A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART 35

CONTENTED PEACE

It’s better to have peace in your home and eat hot dogs than to live with strife while dining on the finest swordfish? You bet!
Above all else we should pray for peace in our homes:

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. – Ephesians 4:6-7

There is no room for any anger in a peaceful home:

Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry. – Ephesians 4:26-27

The mood or tone you set in your home will determine a level of stress or a level of peace and harmony. It’s a matter of setting priorities. Simply put, if peace is what you want in your home first and foremost, then it will happen. You have to be mindful that every word you say begins as a thought, good or bad. If the thought is not a good one to express, ask the Holy Spirit to “check” you on it before it comes out of your mouth. I admit that is still something God is helping me with.

How many times have you agreed to do something with the best of intentions, but it ended up robbing you of times of joy and peace with your own family? I see heads nodding. I’ve done it too. We must make our homes a top priority. If we don’t, we run the risk of losing the close bond we have with our own family. The enemy of your soul would like nothing better than to see your family unit crumble to the ground. Even overloading yourself with church work can be an opportunity for the devil to work.

Be aware that when you’re doing good deeds for others it is taking time from your family:

Lay not wait, O wicked man, against the dwelling of the righteous, spoil not his resting place. – Proverbs 24:15

I’m not suggesting that ministry is a bad thing, but make sure you pay attention to your family too. After all, God gave you those precious people for a reason. Don’t ignore them.

Eat your hot dogs and enjoy your time together!

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MERRY CHRISTMAS

TL MERRY CHRISTMAS

IF I WERE A WISE MAN

I’ve read about the gifts the Wise Men (Magi) gave Christ. For years I have been under the impression that the value of the gifts was the emphasis. I naturally assumed that because they brought Him gold, the frankincense and myrrh must have been quite valuable as well. I have been wrong all these years. The gifts were not only commonplace in that time and era, but extremely practical as well.

Frankincense is a white milky resin extracted from the genus Boswellia, which grow in areas of the Arabian Peninsula around India and East Africa. The most aromatic of the species is called the Boswellia Sacra, a small tree found in Yemen, Somalia and Oman. They have a white flower with a yellow or red center.

Myrrh is a reddish resin that comes from a species of the genus Commiphora, native to Northeast Africa and along the Arabian Peninsula. Commiphora myrrha is a tree used to produce myrrh and is found in the shallow rocky soils of Oman, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Ethiopia.

To put it delicately, in that day a daily bath was unheard of, so these fragrances were used to make people smell better. Considering that the Holy family was in a barn – actually in a manger next to a barn – the gift was appreciated I’m sure.

There is also a symbolic significance to be considered. Frankincense, when burned, symbolized prayer rising to the heavens like smoke. Myrrh was used for burials and symbolized death. As you recall, while Christ hung on the cross, a mixture of wine and myrrh was offered to him.

So, would a modern-day wise man choose to buy perfume for almost $13,000.00 per ounce? I used to think he would. Now, I’m not so sure. I think those Wise Men gave just the right gifts. That’s why they were called Wise Men, right?  Wink!  😉

BEST FRIENDS DAY

TL 8-15 BEST FRIENDS DAY

 Things are never quite as scary when you have a best friend.  – Bill Watterson

If I have to dress in my best clothes, style my hair and put make-up on before you come to my door, we are probably not best friends.  If I have to work for a solid week cleaning my house to prepare for your arrival, no, I don’t imagine we are best friends.

The one I can relax with, be my sloppy self with is my best friend.  And my best friend feels just as comfortable around me.  It’s funny because when we’re tweens we learn how to socialize.  We have slumber parties and make cinnamon bread in the oven and sit around chatting all night long.  Even at that age we knew who we could be “real” with and who we had to wear the mask around.

“You’re the average of the five people you associate with the most.”  A wrestling coach told this to me in high school.  I’ve never forgotten it.  – Tim Ferriss

It’s sad that a mask has to be worn sometimes, but it does.  We all have them and wear them when we don’t feel comfortable around a person or group of people.  I was blessed to be a band geek.  I got to hang out with the coolest girls in our Junior High School and most of us went on to High School together.  Nobody felt like they had to put on a mask.  For us it was all about music.  We played it, enjoyed it and didn’t think about anything else.

Best friends share common interests.  They can chat until the cows come home because that spark of interest is there and they have just as many questions as answers.  It’s easier to be yourself before life gets so competitive, but even as we got older we stayed sweet.  That’s what best friends do.

I had a very good friend in my eighth grade English teacher.  She and I would spend many lunch hours talking about literature, art – and yes, music.  She helped me so much with my dyslexia.  I knew how to sound words out, but she went a step further and taught me how to strengthen my sight through exercises for my eyes.  You can train your eyes to some extent although dyslexia is a sort of trickery of the mind.  I don’t mind having it because it has lit the fuse of my imagination every day of my life.

Best friend: someone you can only stay mad at for so long because you have important things to talk about.  – Author Unknown

I’ve always made friends with older people.  Teachers, other kid’s parents, the librarian, the school bus driver.  I’m so much more comfortable conversing with older people.  Experts in child psychology will tell you that an only child tends to communicate better with older people because as a child they were subjected to adult conversations.  It’s true, I sat with my mom and aunts many a sunny Saturday while my cousins went outdoors to play.  Mama dressed me in frilly dresses and I wasn’t about to go out and get it all dirty.

The other day I was counting up all of the girls named LINDA that I was friends with – and the tally is 14.  My life has been touched in some way by 14 other LINDAs.  Hmm…  interesting.  I recently got in touch with a LINDA friend from High School via facebook.

Most of my LINDA friends are Christians.  You know when Jesus is in the center of any relationship it makes it extra-special.  He is my best friend – and yours too.  With that knowledge, those masks don’t stay on very long.  We’re just sisters in Christ, thankful for His love, mercy and matchless grace in our lives.  ❤