-powerful and is in control of everything.  He is not a senile old man who puts up with sin and laughs it off.  He’s not going to give anyone a pass when it comes to transgression of His law!  Your earthly grandfather may do that, but the God of the universe will not.

When Jesus told the sea to be still…  it obeyed!  As I write this, I’m reminded of a song we sang in our youth group called “SEA WALKER”.  Some of you younger folk are gonna laugh, but hey…  I’m old.  LOL!

Who is Jesus?  He’s the only begotten Son of God.  He was sent by God to earth as a baby and was raised in a Jewish family.  Is there more to it?  Of course – so much more!  Without His teachings about His Father and our Heavenly Father, we would be clueless.  Without His ultimate sacrifice on Calvary…  wow – we’d be in such big trouble in eternity!  Many people have the idea that Christ HAD to die for our sins.  Um…  nope!  He could have changed His mind any time – He could have said we’re not worth His sacrifice.  Did He say that?  NO, He didn’t – and we should make it part of our daily prayer to thank Him for going through with it.

Lucinda wrote an amazing poem for today.  It’s enlightening and uplifting to my spirit!  I’m so happy to share it with you!

Jesus is our link to God, therefore, we are careful to end our prayers with “In Jesus’ name”.  If we take the time to study the Bible and get to know our Savior, Christ Jesus, we will get a glimpse at our Father God.  If we know Jesus, we basically know God.  That’s why it’s so important to study the Bible.  Study, trust and obey.  🙂

MARTIN LUTHER KING JR DAY

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 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.  I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—  I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.

“Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”  – John 17:20-26

Our Lord prayed for His believers to be as ONE.  He wants us to be united as He and His Father in Heaven are ONE.  It’s no secret that America is more divisive now than it’s ever been.  If you can imagine a way to divide us – we’re divided.  Age, race, weight, height, religion, and on and on it goes.  God’s not pleased and Christians should lead the way in healing the scars.  The healing begins with prayer and studying God’s Word.

Read your Bible and pray.  That’s what it takes to be a true Christian.  – Harold McKay

My friend Harold also told me another “secret” to success as a Christian.  He said as long as you’re sincerely praying for someone, there’s no way you can hate or even dislike them.  In life, if we could just learn to pray for those who irk us in life instead of fighting back – it’d be wonderful.

Of all the famous quotes from Dr. King, this is my favorite:

mlk-quoteIn this world, we are “beholden” to one another.  We’re fools if we think we’re not.

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We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive, is also devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.  – Martin Luther King, Jr.

I vote for LOVE and FORGIVENESS as a Christian nation in 2017!  May we strive for unity in America this year.  Let’s make God smile.  🙂

 

TEN DAYS OF PRAYER FOR AMERICA

TL 7-1 THROUGH 7-10 TEN DAYS OF PRAYER FOR AMERICA

FILL ME

LOVE is something that has been really messed up and mixed up in our society.  No wonder we have a country that is confused and seeking something real.  True love is best when it is agape love.  That is God’s perfect love and the love He wants us to have for each other.  It’s way cooler than brotherly love, and that’s pretty cool.  Agape is from the Greek.  There’s not a word in the English language that even comes close to it.  Agape love involves faithfulness, commitment, and an act of the will. It is distinguished from the other types of love by its lofty moral nature and strong character. Agape love is beautifully described in 1 Corinthians 13.

Hmm…  there we go with the morals and character again.  I sense a theme here, don’t you?

You know, in a good marriage, this is the kind of love that will go the distance.  Everything else fades, but this love that stems from an act of the will – a daily choice to stay committed to the one you chose to be with so long ago…  that’s the ticket.

We need more of that not only in marital relationships, but in friendships and interactions with others in our country and around the world.  Goodwill, benevolence, willful delight, faithfulness, commitment, act of the will…  all of these are possible from the source of agape love, God.  Everything God does flows from His love.  That is His nature.  It’s not natural for us to have that kind of love, but we can if we love through God.  He’s happy to help us love the unlovable and the unlovely.

