A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

I doubt that we need to review examples of living according to the flesh.  It’s sad to see people get caught up in fast living, only to crash and burn in the end – sometimes literally.  Why does God want us to kill fleshly desires when they seem so attractive sometimes?  The answer is simple:  HE LOVES US!  He loves you and me so much – and He knows that those temptations are dangerous to our bodies and souls.  God wants to protect us – body, mind and soul.  We can’t overcome these things alone.  It’s only through God’s precious Holy Spirit that we can turn tail and run away from harm’s way.  He’s not trying to keep us from having fun!  He’s trying to show us a better way to live – and if we belong to Christ, we need to run into His arms and ask Him to show us His way of life.  Only with the Spirit’s help can we make wise choices.A relationship with God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit means that we have everything we need to avoid sin and win.  Of course, we have a free will to choose either way – right or wrong.  Nobody has always chosen the right – nobody that I know, anyway.  We’re not perfect all the time, but we know that if we choose badly, we can turn from that bad choice and ask our loving Heavenly Father, through Christ, to forgive us and forget our transgression.

One day I was driving home from work in a terrible rain storm.  I took an unfamiliar route because I was sure the regular route was flooded.  As I drove, I prayed aloud in the car, asking the Lord to protect me.  I was frightened, but confident that God would get me home safely.

There were not many cars on the road I took, which I thought was strange, but I forged ahead.  When there is water on the road, it’s difficult to gage how deep it is – or the condition of the street below.

The next intersection was full of water – the flash flooding was catching up with me… I felt led to make a left hand turn and go to the street just south of the one I was on.  I made the turn and ended up on a street that was a bit elevated and the water was running off.  I had a straight shot home.  I sang praise & worship songs and thanked the Lord for helping me get home.

I was curious about the flooded intersection where I made the turn.  I went back to look at it, and found there was a very large pot hole – and had I kept going straight, I would have gone in the hole and would probably have water in the car.

When we live life waiting for the next big thrill with no regard for the God who just wants to protect us, we end up being a slave to the very thing we thought was such fun at first.  I don’t understand why some folks think that Christians don’t have fun.  We have such fun – it’s just a different kind of fun.   God protects us and His Spirit helps us stay away from sin because all sin does is cause harm.  God doesn’t want us to be harmed – He wants us to be free!  And so we are.

Free from the law…  oh happy condition.  Jesus is mine, oh precious redemption.

A LIFE OF FREEDOM IN CHRIST…  it can be yours!  🙂

COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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https://youtu.be/hNDI0QolYm0

John sent me a great video!  He said this is a hidden creek 10 miles Southeast of Augusta, Kansas.  His appreciation for God’s creation makes me want to go out and plant a garden.  Okay, at the very least, it makes me want to go outside and make mud pies!  🙂

Under the giving snow blossoms a daring spring.  – Terri Guillemets

FLOWERS IN THE SNOW

It was quite a sight to see snow on Easter morning, but isn’t that just like God?  You know, when I taught Sunday School, my favorite lessons were object lessons.  Maybe it’s because I’ve always been a visual learner.  You can talk me to death, but until I see something and have it click in my own mind, talking just doesn’t do much good.  Don’t make me read boring statistics either, or you’ll lose me completely.  I believe God sent that snow to remind us that on Easter, the plan of Salvation was completed and He is more than able and willing to wash our sins as white as snow.

 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.  – Romans 10:9-10

Spring is a time of renewal – a time to begin anew.  What a great time to ask God into your heart and life.  He wants to be the Lord of your life.  Let’s pray this simple prayer together.  If you already know Jesus as Lord and Savior, what a great prayer of rededication and recommitment to Him:

Lord Jesus Christ,

I know that I have sinned
and done things that have hurt you.

I am willing to turn away
from what is wrong in my life.

I want to go where you lead in the future.

Thank you for dying on the cross
so that I might be forgiven.


Come into my life this day;
Come in as my Saviour and Lord:
Come in to be with me for ever.


Thank you Lord Jesus.
Amen.

You know – sometimes God’s children just need to laugh.  Before it gets too far away from Easter, I want to share a poem with you.  My friend Deanna posted a photo and said it was a naked peep taking a bath in her cup of hot tea.  I thought I’d split a stitch, I laughed so hard!  How could that not become a poem?  Laughter is one of many…  gifts from Heaven.  🙂

GIFTS FROM HEAVEN

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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PRAYER FOR HELP WITH DIET

As we head toward 2016, will you make New Year resolutions?  I don’t call what I do each year by that name, but I do make POSITIVE PLANS with prayer.  I don’t commit to change completely at my age, which is what a resolution eludes to – rather I commit to tweak, keeping in mind that the goal is my overall good in life.

