A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

PROVERBS 10-8 BANNER

PROVERBS 10-8

I confess:  I am an ID (Investigation Discovery) addict – a closet addict – well, former closet addict.  Now the world knows!  Seriously, I see people make the worst decisions of their lives on this network – and end in ruin.  You don’t have to look very far to see examples of chattering fools who are living in the fast lane and crashing into brick walls at a young age!  When you live in the fast lane with no compass, it never ends well.  People who take the lives of other people always think they’ll get away with it – and they never do.

No fast lane for me, thank you!  It’s not because I think I’m better than anyone else, but because I have chosen to listen to God through His Word.  He knows what I need and exactly when I need it.  We have choices to make in life – and I choose a slow, steady, joy-filled life – with God in the center of it.  I love His Word and His ways.  I’ve been teased about my beliefs by others, but so what?

When this verse says ACCEPT COMMANDS, does that mean we listen to anyone who gives a command?  I don’t believe it means that.  God gave us an ability to discern good from bad, and you can bet that there will come a time when you are commanded to do something that goes against God’s Word and His ways…  when that happens, choose God’s way.  I’m not going to jump off a cliff to my death if I’m commanded to do so.  Um…  nope.

Of course, the commands in God’s Word are there for us to obey.  If we are wise, we won’t balk at them, but work throughout our walk with God to embrace His ways.  We learn that His ways will keep us filled with His joy and we know that Jesus loves us and wants His best for us.  If we are wise, we want His best too.

In the end, remember that God’s going to prevail.  Why would we not love Him and His ways?  He wants to help us with every aspect of our lives – the big things and the small things.  God is love and He loves you so much.  His Son, Jesus, died on a cruel cross just for you.  His commands (not just the ten) are there to protect us.  I hear so many say that the Ten Commandments are there to keep us from having fun.  Not true – they’re there to help us stay out of trouble.  I need all the help I can get.  Just sayin’…  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

Do you have brown eyes?  Maybe they are blue, or green, or hazel, or gray.  I once saw a photo of a white cat with purple eyes, but I’m pretty sure that was photo shopped.  No matter what color your eyes are, they are the windows to your soul – and you know what?  Your eyes let others know so much.  Your love ratio shows through in your eyes.  If God’s love lives in your soul, His love will shine through – and people will see it in your eyes.

We look each other in the eye and become uncomfortable when a person doesn’t look us in the eye.  We feel they somehow have something to hide or are guilty of something.  Of course, it could be that a person is just shy, but avoiding eye contact raises red flags to most of us.

The way the world thinks of love is so superficial and lightweight.  There’s barely a commitment involved in relationships anymore, which is so sad.  God’s love is so strong and He is so faithful and reliable to us, isn’t He?  He knows I’m not always going to get things right, but He knows that my heart is in the right place and my mind is fixed on His Word.  Most people are fairly self-centered, if we’re completely honest about it.  God is all about us and wants His best plan for us.  Why would we not want Him in our lives?

I was having a chuckle about the dance moves in this video.  These kids are obviously Baptists…  we don’t dance and this is our signature move.  Ha!

If ever there was a verse that Christians should memorize…  this is it.  Let’s memorize it – and put it into practice.  Let’s be the children God wants us to be.

I ran across this little video and thought it was just precious.  If you need encouragement to memorize this verse…  here ya go!

I like that little shirt too – so cute!

In closing, I want to emphasize that this is the most important commandment ever issued from the throne of glory.  I we choose to neglect this one, we can’t keep any of the others.  If we choose to observe it, we can easily keep the others.

Love trumps everything in God’s book.  God is love – and He expects nothing less from His children as they interact with one another.  🙂

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

The Christian race is compared to a race in the Bible.  I’m so thankful we don’t actually have to run a race…  am I the only one?  We’re instructed to overcome and stay true to God’s way and walk on His path throughout our lives.  Is it easy?  Not always.  Is it worth it?  Yes…  yes it sure is!  I’ve heard that stop, drop and roll doesn’t work in hell.

Even if we didn’t have the promise of eternal life in Heaven, just knowing that God’s love and His protection in my life is worth it.  Because of the sacrifice Christ made on the cross, those who were about to be spewed from God’s mouth are now invited to sit with Him on His throne.