Agape love is always shown by what it does.  Have you ever noticed that a human kind of love involves a lot of talk and empty promises?  It gets old, to be honest.  But agape love is about action!  Don’t just say you love someone – show them!  Remember, we are the undeserving recipients of God’s lavish agape love.  What did He DO for us?  Yeah – exactly.

God’s agape love is not based on feelings, but it’s an act of the will – a decision – a choice.  It’s a joyful resolve to put the welfare of others above our own.  It can only come from its source – God.  Because of God’s love toward us, we’re able (and equipped by Him) to love one another.

Today let’s pray for the United States to become more…  well – united.  Mutual respect and agape love will go a long way to make us better citizens.  Stop the hate, start the love, America!  Accept everyone where they are and let God take them where they need to be.  Pray for one another and be kind.  No one ever accepted the Lord after being beat with a Bible.  Share, yes…  but then back off and let God do the rest.

I hear a lot of four-letter words, and most of them I wouldn’t repeat if you offered me a Milky Way to do so.  But wow, what if we were loving, kind and respectful of one another?  That would be life-changing and would change our country!

The word LOVE shows up 310 times in the KJV, 348 times in the NASB, 551 times in the NIV and 538 times in the NRSV.  I think it’s important to God, don’t you?

What’s your favorite verse about love?  Here’s mine:

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.  – 1 John 4:8

Let’s pray for God’s agape love to be in our midst:

Dear Heavenly Father, We pray that Your agape kind of love be in our hearts and souls because You are love.  Help us to express love to others through actions more than words, along with goodwill, benevolence and a willful delight to put the welfare of others above our own.  We’re so tired of division in our country and pray that Your love be in us and will be contagious, making us a Christian nation once again.  You showed Your perfect love to us by sending Your only Son to earth to die on Calvary’s cross so we could be saved.  May we show agape love to others.  We can do that only with Your help.  It’s in the precious and matchless Name of Christ Jesus our Lord we pray, Amen.

When it comes to love, actions really DO speak louder than words, don’t they?  😉

file000229126299bike-775799boys-838683_1280cycling-79618_1920fishing-453296greyer and sawyer 071teamwork-649498_1280Love makes the world go ’round…  but God’s agape love makes it SHINE!  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

SPUNKY OLD BROADS DAY

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2-1 A PRAYER FOR SPUNK

Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.  – William Harris

Today is SPUNKY OLD BROADS DAY!!!  Some of the sassy, spunky broads I’ll feature here are not necessarily OLD.  I’ll leave it to your discretion which ones are and which ones are not.  This is one of those posts that could go on and on with many examples, but I have to put a limit on it.  I will name my top ten picks.

1.  I feel blessed to have been around some of the sunniest gals with spunk ever – through the medium of television and radio.  Here from the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville is cousin Minnie Pearl.

http://youtu.be/__X3in5bMso

2.  While we’re on the subject of country spunk, check out this video from Dolly in the movie 9-5.  I think I read her lips when she was telling her boss she’d change him from a rooster to a hen…  whew!

http://youtu.be/_Z3ScqlwiYk

3.  How about our favorite redhead – Reba McEntire?  Natural red-head have built-in spunk.  It’s just part of the territory.  She shares some of her spunk with us on her TV show – Reba.  I think she has some attitude in this song too.

http://youtu.be/OVXNOIWqcTc

4.  Even our greeting cards got a kick in the attitude when Maxine came along!

http://youtu.be/28_jlWQOuSc

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5.  How could I even consider making this list without the remarkable and spunky Vivien Leigh?

Can’t you just hear her saying FIDDLE-DEE-DEE???

Spunk is that quality that sets older women apart from the rest.  I meet my friend at the beauty shop every Friday, and let me tell you…  that shop is full of women with SPUNK – and they are all over 60 years of age!  I listen to them talk every week and I walk away thinking, “I want to be just like them when I get older.”  Yep – watch out world – you’ve been warned.