I could be like everyone else jumping off the cliff and say, “I’m going to lose a TON of weight”.  Well, first of all, I know this body of mine – and I know, especially as I get older, a TON of weight will not just magically disappear.  So I would rather say “I’m going to make better choices as I plan meals.”  That doesn’t put pressure on me to do something massive in a short amount of time.

You want results yesterday, and desperation mode kicks in.  Beware of the valley of quickie cures.  – Pam Peeke, MD, author of Body for Life for Women. 

I can’t pretend that I won’t need a little chocolate once in a while.  I could stand in front of chocolate with my arms folded, refusing to partake…  but guess what?  That’s worse than buyer’s remorse!  I’m going to think about that moment and pretty soon I’m saying, “You know what?  I didn’t get that chocolate when I could have, so I’m going to go get some now to make up for it.”  For Pete’s sake – just have a piece of chocolate and work it off!  It’ll be okay.

There will be bumps in the road and it helps to keep a food journal to stay on track.  It sounds weird to say I eat and forget what I’ve eaten – but that’s exactly what happens sometimes!  I probably eat more calories than I realize I’m eating.  If I write everything down, there it is on a list.  If I’m getting close to my limit and I still feel hungry, I have to ask myself if I’ve drunk enough water or if I’ve gotten enough exercise.  Hunger is not always about food.  Sometimes it’s about water intake or lack of exercise.

Am I bored?  Do I need to get involved in an activity such as blogging or a game – something to keep my brain busy?  It’s not just a matter of denying myself food.  It’s much more complicated than it seems.

Let’s face it – if this was easy to do, we’d all be walking pencils, wouldn’t we?  Not everyone needs to lose weight, but a large group of type 2 diabetics would agree that they need to lose enough to get their hemoglobin A1C within normal range.  I’m raising my hand – I’m in that group.

It’s my hope and prayer that in 2016, around week four, I don’t become a big bundle of excuses.  I wish I had an accountability partner or someone who would be willing to drag their sorry behind to the gym with me.  That would keep me psyched and energized.  It’s more difficult if you’re doing it alone.

Positive Plan #1…  make better food choices and keep track in a journal.  I’m positive I can do this.  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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Marry someone who will suffer well with you, because there will be much suffering during the life journey.  – Unknown

DATE NIGHT

When we are planning a wedding, we often get wrapped up in the aesthetics and tend to ignore the substance.  We want the perfect flowers, dresses and décor.  It’s almost like we get to the point we’re so tired after all that planning, we say, “Vows?  What vows???”  But…  there are vows – and they are meant to be kept for LIFE.  Think about it – it’s a sobering thought, isn’t it?  Yeah – it’s meant to be.

What were those vows?  Ah…  now it’s coming back to me.

Groom: I, Larry, take thee, Linda, to be my wedded Wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I plight thee my troth.

Bride: I, Linda, take thee, Larry, to be my wedded Husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, cherish, and to obey, till death us do part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I give thee my troth.

Then, as Larry placed the ring on my finger, he said the following:

With this Ring I thee wed, with my body I thee worship, and with all my worldly goods I thee endow: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

LOVE, HONOR, CHERISH
LOVE, HONOR, CHERISH

Love means, for better or worse, you are committed to caring for the heart of someone else. You are willing to die to yourself, to compromise, to share, to believe, to keep the promise even when it hurts.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Prepare for painful moments – painful hours – painful days.  When the times are good or worth celebrating – do it with all your might, but when you are in pain, keep those good days – those good memories – at the forefront.  Think about the good as you go through the bad.  God has every situation in His very capable hands.  Trust Him for all the answers. 

 

 

 

JOSHUA 6:3 ON 6/3

JOSHUA 6 3 ON 6 3

March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days.  – Joshua 6:3

HE IS FAITHFUL

The LORD gave very specific directions – once a day for six days they were to march around Jericho.  Can you imagine it?  First we hear the blasts of the “trumpets of jubilee”.  Then in silence they march with a sense of purpose.  They knew that God was faithful and as promised, the city would fall down flat and its destruction would be complete.

It was clear that God, not man, was at work.  Their priests were officiating, with the emblems of a festival, not a war.  They marched with confidence in their God.  They knew victory was at hand if they would just obey.

Do you have that kind of confidence in God today?  Is your victory at hand because your God has never failed you?  If you feel some degree of doubt today, let me ask one more question.  Have you been obedient to His leading?

What if God had given directions and they had said, “Yeah, I guess that’s one way to do it, but we have a better plan.”   At the risk of stating the obvious, God knows what He’s doing.  I’d even go so far as to say – you, as a human being, often do not know what you’re doing.

When the Father gives specific direction – don’t add your opinion – just trust His wisdom and go and do…  go – teach – love – be.

It’s so important to stay in constant contact with the Father.  Keep the prayer lines open and be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit.  Trust Him to have the right plan for your life because He made you and He knows what you need.