If Christ is yours today, make sure to give Him praise for it!The gospel of Jesus Christ is not complicated – but He knows that we as individuals…  our thoughts and actions and wills…  they’re quite complicated.  God gave us free will because He didn’t want to be worshiped by robots – programmed to worship Him.  He wants us to have a desire to relate with Him.  That’s why prayer is such a precious gift – it’s our way of communicating with God through Christ.  And, yes, it is a two-way conversation.  We talk and we listen.

Because Christ was raised from the dead by God, people, though flawed, weak, stumbling and bumbling – are welcome to have a personal relationship with Him.  Will you choose to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ today?  I hope so.  When you ask Christ into your heart and life, with Lucinda, you can say, “You Are Mine” – praise God.

I like it!  I really do.  🙂

 

COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.  – 2 Timothy 2:15

KEEP THE GOVERNMENT OUT OF MY RELIGION!!!  Amen???  Well, how about KNOW WHAT YOUR BIBLE SAYS – for real.  It astonishes me to hear what folks think they’re quoting as Scripture…  when no, it’s really not.

 God helps those who help themselves.  – 1 Americanians 17:76

We’ve all heard this!  Shoot, my parents said that about as often as they said The Lord’s Prayer – well, maybe not as often, but I heard it a lot growing up.  It’s probably the most quoted saying that is attributed to God’s Holy Word – but guess what?  It’s not in there!

Spare the rod, spoil the child.  – 2 Abuse 19:50

I was spanked maybe once or twice in my life, but they were not beatings with a rod by any stretch of the imagination.  I used to tell my parents they “talked me to death” as a punishment.  It was effective, because I towed the line just to avoid that.  And, I was one of those kids who did NOT want to disappoint my parents.  I’d rather eat chalk than to disappoint my folks.  Nobody in the Bible ever told a parent to hit their kids!

Cleanliness is next to godliness.  – Obsessive Compulsive 20:14

OK, I’m sure God wants us to live above the fray and the dust bunnies; however, to obsess over it – ???  I’m guessing He just wants us to obsess over Him!  Praise Him, keep your mind on His precepts – His real precepts, not the ones made up by well-meaning folks with a fetish for housework.  Ugh…  that sounds like a problem for a therapist.  It’s a problem that I, thankfully, have never had.  Ask my husband.  No, wait – don’t ask him.  Bad idea.

Yea, verily, God wants you to be happy.  – Oprah 1:1

Sigh…  life as a Christian does not mean you are given lollipops and roses every day!  In fact, if we are to be followers of Christ, we are to take up our cross and follow Him.  God is not like SPA DAY…  and happiness is not our goal as a Christian.  God will most assuredly give us a deep settled PEACE and JOY if we give Him full control.  For control freaks, that’s very difficult – it’s not easy and should not be taken lightly.  It’s a battle of wills sometimes – and I’m speaking from personal experience.  There are days when I want to be in control, but I know that giving God the steering wheel is ultimately going to mean the outcome will be best for me.  He loves me and will not let anything overtake me.  I’ll cross over the waters and not drown because He loves me and won’t let me perish.  Happy?  No – it’s so much more than just happy.  Happiness is temporal and conditional.  Peace and joy regardless of circumstances of life…  now that’s what God wants for His children.  Don’t ever settle for happy when you can have so much more from God.

We’re all God’s children.  – Unity 13:13

Well…  we were all created by God.  I agree with that; however, we are only His child when we have come to a saving knowledge of His Son, Jesus Christ.  Once we have accepted the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, and know that He did all of this because we have transgressed and need to be forgiven and restored unto God – then and only then do we belong to God.  He doesn’t want anyone to perish, but He wants us to come to Him – of our own free will.  God gave us a free will because He did not want a relationship with robots, but with people.  He wants us to want to love Him.  He didn’t make us to have to love Him.  See the difference?

God will not give you more than you can handle.  – Optimist 10:10

This one sets my teeth on edge!  When I hear it, I want to scream, YES, YES sometimes He does give us more than we can handle!  I know they are thinking of 1 Corinthians 10:13 when they say it, but that is talking about TEMPTATION, not BURDENS!  Newsflash…  in this life I will have burdens, and there will be more burdens than I can handle by myself.  But here’s the good news…  I do not have to bear those burdens because I have a friend who carries all of them and gives me assurance that no matter what happens, He will be there with me and He is working all things for my good.  He’s making me stronger and increasing my faith every day.  It’s a good thing!  Life is not easy, but God is good!

