A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

It’s not news to anyone that stress is everywhere.  If this is news to you, let me know.  Being anxious is a reaction to stressful situations – and often times anxiety is paired with depression – which is the worst feeling in the world.  Some people choose to take medication for this not so dynamic duo – but I choose to pray – and I pray so much…  long prayers, short prayers, mega short prayers.  I pray.  It doesn’t make me better than anyone else and it doesn’t mean that my faith is bigger than anyone else’s – believe me!  It’s just the way I choose to cope.  I cope and God gives me HOPE.

God’s Word tells us not to be anxious about anything.  Let’s be honest…  we do get anxious and depressed sometimes.  Just because we’re Christians does not mean we’re not human.  Putting our faith and trust in God is not a magic fix that keeps us more calm than anyone else – but the faith and trust we put in God is a way of showing the Lord that we believe HE will make a way no matter what.

In my 56 years on the planet I’ve learned two things:

  1. Prayer works and changes things.  It does make me less anxious and less depressed without harmful side effects.
  2. God in His perfect time is never early – I wish He would be sometimes because I tend to be a little more anxious as time passes without the answer being revealed; however, as I keep praying and trusting God and His right on time way of working, I know that things will work out and often times it is literally what I would call the last minute.  What I’m saying is that God is never early…  but He is NEVER LATE!

He will guard our hearts and minds and give us HIS peace that transcends all understanding IF we will trust Him and pray about every situation that crops up in life.  I’ve found that to be true.

Prayer and petition…  give it to God in prayer and in return He will guard your heart and mind.  He will bless you with peace in place of anxiety and depression.  It sounds like a very good trade to me.  🙂

Advertisements

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

a-commentary-from-the-heart-16

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.  – Proverbs 27:17

Happy birthday to my daddy in Heaven.  I was thinking about all the great things he taught me and how many times I wish I could have another conversation with him.  I’d like to share part of a Father’s Day writing with you today.

Thank you, Daddy.  Thank you for showing me what it means to have a good work ethic.  Thank you for teaching me how to barter when I don’t have money.  I know growing up, we didn’t have more money than time, but there was always time for laughter, for listening, and for love.

Even though you built houses for a living, ours was the best one of all – not because it was more fancy, but because the love within those walls turned that house into a home.  I remember sitting in front of the TV in the family room listening to you laugh at some show.  I wanted to memorize that sound and tuck it in the back of my mind so I’d never forget it.  All I have left is that tape in my head… and I play it over and over again.  I would give so much to hear you laugh for real just one more time.  But you know what, Daddy?  One day I will…  yeah, I will.  – Linda Palmer

It’s always my intent to be a balcony person on this blog – an encourager and a cheerleader to folks – but I won’t be fake and pretend that everything is just peachy keen all the time, just so others will think well of me.

I believe there are moments when we are all balcony people AND basement people.  I believe that we sharpen one another’s iron – at all times.  I don’t believe that we are exclusively balcony or basement people.  I believe we are God’s children – and there are HIGHS and there are LOWS because we are all very HUMAN.  God knows us, and I don’t think it’s bad to admit that I’m not on the mountaintop every single day.

If and when I’m having basement moments…  I appreciate the balcony people who come along and encourage me in those times – but I also appreciate the basement people who are not ashamed to admit they’re struggling a bit.  If God puts a basement person in my path, it’s probably because He wants me to help them.

That’s what we do…  we help those who are going through a rough patch.  I help you…  you help me.  Iron sharpening 101.

We all want to be balcony people – encouragers – cheerleaders – energizers – affirming.  I’m no different – but if we’re honest, we’d admit that we all need someone to give us encouragement – cheer us on – energize us – and affirm us – once in a while.

The Bible tells us to sharpen one another’s iron – it’s a give and take – one day I encourage – and another day – I get encouraged.  It’s my intent to encourage and uplift others, using the wonderful Word of God; however…

If I have to be on a mountaintop 24/7 as I write this blog, maybe I’m not doing what I need to do.  If you expect this humble writer to be on a mountaintop 24/7, sorry to disappoint you.  If I’m not on the mountaintop, it does not indicate that I lack hope or peace in my life.  It just makes me human.  I won’t apologize for being human.  I won’t judge you for being human either.  🙂

 

WHITE CHRISTMAS

tl-12-19-white-christmas

Sprinkle me with water and I will be pure; wash me and I will be whiter than snow.  – Psalm 51:7

I love Lucinda’s new poem about a white Christmas.  There’s a stanza that talks about showing love and compassion at this time of year – about helping someone pick up items they’ve dropped.  I had to laugh because that very thing recently happened to me.  I’m not sure why the good folks at Walmart think that fourteen gazillion items can be stuffed into one of their plastic bags – and they don’t have to double-bag it.  Sigh…

I was crossing the parking lot and it was so crowded – people everywhere and cars lined up waiting for me to get out of the way.  I had left the cart inside the store, thinking I could carry the bag to the car alright.  I thought wrong.  The bottom of the bag broke and stuff dropped out!  It was everywhere!  I was so rattled and embarrassed!

