His Love

The word overflow means to have the contents flowing over or spilling, as an overfull container.

So, let me get this straight…  the purpose for my life is not that I be a world-renowned neurosurgeon?  Whew!  What a relief!  One of the MAIN purposes for my life – and for your life – is to share God’s wonderful love with others.  What others?  ALL the others!  Anyone and everyone!  That, I am sure, we can do!

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.  – 1 John 4:8

Real love is not found in a heart-shaped box of chocolates.  The only surprise in that box is about ten more pounds on your thighs!  No…  Valentine’s Day is all fine and good for the romantic in all of us, but real love from God is where we find true joy and do the most good for our fellow-man (and woman).

Think about this:  If God IS love, then anyone who doesn’t have a relationship with him through His Son, Christ Jesus, can only be described as selfish and self-absorbed in nature.  It’s just a thought to ponder.  If there is no other source from which we can obtain real love – then those who don’t know God do not know real love or have a clue how to show real love to others.

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating:  the devil imitates and copies everything that God does.  There is a false, fake, second-rate imitation of love that looks very close to the love of God – but it’s not OF God.  I’m sure those who are under its influence believe it is from God Himself, but it’s not.

To rest in our Lord’s strong and loving arms is wonderful indeed; however, His embrace is not to be selfishly hoarded.  God’s love is to be showered on others.  His Word is not only to be read and heeded – it’s to be shared through preaching and teaching.

We have to be very careful, especially in this modern-day, where everyone has a voice and knows how to use it.  Social media’s jam-packed with all sorts of quotes and sayings that seem sincere, but they don’t hold water theologically.  Study the Bible for yourself to make sure you know God’s real love!

Read God’s Word daily – be aware of what HE says, in His loving and lovely way.  Let Him be the light that guides you and your path will never be dark.  Once you know His love, you’ll never be the same.

Sometimes I feel like a weirdo – a fish swimming upstream, waving at everyone swimming in the “right” direction…  I’m like – “Bye bye…  see ya!”  I like to take personality quizzes and took one recently on facebook.  Here are the results.  I don’t know whether I feel better about my personality or not.

Your Enneagram personality type is the Individualist. You’re creative, very intelligent and fiercely independent. You’re driven by the desire to live true to yourself and you’re willing to stand out from everyone else in the process. When unbalanced you tend to be melancholy and envious of others, but if you trust your inner voice you have an impressive imagination that can change the world. You may feel like a rebel without a cause, but when you’re in touch with your inner drive, your unique voice can take you far. Be yourself, never compromise on your vision, and find creative ways to express your reality. You have the potential to be one of history’s greats!

I look at a lot of memes every day – to get inspiration for my own designs and see what is popular these days.  Have you seen the one with the scarecrow standing out in the field – and the caption says, “He feels so special because he’s out standing in his field!” – ???  I guess I’m that scarecrow!  LOL!!!  It could be worse.  😀

Before I go, I want to invite you to check out this offer from Deanna Stalnaker on Amazon.  This looks like a wonderful story!  Here’s the link:

And while you’re reading your favorite blogs, check out Judy Janowski’s blog: https://lifeisagardenparty.blogspot.com/

You need to get Lucinda’s wonderful books.  They are a fantastic companion to THE B.I.B.L.E – (Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth).  If you’re looking for encouragement and inspiration, these books are just what you need!   https://Lucindaspoetry.webs.com/  

Thank you so much for following my blog!  Have a blessed and glissando kind of week!  I’m gonna head back out to the corn field now and be out standing in my field!  Ha!  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

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JAMES 1:22 ON 1/22

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Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. – James 1:22

This portion of Scripture leaves little room for doubt.  Little or no explanation is necessary, as it is self-explanatory.  It’s a bit like the old Nike ad…  JUST DO IT!

Do It

If Jesus asks you To serve water at a wedding, Get the cups.

If He invites you to Meet Him on the lake, Step out.

If Jesus tells you To feed 5,000, Start breaking bread.

When He tells you to Go and preach the gospel, Open your mouth.

When Jesus tells you To let your light shine, Shine it for all.

When He tells you to Pray for your enemies, Drop to your knees.

When Jesus tells you To worship the Father, Lift up your voice.

When He tells you to Give to the poor, Dig deep.

