God Bless You

What IS a blessing?  Well, the kind of blessings we’re talking about today are the invoking of God’s favor upon a person.  While I’m not big on the luck of the Irish, I love Irish blessings!  No country invokes God’s favor upon others quite like the Irish!

Since it’s just one day past St. Patrick’s Day, I wanted to take this opportunity to invoke God’s favor upon you!  Fasten your seat belt…  here we go!

28 May God give you heaven’s dew and earth’s richness— an abundance of grain and new wine.
29 May nations serve you and peoples bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers, and may the sons of your mother bow down to you. May those who curse you be cursed and those who bless you be blessed.  – Genesis 27:28-29

Isn’t that a beautiful photograph?  It was taken by our friend and fellow poet, David Catherwood.

Is there a wedding in your future?  Here’s a beautiful marriage blessing:

OH…  written in the key of E…  ugh.  Good for a guitar player – difficult for a piano player.  LOL!  I could play it…  but I wouldn’t LIKE it.

Here’s a beautiful poem by Lucinda Berry Hill:

We are blessed by God and in turn we bless others.

Near Powerscourt Castle in Ireland

And last, but certainly not least – this beautiful Irish prayer.  I pray this for each of you!

I hope and pray you have a wonderful, blessed week!  🙂

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A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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All I’ve heard lately is the amount of the latest LOTTO jackpot!  It’s more than my little mind can comprehend, to be honest.  I heard an interview with Robin Leach yesterday.  He said the winner of the jackpot should contact a financial advisor immediately – and make plans to move away from their current home to an undisclosed destination.

With wealth comes responsibility.  I know…  I know – you’re telling me you think you can handle it – or at least try.  But think about the repercussions that this degree of wealth would have – it’s nearly unfathomable!  Take heart in knowing that yes, that is a lot of money – but how much more are the gifts we receive from God.  He gives and gives…

GOOD GIFTS

The Bible tells us that it’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a wealthy man to enter heaven.  I think as long as I have the LORD, I am the most wealthy person!  I have a peace in my heart that nobody can take away!  If I had wealth, would I lean on God like I should?  I can’t say.  I hope the answer is yes, I would still trust God to lead me daily.  I hope dirty old money wouldn’t change me.  🙂

Actually, when I think of THE LOTTERY, my mind goes back to a very old piece of American literature.  In school, we were required to read a short story by Shirley Jackson by that name.  I won’t spoil the story in case you’ve not read it, but let’s just say it is filled with irony – and after all these years, the story is still quite vivid in my mind – it made a deep impression on me.

The Lottery was written in the month of its first publication in the June 26, 1948 issue of The New Yorker.  It was considered one of the most famous short stories in the history of American literature.  In spite of that bit of praise, the story met with negative repercussions as subscribers to The New Yorker magazine started cancelling subscriptions after the story ran.  The story was actually banned in the Union of South Africa.

Whether you bought a lottery ticket or plan to read the story, I hope you will always remember to be contented and bloom where you’re planted.  That’s what God wants – for us to trust Him as we face the future.  God bless you today!  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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I believe the trend toward pitching a tent in front of an electronics store on Thanksgiving just to save your place in the ridiculously long line the next morning when the store opens – is finally waning – at least I hope it is.  Let’s just look at this thing logically for a minute.  We just spent a day around a table with loved ones, giving thanks to God for all of our many blessings – OH – but wait – we gotta pitch a tent so we can sleep on the sidewalk because there is a piece of technology I still need to possess.  WHAT???

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It’s insane…  and we all know the definition of insanity…  it’s doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result or outcome.  Look, there are two schools of thought about Black Friday – some people say we need to frequent the stores and the sales because the folks who are working need their job and don’t mind working on Thanksgiving and the day after.  Others, like me, believe that stores have no business being open on Thanksgiving at all – and should be closed the day after as well.  Those employees deserve a 4-day weekend before the Christmas nightmare begins!  I’m just one person with an opinion.  Will anyone listen?  Probably not – but that doesn’t stop me from speaking my mind.