Who started the rumor that there was an apple on that tree of life?  The Bible doesn’t say what the forbidden fruit was, but we sure found out what the consequences were for picking it, didn’t we?

And that little drummer boy at the stable where Jesus lay – who drove him to Bethlehem?  He wasn’t there.  There is no mention of a little boy with a drum standing beside Mary and Joseph and Jesus.  He wasn’t playing his best for Him…  per rum pa pum pum…  nope.  Sweet little Christmas song and nice thought, but totally fabricated story.

I was listening to Bill O’Reilly the other day.  He was talking about how sloppy journalism has gotten since technology came on the scene.  He said there is not thorough fact checking like there used to be.  They just get on the internet and assume everything they read is true.  It struck a chord with me.  How sloppy have we gotten as Christians in our study of God’s Word?  When was the last time you actually took your Bible (the actual Book, not your computer) out, dusted it off, and read from it?

We have so many voices talking in our heads these days – celebs claiming to be Christians with less than sage advice to give us.  When did we trade the words of King Solomon, the wisest man to ever live, for the words of Oprah?

False prophets are everywhere these days.  I don’t know about you, but I want the real deal, and I’m not willing to settle for fake quotes that may or may not tickle my ears and make me happy happy… when I can have the meat of God’s Word – His sovereignty and His majesty and His TRUTH.  Have a great day in the Lord!  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SPIRITUAL WELLNESS MONTH

TL MARCH IS SPIRITUAL WELLNESS MONTH

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.  Ephesians 4:32

Is it well with your soul?  March is Spiritual Wellness Month, and today’s post is a reminder that the God of the universe is still in control.  It’s easy to watch political programs, debates, and end up feeling – shall I say, less than optimistic – about how “things” are in America?  Christians, we have to turn our backs to the rhetoric (from the left and the right), and lift our heads toward heaven, lift our hands and pray… a prayer of acknowledgement to our GOD in heaven!

Dear Heavenly Father,

When things go wrong around us, it’s so easy to point the finger at our government and be harsh and critical.  There are proper times to reprove, but please teach us how to love and act based on Your Word rather than reacting with bad attitudes and anger.  Teach us how to walk a higher road as Christians in America and truly love as You love and forgive us.  Help us not to say or do anything that would drive a wedge in our relationship with You.  It’s so difficult to keep our political opinions in check.  We need Your grace in this area so much.  Thank You for hearing and answering our prayer.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

TRUST FOR STRAIGHT PATHSMy minister friend, Harold McKay, used to say, READ YOUR BIBLE AND PRAY.  Harold has been in Heaven for several years, but those words resonate with me still.  So many folks try to make it more complicated than it is.  Imagine if you were told you need to lose 50 pounds and you took everything out of your house and replaced it with a full gym.  Of course, that’s exactly what Kirstie Alley did…  but I digress.  To most of us in the real world, that seems extreme.  Most of us would get a gym membership and workout there, or we would get one or two pieces of equipment and cut down on food consumption.  That seems more reasonable and easier to do.

It’s not difficult to achieve spiritual wellness.  As Lucinda’s beautiful poem says, “Lay all things out before Him.”  It’s really that simple.  Learn as much as you can from God’s Word, the Bible.  Apply the principles and pray for God’s Holy Spirit to help you along.  He will do it.  He will definitely do it.  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (26)How ornate is the door of your heart?  How inviting is it to God’s Holy Spirit?  When we say, “Come into my heart – the door is open wide…” What does that door look like?  Is it a beautiful door with lead glass or is it more of a solid core door that never lets the light in?

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https://youtu.be/HTbJmCTqgkg

We are so blessed because before Christ ascended into heaven, He graciously left us His Holy Spirit to help us – guide us – with wisdom and mercy and love beyond understanding.  Through God’s Holy Word, the Bible, prayer, and guidance by God’s Holy Spirit – the comforter, the light in our heart – every Christian can navigate this life the way God wants them to.  I’m praising God for His protection over my life today, aren’t you?  He means everything to me! 

p32gcd4Precious Lord,

Thank You for leaving Your Holy Spirit to comfort and guide our footsteps.  You did not leave us alone and for that we are grateful.  May the door of my heart be one that lets the light of Your love shine through.  May Your love shine through me to others.  Help me to show the fruits of Your Holy Spirit… love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.  Give me Your perfect love and the wisdom to navigate this life as only You can.  I love You and lean on Your counsel every day, Lord.  Please take my hand and walk through this life with me.  I can do nothing without You.  Please shine in my heart and help me to shine out to others. 