Lucinda Berry Hill, from week 23 of Coffee with Jesus

We can study, listen to sermons and memorize Scripture until the cows come home, but if there aren’t attitudes and actions backing all of that up…  it’s just wasted time and effort.  Faith without works – is dead, so we see later in the book of James.

James was the half-brother of Jesus.  He witnessed the Lord’s resurrected body, then became one of the leaders of the church at Jerusalem.  After Peter’s miraculous release from prison, he singled James out (Acts 12:17).  James made the deciding speech at the Jerusalem Council (15:13-22), and Paul called James one of the pillars of the church (Galatians 2:9).

Some writers are gentle in their attempt to help the reader along in their Christian walk.  We see their human side and find hope because we know if God through Christ Jesus forgave them, He will surely forgive us.  The Psalmist David comes to mind and the Apostle Peter comes to mind.

James is a writer who most definitely does not mince words.  I’d call him a no-nonsense writer.  He’s the one who just tells it like it is – no ands, ifs or buts.  No excuses allowed.  He’s like the spiritual personal trainer who says – “I know you’re tempted…  but so what?  resist the devil and keep going in the right way!”   He supplies the spiritual kick in the backside that makes us say – “Yep!  He’s right about that!”  He says if we’re going to talk the talk, we’d better be walking the walk.

I’ve said in the past that the book of James is a tough one for me.  It’s just the simple, brash, harsh, undiluted truth.  It’s not sugar-coated and there is no room for misinterpretation at all.  He says what he means and means what he says.  And sometimes…  ouch – that smarts.

But really…  can you imagine being the half-brother of the Savior?  I think that relationship has a lot to do with his bold and direct writing.  It’s no holds barred, blunt and to the point.  There’s no wiggle room whatsoever.  And really where outright sin is concerned, there is no wiggle room.  Sin is sin and you can’t giggle and wink your way out of it.  It’s not cute…  it’s wrong and restoration from God is the only cure.  God will forgive any sin, but you have to sincerely ask Him to forgive you.

I wonder if James ever heard, “Why can’t you be more like Jesus?” – ???  I always tell people I’m going to ask questions when I get to Heaven – I want to ask James if he ever heard that – but you know what?  By the time I get to Heaven, it’s not really going to be that important.  🙂

 

CYBER MONDAY

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Today is the day to stay in your pajamas and take advantage of the bargains available online!  There are literally tons of deals out there, so no matter what you are shopping for, there is surely a bargain waiting for you to find it.

15239340_1849686458609149_912808752_nLucinda is a talented poet and contributes regularly to my blog.  Her book “Coffee with Jesus” has been my go-to devotional for many years.  Every week I read a poem and companion Scriptures.  Her words inspire and encourage my spirit to do the things that God has called me to do.15218701_1849714758606319_1672215540_n

Her poem “The Napkin” is particularly inspiring – and mine serves as a reminder of the sacrifice that Christ made to save me for eternity.  I could imagine a table setting with these napkins being so lovely at Christmas.  What a unique touch for a family gathering!

the-napkinHere is a better photo of this high-quality linen napkin ❤15207832_1849714225273039_1946476464_n

I cherish mine and keep it displayed year around.

15175485_1849714205273041_1937375671_nThere’s just something about having a journal to jot down thoughts as you have devotionals.  Sometimes the Lord speaks and inspires us and it’s great to have this companion to “Coffee with Jesus” close by when God inspires us – right?  When you buy the book today, this wonderful journal (a $6 value) can be yours for free!

And wow – upgrading to hard cover – how great is that???  Since this is a devotional book and will be used time and again, year after year…  I mean – when it’s a paperback, it will begin to show wear so much sooner than the hard cover would!  That’s a fantastic bonus, isn’t it?

Today’s the day to buy “Coffee with Jesus” and choose a bonus!  Decisions…  decisions!

When you finally decide which bonus you want to choose, go to www.lucindaspoetry.webs.com

Although not part of the Cyber Monday special…  Lucinda’s book, “A Second Cup with Jesus” is a must-have!  I’m a little biased and like this book in particular because, well…  I got to help with it!  When Lucinda asked if I would like to write prayers to go with her poems, I was so excited and anxious to do that!  We hope and pray that this book will be a blessing to you.  It also makes a great gift.  ❤15211774_1849714728606322_459068675_n

Everyone needs a great devotional book – and I can’t think of a better one!  These poems & prayers will be a blessing.  It’s our prayer that God will speak to your spirit through them.  🙂

NATIONAL POETRY MONTH

TL - APRIL IS NATIONAL POETRY MONTHGentlemen, if you really want to do something special for your lady, take her to the park, sit on a bench together and start reciting poetry to her.  Okay, I see you rolling your eyes at me – hey, I tried!

