A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

Have you heard a Christian say they regret inviting Christ Jesus into their heart and life?  Neither have I – and I don’t imagine I ever will.  We make hundreds of decisions daily, but that is the only decision that will matter beyond this life – what will you do with Christ Jesus?

Sin is fun…  for a season.  It makes your heart beat a little faster and there’s a bit of danger involved and so much risk.  Get caught and you could lose everything.  How much do you want to gamble away?  Even Christians sometimes listen to the enemy when he says it’s not going to really hurt anyone and there’s no risk involved.  It’s a lie.  Be on guard against his lies and ready to tell him to get away in the name of Christ Jesus.

There’s a time when every Christian has to stop playing church, walking the fence, dabbling in the things of God – and get real.  That’s what it means to count yourself DEAD to sin.  Don’t even go there.  Put on the full armor of God (Eph. 6) and make your faith real.  Until you do that, you may be fooling many people – but you know you’re not fooling God and you’re actually breaking His heart.

Once you know that you know you’ve made a decision for God and God alone – get baptized – get washed clean and live for Him.

To be truly ALIVE in Christ is the best!  Once you’ve put all your past sins on the altar and asked God to forgive them, He will – and He remembers them no more (it’d be nice if people would forget, wouldn’t it?)  Sometimes it’s difficult to forgive yourself for your past sins, but think of it this way…  if Almighty God says He’s going to forgive and not bring it up ever again, who do you think you are to hang on to those sins of the past?  You have to forgive yourself and it’s not easy – but if you ask God to help you, He’s faithful to help you forgive yourself.

Once forgiveness takes hold, you can be ALIVE IN CHRIST!  That’s the best life because it’s honest and simple.  Sin keeps us in chains, but life in Christ sets us free!  No lies to have to remember, no sneaking around doing something you shouldn’t be doing, no more drama… just freedom and joy in Christ forever!  🙂

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

A couple of things happen once you accept the living water that Jesus offers…  first, you no longer feel thirsty – the void has been filled and second, you just have this overwhelming need to go tell somebody about what you’ve found!  That’s just what happens.

Mrs. Clopp was the sweetest little lady and the wife of our pastor at the time.  I have no idea why my dad had his camera in church that day – but I love that I have this picture.  This reminds me of the time when the Lord washed my sins away and I started a new life with Him.  That Sunday evening I was baptized…  I know – again with the WATER!  Our salvation and baptism only happens because of God’s grace through Christ – and the blood that Christ shed on the cross at Calvary.  What a great thought to ponder on this Good Friday!  God loves us so much – I hope you know Him too.

I’ve probably mentioned this before, but I think my love of rain stems from this experience.  It usually rains on my birthday, and I’ve been known to go outside and dance in it.  Water is so cleansing and everything smells so clean, fresh and new after a gentle rain.  I know that the water is symbolism, but it represents a very real work that happens inside.

No matter what happens in my life, how much I fall or fail or get into sticky situations…  I have this time to revisit.  God was there – I was there.  Life gets messy sometimes and I am so far from perfect, believe me, but I know there is forgiveness waiting from the Lord as I move forward.  I could have let things make me bitter in life, but I chose to learn the lessons and let them make me better.

Dance in the Living Water that comes from God.  Remember that you may fall or fail or get into sticky situations…  but your GOD will never fail you – ever!  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

Yesterday we talked a bit about faith.  Today I want to continue with this portions of Scripture and talk about baptism, which is an outward expression of an inward work done by God’s Holy Spirit when we’re saved.  My baptism was sort of funny – my pastor was a sweetheart, but he was even shorter than me when I was 13 years old – and I’m short!  I remember having some fear that he wasn’t going to be able to get me back up out of the water.

Now…  you have to understand – I have a horrible fear of water.  I know it’s irrational – but when I was about 7 years old, my dad decided that I was going to learn to swim – and he got tired of trying to teach me – so one afternoon he threw me in the deep end and thought I was going to figure it out.  I didn’t.  I sunk like a stone!

So, knowing that this slight built, short man was going to be in charge of keeping me from drowning…  well – it left me less than confident.  I know Brother Clopp (yes, that’s his real name) had probably done hundreds of baptisms – and I wasn’t going to back out because I knew that if I did drown, I’d be okay – I mean…  I was saved, so…

I know some would recommend that I just skip it – saying that God would understand.  I just felt like I had to be baptized.  It must be an important step because even Christ felt He should be baptized.  It must matter – and most  people understand the significance – when you go under the water you are symbolically ridding yourself of your old life – your old self is gone – and as you come out of the water, you are a new person – and I can’t explain it – but that’s really how it feels!  It’s like you are clean and forgiven and life will never be the same.