I scrambled to quickly pick things up, although some things had rolled away from me.  It’s amazing how kind and helpful the folks around me were!  There seemed to be folks coming from everywhere to help – and many were showing true empathy, explaining that at some time or the other, the same thing had happened to them.

The people in cars put them in park and got out to help me!  Nobody seemed angry or upset – but everyone was so very kind and helpful.  I was silently thanking God for that.  As we all know, sometimes people are less than kind and compassionate to another person’s plight.

I hope you enjoy this poem as much as I did.

a-christmas-of-whiteAnd I’m reminded too that my neighbor is everyone – not just the person who lives in my neighborhood.  Every time others are kind and compassionate with me, I become more kind and compassionate with others.  We teach others how to treat others by our own actions and reactions, you see?  It’s a choice we make and it’s a choice to ask God for help or not.  I don’t know about you, but I want to learn every lesson I can from God if it will mold me into the kind, compassionate, caring person I need to be.

May all your Christmases be WHITE.  🙂

 

MATTHEW 6:26 ON 6/26

TL MATTHEW 6-26 ON 6-26

Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?  – Matthew 6:26

If you are feeling alone and forgotten today, this verse is just what you need!  We all need to be reminded that our God loves us more than anything!  In a world that seems to put less value and importance of the sanctity of human life – it does our hearts good to know that God values each and every one of us individually.

How can a great big God show such intimate and special concern for us?  I don’t have the answer to that question – but I know He does!

Our neighbors to the east have a bird feeder hanging on a metal shepherd’s hook.  They keep that feeder filled with bird food year around.  Sometimes I just stand at my kitchen window and watch the birds, especially in the wintertime.  I think of this verse and the old hymn, “His Eye is On the Sparrow”.  God provides for even the little sparrow – sometimes through folks like our neighbors.

My mom-in-love used to tear a slice of bread up almost every day to feed the birds.  She didn’t have much money, and I don’t think she ate very much herself, but she was bound and determined that the birds would not starve.  We used to remind her that God would take care of the birds, and she needed to take care of herself.  I don’t think she listened.  LOL!

It’s God’s desire to have an ongoing relationship with each of us throughout our life’s journey.  He loves us so much and cares about every little thing that’s happening in our lives.

HIS FAITHFULNESS RENEWS MEJust knowing that God takes such good care of the sparrows and cares even more about us…  makes me think that He will also cause us to soar like eagles!  With His help, we really do fly above the chaos that is life and run like an antelope without growing faint.

What’s stopping you today?  You are armed with the knowledge that the God of the universe favors you and wants to help you live life in a whole and happy way.  That leaves me feeling hopeful for the future.  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (21)

Doing good things enriches the soul.  – Dustin James

There was a young lady standing by the roadside in 10 degree weather.  She was holding a sign that said “Homeless – anything helps.”  Dustin was prompted to go to a nearby Dunkin’ Donuts to buy her a cup of coffee.  He said the look on her face was priceless.

Each one of us is God’s special work of art… a painting like no other in all of time.  – Joni Earreckson Tada

The Bible tells us that we may be entertaining angels unaware.  How many times do we cross paths with angels, but miss the opportunity to entertain them because we are too self-absorbed or think we have no time?  We’ve all seen people standing by the side of the road with signs.  We’re scared to stop or to get involved because there really are some evil people in the world who use that as a rouse to attract others for their own evil purposes.

The conversation goes like this…  “I’d help, but if you give them money, they’ll just go buy cigs or booze or something like that.”  That sounds weak to me.

There are smart ways to help others…

If I’m impressed to meet a need, I make sure my husband is close by and I don’t give anyone cash.  I ask what the need is – if it’s a meal, I’ll buy it – if it’s gasoline for their car, I’ll buy it.  That’s how we give – we provide the need at hand to help them along their way.

Sometimes the person isn’t standing there with a sign.  One Thanksgiving we were at a restaurant.  When the waitress came to take our order, I felt a nudging from God’s Holy Spirit.  I didn’t know what her issue was, but God did and that’s all that matters.  We’ll never know if what we did helped, but we trust that God helped her through her issues.

WHERE JESUS IS HEARD

When God’s Holy Spirit impresses on you to act – you act – it’s as simple as that.  I believe that He guides me quite literally through my life and lets me know when I need to help someone – and He also lets me know when I need to walk away from someone.  God’s Spirit keeps me safe and helps me live the kind of life that is pleasing to Him.  I don’t apologize for my lifestyle.  I believe it’s the best life a person can choose to live.

I was so encouraged when I read Dustin’s story today.  I pray that we all stop to see the signs that others are holding up – whether they are literally holding a sign up or not.  May we be more sensitive to the leading of God’s Holy Spirit in 2016.  ❤

 

 

MATTHEW 10:14 ON 10/14

TL MATTHEW 10 14 ON 10 14

Whoever doesn’t receive you, nor hear your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake off the dust from your feet.  – Matthew 10:14

Click image to enlarge

How much time, talent and treasure are you prepared to spend on a person when their eternal destination is uncertain?  When is it time to stop trying and walk away, shaking the dust off your feet (or sneakers) as you leave their house?