April is National Poetry Month, so of course this blog has to celebrate!

I love a poem that says what my heart feels.  It puts into words all the thoughts and feelings I have.  This poem fills the bill:

When I say, “I am a Christian”

by Carol Wimmer

When I say, “I am a Christian”

I’m not shouting, “I’ve been saved!”
I’m whispering, “I get lost!
That’s why I chose this way”.

When I say, “I am a Christian”

I don’t speak with human pride
I’m confessing that I stumble –
Needing God to be my guide

When I say, “I am a Christian”

I’m not trying to be strong
I’m professing that I’m weak
And pray for strength to carry on.

When I say, “I am a Christian”

I’m not bragging of success
I’m admitting that I’ve failed
And cannot ever pay the debt.

When I say, “I am a Christian”

I don’t think I know it all
I submit to my confusion
Asking humbly to be taught.

When I say, “I am a Christian”

I’m not claiming to be perfect
My flaws are all too visible
But God believes I’m worth it.

When I say, “I am a Christian”

I still feel the sting of pain
I have my share of heartache,
Which is why I seek His name.

When I say, “I am a Christian”

I do not wish to judge
I have no authority…
I only know I’m loved

Lucinda Berry Hill has written poetry that connects with people.  She writes from the heart and is so open and honest.  Have you ever wondered what her first poem was???  It so happens I have it – right here….  yep – you saw it HERE first!  😉  She wrote this in the summer of 1976 after making a traumatic move from her home state of New York, leaving family  and friends at 12 years old – to Pennsylvania.  APRIL IS POETRY MONTH - THIS IS LBH'S FIRST POEM. I HOPE WE MEET AGAIN

BLESSINGS FROM PAIN

MY PEN-PALGLORY TO MY PARTNERShe also wrote 2 poems that were created using titles from both her books, “Coffee with Jesus” and “A Second Cup with Jesus”.BE BEAUTIFUL YOU ARE GOD'S CHOICE

FINDING HOME WITH A GOD OF ALWAYS

Poetry describes a situation you find yourself in and will hopefully spark something in others that makes them say, “Oh, I’ve been there too” or “That was surely a GOD thing!”  I wrote a poem that did just that a few years ago.  Hope you relate to this:

CONVERSATION ABOUT HEAVENApparently, I’m not the only one who has experienced this!  The first time I posted this on facebook, it got close to 100 LIKES and several shares – it blew me away!  🙂

WORLD BOOK DAY

TL 3-3 WORLD BOOK DAY

There are so many great books to read, but a few come to mind that seem especially right for the season of Lent.  Here are my top ten picks:

  1.  Twice-Told Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne.  He has been called America’s first great Christian writer.  If you like a bit of mystery thrown in as you learn, you’ll enjoy the Reverend Hooper in The Minister’s Black Veil.  His veil, like the gray cross on some of our foreheads on Ash Wednesday, proclaims the sinfulness of our hearts and forces us to reckon with it before God, alone.  I like this book because it’s a compilation of short stories, so I don’t get bored.
  2. Think Well On It:  Consideration on the Great Truths of the Gospel by Richard Challoner.  Well written and thought-provoking.  If you want to meditate and deepen your understanding of the Bible, this is a great book to help you.
  3. He Chose the Nails by Max Lucado.  I’ve read this book every year during the Lent season since 2009.  I never get tired of reading of the outstanding and perfect LOVE with which my Savior went to the cruel cross of Calvary. https://youtu.be/gnKiJnQAgsk
  4. The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis.  I’m only on the first chapter, but it sets a great tone for Lent.  It talks about how we need to deny our own vanity – and all the sins to which it leads.
  5. The Power of Less:  The Fine Art of Limiting Yourself to the Essential in Business and in Life by Leo Babauta.  By setting limits for yourself and making the most of the resources you already have, you will be happier and feel lighter in your own life.  Contentment in Christ alone is what we all want.
  6. He Leadeth Me by Walter J. Ciszek.  God has powerfully used this book in my life.
  7. The Secret Diary of Elisabeth Leseur:  The Woman Whose Goodness Changed Her Husband from Atheist to Priest by Elisabeth Leseur.This inspiring book gives you a splendid example of how to live as a Christian in a secular environment that can be indifferent or hostile to your Faith. For Elisabeth Leseur had two great loves: God and her husband Felix, who was an atheist. Felix loved Elisabeth as well; yet to their mutual sorrow, he couldn’t share the life of the Spirit that Elisabeth cherished.Occasionally the happiness of their life together in upper-class Parisian society was shattered by Felix’s frustration and impatience. How could such an intelligent woman waste her time, as he saw it, with ignorant superstitions? Sometimes he and his friends would even ridicule and mock her faith.But Elisabeth loved Felix too much to allow their home to degenerate into an emotional war zone. She realized that confrontations and arguments were useless; she chose instead to keep quiet and pray for Felix. In her secret diary she recorded how she used his efforts to destroy her faith as means to grow in love for him and for God.Throughout their life together, it grieved Elisabeth to think that Felix might be separated from her for all eternity because of his rejection of God.For her, life in Heaven wouldn’t be happy without him. Yet when she died prematurely, Felix was still an unbeliever.The story doesn’t end there. When Felix found this diary, he discovered how Elisabeth’s whole life bore witness to the truth of the God she loved.

