A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

Before the death, burial and resurrection of Christ Jesus…  all of mankind was in big trouble – by that, I mean we were lost – like, unbelievably, no GPS can help us…  lost!  Until Christ took the sins of the world on Himself – there was no hope of redemption.  That would be a very sad ending for us, wouldn’t it?  But God made sure we were not left hopeless.

Christians have good news to share.  The Savior was sent to earth by His Father – sent here to live, serve, teach and be the ultimate and final sacrifice so that mankind can make Heaven their eternal home.  That is what Easter is all about.  HOPE. It’s the greatest hope imaginable.  When God raised Christ from the dead…  HOPE was born!

Each person has a decision to make regarding the Lord.  You will either accept His gift of hope or you will reject it.  It’s not my job to judge anyone (and I’m quite pleased about that), but it is my job to share my faith…  and so I do.  There’s no fence walking allowed – you will either live on one side or the other.  God is not an elderly grandfather who winks at sin, making excuses for His children.  God is love, yes – but He is also fair and just.  You can’t pretend to be His and go on living like you’re not.

God wants everyone to come to a saving knowledge of His Son, Jesus Christ.  He wants us to grow in our faith and share this good news with others.  Being a good person and doing random acts of kindness is certainly commendable and so needed in today’s society to be sure, but a genuine walk with the Lord is what will get you through and to Heaven when this life is over.  Keep it real and honest because you know, God knows everything.

So…  you know which side of the fence you’re living on.  If you would like to meet this Generous Carpenter, it’s not that difficult.  Just have a little talk with Him.  Yes…  WITH Him.  Prayer is a two-way conversation.  Listen – trust me.  God talks back – He speaks to your heart.  Let’s pray:

Dear God,
I know I’m a sinner, and I ask for your forgiveness.
I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died
for my sin and that you raised Him to life.
I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord,
from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do your will.
I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

If you’re living on the wrong side of the fence (and only you know if you are), I hope you prayed this prayer and meant it.  I also hope that this is the first of many conversations you have with God, through His Son, Jesus Christ.  Once you begin living your life for God, it’s a journey you’ll not trade for anything.  Putting my faith and trust in God through Jesus was the best decision I ever made.  God bless you.  🙂

 

 

 

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A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

To some, it’s a comfort that God our Lord is living among us.  We find peace and serenity.  To others, it’s a thought that brings feelings of dread and fear.  Why?   Well, I’ll try to explain it with a story you can relate to.

We had a little dog – she was a mixed breed, but a tiny little thing.  She was a puppy when I was a baby.  I loved on her like crazy, but once in a while I loved on her a little too much – hugged her a little too tight.  She never snapped, never growled or showed any indication of meanness toward me or anyone in my family.  We all knew and respected each other – we were family.

Our friends, the Ingram’s, came over to visit one brisk winter evening.  Just before people came over, my mom would take the cover off of Lady’s chair (yes, Lady had her own chair).  When Ellis tried to sit in Lady’s chair, she started growling and snarling at him.  Of course, my parents scolded her and apologized to Ellis and told him to go ahead and sit there.  Lady was put in the back bedroom for the rest of the evening.

From that moment on, Ellis and Lady had less than an amicable relationship.  I guess you could say they basically tolerated each other for the sake of those around them.  I don’t think they ever really made up.

It’s a bit like that if you don’t know the Lord, I think.  He’s not yours, but it’s okay if He lives with others – but you sure don’t want Him.  Maybe you’re afraid He’s going to bite you or snap at you (the proverbial lightning strike).  I wish you’d make up with Him.  You can by believing that His Son, Christ Jesus died on the cross for your sins.  He is mighty to save and strong to deliver you.  Only then you can read this portion of Scripture with a smile on your face and real confidence in your soul.  He will calm your fears and wipe away all your tears.  I hope you know the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and friend today, because today – it’s you.

Of course, today is St. Patrick’s Day!  I wish you a happy and safe one.  Two reminders for the day – don’t drink green beer and drive…  and don’t text and drive.  Stay safe.  Everyone knows that Christians don’t believe in luck, but we do believe in getting into the spirit of a holiday.  Lucinda wrote a cute poem about luck.  The Luck of Us All. 

