Always Remember

Well, it’s day number 7 of 2018 – how’s it going?  My new year is fantastic!  I went in for my final appointment with the surgeon – and I got cut loose!  I’m officially mobile and getting into trouble again on a regular basis.  It’s great to be up and going again!

God wants us to know that no matter what circumstances we face, He will be by our side, take our hand and guide us through it.  There are no endings while we rely on the Lord to lead us down the pathway.  There are only endings when we decide to let go of His hand and give up.

10-11 This is God’s Word on the subject: “As soon as Babylon’s seventy years are up and not a day before, I’ll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.  – Jeremiah 29:10-11

Have faith in God – you know He has come through in the past – so of course, He will make a way now.  He didn’t bring you this far to leave you alone!  I love the part of this Scripture that says, “I’ll SHOW UP and TAKE CARE OF YOU AS I PROMISED AND BRING YOU BACK HOME.”  I also love the reminder that He knows what He’s doing!  I sure do need to be reminded of that once in a while.

I love this poem by Lucinda Berry Hill:

Our God keeps every promise He makes to us.  We know our joy is not dependent on our circumstances – but it hinges on our faith in the One who is worthy!  Thou art worthy, oh Lord!  

Don’t let the enemy of your soul steal your joy because you’re focused on circumstances instead of keeping your spiritual eyes open with your physical eyes studying God’s precious Word.  It’s through His Word and the time we spend with Him in prayer that keeps us filled with His joy, hope, peace and love.  Trust your relationship with Jesus, and the sovereignty of God.

Isn’t she wonderful and encouraging?  I hope and pray we all have a wonderful 2018, and that the sovereign God that we put our trust in no matter what – will bless us beyond measure in our lives.  🙂

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A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.  – Proverbs 27:17

Happy birthday to my daddy in Heaven.  I was thinking about all the great things he taught me and how many times I wish I could have another conversation with him.  I’d like to share part of a Father’s Day writing with you today.

Thank you, Daddy.  Thank you for showing me what it means to have a good work ethic.  Thank you for teaching me how to barter when I don’t have money.  I know growing up, we didn’t have more money than time, but there was always time for laughter, for listening, and for love.

Even though you built houses for a living, ours was the best one of all – not because it was more fancy, but because the love within those walls turned that house into a home.  I remember sitting in front of the TV in the family room listening to you laugh at some show.  I wanted to memorize that sound and tuck it in the back of my mind so I’d never forget it.  All I have left is that tape in my head… and I play it over and over again.  I would give so much to hear you laugh for real just one more time.  But you know what, Daddy?  One day I will…  yeah, I will.  – Linda Palmer

It’s always my intent to be a balcony person on this blog – an encourager and a cheerleader to folks – but I won’t be fake and pretend that everything is just peachy keen all the time, just so others will think well of me.

I believe there are moments when we are all balcony people AND basement people.  I believe that we sharpen one another’s iron – at all times.  I don’t believe that we are exclusively balcony or basement people.  I believe we are God’s children – and there are HIGHS and there are LOWS because we are all very HUMAN.  God knows us, and I don’t think it’s bad to admit that I’m not on the mountaintop every single day.

If and when I’m having basement moments…  I appreciate the balcony people who come along and encourage me in those times – but I also appreciate the basement people who are not ashamed to admit they’re struggling a bit.  If God puts a basement person in my path, it’s probably because He wants me to help them.

That’s what we do…  we help those who are going through a rough patch.  I help you…  you help me.  Iron sharpening 101.

We all want to be balcony people – encouragers – cheerleaders – energizers – affirming.  I’m no different – but if we’re honest, we’d admit that we all need someone to give us encouragement – cheer us on – energize us – and affirm us – once in a while.

The Bible tells us to sharpen one another’s iron – it’s a give and take – one day I encourage – and another day – I get encouraged.  It’s my intent to encourage and uplift others, using the wonderful Word of God; however…

If I have to be on a mountaintop 24/7 as I write this blog, maybe I’m not doing what I need to do.  If you expect this humble writer to be on a mountaintop 24/7, sorry to disappoint you.  If I’m not on the mountaintop, it does not indicate that I lack hope or peace in my life.  It just makes me human.  I won’t apologize for being human.  I won’t judge you for being human either.  🙂

 

IT’S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE CHRIST-MAS

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For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  – Isaiah 9:6

When I was a kid, this popular Christmas song played on my parent’s Montgomery Ward record player – yes – the record player / television / radio unit that sat in every American living room back in the early 1960’s.  You know the one I mean…  don’t sit there and act like you don’t remember.  😉curtismathes02And, of course the star singer at Christmas time back in the day was PERRY COMO!  My folks had every Como Christmas album that came out, I think.51t6kcvval-_ss500

untitled-21619zyozrzdllargeperry_como-christmasIf I had to choose a favorite Como Christmas song, it would be “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas.”  Let’s take a listen:

I know it’s not a terribly meaningful song in a religious sense…  or wait – maybe it is.  Take a look at this poem by Lucinda Berry Hill – it fits the same tune perfectly.  🙂

christmas-is-jesusSo you see, whether you are listening to Third Day, Casting Crowns, Mark Lowry – or Bing Crosby, Perry Como, Andy Williams…  you always remember that Christmas is never Christmas without Christ.  No matter how the world tries to take Him out of the celebration, they can’t – His wonderful name IS CHRIST – and that’s the beginning of Christmas!