God gives us dreams a size too big so that we can grow in them.  – Author Unknown

6.  Did you know that Katharine Hepburn was a natural redhead???  Does it surprise you?  Talk about some major spunk, she had it!  Remember when women would not entertain the notion of wearing slacks?  This is the gal who changed all that, and her 5’7″ frame wore slacks very nicely.  She was tough and bold even as she got much older.  When she developed the shaking of her head, she was quick to set the record straight when she proclaimed that it was not Parkinson’s, rather it was inherited from her grandfather.  She was known as “The First Lady of Cinema” for movies which are now considered classics.

http://youtu.be/08TUi44paCQ

7.  Today we know Betty White as a legend, but I thought it would be fun to show a video from 1945 when she was just starting out.  Even in this video her spunk is showing.  I like that she is now a spunky lady, but I wish she’d throw some of that off-color language to the curb.  She would be funnier without it.   :-/

http://youtu.be/ZnREvTHj3g4

8.   There are so many great quotes from Eleanor Roosevelt, and I believe I’ve used every one of them at some point or the other.

http://youtu.be/9pAbaHjLaP4

She overcame loss and it made her more determined to be a strong woman with character, intelligence and spunk.  I was surprised to learn she had lost both her parents by the age of ten.  She really must have had to dig deep into her faith pocket to keep going.  It’s a woman just like this who needed to be beside FDR when the country was going through the stock market crash on October 29, 1929.  Known as Black Tuesday, it was the worst economic collapse in the history of the modern industrial world.  Close your eyes and image him talking with her about this situation – and about The New Deal.  She had to be strong – and a very good listener, I suspect.  Spunky women don’t always talk – sometimes they know when it’s time to be quiet and listen.

9.  Della Reese showed her spunk in the hit show on CBS called “Touched by an Angel”.  Here she is explaining the premise behind the show.

http://youtu.be/CMvQastGhf0

As I previously mentioned, spunky women do not have to be loud and irritating to show their spunk.  Della is a great example of this as an angel “supervisor” – which brings me to…

10.   Roma Downey, the “angel girl” whose gift from God was not music or art.  Her gift from God was truth.  She spoke truth with kindness, but also with her own brand of spunk.  You GO, angel girl.  Here are Della and Roma in real life.  This is so powerful, I had to share it.

http://youtu.be/qe5_zlJjNUE

You can’t go wrong asking God for His brand of spunk.  I will continue to do that as I get older.  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. DAY

TL MARTIN LUTHER KING JR DAY

DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING

I was only 2 years old then.  Toddling around, blissfully unaware of the need for civil rights in this country, unaware of something called war, or as they liked to call it, conflict in Vietnam.  From the photos I saw on the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite, I’d say it was war, but what does a toddler know?MLK QUOTE (3)Mine was the generation that underwent mandatory desegregation.  Many families, both black and white, no longer saw grade point average as a priority, but were more concerned about whether their son or daughter would be on the “list” to be bussed across town to attend school.  It was a true concern for parents.  I was never on the list, not that it mattered.  I was busy with my own kind of integration program.  It was nice because it came so naturally – I love friendships that God creates, don’t you?

My best friend was Johnette, the P.E. teacher’s daughter.  We met in Bible club at school.  I loved hanging out with her because she loved Jesus and knew His wonderful law.  We talked and laughed and sang Sunday School songs together.   We had a common bond that could not keep us apart because we both loved Jesus.  It was Johnette’s character I adored and wanted to be around.  She never had a bad day and wore a big smile on her face!

You know, I don’t know to this day if Johnette rode a bus to school or not.  Was she part of the social experiment?  I don’t know.  I assume (and yes, I know what that means) she was in the neighborhood around the school since her mom worked there.  I don’t know – and I don’t care!  Johnette and I were best friends.  Nobody made us spend time together, but I believe God allowed us to cross paths.  For that gift, I will always be grateful.

No matter what a person’s race is, it is their character that will shine and attract others.  Johnette and I were friends in Christ.  We sharpened each other’s iron and grew to be very close friends.  She is African-American and I’m so Caucasian I can’t even pay to get a good tan.