Enjoy the day responsibly.  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  – Matthew 6:21

If treasure is defined as money, then your heart (attitudes & actions) will be focused on making money.  Have you defined your treasure?  I think I’ve always pretty much assumed that treasure referred to money in this passage of Scripture, but now I realize it is not necessarily so…  what if your treasure was…  fast food???  What if your treasure was…  your child or another member of your family you hold dear?  ❤

No, stay with me here…  treasure is defined as:

noun:

1.  wealth or riches stored or accumulated, especially in the form of precious metals, money, jewels, or plate.
2.  wealth, rich materials, or valuable things.

3.  any thing or person greatly valued or highly prized:

This book was his chief treasure.
verb (used with object):  treasured, treasuring.
4.  to retain carefully or keep in store, as in the mind.
5.  to regard or treat as precious; cherish.
6.  to put away for security or future use, as money.
It is not sinful to treasure precious memories with loved ones – I want to make that clear; however, if that overshadows your relationship with God, it’s sin.  Anything that takes up more of your energy than the things of God…  it’s coming between you and the Lord and the priority needs to change.  Our God is a jealous God and always wants to be in first place.  Our hearts are to trust and delight in Him.  ❤
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Define your treasure.  All sorts of interests and activities can possibly become more of a treasure in our lives than they should be.  Ask God to “check” you about it.  I can’t tell you what you’re putting in first place, but I sure do know Who can.  Wherever your treasure is (and it’s different for every person) – there will your heart (attitudes & actions) be.  ❤
Jesus loved everyone, but His ultimate treasure was His Father, God.  He knew from whence came His power, His glory, His everything – just as we as God’s children do.  ❤
Don’t assume that treasure refers to money.  Treasure is anything that holds a special place in your heart.  You can’t separate your treasure from your heart because there is such passion associated with the treasure in your life.  Maybe your treasure is money – but let me remind you that money, while a necessary evil in this world…  will mean nothing in the afterlife.  We’ve all heard the old saying, “You can’t take it with you.”  Make sure your treasure stays tempered with the stark facts of reality.  Only what is done for Christ will last – those things will follow you into Heaven.  Chew on that for a while.  ❤

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the LORD.  – Proverbs 21:30

God has impressed on me to ask everyone to pray for the President elect and pray for America.  I know most of us have been doing that for a very long time, but when God gives me a job to do…  I do it.

prayGod does not care which side of the political fence you sit on – and neither do I.  We need to unite and pray as God’s children – it’s as simple as that.

On January 20th, the President elect will become the President.  He has so much work to do in his first 100 days – I certainly do not envy his position.  Let’s come together and pray for God to give him the courage, strength, humility to lean on Him, and especially wisdom to do the right thing for Americans everywhere!

Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?  – 2 Chronicles 1:1

So that they may offer sacrifices pleasing to the God of heaven and pray for the well-being of the king and his sons.  – Ezra 6:10

For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good.  But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason.  They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.  – Romans 13:4

Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile.  Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.  – Jeremiah 29:7

In the Lord’s hand the king’s heart is a stream of water that he channels toward all who please him.  – Proverbs 21:1

 

Our Heavenly Father,

We humbly bow before You to ask Your blessings on our President elect, Donald Trump.  We pray that you would endow him with Your wisdom and knowledge as he makes decisions that will affect Americans everywhere.  May he execute justice for everyone equally.  We pray that You would build a hedge and surround him with angels at all times.  Keep him healthy and safe please.  Help him to stay focused and energized from above.  May he stay encouraged and positive about the direction America heads from now on.  Please help him to pursue peace and prosperity for Americans as he has promised to do.  Above all, we pray for Your perfect will to be done in our country, Lord.  May we be a blessing to You every day as we are showered with blessings every day.

We ask all of this in the precious name of Christ Jesus our Lord,

Amen.