Without Him there are no Christmas miracles – just artificial holiday cheer.  I’d rather expect miracles than see a bunch of people who pretend to be cheerful from alcohol or some other resource at hand.  When I see X-mas it just makes me so sad because some folks are literally X-ing away the real reason for the season.  I don’t understand it.  I never will.jesus-candy-cane-prayer

This year when I listen to Como, I’m going to sing Lucinda’s lyrics because I like them much more than the original song’s lyrics!  Let’s celebrate the birth of our Lord this year.  That’s what it’s all about!  Christmas is JESUS!  🙂

JAMES 5:13 ON 5/13

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Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms.   – James 5:13

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We know that we are to cry with those who weep and rejoice with those who are happy.  Have you ever felt so torn because you have one friend over here weeping and another friend over there cheering?  It can make you feel like Sybil sometimes!

Shortly after my last miscarriage, I was asked to co-host a baby shower.  It’s not my friend’s fault.  Nobody even knew I was pregnant.  By the time you are on the 5th try, you just don’t say a lot to anyone.  It was probably the most difficult thing I had to do.  I had to buck up and be the friend – happy that my friend and her husband were expecting, and make sure they had some happy memories along the way.

When you suffer loss you are better able to pray for a friend who is suffering.  There’s a sort of maturity and wisdom that you gain when you suffer.  It’s not a chip to be worn on your shoulder, although it would be very easy to do that.  It’s more of a reminder that you are aware of the other person’s situation.  You have your own pain to tap into while you are empathizing, because as we all know, empathy is more than sympathy.

We live in a society that would rather party and be happy and not be around people who are “downers” – but that is shallow thinking and lacks maturity in the Christian world.  Life is not one big party (sorry to burst your bubble).  There’s a reason we are to weep with the suffering and sing songs of happiness and praise to God with those who celebrate.

Life is messy – and it’s like a rollercoaster ride at times.  You can be trucking along, thinking everything is going at a pretty even keel – and boom!  It’s good to have solid Christian friends around when you hit bottom – and by the same token, it’s good to be a solid Christian friend when they hit bottom and need your support.  🙂

 

 

A DAY OF PRAYER FOR THE POOR

TL 12-12 A DAY OF PRAYER FOR THE POOR

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Make us worthy, Lord, to serve those people throughout the world who live and die in poverty and hunger. Give them through our hands, this day, their daily bread, and by our understanding love, give them peace and Joy. Amen   – Mother Teresa

The International House of Prayer in Kansas City is hosting a day of prayer in December for the poor and suffering around the world and those who are giving their lives to helping them.  Please plan to join us for part or all of the solemn assembly. Get more info here: http://www.ihopkc.org

This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.  – Psalm 34:6

What is Christmas all about?  One of my friends reminded me recently that it is not his birthday, but the birthday of Christ Jesus.  If we can keep it in perspective and teach little ones that lesson, it honors God.  Today I invite you to join me in prayer for those who are less fortunate.  We do what we can to help, but in addition to helping physically, we pray.

 O GOD, Almighty and merciful, who heals those that are broken in heart, and turns the sadness of the sorrowful to joy; Let Your Fatherly goodness be upon all that You have made. Remember in pity those who are this day destitute, homeless, or forgotten by their fellow-men. Bless the congregation of Your poor. Uplift those who are cast down. For those who suffer innocently, I pray that You will sanctify their endurance of the wrongs worked on them, keeping their hearts free of bitterness. Cheer with hope all discouraged and unhappy people, and help those who are tempted into sin by their poverty; though they be troubled on every side, suffer them not to be distressed; though they be perplexed, save them from despair. Grant this, O Lord, for the love of Him, who for our sakes endured poverty and blameless suffering, Your Son, our Jesus Christ.  It’s in His Name we pray, Amen.

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 He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer.  – Psalm 102:17

We pray because we know our Lord hears us.  I hope you’ll join me and pray too!  ❤

If you are looking for a perfect Christmas gift, may I suggest a new devotional book by Lucinda Berry Hill?  Everyone needs a new devotional book to begin the new year!

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Click on the link below to order your copy!

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

 

 

UPSY DAISY DAY

TL 6-8 UPSY DAISY DAY

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Saturday is a day to be happy because the work week is over. So today’s wacky holiday should not be difficult to celebrate. Today is UPSY DAISY DAY!!!  Today’s challenge is to think positively and face every task with a good attitude.

I actually had an Upsy Daisy tea party for my 50th birthday. The day could have been a depressing exercise in self-pity, but with a few phone calls and some daisy decorations, it turned into one of the most fun days in recent memory. Happiness really is as simple as mind over matter.

If you decide to be happy – you will be happy. One of my aunts used to tell me to stick a feather in my cap and be happy. I spent too much time trying to understand the literal meaning of that statement. It was just her way of telling me to lighten up and take life with a grain of salt.

So just for today – put a positive spin on everything. If Saturday is the day you have to do all the chores you don’t get to do through the week, try to have a good outlook about it. Be thankful you have a washing machine and don’t have to go down to the river with your clothes and beat them on a rock to wash them.

I’m not condoning a “name it and claim it” mentality. God is still God – and I’m still NOT God. Even when things are not coming up roses, I can still have a positive attitude. God will not make the pathway smooth simply because I stay positive, but it’s my faith in HIM that makes things better. Get it?

That being said… a happy mind is a healthy mind. A healthy mind is generally followed with a healthy body. It’s all connected.

As a man thinketh, so is he. – Proverbs 23:7

More UPSY, less OOPSY…  🙂