Color blindness begins with me – and I refuse to see anything but a person’s character.  It should be our common like-mindedness that binds us in the Lord and nothing else.  I have brothers and sisters in Christ.  We all have a unique quirk especially from Him.  We look for that quirk in each other – that is when we begin to sharpen each other’s iron – and that is when great things for God begin to happen. 

Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase. – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I wish I could have found the entire episode, but here is the last part of “Black Like Monica” from the CBS series, “Touched By An Angel”.  I hope you get a chance to watch the whole thing.  Monica was in a situation where she was a black human being for one day – but what a lesson she learned.

The Color of racism is fear.  – Monica, Touched by an Angel

I believe if we can keep our communication honest instead of ugly, God can help any relationship improve and eventually heal, don’t you?  ❤

 

 

HAT DAY

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Today we are celebrating HAT DAY!!!  I wish you could all send me photos of your favorite hat with a written essay entitled THIS IS MY FAVORITE HAT BECAUSE…

Ahl  Remember Spring and Summer???  Yes, today they are but a distant memory, but alas…  they shall return one day! 1-15 HAT DAY PHOTO

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Listen to the conversation between this little girl and her Grandpa as she plays dress-up.  Thank you, Lucinda, for this sweet poem for Hat Day 2015.

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So much for dreaming of warmer weather – back to reality.  It’s winter again…  sigh.

In my life I never felt so safe and secure as I did wearing my daddy’s coat and cap.  I can’t explain it, but it made me feel like I would always know love.  ❤

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You know, I’ve heard that the clothes make the man / woman.  That’s true, but I think a hat defines us!  What role am I playing?  If I’m a chef, I’m probably wearing one of those puffy white hats.  If I’m putting out a fire, I’m wearing a fireman’s helmet.  If I’m a cowboy, I’m wearing a cowboy hat – a white one.  Today I’m a woman of leisure in the Red Hat Society, wearing my beautiful red hat and not caring what anyone thinks of it (talk about HATTITUDE…)

Then comes Winter, with bluster and snow,
That brings to our cheeks the ruddy glow…
– Gertrude Tooley Buckingham, “The Four Seasons” (1940s)

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When it’s cold and snow is falling, most of us bundle up with gloves, a scarf and a stocking cap.  That’s certainly a way of defining us as cold!

Men used to wear hats all the time.  By the time Robert F. Kennedy took office as President, the trend was coming to an end.  I was just a kid, but I remember my daddy saying that men didn’t wear hats anymore because the President didn’t want to wear one and mess up his perfect hair.  Now – I don’t know if that’s true or not, so please don’t quote me on it!

I don’t know a lot about hats, but I learned what a bucket hat is and what a snap back hat is!  Huh – I learned something today! 

We are defined by our hats, or at least our attitudes are.  Have you ever tried to wear more than one hat at a time?  Well, of course you haven’t – that would be ridiculous!  If I try to wear too many hats at one time it makes me a little cranky, how about you?  God loveth a cheerful giver – of time, talent and treasure.  He did not intend for His precious children to stack hats on their heads!  He wants us to serve, yes.  Does He want us to take on every responsibility we are asked to take?  I don’t think so.

How many hats do you wear?  How many hats have you thrown into a ring?  How many hats have you hung up because you simply have too many hats?

Maybe today we could take just a moment to count how many hats we wear – how many roles we play in life.  This may be a good time to take inventory…  then let’s pick out our favorite hat and ROCK IT!  😉

MOTIVATION & INSPIRATION DAY

TL 1-2 MOTIVATION AND INSPIRATION DAY

 

1-2 WHAT MAKES YOU

What we do online, and who we follow…  will say more about us than we could ever think to tell our shrinks.  Today, Freud would be a big data analyst, consuming all we post online as a proxy for our dreams.  – Mark Cuban

Today is MOTIVATION AND INSPIRATION DAY!!!  So let’s get busy making plans and setting goals to improve our lives.  What do you want to accomplish this year?  What changes would you like to make?  The only thing holding you back is the thought that you can not succeed.  It’s only a thought – a negative voice inside your head.  The first thing we need to do is ask God to diminish that voice and replace it with His comforting, encouraging voice!  God loves you and wants nothing but good things for you!  He wants you to succeed and will help every step of the way!