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

LET ME BRING YOUR LOVE

Christianity is about shining and iron-sharpening.  It’s about encouraging each other in the LORD…  there is so much division and hate in the world around us, but that is not God’s way!  We are called to be “apart” from the world – we are in the world, but not of the world.  Through God’s Holy Spirit we can be like Christ.  Read God’s Word, pray and watch God work in your life.  🙂

 

MARK 10:27 ON 10/27

TL MARK 10 27 ON 10 27

Jesus looked at them and said, “It’s impossible for people [to save themselves], but it’s not impossible for God to save them. Everything is possible for God.”  – Mark 10:27

I humbly accept God’s plan of salvation for me…  do you accept His plan of salvation for you?

At this time of year, I like to read the story about the little girl who was asked what it’s like to be a Christian.  It’s so cute and so TRUE!  Do pumpkins pick themselves?  Do they wash the dirt off themselves?  They certainly do not cut open the top and scoop out all the yucky stuff – along with the seeds of doubt, hate and greed.  No – they do not do that for themselves.  This is a perfect example of what it’s like to be a Christian!  I like the part about how God puts HIS light in us and we shine for all to see!

BEING A CHRISTIAN

Have you tried to save yourself?  Have you leaned on fame, wealth, success or a particular lifestyle instead of a life in Christ?  So many times we dive head first into things here on earth that give us a temporary sense of self-worth.  Happiness comes over us but it doesn’t last.

There is a Jesus-shaped hole in everyone’s heart – and once you discover Him and allow Him to save you, the things of this earth will continue to appeal to you.  Maybe this next thing will fill the void…  but it won’t.  As the old gospel song says, ONLY JESUS CAN SATISFY YOUR SOUL.

I hope that today you will consider a permanent relationship with Jesus Christ.  When you are saved by Him – it’s forever and His light will shine in your heart and life.

Today serves as a little reminder to those of us who belong to Christ that we did not save ourselves – and it’s one more opportunity for those who have not yet accepted Him as their personal Savior…  please consider having a talk with Christ today.  I pray you are in the ark of safety today.  I love this beautiful poem by Lucinda Berry Hill.  How could we be anything but humble before our wonderful Lord and Savior?  After all, He loved first!

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Have a BEAUTIFUL Christ-centered day!  🙂

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (13)

Every right-wing, conservative, Christian in America is praying for hope and change in 2016.  No, not the fundamental transformation of the United States, but a return to the laws already in place that have not been enforced.  What a difference it would make if they would be.

There are a cast of thousands with their respective hats in the ring.  I’m not here to tell anyone who to vote for (like you’d listen if I tried), but I’m going to try to point one blatantly obvious fact out for you, just in case you missed it.

I hope Trump will continue to run under the Republican ticket.  If he runs under a 3rd party it will divide Republicans – split the party wide open!  This not only makes me nervous going forward, but it assures that we will lose the 2016 election.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out.  Split the Republican party?  Yep – and it would leave the Democrats laughing at us…  saying, “divide and conquer!”  It’d be awful if the Republicans were divided.  We need to remain united.  I pray we do.

In a prideful and arrogant tone, he says he does not pray to God for guidance.  He speaks with great candor which is refreshing, however, he lacks any sort of filter (certainly not a Holy Ghost brand of filter), and that concerns me greatly.

Why does it matter?  It matters because no man should consider himself more intelligent than his maker.  If he does not seek advice from a higher power, then he obviously thinks he IS the higher power and knows all.

He’s mistaken.  I’m not trying to be ugly.  Actually I’m being just as tactful as I can be…  but the fact is, he is mistaken.  We need God in America again…  and in order to get God and His principles back in America, it would make perfect sense in my brain that a Christian should hold the office of president.  Ya think???

Regardless of his economic status, perhaps he does not realize the true scope of the problem.  No one should go around putting down their competition, boasting about how much better they are.  The last time I saw that kind of campaign, I was in elementary school.  I was running for a seat on safety patrol and my competitor told everyone that I stole Twinkies from the coat room from other lunch boxes during lunch hour.

That was totally bogus…  my mom always packed a great lunch with my own Twinkie!  It was immature, but we were kids, so…  And yeah – I lost.  LOL.  I survived.