I struggle with this because I’m an eternal optimist!  I don’t believe God gives up on anyone…  ever – so therefore, who am I to give up?  But then I see this verse and I’m reminded that not everyone is going to accept my message.  I might add, in this modern age, very few will accept it…  sadly.

There’s a commercial playing on TV that reminds me of this Scripture – an advertisement for Choice Hotels:

https://youtu.be/EZVxDzDUXNY

Or there is this one – I’ll post it just as soon as I quit laughing – it’s so funny…

https://youtu.be/YtvFhC1vmDo

Just a quick note…  I had that job – and I think I remember that guy picking on his toes – I think he was in the cubicle next to mine.  Yeah…  what a memory!

But when we are doing our best to share the gospel with others, how do we know when it’s time to stop?  I often wonder if I stop too soon.  Once in a while I wonder if I lingered too long, though.  How do we know?  I mean, this is their soul hanging in the balance – ya know?  It’s important to stay long enough – but to know when to walk away.

There are entire groups of folks that I cannot even begin to talk to – they know who they are.  Atheists, for example, usually don’t receive me, let alone hear what I have to say.  I always leave a conversation letting them know I will pray for them.  They don’t accept that either, but they can’t stop me from praying for them.  When I walk away, I am not angry or discouraged.  I’m sad.  I pray that someone gets through – at that point it’s all I can do.

Click image to enlarge

I think as long as people are open to hearing me, I’ll keep sharing my faith.  It may seem like a painfully obvious answer, but I think it’s the right one.  A few times I have received a sort of intercession from the Holy Spirit that lets me know I need to leave it – it’s like He’s telling me that this person is not “ready” to accept Him yet.  It has only happened a few times.

I guess I just want to make sure I stay long enough.  I never want to walk away too soon – but I don’t worry about it because maybe I’m not the one who is supposed to help them pray.  Maybe I’m just the one to plant one of the seeds along the way.  I’m sure that God knows how long I’ll stay to help and I have full confidence in Him – that He will bring the next person along to plant more seeds.  That’s what we do as Christians.  We plant seeds for the lost and sharpen iron with the saved.  Don’t you love God’s plan?  🙂

IRON SHARPENS IRON… FRIENDSHIP

IRON SHARPENS IRON

I don’t pay attention to how many people follow this blog, but if you are reading this post today, I humbly ask for your prayers on behalf of my talented friend, Lucinda Berry Hill.  We don’t know what the problem is, but we most definitely know WHO the Great Physician is…  Amen!

I want to share this bit of writing with you today.  I read it and had two thoughts:

(1) This is a long piece, and (2) I must share this even if it’s not in the form of a design.

Please read and pray.  Thank you!

MY FIRST NIGHT IN THE HOSPITAL

Lucinda Berry Hill, author of “Coffee with Jesus”& “A Second Cup with Jesus” © 2015

I’m sitting in this hospital bed looking for a pen.

I asked for my phone, some number, and oh yes,

My glasses.

But how could I forget a pen and some paper?

I am a writer, after all!

So I pray.

I pray that God will help my daughter sleep.

That she won’t feel tears in her eyes like I am,

And wonder where they’re coming from.

But that He’ll give her peace and help her sleep.

I pray that my husband will be comforted.

I know being in this hospital must bring back memories

Of the last time he saw his beautiful mother.

I pray for the person out in the hall.

Whoever works a mop at 12:00 at night needs prayers.

How do I know it’s a mop?

I’ve been professional cleaning for over 27 years.

I know a mop when I hear one.

And oh, those trash bags!!!

So, I pray for them.

Maybe they’re paying for college,

Maybe their little ones are home in bed.

Maybe they like the night shift.

Praying for all possibilities out in the hallway.

I hear someone nearby faintly crying.

I pray for their comfort

And the comfort of their loved ones at home.

I pray for my mom, 400 miles away;

I know as a mom now myself, she’s hurting.

I pray for her comfort.

I pray that maybe my night in the hospital

Will reunite some estranged family members.

I wonder what’s going on with me.

Is God gonna make me better than I was when I came in?

Will I have my strength back,

Being able to live a better and more vibrant life than before?

And then I wonder,

If it were my time to go,

(I’m sitting by myself in a hospital bed, of course I’m gonna go there)…

And I say yes!

My daughter is my main concern,

And if I don’t have her covered,

I can rest assured my God does!

She couldn’t be in better hands.

I know she will have a beautiful life.

Maybe not with beautiful things and people,

But with God’s beautiful,

With love, joy, peace and hope!

And then “she” enters;

A pretty young girl coming to draw more blood,

Part of an every 2 hour cycle.

And she asks,

“Do you need anything while I’m here?”

I said, with a giggle, “Do you have a pen?”

She did and said I could keep it.

Good thing, because I had a lot to write about and then

I prayed the Lord would keep her in His hands also.

I did a lot of praying that night

For so many people I didn’t even know;

And when in pain

I sang with Jesus.

**************************************************************

Lucinda, this is my favorite writing to date!  You are in my prayers, sweet friend!  May God richly bless you!  ❤