    In time, Felix was transformed by the diary and his memories of Elisabeth. He became a Christian and, later, a priest. Now she may even be declared a saint. Elisabeth’s diary and spiritual writings (all included in this one volume) map out for you a path to marital harmony and greater love for God — especially if you love someone who stands outside the Faith. Let Elisabeth’s two great loves, and her faith and perseverance, inspire you now.  This is an amazing book, an amazing journey which brought me to tears more than once.

  8. I Believe in Love by Fr. Jean C.J. d’Elbee.  Based on St. Therese’s little way, it stresses confidence in and abandonment to Jesus.  I’m reading it a few pages at a time.  It’s written with such depth that a little dab will provoke thought and provide inspiration.
  9. Lovingkindness by Sharon Salzberg.  A life changing guide about prayer.  It helps us discover how to increase loving thought and feelings toward family, then friends, then people we are ambivalent about, then people we dislike and eventually, all people.  It’s a perfect book for our journey to become more like Christ.
  10. Heart of the World by Hans Urs von Balthasar.  Pure paschal poetry of distilled Gospel.

I am actually very partial to one particular book – and I’ll bet you know what one!  😉  I want to encourage you to read Lucinda Berry Hill’s A SECOND CUP WITH JESUS, the follow-up to her popular book, COFFEE WITH JESUS.  Both of the books are excellent, but of course I’m going to recommend the one that she so graciously asked me to write prayers to go with her wonderful poetry.

I want to share the poetry for both books, in which Lucinda so cleverly used the titles of the poems in the book to write a poem!

Here’s the one for COFFEE WITH JESUS:

BE BEAUTIFUL YOU ARE GOD'S CHOICE

And here’s the poem with the titles from her book A SECOND CUP WITH JESUS:

FINDING HOM WITH A GOD OF ALWAYS

I hope you’ll check some of these books out.  They’re good reads no matter what time of year, but seem especially good during Lent.  I’d love to hear what your favorites are.  Please let me know in the comment section below.  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

JANUARY IS NATIONAL HOT TEA MONTH

JANUARY IS NATIONAL HOT TEA MONTH

There are stresses associated with winter, starting with the commute to work over ice and snow!  Some people don’t mind driving on ice, but I’m not in that club!  If I turn a corner and just keep turning – well, let’s just say I don’t find it amusing.  Then once you get where you’re going, there are unique stress factors depending on the day.  Stress is just a part of life, isn’t it?  How do you de-stress?SOMETHING ABOUT TEAChelmsford Tea is a wonderful place to rekindle friendships.  Just a quaint little shop, they have hundreds of blends to choose from.  They brew up a little cup of heaven – and it just melts the stress away.

https://www.facebook.com/ChelmsfordTea/

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tea-party-1001653_1920

My mother’s favorite tea was Earl Grey.  I don’t particularly care for it – my tastes gravitate toward more sweet flavors, as did my Granny LaVella’s.  Right now I’m enjoying a cup of Sweet Cinnamon Orange from my favorite tea store, The Spice Merchant, in downtown Wichita.  Sweet Cinnamon Orange tastes like Harney’s Hot Cinnamon Sunset.  I’m sure Granny would share it with me…  oh if only!

http://www.thespicemerchant.com/cgi-bin/store/commerce.cgi

https://www.harney.com/harney-teas.html

When I was younger I hosted casual tea parties.  I put the kettle on and had various flavors to choose from.  Everyone picked their favorite and made their tea.  We’d sit around enjoying our tea as we talked about life in general – literature, work, family.  There was never a moment of silence, but so much laughter in my house…  making sweet memories with my friends!