If he really cared about the Republican party, he’d back off and cool it.  Will he run under a new ticket?  If that happens – we’re sunk.  Honestly, our party needs to get its collective act together.  I’m both mad and sad…

I have no other candidate to endorse at this point, but…  there are some fine Christian Republican candidates running…  ones who would lean on God for guidance.

As you contemplate the candidates, always remember that this is all God’s perfect timing, not ours.  In His time all things will be made known.  In His time we will be taken to heaven.  Remember to always keep Christ before you.

ALWAYS BEFORE ME

I want to encourage you not to choose a candidate to back with feelings of frustration alone.    Please pray about who you will vote for – I mean really pray about it.  Our country is at a crossroads – we need to get this RIGHT!  May God help each one of us as we do our part to regain what dignity for America we can.  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  – 1 Corinthians 15:57

REFLECTIONS

Why are there so many mirrors at the gym???  UGH!!!  I used to think there were mirrors so I would feel guilty when I caught a glimpse of my body – but no, the mirrors are there so you can check your form – how you execute the exercise.  If an exercise is not done with good form, it can (and will) cause an injury.

As there are mirrors to check our form while using workout equipment at the gym, God puts mirrors in our path once in a while so we can check our spiritual workout – our motives and attitudes.  They allow us to weed out any toxic behaviors as we see ourselves next to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  This is how we get the victory as we live.

Through God’s Holy Spirit and His Word, we are able to look in spiritual mirrors (yes, they are full-length).  As Christians we need to keep the lines of communication open with the Lord and be very familiar with His teachings by reading Scripture every day.  This is the only way we can keep our lives in check and know without a doubt we are reflecting the love of Christ to others in our realm of influence.  Use the mirrors – check your form.

We live in a day when people take bits and pieces from this teaching and that teaching and sort of cook up their own blend to live by.  If this Eastern philosophy sounds good and right, we adopt it.  If this Christian teaching sounds right, but this other one is too rough to adopt, or more likely, seems to go against the flow of popular opinion, we reject it.

Would you go to a gym and hang sheets or curtains over the mirrors so you couldn’t judge your form while working out?  I used to think the answer was YES – but now that I know why the mirrors are there – (to help me do things correctly), my answer is NO – of course not!

Use the spiritual mirrors that God has provided through His Holy Spirit and through His Word.  These mirrors are available to Christians so we can be better and more like Christ.  🙂

 

 

HAPPY EASTER

TL EASTER SUNDAY

Our faith is what connects our weakness to God’s power.  – Wanda McDaniel

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You for sending Jesus as a baby into our world with a mission to save our sins at Calvary.  Thank You for raising Him from the dead and for Your precious Holy Spirit.  Thank You for loving us so much!

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

And with great power gave the apostles their witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.  – Acts 4:33

How many colors can you fathom?  There are not enough colors on the palette to describe the joy in every Christian’s heart and soul today!  God raised Jesus from the dead and HE IS ALIVE!!!  The colors available to us are not vivid enough to paint the joy we feel today!

 Easter says you can put truth in a grave, but it won’t stay there.   – Clarence W. Hall

God did not leave us in Saturday – after death and despair.  He raised Christ from the dead and now He sits at the right hand of God in heaven.

And…  when God raised Christ from the grave, He did not leave man alone either, but gave us His Holy Spirit to help us.  That is love.  So as you paint Easter eggs, remember to use the most bright and vivid colors you can find because we are celebrating today!

 The resurrection gives my life meaning and direction and the opportunity to start over no matter what my circumstances.   – Robert Flatt

Throughout my life I’ve heard the phrase “I know that I know that I know that I KNOW my Savior is alive!”  It means that the faith you have remains unshaken and you continue to fully trust in God through Christ Jesus no matter what.

 The joyful news that He is risen does not change the contemporary world.  Still before us lie work, discipline, sacrifice.  But the fact of Easter gives us the spiritual power to do the work, accept the discipline, and make the sacrifice.   – Henry Knox Sherrill

We know that regardless of outward appearances, God has a plan and He knows what He’s doing.  Keep praying and reading His Word.  Trust Him for the answers you need in your life.

 Let the resurrection joy lift us from loneliness and weakness and despair to strength and beauty and happiness.   – Floyd W. Tomkins

As you color Easter eggs, think about all the beautiful colors that represent how thankful you are for the resurrection of Christ – and that He is ALIVE!!!  Happy Easter!!!  🙂