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During this administration, it’s my hope and prayer that our country will turn back to God and understand that it’s HE who will make America truly great.  May He guide and direct our new President and keep him as only He can.  🙂

 

 

MARY DID YOU KNOW

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But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.  – Luke 2:19

Did Mary KNOW the majesty of this life she carried?  I believe she did – but did she know how it would impact the world?  For a young girl, that would have been a lot to take in.  It was a lot to take in any way, but even though she didn’t know the future, she knew the God who held her future in His very capable hands – and she trusted Him for the rest.

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I wouldn’t dream of comparing my faith and trust to that of Mary.  Can you imagine how much courage it would have taken to be a part of God’s plan for man?  She had amazing faith in God and absolute trust that He would work everything out for the good.  And you know what?  Her faith and trust…  it paid off, didn’t it?  Will faith and trust in that same God pay off in our lives?  You bet!

This thought-provoking modern day classic carol’s sung in literally hundreds of churches.  It was written back in 1996 and quickly became the most performed Christmas song ever.

Most of you know that Mark Lowry & Buddy Greene wrote it, but have you heard Mark tell the story of how he approached Bill Gaither with it?  It’s a hoot of a story – and I can just imagine the awkward moment when Bill Gaither realizes that Mark doesn’t read a lick of music.  But wow – does he have a good ear, or what?  Yeah – and he apparently asked the right question of Mary.  He asked her, “Did you know?”  So simple…  the best songs usually are, come to think of it.

LOL…  if Mark was God, he’d have come to earth differently – ‘cuz he’s a BAPTIST.  He still just cracks me up!  I was trying to find video of him talking about showing “Mary, Did You Know” to Bill Gaither – but it’s not on You Tube.pp-a-lesson-from-the-virgin-mary

When we accept Christ into our hearts and lives, it is through faith and trust – and that same faith and trust gets more grounded and stronger as time marches on.  There’s no better truth anywhere to know that regardless of the circumstances of life, God’s got this – and you’ve got God.  I hope you know the solid foundation of God through His Son, Christ Jesus.  I hope you trust Him to guide you in life and that your faith is deeply rooted for the uncertain days ahead.  🙂

 

 

ELECTION DAY IN THE USA – AND JESUS IS STILL LORD

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The LORD was moved by prayer for the land.  – 2 Samuel 24:25

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Most of my friends say they will be glad when this election is finally OVER.  I took advantage of early voting and voted by mail.  I was done with the campaign after I voted – after all, I’d done everything I could possibly do, right?

Was there another person I could persuade to see things my way?  Well, I didn’t think there was, but God apparently wanted me to meet up with some folks who were still wavering on the fence.  One was ready to forfeit her right to vote this time around.  We had a good conversation – she told me how she felt about both candidates and I asked a few simple questions.  I think I helped her see how not voting is not helping matters.america-needs-you-lord

Voting is probably the most personal of all things we do in life.  Just as some people choose to keep their faith to themselves and practice in private – some people are that way about their political views.  I tend to clam up if I’m in mixed company and the subject of politics comes up – but I can be the big mouth in a group if I’m with like-minded people.

Women should remember that it’s important to exercise their RIGHT to vote because that right was not always there!

If you’re a woman making the decision NOT to vote, regardless of your party or candidate, remember that just a short 96 years ago some very brave and incredibly strong women won a long hard-fought battle to grant you the ability to do so.  To sit at home, complaining about your country and the path it’s going down and NOT exercising your right to vote, is a slap in the face to those women and women everywhere.  – Bridget Montgomery

11-7-god-understands-donkeys-and-elephantsFor me it’s like this:  there will be no politics in Heaven.  Political rallies and campaigns will not take place beyond the pearly gates.  If you ever needed an incentive for going to Heaven…  there it is.  I’m joking – there are better incentives than that!

I have one observation to inject here – for what it’s worth.  It’s well-known that blue is the democratic color and red is the republican color.  What do you get when you mix those two colors?  PURPLE!!!  What does purple represent?  It represents ROYALTY.  Christ Jesus is KING and how wonderful if America was not red or blue, but PURPLE!!!  Let’s bow down to King Jesus regardless of whether blue or red is at the helm of this country.