I’m so very thankful that whosoever means me too!  Believe on the name of Christ and you’ll be saved.

We’re washed and covered with Christ – then there’s water baptism…  an outward symbol representing the inward work.  🙂

 

 

PARDON DAY

TL 9-8 PARDON DAY

On this day in 1974, President Gerald Ford pardoned Richard M. Nixon of all wrongdoing in the famous Watergate scandal. While a Presidential pardon is quite a big deal, an even more important and eternal pardon was made a very long time ago on a hill called Calvary by Christ Jesus.

The pardon offered to us by God’s own Son has eternal merit. It is not only offered to the rich and affluent, but it is offered to everyone regardless of race, background or social standing.

Christ paid the supreme sacrifice to forgive us of our sins. On this INTERNATIONAL PARDON DAY, won’t you accept the free gift given for you so long ago? As Christ forgave us, so we are to forgive each other.

If you are holding a grudge against those who have committed some offense against you, Pardon Day grants you a valid reason to check your feelings and the time that has passed, and to let that resentment and anger go.

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. – Mahatma Gandhi

If you refuse to forgive (even if not asked to) it will take a toll on your attitude, life and eventually your very health and well-being. Research has proven that people who make a choice to give up resentment toward others live longer and have better cardiovascular and nervous systems. To harbor a bitter feeling against someone is to allow them to take up residence in your mind rent-free. Forgiveness is an act that brings happiness to those who give it. To release the negative emotions held inside is a gift you give yourself. The one you harbor bad feelings toward has moved on – you need to do the same.

The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.
– Steve Maraboli

Today may be a good time to incorporate some “magic words” into your vocabulary. It’s great to hear someone say, “Excuse me” or “Pardon me” if they accidentally bump into you or run their shopping cart over your foot or something. Those simple words defuse anger and let you know the act was not done on purpose.

One misconception remains about extending a pardon. By no means do you have to fall back into the old trap you were in before with that person. Na na na na huh-uh! I’ve been guilty of it too. You forgive and then get back in the saddle, right? Then you end up having a similar problem. Sigh. I know. Sometimes you just have to cut the ties that strangle you.

Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names. – John F. Kennedy

Do everything in your power to pardon because Christ gave His all to pardon you. Trust me when I say it is not worth carrying a root of bitterness for one more day. Do what you have to do to rid yourself of it. You can write a letter, send an email, facebook message or call that person on the phone. Get it out and get over it so you can move on.

If the person you’re bitter towards is no longer living, you can write a letter to them with nothing held back – then take it to their grave, read it to them, light it on fire and burn it to set yourself free!

I want everything clear ‘tween me and thee so that all can be clear ‘tween my Lord and me.
– Linda Palmer

 

NATIONAL BE HEARD DAY

TL 3-7 NATIONAL BE HEARD DAY

Listen up, small business owners, today is NATIONAL BE HEARD DAY!!!  Over 145,000,000 small businesses in the United States are struggling to break through the big-business dominated times.  These businesses need to be squeaky wheels – they need to be heard (and seen)!

Through creative marketing, good publicity tactics or strong visual appearance, you can make your business stand out from the rest.

Every cat looks like every other cat – or do they?  Remember Grumpy Cat?  I rest my case.

Created in 2006, this is an “unofficial” national holiday started by Business Mentor, Shannon Cherry.

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One afternoon I was waiting for my husband to get finished with a meeting.  We were staying at a lovely hotel with several little off-name boutiques made quaint little homes for themselves.  I decided to do a little shopping since I had some time to kill.

Stunning sterling silver jewelry and other assorted accessories tempted me as I walked into the first shop.  A very nice, older lady greeted me and let me know she’d be happy to help me.  I thanked her and continued browsing.  I noticed how neat and tidy everything looked.  I didn’t feel any pressure to buy anything and appreciated the shopping experience.

I walked to the next shop, expecting a similar shopping experience.  I was not greeted because the clerk was too busy texting someone.  That didn’t bother me all that much – I know sometimes life happens.  The shop was funky and gave me a strange vibe.  There were neon scarves hung this way and that, with no real order.  There was some sterling silver jewelry, but it was not neat nor tidy.  The merchandise looked as if people had come in and tried it on then slung it down anywhere.  It was a strange ambience and I left quickly.

There was a third store but I didn’t even go inside.

Am I being picky?  Well, maybe a little.  I’m the same way about antique shops.  Some of them are so spacious and things are neat and clean and tidy.  Others are so cramped, you really don’t know whether you dare touch anything for fear that the pile will fall down on you!

I’ll tell you a secret…  if the clerk is nice to me and wants to chat a bit, that makes up for a lot of other faults I may have concerning the shop.