Much like setting a GPS before a road trip, we carefully, prayerfully and humbly map out a route for success.  If you already write in a journal, you will be familiar with this process.  If you don’t keep a journal, you might want to consider making it part of the planning process.  There is a sort of honesty in personal writing that comes to the surface.  It’s not for publication – but daily notes for your eyes only – and God’s eyes too, of course.

I find myself listing goals in my journal – but they are not general statements.  I’m specific about everything in my journal because I know I’m the only one who will see what I’ve written.  These resolutions, once written, remind me of the true desires of my heart – the deep conversations I’ve had with God.  Instead of writing “I want to lose weight”, I say “I will ride my recumbent bike for 30 minutes and walk on my treadmill for 30 minutes, 5 days a week”.  By being specific, and asking God to help me keep those goals before me, I’m much more likely to stick with it – and see results!

Some may disagree with this statement (and that’s okay), but I can’t look too far into the future.  I have so much weight to lose, I can’t even imagine myself with it all gone.  I’ve been obese since the early 1980’s, so this weight has been on me for a good long while.  It seems to like me very much.  I have to pick one small, short-term goal for NOW.  Once that goal is met, I reward myself (a non-food reward, such as a chair massage or facial or something).  I have to take baby steps.  In the past I’ve tried to knock myself out – and end up injuring myself in the long run – unable to do any physical activity.  This time it will be different.

Goals are dreams with deadlines.  – Diana Scharf Hunt

When you plan a journey, there are often strict timelines such as flight times, show times and check-in times at hotels.  The same is true on this trip.  Deadlines are motivating, and setting a strict timeline fights procrastination.  In the past, I’ve been the queen of procrastination.  I can sit and think about exercising – and by the time I get done with my writing and posting and socializing via the internet, it’s too late to exercise.  I’ve written in my journal for 2015, and I declare to you this day, I will take better care of myself than I have in the past.  I will relax and drink my coffee in the morning, but then I will exercise because in order to be healthy, this weight has to go!  I know you all support my decision because you care about me.  Thank you for backing me up.

My mother and I were riding a trolley on a Saturday morning in West Philadelphia.  I told her how much my first-grade teacher Miss Invernessy loved me, boasting that I was the teacher’s pet.  I didn’t know that Miss Invernessy’s own mother was riding behind us.  She heard everything.  On Monday, Miss Invernessy kept me after class.  After she told me, to my total humiliation, what her mother had overheard, I expected her to scold me for my hubris.  She said, “The important thing is that you work for yourself, not for my approval.  If you feel that doing well matters to you, you become your most loyal fan as well as your most severe critic.”  – Judith Rodin, PhD

You wouldn’t take an extended trip without first carefully packing a suitcase.  So what will you pack in your suitcase for this trip through 2015?  I plan to pack some healthy recipes and discard the less healthy ones.  I plan to surround myself with more encouraging people through online resources such as Fit 2 me, positive facebook groups and Christian resources.  I plan to respect my body more than ever and nourish it instead of punishing it.  I plan to carry optimism and laughter and toss aside depression and tears, in Jesus’ Name!

Write every day – about what?  Write a prayer to God and pour out your heart to Him.  Tell Him how you feel and what you believe needs to change in your life.  Trust that He hears and will answer your plea.  Remember that He has a marvelous plan for your life and wants only good things for you.  He wants to walk through this year with you!

Here’s some motivation, inspiration and real beauty for the New Year!  The Grand Canyon is covered in snow!

Some days may not seem good, but we can’t get stronger without those not so good days.  We grow and build character through them and become better prepared for the future.  Some people say I am a character…  hmm…  is that the same thing???  😉

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Lucinda’s second book in the “Coffee with Jesus” series is out!   To get your copy, click on the link below:

http://bookstore.westbowpress.com/Products/SKU-000952694/A-Second-Cup-with-Jesus.aspx