RRiWcz1EgPbn7gcKacIg7nZTqgUYou know, God did not create us to kneel in front of the BEST BUY store.  God created us to praise and worship HIM.  He wants us to take time to sit and reflect on His Word and be quiet before Him so we can hear Him speak to our hearts.  Put your feet up by the fires of God’s Holy Spirit.  When we get so wrapped up in retail therapy that we can’t focus on anything except which stores we want to get to and when, then we are the ones who lose out.  I’m not saying that retail therapy is a bad thing, but I don’t think it’s so important to participate in Black Friday.

I’m not opposed to online shopping, and frankly I think most people would rather stay home and shop in their pajamas.  If consumers would resist the temptation to shop on the Friday after Thanksgiving, eventually the stores would not see the need to be open and employees could have the 4 day weekend they need – and more time with friends and family.  When did we stop thinking of others?  Wouldn’t you rather spend 4 days off than just one – and some don’t even get Thanksgiving off because stores are feeling like they need to be open on Thanksgiving.  It’s sad because everyone should be with family and friends – not co-workers – on Thanksgiving – and the day after and the weekend after that.  🙂

 

 

ROMANS 10:9 ON 10/9

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 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.  – Romans 10:9

https://youtu.be/a5V6xqc0RkE

We live in a society that thinks it is ENTITLED to everything.  We deserve everything for doing nothing.  We put in very little effort or none at all.  That tiny word “IF” really bothers some people.  IF they have to put forth one iota of effort, forget it – they don’t want it.

When it comes to your eternal life, don’t you think it’s worth investing some time, talent and treasure?  The Savior of your soul, Christ Jesus – He invested more than you ever will.  He willingly gave Himself – literally – painfully – lovingly.  So, IF you think the conditions are too strenuous or too demanding, I suggest you take a look in your Bible at the account of Christ’s crucifixion.  You know, if He had not followed through (and by the way, He most certainly would not have had to), where would you and I be?  We would be lost for all eternity – and that’s not a thought I like to dwell on for very long.  Eternity is forever…  jus’ sayin!

We should be praising God and humbly thanking Him every moment of every day for the sacrifice He made so that we could have life everlasting in Paradise!  So many think they have found Paradise on this earth, but just wait…  the best is yet to come!  Sometimes I envy my family because they are already there.  I’m still stuck down here where there is anything but peace!

I guess God’s not done with me yet.  I guess I’m still here to write about God’s plan for man.  His plan for our salvation and eternal life.  Life forever with the Savior of the world.

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… So I will declare with my mouth that JESUS IS LORD and believe in my heart that God raised Christ from the dead and He now sits at God’s Right hand!  I believe that one day I will be in Paradise, Heaven, God’s perfect place where there is no war, no racial tension, no financial concerns, no sickness, no pain, no more separation from loved ones and no more death!  In God’s Heaven there is joy, peace, contentment, wellness and one dandy reunion with loved ones – and we get to cast whatever crowns we’ve gotten in this life at the feet of Christ – which is totally cool.  It’s ALL about Him because if it were not for Him…  I wouldn’t be there!

Who would not want that???  I guess those who have a problem with that little word…  IF.  🙂

MITTEN TREE DAY

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12-6 TEACH CHILDREN CHARITY

I think of all the wacky and unusual holidays on the books, this one is my favorite.  MITTEN TREE DAY is so much fun for children, but it’s a great way for adults to teach them about selflessness and  how to put the needs of others above their own needs or wants.  Have you heard the story called “The Mitten”? 

The timing of this special holiday is perfect since it’s so close to Christmas.  I used to have my Sunday School kids make an outline of their hands with their fingers together on colored construction paper – it looks like a pair of mittens.  Then they put their name on the “mittens” and decorate them with glitter or crayons.  Then punch holes in the top of each mitten and run yarn through the holes.  Tie a knot in the yarn and hang the “mittens” on a small Christmas tree.