Why do you read my blog?  It’s certainly not the content because my writing is not that interesting.  Maybe I’m the one who greets you every day.  Well, you’re the one that greets me too.  There are many days when I don’t see another person other than my husband.

I’ve tried to make this blog not only informative, fun and as real as possible, but attractive.  I want it to make some sort of sense to you, the reader.  To maintain a small business and hopefully help it become a big business, you need good people who care as much as you do about the business.  You need something to catch the eye as a person walks into your shop.  It above all needs to be clean and neatly arranged.  Something has to catch the eye, then the content keeps the interest and the price will hook the sale.

You may not have to pay a young person as much to work in your shop, but some of them would rather sit behind the counter texting than say hello to a customer or pick a scarf up off the floor.  It’s not a customer’s job to pick a scarf up.  I don’t know if the older lady had a vested interest in that shop or not, but I do know that she was pleasant and helpful to me, the customer.  True, I didn’t buy anything, but I remember the name of the shop and will go back if we stay at that hotel again.  She, and it, made a lasting impression.  🙂

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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GLORIOUS MESS

It amazes me that the day after Christmas, people are still shopping at the antique mall.  LOL!!!

I am a self-proclaimed neat freak. I do not think straight surrounded by chaos or clutter of any kind. I do not tolerate anything but complete order in my environment. There is one exception – one very special exception to that rigid rule of thumb. Christmas morning.

It was the most wonderful mix of gift bags, tissue, wrapping paper, bows, odds and ends from boxes like bubble wrap (yes, I popped it – ALL of it!) It is the only time of year I allow a mess and consider it a real blessing. I always take photos of it for the scrapbook. One day these pictures will remind me that we enjoyed Christmas. We felt love and was able to share in gift giving and remembering once again the best gift ever given to us – Jesus!

That was yesterday – and it was wonderful. Today I sought a sense of order in my environment once again. I’m slow getting back into my routine, as I have lost a number of things, including a freshly brewed cup of coffee! How does one lose a cup of coffee? I don’t know, but I have managed to do just that! I know it’s around here somewhere! It will obviously be cold and less than fresh by the time I find it. And this is what microwaves were made for!

Maybe I’m in a “beautiful mess” afterglow of sorts. I enjoyed watching wrapping paper fly and land on the floor – and being okay with it! I do eventually need to regain the order I once had, but I’m just not ready yet. It’s too soon to let go of the mess. The paper was immediately removed, of course, but I’m not ready to go into full organization mode yet. Oh, I know I will and I know that it will happen somewhere around New Year’s Day. But for just one more day I will bask in the Christmas afterglow and embrace the mess. This mess means I have a family that loves me enough to include me. It means that I am not alone. It means that God has once again made provision for us. It means so much. Please, Lord, bless this BEAUTIFUL mess! ❤

WORLD FORGIVENESS DAY

TL 8-27 WORLD FORGIVENESS DAY

WASHED

Click image to enlarge (yes, I know it was written in 2015 – I retro-plugged it because it is so fitting for this subject).  Wink!  😉

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On the farm, it seems that honesty is second nature and a big part of honesty is granting forgiveness. It’s a simple life that demands little more than the golden rule. Just treat everyone the way you’d like to be treated. So why is that so difficult in some circles?

Today is WORLD FORGIVENESS DAY, and how much true forgiveness needs to happen in our world?  In our country?  In our state?  In our city?  In our community?  In my heart?

Ah – now we get down to the nitty-gritty – my heart.  If I do not forgive others their trespasses against me, God can not forgive my trespasses against Him.  I know these things yet I hold on to grudges and hurt feelings.  Until this head knowledge reaches my heart, it’s just more information I have stored that is of no use until acted upon.
I have to let it go – and pray every day that God will help me not ever take it back again.  How much happier would I be without any grudges or hurt feelings?  What if I could look back on the past and not feel like a knife is twisting in my back?  How great would that be?
I need God’s forgiveness for some pretty awful transgressions.  In order to get His forgiveness and be clean and fit for eternity, I need to forgive some folks and ditch some sinful behavior.  No, I’ll never be perfect – no one will.  That’s not to be an excuse for sinful behavior.  We don’t compare our lives to others, we compare our lives to the standard set by God Himself.  When I look at my life in the light of God’s Word, I am lacking.
I need to forgive others so God can forgive me.  So on this special day, I’m letting it go and embracing the freedom that only comes from good clean living and a clear conscience.  Oh, and God forgives me – hope you do too.
What are my sins?  Well – that’s ‘tween me and my maker.
When sins are confessed, there needs to be a change.

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See ya around!   🙂