Here’s my favorite poem from Lucinda Berry Hill, author of “Coffee with Jesus” & “A Second Cup with Jesus”.  A SIP, A PRAYER, A PEACE

12511717_1709602952617501_1918896943_n12507081_1709602795950850_1982825311_nPEACE

I knew my friend, Judy Janowski, author of Life is a Garden Party, would have some beautiful tea cups and teapots to share today.  Look at these – aren’t they pretty?

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12483700_10206676656708831_1855491165_n12498718_10206676656668830_2065899192_n12506928_10206676656748832_422857281_nThat last photo looks like she’s about ready to sit down and write her next book, doesn’t it???  Hint, hint, Judy!  

God has blessed me with author friends!  Deanna Stalnaker, author of Tea with Grandy Dee and Jesus, Me & Afternoon Tea, has been quite busy lately.  She’s in the process of writing a series of books called Women of God:  Lancaster County.  The first two books are complete.  More…  we want more.  ❤

Check out Deanna’s facebook pages:

https://www.facebook.com/deanna.stalnaker?fref=ts

https://www.facebook.com/teatimewithjesus/

https://www.facebook.com/KardeesAngels/?fref=ts

https://www.facebook.com/grandydeesjournal/?fref=ts

11828622_445582042288986_2918859347990320449_nThese days, my husband and I enjoy tea and blueberry scones together.  It’s a quiet pleasure, but one that seems to make all the cares of the day just melt away…  there’s just something about tea!  We are in no danger of running out of teapots or teacups around here!  There’s always time for tea, scones, smiles and laughter.  I can’t speak for others, but in my mind, the table setting at a tea party is just as important as the tea you choose to serve.  I enjoy our own Hall Autumn Leaf Jewel Tea antique dishes.  They set a very pretty table and are particularly nice for an Autumn Spice themed tea party.

1 JANUARY IS NATIONAL HOT TEA MONTH (WITH SCONES)

2 JANUARY IS NATIONAL HOT TEA MONTH (WITH SCONES)

Tea combined with prayer help you establish a positive state of mind:

If you think you are beaten, you are.  If you think you dare not, you won’t.

If you like to win, but don’t think you can It’s almost a cinch you won’t.

If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost.  For out in the world you find,

Success begins with a fellow’s will It’s all in a state of mind.

For many a game is lost ‘ere even a play is run,

And many a coward fails ‘ere even his work is begun.

Think big and your deeds will grow.  Think small and you’ll fall behind.

Think that you can and you will.  It’s all a state of mind.

If you think you are out-classed, you are.  You’ve got to think high to rise.

You’ve got to be sure of yourself before you can ever win a prize.

Life battles don’t always go to the stronger or faster man.

But sooner or later, the man who wins is the fellow who thinks he can.

Sometimes I like to enjoy tea in a present from a friend.  This mug and tea bag holder remind me of her belief in my abilities, which makes it easier to believe in myself!  I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength!  🙂IMG_0005It’s a whimsical mug and tea bag holder made by GANTZ.  I was hoping you could read it from the photo, but apparently it’s too far away – or at least it is for me, so I’ll just write it here:

CREATIVI-TEA:

YOUR WONDERFUL IMAGINATION MAKES THE ORDINARY SPECIAL.  YOUR STYLE AND ARTISTRY SHINE THROUGH IN ALL THAT YOU DO.

Every time I use this mug, I’m reminded of her encouragement as well as her daily prayers for me.  It means so much!  It also inspired this poem:

POTENTIAL I TEA

CHRISTIAN AUTHOR'S VIRTUAL TEA PARTY & BOOK EXTRAVAGANZA 2016Enjoy tea time today and pray…  know that God loves you each and every day!  🙂