Once you have a mitten tree and have read the story to the children, you can easily Segway into conversations with them about how blessed we are if we own a pair of mittens – and how it would be nice if we were to give someone a pair of mittens if they do not have any.  Children learn how to be charitable.  It does not come naturally.

We usually talked at great length about how the little boy’s mitten helped all those critters stay warm.  Then we discussed how God has provided warm houses for us to live in and stay warm.  It’s never too early to teach children to count their blessings and be thankful for what they have.

There’s such a tendency in our country to want more and not be content.  Stories like “The Mitten” help us to teach children to think of others and want to share with them.  Let’s teach them about charity instead of teaching them that the government will force them to share.  True charity should be taught and come from the heart of individuals.  God loveth a cheerful giver.  THAT is what Christians teach children – give from the abundance God blesses you with.

May we always be allowed to give of our own free will as God leads – not as government leads.  ❤

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 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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JULY IN THE KANSAS SKY
Back on the first day of Summer, I saw a post on facebook that said, “The first one to criticize the hot temperatures is going to get smacked after the awful winter we just survived!” I had to laugh because let’s face it… it’s just plain HOT outside! So, yeah – go ahead – SMACK me!

Don’t knock the weather; nine-tenths of the people couldn’t start a conversation if it didn’t change once in a while. – Kin Hubbard

That’s not a bad little song to get stuck in your head, is it? For once the phrase GREAT GAIN means something positive! I usually use that phrase to mean I’ve over-indulged on food again. In that case, the GREAT means a large amount, which is not something good – **sigh**.

The apostle Paul had a few words of instruction on the subject of contentment:

Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. – Philippians 4:11-12

While I suppose we could certainly apply that instruction to something as basic as weather conditions, it’s probably meant to be applied to more personal matters. He speaks of situations rather than conditions. This is one lesson that I must admit I’m still learning and I may be learning for the rest of my life. I don’t like to want for anything. As I get older, however; it becomes clear to me that much of what I think I want is not what I need. Usually in time I realize that the things that I think are necessities are not things I need.

So today I would challenge all of us to re-examine our list of necessities. How many of those things can be moved to the want list? You may be surprised how many things you really can live without and still be quite content. Oh, and as for the weather… yes, I will be content – and run in to enjoy the wonderful air-conditioned house just as often as I can!   😉

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART 35

CONTENTED PEACE

It’s better to have peace in your home and eat hot dogs than to live with strife while dining on the finest swordfish? You bet!
Above all else we should pray for peace in our homes:

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. – Ephesians 4:6-7

There is no room for any anger in a peaceful home:

Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry. – Ephesians 4:26-27

The mood or tone you set in your home will determine a level of stress or a level of peace and harmony. It’s a matter of setting priorities. Simply put, if peace is what you want in your home first and foremost, then it will happen. You have to be mindful that every word you say begins as a thought, good or bad. If the thought is not a good one to express, ask the Holy Spirit to “check” you on it before it comes out of your mouth. I admit that is still something God is helping me with.

How many times have you agreed to do something with the best of intentions, but it ended up robbing you of times of joy and peace with your own family? I see heads nodding. I’ve done it too. We must make our homes a top priority. If we don’t, we run the risk of losing the close bond we have with our own family. The enemy of your soul would like nothing better than to see your family unit crumble to the ground. Even overloading yourself with church work can be an opportunity for the devil to work.

Be aware that when you’re doing good deeds for others it is taking time from your family:

Lay not wait, O wicked man, against the dwelling of the righteous, spoil not his resting place. – Proverbs 24:15

I’m not suggesting that ministry is a bad thing, but make sure you pay attention to your family too. After all, God gave you those precious people for a reason. Don’t ignore them.

Eat your hot dogs and enjoy your time together!