God loves everyone regardless of political affiliation.  He loves liberals, conservatives, and everyone in-between.  That’s the truth that will help our country to heal after this election.  Somebody is going to lose this thing.  It’s important that we don’t let the hurt destroy our souls in the process.  The differences between liberals and conservatives are clear, but we must remember that God doesn’t see our political affiliation and beliefs…  God sees a soul that will either turn to Him for help or will not.god-holds-the-worldWhen the election is over…  will you trust GOD to hold your world together?  The ultra rich people running for President of the United States are not able to save us, you know.  They may have programs and plans that you feel will benefit our country, but they can’t save you.  Only God, through His only Son, Christ Jesus can save you now and for eternity.

At this point, we don’t know who our President will be…  but we know without a doubt that God knows who it will be…  and that is comforting!  He knows how this will go down and what lies ahead…  because He’s already there – in the future!

 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.  – Hebrews 11:8

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Here’s a prayer from http://www.hopeforthebrokenhearted.com/15027956_10154749935764939_5908825399816599926_n

Jesus Christ is King of kings and Lord of lords!  You know the truth.  What will you do about it?  You have a choice to accept God’s love and the sacrifice of Christ, or reject it.  The proverbial ball is in your court.  Have a blessed day.  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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Sometimes the choices we make are irreversible.  Once we begin walking forward, we just have to keep going and never turn around.  Those decisions are made slowly and methodically.  Make sure you give it much thought, because you know there’s no going back.  Nothing in your life will ever be the same again.  You have to ask yourself if there may be a time in the future when you’d like for things to be the way they are.  If the answer is no, then there’s no reason to stay where you are.  That’s the only time it’s okay to take action and keep walking forward.

I’ve only done that once.  I don’t care to ever do anything that painful again for the rest of my life.

I’ve learned that there are things that go wrong that don’t always get fixed or get put back together the way they were before. I’ve learned that some broken things stay broken, and I’ve learned that you can get through bad times and keep looking for better ones, as long as you have people who love you.  – Bobby Fulks

Sometimes decisions are made for us.  Things happen in life that are completely out of our control.  Life-altering experiences occur and that’s when we are left with our faith in God.  We hopefully have people in our lives who love us, but we know without a doubt that we have God…  and yes – He loves us.  He cares and He wants to hear what our hearts are feeling.  Even if what has happened leaves us frightened and angry and alone – He still wants to hear from us.

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Life is a little like on the job training.  We are born into this world – expected to perform at a certain level through school and receive a diploma which magically leads us to the pursuit of happiness.  Right?  Hang on, Sloopy…  let’s back this truck up.

Stuff happens in life because not only are we just human, but the people around us are… you guessed it…  human.  We all have dreams and expectations once we graduate.  We’re going to meet the right person to spend a lifetime with – we’re going to have this wonderful family together and we’ll fly off into fluffy white clouds in a classic car – like Danny and Sandy did at the end of the movie GREASE.

Have you ever seen a classic car fly???  I rest my case.  Just as a classic car most definitely will not fly, no woman could possibly fit into that leather outfit that Sandy wears toward the end of the movie.  I’m convinced that’s why most men want to watch that movie so many times.  Sigh.  I dunno – maybe it is to see the classic cars… 

Yes, life is like on the job training; however, most jobs are dull compared to the twists and turns that life takes.  When it seems your life is a rollercoaster ride, just keep in mind that Jesus sits at your side.  He doesn’t need a barf bag…  but there are times when you might need one.  Jus’ sayin’…

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The common thread throughout this topsy turvy ride of life is LOVE.  Find LOVE – a connection that makes it all worthwhile.  Love here on earth, of course…  but know that you are loved completely by your LORD.  He knows you better than anyone, and He loves you more than anyone here ever will.  We need human love to hang in there.  We need God’s love to make us whole and give us purpose.

Finding love on this earth is so difficult.  Finding love from Heaven is so simple.  🙂