What if God had given directions and they had said, “Wow – we are going to look (and feel) really stupid marching around every day.”  Sometimes God impresses us to do things that we would not normally do.

And speaking of looking (and feeling) stupid…

One year I felt impressed that I should help at a youth camp.  Are you kidding me?  My comfort zone in the summertime is typically playing the piano in air conditioning.  The thought of playing games out in triple digit heat was not something that sounded even almost fun.  I was nearly dead (and sore) when it was over – and I’m still not clear about God’s leading – but it’s not my job to question – it’s my job to do what He impresses on me to do.  As far as I know, I didn’t make a bit of difference to anyone – but that may not be true.  I don’t know – but I don’t have to know ‘cuz God knows…  ya know???   🙂

 

 

 

 

WORLD PEACE DAY

TL 12-21 WORLD PEACE DAY

WORLD PEACE DAY…  we’re praying for peace.  We pray that God will take the turmoil in our world and turn it around one person at a time.  We pray that God will neutralize all hate and replace it with His perfect love.  We pray that every person will make a conscious decision to choose peaceful resolution to conflict.  With God’s Holy Spirit living in us, we can do it.

Mercy unto you, and PEACE, and love, be multiplied.  – Jude 1:2

I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality…. I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.   – Martin Luther King, Jr.

But I trust I shall shortly see thee, and we shall speak face to face. PEACE be to thee. Our friends salute thee. Greet the friends by name.  –  3 John 1:14

 The time is always right to do what is right.   – Martin Luther King, Jr.

And one of you say unto them, Depart in PEACE, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?  –  James 2:16

Everybody can be great.  Because anybody can serve.  You don’t have to have a college degree to serve.  You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve…. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve.  You only need a heart full of grace.  A soul generated by love.  – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Grace be with you, mercy, and PEACE, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.  – 2 John 1:3

As God’s Holy Spirit works in us as individuals, may we make a choice to love one another, and renew that commitment every day no matter what evil goes on around us.

 We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers.  Our abundance has brought us neither peace of mind nor serenity of spirit.  – Martin Luther King, Jr., Strength to Love, 1963

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.  –  James 3:17

We pray for peace.

And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.  – James 3:18

We must decide as individuals to let peace take root in our own hearts.  I can’t decide for you and you can’t decide for me.  I must make a choice to ask God to help me embrace peace.  I must not listen to the siren sounds around me that say there is racial tension – or that policemen profile or hate anyone.  That is propaganda.  It is hype stirred up by people who profit and take great pleasure in keeping the pot stirred. 

May we as individuals make peace – on purpose. 

THE BIRTH OF PEACE

 

If you are looking for a perfect Christmas gift, may I suggest a new devotional book by Lucinda Berry Hill?  Everyone needs a new devotional book to begin the new year!

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Click on the link below to order your copy!

http://bookstore.westbowpress.com/Products/SKU-000952694/A-Second-Cup-with-Jesus.aspx 

 

 

 

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS

TL MERRY CHRISTMAS

MISTLETOE FOR MAMA (USED 12-4-13)

A great BIG thank you to Lucinda Berry Hill for that wonderful poem! So sweet!!! ❤

November 27, 1969 came and went as all other days do. Mama made a fantastic Thanksgiving dinner and daddy and I enjoyed every bite of it! I remember helping mama clear the table before dessert. She stood in the middle of the kitchen making fake coughing noises. When she finally had daddy’s full attention, she gave him a very mischievous and playful glance over her horn-rimmed glasses as she tip-toed toward the refrigerator to remove a small paper bag. This was the official beginning of the Christmas season at our house – it was mama’s mistletoe!

Every year mama bought a fresh sprig of mistletoe from a local nursery. It was a tradition not to be trifled with, as this was serious business in the Turner household. Admittedly, the little sprig of mistletoe looked past its prime by the time Christmas was over. Regardless, it stayed right where mama hung it, over the kitchen sink, until the last ornament was taken from the tree the day after Christmas.

At 8 years old I was not actually helping with dishes yet, so my daddy would send me to the kitchen to fetch something – a napkin or the salt and pepper. When I got to the kitchen he would get a “two-fer”, from mama and me! I usually got more tickles than kisses, but it was still fun!

I remember times when I sat at the kitchen table doing homework when my daddy came home. Mama would be standing at the kitchen sink pointing at her mistletoe. What a clever woman! Daddy quickly put down his lunchbox and coat to kiss mama hello. I usually got a little peck on the head too.

As a small child, I learned that it is the tiny affections and fun times that make families healthy and happy. I grew up knowing the real meaning of Christmas, but I also grew up knowing in my heart that family fun, especially at Christmas-time, involves a little sprig of mistletoe and a lot of good old-fashioned love and commitment.